Triyoga-Internal Martial Arts

Monday, September 11, 2006


Congruence has two dimensions. The first is the idea that the inner being is reflected in manifestation. What occurs to you is the consequence of your actions, your nature, and also what is required for the spiritual growth. I have been dealing with the mental and physical interaction. How my body is influenced by my thought. As a result people have been brining in things which trigger my thought about the body and the emotional support. On the other hand I had an occasion of meeting someone with an opening into the psychic being, very sincere and humble were the native emotions. This ties in with the obstacles of the physical aspect of the sadhana which triggered my thoughts about the body. The first is the result of concentration the second was a gift of spiritual quality.

The second dimension of congruence is the result of this understanding as applied to practical affairs. This is the idea that you should base your interaction on what
you are doing and interact with people on that basis. You interact with someone looking for a shared direction, congruence.

When you grow you will find some of the people around you resistant, some helpful according to where that person is in relation to their own growth. You will tend to create groups around you that support your activities. If you are highly egostical and controlling you will tend find people who like to be controlled.
So when I taught classes at the Hospital people would come in and want to use Tai Chi practices for their own direction. For instance I had one student who was overweight and had never been physically active, never done sports and never done exercise activities. She was overweight, and a nice person. However her goal was to have an exercise program she could do. I say HAVE. Not do the exercise program, but have something that she could say to her self I am exercising. Hence when we would do chair based awareness exercises, take the legs out of the equation and it is easy to fell the spine. She wanted to stay in the chair. Unfortunately it is not about being in the chair, the chair is a prop.

Now I could react to this by explaining to her about why we use the chair, or find some way to motivate her, or I could even try to get her to realize why she wanted to sit. However this is not my goal. My goal is to teach people Tai Chi and to gain the many benefits of doing the practice. If I try to get her to change then I am using the understanding model which tries to figure out where the other person is coming from and then speak in terms they can understand. (In other words we need to bond! or shop at the same store.) This produces a level of inauthenticity. I am not longer doing Tai Chi because the other person doesn't want to, they want to do something else. I don't want to make her do it, I want her to do it because she wants to and she doesn't. So I would have to sell her the idea because my goal is not to share, but to keep bodies in classes or make a profit.

I could make a value judgment and react emotionally to it. I can evaluate it with discrimination and use my vivek to see clearly what it is she does want, but none of that will really being doing Tai Chi and the people who do want to will suffer because I am distracted.
So on the one hand one might look at it as part of my job is how to figure out how to motivate people, on the other hand, this leads to molding or making people into something. I am not much of a motivator. However I have noticed that when I am doing my thing it flows out of me and then influences other people.

Person walks in and wants to learn Tai Chi weapons. I am not a weapons aficionado. Now I might react by trying to find out whether they really want weapons, or why, and then talk them into what we do. Sell Sell Sell. Or I could send them to the CR Fencing Academy. Or stir them towards Kali/escrima. One the one hand I might get a temporary customer, on the other hand I might help someone to realize their goal. Which is better for me? So on a deeper level, the spiritual side of things, not the mentalization of concruency. The spiritual pursuit is the ultimate goal, and from that we get the truer and higher actions.

So you want to act from the most high in any interaction. You want people to be happy. All of these types of ideals find a place in congruency.

So when you are interacting with someone in business, you really are trying to help them. You really want what is best for everyone. You have to honor their views. You have to act on your discriminating power and clarity of vision.
On the one hand the fitness trainer role is a good one. My goal is to help you achieve your goal. I get the satisfaction of having helped someone and get to see and refine my skills by helping you to refine your own. Teaching deepens the practice. When people go to a fitness trainer they often go through a process of being assessed as to what their condition is. How strong, flexible, stamina, even spotting weak areas and measuring body fat and spotting diet habits. Then the person is asked what their goals are in general and the trainer can help set realistic fitness goals and design an individual program to achieve that. That makes congruent sense.

However there is a question as to how much energy the trainer spends on motivating versus letting the person apply themselves. That is a real concern. I have had students come to me for yoga from physical trainers. One common theme is the set establishment of goals and the emotions of having to struggle and endure in order to achieve them. This is not yoga. Having tapas, and a firm will to achieve is an awesome thing. It takes discipline. It is part of our yoga, but in our yoga, this is not foregrounded. We are Devi path so we also require surrender. You have to find the meditation and contact with the inner quietude and delve in the rich bliss of the vast... and that is not a matter of needing to feel the intensity of challenge and being able to get to the goal of a certain pose. There is some of that, but that is not really the path. So these students, who were also injured, wouldn't stick around. Not because it was too easy, but because their goal was emotional indulgence in the survival emotions that interact with the body. They needed a strong person behind them challenging them, rather than a person creating a space in order to be transformed. We were not congruent.

In fact they like to talk a lot about sacrifice. If you run you are going to sacrifice your hamstring. If you lift weights you will pay a price.
There inner being was not focused on yoga, and I am not sure at why they came, but they don't stay. Sometimes I can point out to people that this or that is an image, and the emotions with the image are what they want, and sometimes not. Not by trying to reason with them, but because they need to hear what I have to say and recognize the message. My explaining or trying to change what I do would be ineffectual. Better to use/keep the yoga teaching as the outflowing of the practice.

Hence I always try to teach interns in Triyoga to "trust the flow." Don't worry about doing basics with beginners. Let the movements and the breath do their work. They will begin to enter into the flow and if they are ready for it then everything will come out from that. They are either seeking the flow or not. For beginning teachers you often emotionally react to people who drop out. You can take it as a matter of insecurity, did I not do this well? But it isn't what you did, it was a failure of congruency. The yoga wasn't what they were looking for.

Doesn't matter what they think, its not rational, it's more intuitive and emotional. A state of being is not about thinking about it, it is being. You can be a stupid as a toad, but incredibly advanced spiritually. You can have profound experiences and not have the words for it. Or as is more the case, it just feels good and they keep doing it for that reason and don't know or care, or are even screening out the spiritual dimension of it until one day they are sufficiently prepared and the dawn of awakening comes.
The ultimate congruency is to act according to the divine will and be completely surrendered to action of the divine self.


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