Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tao Te Ching and Ashtanga Yoga

The Tao Te Ching is a great treasure house of Chinese wisdom written in the 6th century B.C., a classic work of spiritual enlightenment.
The Tao Te Ching provides the basis for the philosophical school of Taoism, which is an important pillar of Chinese thought. Taoism teaches that there is one undivided truth at the root of all things. It literally means:
tao (the way)
te (strength/virtue)
ching (scripture)

The Way that can be described is not the absolute Way;
the name that can be given is not the absolute name.
Nameless it is the source of heaven and earth; named it is the mother of all things.

Whoever is desireless, sees the essence of life.
Whoever desires, sees its manifestations.
These two are the same,but what is produced has names.
They both may be called the cosmic mystery:
from the cosmic to the mystical is the door to the essence of all life.

Practice allowing everything to be the way it is.
Let go
And recognize that some of your desires are about how you think your world should be rather than how it is in that moment
Judge less and listen more
Do not be a bully and try and force your own agenda.

Do you think you might have a person in your life who is a control freak, or do you fear you might bulldoze people into doing what you want, when you want it done?
Dwight D Eisenhower sums up it up best with this quote
Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.

Here are some things to ponder about control freaks.

UK family celebrity life coach Suzy Greaves created this list of scenarios that are good indicators that you exhibit signs of being a control freak at home.
1 Your child comes up with a great idea for a project at school. You say: 'That's great but I've got a better one!'
2 If your partner disagrees with you, you get very annoyed and argue your point until you're blue in the face.
3 Your favorite phrase is: 'You're doing it all wrong, give it to me!'
4 For your annual holiday, you decide where you're going, book the flights, hotel and pack the bags.
5 After a night out with your friends, you feel irritated. They were moaning on about the same things. You told them what to do last time.
6 You always have possession of the remote control.

We have all dealt with a supervisor at work who manages by force. I really like this quote from Dwight D Eisenhower: You don't lead by hitting people over the head-that's assault, not leadership.

Ron Lindeboom,, wrote about doing business with controlling clients and here are a few signs of control freaks:
What Are the Tell-Tale Signs of a Control Freak?
It is fairly easy to spot a control freak in your business. They give off a long list of predictable signs that leave as indelible an impression as an alley cat scent marking its territory. Though there are many more signs that we won't cover here for the sake of brevity, some of these signs include:

They never seem to want to listen to you.
They regularly and with no regard interrupt you in mid-sentence.
Your ideas are not welcome, except when they agree 100% with those of the control freak.
They call you at inopportune times and will not get off the phone, even when you tell them you have another client present.
They will drop you like a rock if you correct them and are proven to be correct.
They will drop you like a rock if you are better than them in their field of endeavor.
They regularly complain that you are over charging them. (Never relent on this point and keep them on the clock or my only words to you are "Heaven help you.")
They will spend hours (if you let them) drowning you in trivia and detail on ideas and systems that will have you wanting to pull out your hair and send you running screaming from the room.
They will cheat you if they can get away with it and will always have brilliant reasonings and justifications as to why you deserve this.
They will spend way more than they owe you to beat you in court. Remember: They are control freaks.
Lastly, they know everything. Just ask them.
This list is in no way comprehensive but you get the point.

Life is like a mirror. If you frown at it, it frowns back. If you smile at it, it returns the greeting.
- Herbert Samuels

So many people spend so much time at work every week,. There are signs to watch for when choosing a position. Please be reminded that you are going to spend 40 or 50 hours per week with your boss and co-workers. Here are some words of wisdom about control freaks.

The Source: Cheryl Cran writing on the Brazen Careerist blog.
The Takeaway: Cran acknowledges that business people can take their desire for control too far, but she asserts that, in moderation, being a control freak is actually a positive attribute. Why?

1. Control freaks control their thoughts. This means they know what they want and can focus on their goals without distracting what-ifs and how-abouts.
2. Control freaks actually execute: no dreamy planning and little follow through for them.
3. Control freaks don’t wait for things to happen to them (can’t control luck and coincidence). Instead, they take positive action to get the things they want.
4. Focus, focus, focus.
5. Stability during change: team members can be sure that control freaks have their eye on the ball (or all the balls in the air) and this can make it easier for everyone to get through periods of change with a minimum of stress.

As you begin the journey through the 81 verses of the TAO TE CHING with me, I would like to share this prayer.

Dear God,
If it be in accordance with your will,I pray that this new age in human historybe a time of spiritual renaissance,a "second Enlightenment" that will heighten valuesand help everyone to realize their true purpose in life.I pray for peace and justice,and love and light.I pray for an abundance of beauty, truth and goodnessin the lives of all the inhabitants of this troubled world.May there be harmony, sustainability, and evolutionary progress.Thank you for this gift of consciousness, dear God.Amen - Steve McIntosh

Yoga is a great way to get in touch with the present moment. I have been studying Ashtanga Yoga for a few decades now and I would like to share a few Yoga-isms with you from the father of Ashtanga Yoga.

Quotes from Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, 1915-2009
"Do your practice and all is coming."

"If we practice the science of yoga, which is useful to the entire human community and which yields happiness both here and hereafter - if we practice it without fail, we will then attain physical, mental, and spiritual happiness, and our minds will flood towards the Self”

"Yoga is possible for anybody who really wants it. Yoga is universal.
Yoga is not mine. But don't approach yoga with a business mind -
looking for worldly gain. If you want to be near God, turn your mind
toward God, and practice yoga."- Sri K Pattabhi Jois