Last week, we started looking at Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga with a look at the first limb, the Yama . Our focus was on the first of the five principles of the Yama: ahimsa. Today, we’re focusing on the second principle: satya, or truth.
Truth. Seems simple enough, right? While the truth seems straightforward, oftentimes it’s not. Think of two siblings who are trying to get out of trouble by blaming each other or two witnesses to the same event who have two totally different accounts of what happened. Each person was has their own version of the story, sometimes because one of them is lying but sometimes because of bias. What seems true for each us is shaped by many factors — our culture, our family life, our language, our thoughts, our emotions… and on and on.
So how do we get to unbiased Truth? Through self-reflection. Becoming aware of our biases can help us see past them. Noticing our conditioned responses can help us break patterns of behavior that hide the Truth. When we can quiet our minds and think less, it gives us the opportunity to open up to hearing the real Truth and accepting it for what it is rather than what we want it to be. If we can all find the Truth within ourselves, we can stop acting out of fear and ignorance.
Yours in peace,