Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.
-Henry David Thoreau
Day 8 – Imbalance results when the mind’s screams drown out the whispers of the heart. Rolf describes this as our current circumstance, writing: “Instead of listening we have learned to numb and filter. The sensations that get through our filters and our numbness become supersized. Fear becomes violence, desire becomes gluttony, service to one’s community becomes workaholism. More is never enough.” We become used to this imbalance, but nothing is ever quite as it feels it ought to be: in our home lives, our work lives, our playful lives. So, we set more goals and deadlines and requirements on ourselves. Is there ever a graceful way to say, “No?”
Rolf offers us meditation and yoga practice as a way to find balance, which also inescapably means the 8-limb path. Today’s reading on vairagya, that which eliminates whatever hinders progress and refinement always weighs heavy in my heart as “renunciation.” The choice is to be morally committed without being to committed to morality, eh? Just as in yesterday’s reading, it does one no good to try and balance the world if one cannot balance oneself. After all, much of the imbalance is our own mind talking louder than our heart. Sitting and listening to one’s breath, therefore, not only becomes a metaphor for listening, but the cure for most of the stuff we can’t let go for no reason other than we feel we must. It seems the first step is just becoming available to oneself through meditation.