The Enlightening Mat: The Third Noble Truth


The First Noble Truth is that life involves suffering, and the Second is that this discomfort arises from our craving.

The Third Noble Truth taught by the Buddha promises hope for within suffering is the possibility to end our struggle by connecting with our ever peaceful mind.

What I think is most amazing about these Four Noble Truths -- teachings by the Buddha -- is that they are not considered fixed beliefs but rather concepts meant to be tested through experience. So don't swallow them whole and leave it there. Rather take these Four Noble Truths off the shelf and play with them. See if they hold up or how they apply to your life.

In the Bikram yoga room, I've glimpsed the end of my suffering -- perhaps a small taste of Nirvana. It doesn't last long, maybe about 3 minutes, but the surprising thing is that I'm not blissed out. I'm not in a state of euphoria or disconnection from reality. I still know I have debt, that I could use a haircut, and my mountain of work isn't going away.

For me it happens at the very end of Bikram yoga class, when I lay down on my mat for Savasana -- corpse pose. I don't close my eyes and check out, but rather I have this experience of wanting absolutely nothing. I don't feel satisfaction or dissatisfaction, just that every thing feels in accord. I don't need to eat, drink, sleep, fix a relationship, worry about money, or create anything new. It's 3 minutes of splendid non-craving where my mind embraces it's most natural state of being.

In this moment, I am given a glimpse of how I could be when all my craving ceases to exist...how beautifully soft and surrendering I am.

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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