The Ninth Obstacle

‘Imagine the still water of a lake in the evening.’ Guruji was saying. ‘The water is constant, and you can see the reflection of the moon in it. This is what we are like when our mind is quiet.

‘But then you take a stone, and throw it in. The stone creates ripples in the water, and where there was one moon before, now you can see many moons. If you throw a handful of stones in the water, all the reflections will disappear with the disturbance of the water. This is what happens when we listen to our mind, believing that what it tells us is true.

‘The mind keeps us stuck in a pit. It keeps us down in the valley, when we belong on top of the mountain, understanding the reality of what we truly are. It takes great courage to refuse to listen to your mind. It is a rare quality; few people are able to do it. But the moment when you have this kind of courage to turn your back on your mind, I can tell you that a revolution will start on that very day!’

If you live alone in a Himalayan cave, or if perhaps you are a man or woman who lives in society and your working, financial and social circumstances allow you to practice Kriya Yoga four to eight hours a day, I take off my hat to you. Congratulations, and please keep going. That is wonderful.

Practically speaking however, very few of us can commit ourselves to that amount of time (and leaving karma by the side as a topic for another day), let’s face it: some of us who do commit to the path of Kriya Yoga are women.

If you are a woman who is currently breastfeeding your baby, or you have two or more active children under the age of six or seven, and you and your husband both work; if in addition you do not have the means to employ anyone to help you AND you manage to do even a minimum set of Kriya Yoga twice a day, then let me tell you: you have my full admiration. In my books, you are amazing. It is almost impossible to stick to a regular routine when babies need nursing, children need attention, and when life is so unpredictable that your schedule is never the same from one day to the next.

Patanjali writes about the eight obstacles to Kriya practice in his Yoga Sutras, but I honestly don’t think that the time of life when you are pregnant and having babies really fits into any of those categories, so perhaps we could tag it on as a ninth?! (to be continued…)

P.S. You may have noticed that I’m starting to share some of the obstacles which I have personally faced as a Kriya Yoga practitioner, since publishing “Footsteps”. Goodness, when I really warm up on the subject, you think I’m just going all out for a vote of sympathy. Hmm, maybe I am?! ☺. On the other hand, if some of the difficulties I faced give hope to newer practitioners facing similar life-situations, then the purpose will be fulfilled. We sometimes need a bit of encouragement to keep going, don’t we? C’mon, we’ll ‘tortoise’ along together!