'In relationships, the mind becomes purified by cultivating feelings of friendliness towards those who are happy, compassion for those who are suffering, goodwill towards those who are virtuous, and indifference or neutrality towards those we perceive as wicked or evil.'
Delighting in another’s misfortune seems inevitable at times. We feel onerous in our advice giving, the phrase “I told you so” is one we often repeat to our own children. They deserve what they got for not listening to us. There is a peculiar type of joy in witnessing another’s failure when it is due to neglecting the obvious flow of events. And yet, need we self flagellate due to these complex feelings? Perhaps what we need is to dig a little deeper…
I often view my own body as I would a group of friends, all the various little parts: the left foot, the right wrist, the coccyx, the inner left thigh, the tendons of my neck, all the various, disparate parts with their various, disparate voices, create the clamour that is me. In my practice I give instructions to these little strangers; “you go here and you do this and you do that and then feel this”, and if they don’t: “I told you so”.
Sometimes I pull my lower back, because I don’t engage moola bandha, sometimes my knee goes crunk, because I don’t hug the thigh muscle to the bone, sometimes my ankle goes yelp because my knee has darted forward. When the ego takes hold these things tend to occur. These little injuries are due to my not listening, just as my child fell backward in their chair because they wouldn’t stop rocking in it. Because they thought they could defy the forces of nature. Because they wouldn’t listen.
This fraction of delight we experience is not to be shirked but respected. Life without suffering would leave no room for grace. Let us embrace that which we reject and observe the outcome.
Through listening equanimity arises; one of the highest goals of our yoga practice that can only be achieved when we transcend aversion, when we transcend those inappropriate delights.