The mind must be trained to move slower than the slow and faster than the fast… If the mind can run faster than the speed of light, faster than the speed of electromagnetic waves, and slower than metabolic changes in cell physiology, only then can it notice the changes going on in Nature. In consequence of this Self-Discipline, the mind can notice [and adapt to] any change.
– Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati
Living in New York City over 20 years now, I feel like I have a sense of what it is to keep up with the speed of things, physically, mentally & energetically. On the weekends my husband and I go upstate. Our house is at the end of a dead-end road. The whole weekend may go by and we may not see a person nor hear a car. At the end of the weekend, I feel like I know what it is to adjust to the slowness of things.
David Life in the documentary “What is Real?” reminds us “Everything is perfect. Unless [we] come to the world with that view-point, no good change is going to be supported. Because it cripples [us] that view that there is something wrong with the world around [us]…. Part of my reason for teaching Yoga was to share something, not to change anything. And part of what I am sharing is, that the idea of having to change the world needs to change. Change happens relentlessly and we are not in charge of it.”
In the movement that is dawn to dusk, summer to fall, early to late adulthood, etc. Mother Nature reveals to us that life is a continuous movement, at times it appears to accelerate and at other times slow. Change is synonymous with movement. To flow with life in its changing rhythms is essential to remaining in harmony with it. At its source, while also an expression of this alignment, we experience a deep recognition of the inherent perfection of all that is. Including the very Self as manifest in everyone and everything we come into contact with. Attuning to this frequency as the intention that informs all that we think, say & do, starts to draw the curtain on ‘the change’ we hope to see in the world.
In Yoga Philosophy suffering is defined as a resistance to change. Suffering signals that the combination of memories & habits that we (mis)take to be our true identity is threatened by loss or change. Suffering is a clinging & grasping prompted by desire and fear, creating resistance to moving with the flow of life. It is here where we often succumb to the tendency to exert control & dominion over all aspects of our immediate surroundings, including Mother Nature. All the while excluding the possibility that what is actually needed is a refining of our own intention & actions to restore balance in the current landscape of change.
Chanting of Mantra, Yoga Asana & Meditation cultivate our sensitivity to rhythm, flow, and change. Our ability to keep up with life, cycles in nature, each other, shifts in our own bodies, is in part tied to a moment-to-moment sensitivity and adaptability to ‘the quality & quantity of speed of change’.