Thursday, December 23, 2010

Staying Focused this Holiday Season and Beyond

Yesterday I baked cookies for the family.

Make that organic, vegan, whole wheat holiday cookies - which means that they are usually as tasty and appealing as cardboard.

This year I found a new recipe, and the cookies turned out moist and delicious; soft on the inside, crispy on the outside.

So I thought, "I should make more."

Plans were made to run to the store and pick up ingredients and make dough before teaching, and to clear off the Thursday schedule. I felt alive - and anxious.

And then Vijnanamaya Kosha (the higher mind) stepped in and said, "Oh no you don't. You need to stop all this running and do your practice. And then you can take your time wrapping presents and finishing your 2010 projects.

Manamaya Kosha
(the lower mind) resisted the idea. It wanted to make cookies!

An argument ensued.

In the end, the higher mind prevailed.

So I put away the snow boots and sat down.

I still felt alive. And calm.

A short time later I came across this Thought for the Day from Swami Sivananda:


In all man’s struggles and attempts at achieving any desired object, there is in reality no necessity at all for him to go in quest of external forces to aid him. Man contains within himself vast resources and inherent powers lying untapped or else only partially made use of.

It is because he has allowed his faculties to get scattered on a hundred different things, he fails to achieve anything great despite his inherent potentialities. If he intelligently regulates and applies them, quick and concrete results will accrue.


  1. Oh I wish my higher mind had stepped in yesterday, chicken without a head springs to mind, finally it was my husband who stepped in, so I stopped, felt calmer and reassessed my schedule, need to turn up the volume on higher mind,or rather keep some space so it can be heard.. oh the end of year, need to keep it calm. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. You hit it on the head (about turning up the volume on the higher mind). So often it gets drowned out - or confused with the stuff of the lower mind.

  3. I think I'm entirely ruled by my Freudian "id". Did you go vegan btw?

    This is the year that I really became a vegetarian. I still miss the meat, but so far I haven't wavered. When I want it I just remind myself of all I know about the industry.

  4. I find that any 18 year single malt scotch puts me in a higher mind.

    (sorry, had to post)

  5. I did not go vegan...yet. But I have been vegetarian since 1987 (ten years before yoga!). I've been no-meat, no-poultry, no-fish, low-dairy ever since - and no-egg for the past few years.

    Good for you for going veg! I know it's been hard.

    I think your Vijnanamaya kosha is starting to take over....

  6. Yes I think the rest of the yogic path is setting in after five years if intensive asana fixation. I'm not at all low dairy , and I do eat eggs occasionally. I can tell the dif between the good & bad ones though...