1. Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
Placidly is an adjective that means pleasantly calm or peaceful; unruffled; tranquil; serenely quiet or undisturbed: placid waters.
I'm a student of Yoga. I started practicing Yoga after having my first son, Jibri, who's now in his forties. Yoga was the thing back then. I was determined to be physically fit after giving birth. I was always skinny weighing 110 lbs. At the end of my pregnancy, I had gained 50 ibs. Jibri was a big baby, 8 lbs. 8 oz., and of course beautiful. His father commented on how big his hands were.
I decided to teach myself Yoga and found an excellent book: Richard Hittleman's 28 Day Exercise Plan, copyright 1969. It's a beautiful book with hundreds of pictures showing a model performing the asanas. Each day of practice is followed by a short article by Mr. Hittleman. I venture to say that this book is a classic and still available today. This is the statement on the first page:
Having mastered the body through the Yogic teachings so that it becomes a fit habitation for the soul; having the senses, emotions and mind under control, the wise person discards the worn out sheaths of desire, fear and confusion and passes into the state of enlightenment and freedom.-- Bhagavad Gita
I mastered 28 asanas or postures or poses, and an additional 10 exercises added by Mr. Hittleman. I found out that there are several types of Yoga including Hatha (physical) Yoga and Raja (meditation) Yoga. I ascertained that Yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning “union” or “joining together” of the mind, body and spirit.
Mr. Hittleman explained the two major objectives of Hatha Yoga: (1) to cultivate the natural beauty of the body and attain a high state of health (2) to awaken a great power that lies dormant in the organism and utilize it for developing one's own unique, individual potential; that is to achieve self-realization. ...Hence the necessity to perform the asanas with poise, balance and concentration at all times during practice.
I learned and practiced Yoga for years. Like any exercise routine, it had to be a priority, something I worked my other activities around. I was experiencing the positive benefits and truly enjoyed the sessions. To be truthful, learning and practicing Yoga changed my life. It accomplished for me the objectives that were stated.
Throughout my life, I also cycled, power walked my dog Giget and exercised using the Stair Climber Plus (remember Bruce Jenner?) for aerobics; nevertheless, Yoga remained my stalwart.
Although I eventually stopped devoting 30 minutes a day to practicing Yoga, the stretching, spiritual meditation and breathing continue to be a part of my daily “wholesome discipline.”
Practicing Yoga taught me to “Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there is in silence.” That place of silence provided the space for self-realization. I discovered that silence was my friend and not to be afraid of it.
Very slowly I learned that the “noise and haste” was more likely within me rather than outside or around me. By uncovering my strengths, my flaws, my feelings of shame and guilt, my qualities, my values, my fears; what was under my control and what was not, I empowered myself. Very recently I empowered myself with the knowledge of the power of Love and Forgiveness.
When I am focused on developing the best “me” in my personal life, my social life, my professional life and my spiritual life, I am empowering myself to not only determine my demeanor, but more essentially, the atmosphere.
Thank you for reading. What are your thoughts?
Dedicated to my sons Jibri and Chris, my privilege and blessing. EcwmB