In my last post I touched upon the concepts of steady effort, abhyasa, and letting go, vairagya, and how yoga is the practice of finding a balance between these two concepts. The second sutra defines yoga as the ability to focus the mind towards an object without distraction. The object is our intention, our dharma (path), our true nature and distractions are all the sensations, dramas and joys of our life. One of these distractions is the act of ‘blame’.
How many times have you blamed someone else for your mistakes? How many times have you used the blame game as an excuse: The other driver was slow? If I was younger…? If I was older…? If my boss wasn’t such a jerk? When we blame, we lose authority over our own mind, we give over are confidence, compassion, and power. We become the victim. When we blame we lose confidence that we are intrinsically full of goodness and replace it with an outward projection of jealousy, anger, and insecurity. By blaming we attach our irritation and negativity to an outside source and as like attracts like, negativity breeds negativity.
When we blame others for our own suffering, inconveniences, or emotions, we are “creating narrow perimeters into which everything must fit” (Mipham, 95). We are making our world and ourselves smaller. Instead of redirecting the blame to ourselves, we can use these strong emotions to become self-aware. In a situation where blame may arise, with self-awareness, we can begin to notice what we attach blame to, how our mind immediately starts to criticize, and begin to notice how we participate in our circumstances.
With self-awareness, you see the choices and options available to you, you become your own ruler. You are “breaking free” from limited boundaries and the “preconception of how things ought to be” (97). With self-awareness, as feelings of discomfort first begin to arise consider it direct communication with your highest Self (Kempton, pars. 1). Before you begin to blame or find fault see if you can recognize the feelings that are arising and dig to the root of the situation. Use this as a time of self-empowerment and a reconnection to your authentic, powerful, compassionate Self.
Kempton, Sally. “Judgment Calls.” Yoga Journal., n.d. Cruz Bay Publishing. Web.
Mipham, Sakyong. Ruling Your World. New York: Doubleday, 2005. Print.