Thursday, May 03, 2007

Off the Mat (under construction)

(Another "installment" in my continuing series of dharma talks with my yoga students)

I haven't forgotten the idea of a weekly topic for further exploration -- I'm just stuck right now. I'm supposed to be talking to you about ahimsa -- or "non-harming." But I find myself instead, thinking about a famous story about Gandhi:

In India at the time of the story, Gandhi had become a famous and prominent person, but one who still remained very accessible to others. One day a woman visited him with her young son. She told Gandhi that her son was constantly eating candies, and that the candies were harming his teeth. She said that her son respected Gandhi, and she wanted Gandhi to tell her son to stop eating candies.

Gandhi told the woman to bring her son back in a week. The woman looked perplexed at him, but agreed.

A week later she returned, and Gandhi told her son, "You should stop eating candies."

The woman thanked Gandhi, and then asked why she had to return after a week to have him tell her son something Gandhi could have said the first time.

Gandhi replied, "A week ago, I was still eating candies myself."

Every time I try to write something useful about ahimsa, I realize how deficient my own practice of it is, and I wind up writing things that lack authenticity and strike me as hollow when I read them back to myself.

So I'll borrow Gandhi's instruction: "check back in a week." ;-)