Who cleans up after us? Robin Nagle took this question to heart and she joined the workforce of sanitation workers in the city of New York. What she found that though this work is vital for our well being it is underappreciated. In most places around the world sanitation workers are scorned. This inspite of the fact that sanitation work is both difficult and dangerous. Robin’s talk not only brings our attention to the plight of the sanitation workers but it also draws us to the question of the waste itself. Why do we generate so much of it? How can we safely dispose it? How can we minimize it?
This is a great talk, one that will make you want to rush out and thank the sanitation workers of your town, for the job they so valiantly and effeciently do every day for us.
You may also like: Do One Thing
Stephen Covey in his best selling book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” revealed that a large portion of our success is contributed by our habits.
Habits are things we do without thinking. These are like little programs that run in our head at a subconscious level that control our actions. For example the way we brush our teeth is automatic. It’s not random; instead it is an exact pattern that we use repeatedly without paying much attention to it. For example some may begin brushing by starting on the right side from the upper back and then stroke the brush in a specific pattern to work from there and progress to all other teeth. Every time they brush they will use the same pattern, without thinking much about it.
Just like brushing teeth, much of our lives are spent on “auto pilot” where our actions are governed by a set of fixed habits. Stephen Covey realized this and found that most successful people had similar underlying habits that propelled them to success.
Just as we have patterns of actions that we do without thinking, are there patterns of thoughts that predispose us to think in a particular way? If we use the term “habits” to describe repetitive behavior without conscious thought, what is the term we use for repetitive patterns of thoughts? The word “Attitude” comes to mind. Our Attitude describes how we are predisposed to think. If Habits are channels along which our actions flow, Attitudes are channels along which our thoughts flow.
What is the connection between Habits and Attitude? Some repetitive patterns of thought turn into repetitive pattern of action, and some of these turn into habits. This shows that attitudes give birth to habits. If we want to change our Habits we must look deeper inside towards our Attitudes. Here are four attitudes that we should cultivate for success:
What is yoga? The answer to this is in Yoga Sutras by Patanjali in the second stanza: “Yogah cittivritti nirodhah”. This is translated as “Yoga is cessation of thoughts”.
And what happens when the endless flow of thoughts cease? This is answered in the very next stanza: “Tada drastuh svarupe vasthanam”. This is translated as “Then the Seer abides in itself”. When thoughts cease you enter a state of Samadhi. Consciousness gives up its preoccupation with the outside world of duality and resides with the true Self.
These two stanzas in the Yoga Sutra are considered the most important ones as the very essence of the teaching of Yoga is in them. An exchange between a visitor and the sage Ramana Maharshi also illustrates the same ideas:
A visitor asked if the study of the sacred books will reveal the truth.
Ramana Maharshi (M): “That will not suffice.”
Visitor (V): “Why not?”
M: “Samadhi alone can reveal it. Thoughts cast a veil over Reality and so it cannot be clear in states other than Samadhi.”
V: “Is there thought in Samadhi? Or is there not?”
M: “There will only be the feeling ‘I am’ and no other thoughts.”
V: “Is not ‘I am’ a thought?”
M: “The egoless ‘I am’ is not thought. It is realization. The meaning or significance of ‘I’ is God. The experience of ‘I am’ is to Be Still.”
We now jump back 2000 years and reach out to the words Jesus said to his devotees: “Be still. And know that I am God”. In these words there is a very powerful message: A call to meditation. A call to stilling the mind so that we can find out what truly abides within. Are we willing to heed this message and seek the state of Yoga in Samadhi?
You may also like: Five Reasons Why The World Needs More Yogis.
Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah. The story of Ramana Maharishi came to us from Harsha Satsangha Yahoo group
2004 was the year that turned my life upside down. I went from being a fun-loving and adventurous university student, to being the primary caregiver to a boyfriend with terminal cancer while, simultaneously, dealing with the disappearance of my mother who was traveling in Costa Rica.
It didn’t end well.
A month after my boyfriend lost his battle with cancer, It was time to take care of my mom. I traveled to Costa Rica (twice) in an attempt to save her life. When I found her, she was so severely addicted to alcohol and crack-cocaine that she was a shell of the super ‘soccer mom’ I knew and loved. Several months later, she took her own life.
My already broken heart, was shattered into pieces.
One day, on a routine visit to my doctor, I found out that my figurative broken heart had manifested into an actual broken heart. I developed an arrhythmia that my cardiologist said could only be healed with beta-blockers and eventual surgery, which I refused because I knew deep down that these symptoms were caused by overwhelming grief. I decided it was time to heal. I began a regular specialized yoga practice that focused on softening and opening my heart-space. At first, it was excruciating – emotionally, I mean. I would organize myself in a heart opening pose and only be able to stay for several seconds before I needed out. But, I was gentle on myself. I was kind. I told myself to breathe and gave myself permission to release and move into Child’s Pose when it felt like too much.
In France, an English guy was stopped and asked to take a breathalyzer test.
The gendarme signals to him to wind down the window then asks him if he has been drinking, and with a slurring speech the English guy replies:
“Yes, this morning I was at my (hic)..daughter’s wedding, and as I don’t like church much I went to the cafe opposite and had several beers. Then during the wedding banquet I seem to remember downing three great bottles of wine; (hic)… a corbieres, a Minervois and (hic)…a Faugeres. Then to finish off the celebrations… (hic) during the evening, me and my mate downed a bottle of Johnny Walker’s black label.”
Getting impatient the gendarme warns him: “Do you understand I’m a policeman and have stopped you for an alcohol test?”
The Englishman with a grin on his face replies: “Do you understand that I’m English, like my car, and that my wife is sitting in the other seat, at the wheel?”
You may also like: Moral Of The Story
Credit: Source unknown. Came to us via e-mail.