The Muddy Drama of Life
by Kino MacGregor
From Top Chef to Judge Judy’s Courtroom Theater to the Tragedy of Tosca drama sells. At its best drama entertains, teaches and makes people laugh. At its worst it brings out division, hurtfulness and hatred. Yet human beings are somewhat enthralled with the ups and downs of their own emotions. You might even venture to say that we are addicted to them. It is all too easy to get dragged down into the habit pattern of the mind’s sometimes sordid past when emotions flare and all too hard to choose the higher, more peaceful ground above. There is truth to the notion that our inner world is a kind of jungle in need of healing. Freud and Jung sprouted a whole field of study dedicated to untying with the knotty landscape of our inner world.
Yet the choice to practice yoga is a chance to step outside the realm of our penchant for tears and venom. It is no coincidence that the opening mantra of Ashtanga yoga includes the invocation of a jungle doctor to clear out the poisons held within the mind. Drama as a permanent state of being can be toxic.
Yoga at its best represents an invitation to live a life of inner peace. In such a world peace and empathy take precedence over drama and grievance. When you learn to maintain your composure even when you feel under attack you have learned one of life’s hardest lessons. That is, that drama cannot be solved with more drama. Instead only a peaceful, caring response heals the wounds of the past. Peace, compassion and wisdom have to supplant righteousness, justification and narcissism as the highest priority in any given situation. There is a vigilance and due diligence that you must learn in order to accept the invitation to life without getting caught in the juiciness of humanity. By training the mind to focus on chosen points of attention you develop the strength of character necessary to break the deepest, most restrictive patterns in your life. In doing so you become a true player in the magical game of life.
Yet be clear in understanding that there is nothing wrong with drama itself. Understood as a play in the field of life it can be entertaining and amusing. When given the full weight and importance of your attention emotionality is heavy, binding and tragic. One of the great paradoxes of life is that the muddy waters of human drama contain the seed for ultimate awakening. Never is there a moment when your heart aches for peace more than when you are under emotional or physical attack. Never is there a moment when you yearn for freedom more than when you feel most constricted and bound. So in a sense the very presence of drama in any form in your life is a request for peace and a signal asking for reconciliation. Every situation no matter how filled with immaturity or insanity has the potential to enlighten your consciousness to a new level of being.
Sometimes in moments of great need, intensity or doubt I feel like the world responds to me with a guidance that I can almost read in everything around me from plants to clouds to situations as though all of life really is not separate from me and really conspires to lead me towards new realizations. When time slows down long enough to break the pattern of the past, then clarity, connection, wisdom and grace arrive to trumpet the dawn of a new day. With daily spiritual practice your inner world relaxes into the beauty of life, whole, complete and totally at peace.