Coming Snowstorm (and Heyam Dukham Anagatam)

As I think about whether I will be able to get up to Willow Street to teach my last classes of the session, how much shoveling I will need to do , whether the next forecast storm (middle of next week) might create challenges for my planned trip to NY, etc, etc, my favorite (well, in the top 10) sutra of Patanjali, sprang to mind:  heyam dukham anagatam, 2.16, which means roughly:  the pain that has yet to come can be avoided.

I have several translations/commentaries of the Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras in my library.  All have a different spin on what this means in practice.  What I know is that it is at least partly about being in the present and taking things as they come.  One should still practice and plan.  By practicing and planning, we are better prepared for inevitable pains and challenges.  (For those of you who are giddy with excitement with the thought of a “white Christmas,” this Sutra still helps.  Part of the pain that can be avoided is disappointment when expectations are not realized the way we hoped they would be realized.)  Once we have prepared in a healthy way, though, there is no point in agonizing about what might come, in being in pain in the present because of the possibility (or even inevitability) of a future pain.

The snow seems inevitable.  I am charging my camera battery.  I’m picking what is probably the last of the chard and the baby leeks from the garden, and I am getting ready for Serenity Saturday restoratives.  As long as I can walk to the studio — eight inches is just plain fun, not impassable — I’ll be there with a warm and full offering.  In the meantime, I am enjoying my day instead of worrying about the potential barriers to enjoyment.


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