12.05.2012

The Enlightening Mat: The Second Noble Truth

serenity now

You crave fresh air, relaxation, silence, and water -- anything to escape the suffering found in the Bikram yoga room.

Last week I explored the First Noble Truth, which says that life is made up of challenges, dissatisfaction, or suffering. The Second Noble Truth taught by the Buddha states that the origin of suffering comes from craving: We desire pleasurable experiences, consistency, control, particular objects, people, etc.

Hey, that sounds simple! Eliminate all craving and then suffering will completely vanish. Haha!! I wonder how many people can really make this happen. The mind is a wild beast and feeds heavily on craving something all the time. Either something to alleviate pain or something that brings extra pleasure.

I've stopped thinking that my cravings will end. Instead I see them like a circus act that I get to sit back and watch, become curious about, laugh over, and possibly see them gently fade.

I don't know if this is what the Buddha had intended with Second Noble Truth, but instead of trying to fix my cravings, I see challenges in the Bikram yoga room as an opportunity to connect with the origin of my suffering. This is a time where I get to juggle my cravings up in the air to see that they're just that -- things to play with and choose.

Once I play with my cravings, tossing them up in the air, I can begin letting them fall to the ground to see that I don't really need cool air on my body or a cold drink of water for I am fully alive in the moment despite the intensity of my wandering desires.

The Enlightening Mat is a blog series exploring moments of awareness that come to Beth Hemmila while practicing Bikram Yoga.

To shop for yoga charms that celebrate the different poses click here to view this blog post Sterling Silver Charms for Bikram Yoga Postures.  

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