Are you familiar with the yoga sutras? They're considered the fundamental text on the system of yoga, though in it, you won’t find the description of a single posture or
. Instead, you find a guide for living with expanded awareness. The author of the sutras, Patanjali, was often called “the father of yoga,” and was a physician and philosopher. Although no one is exactly certain, it’s estimated that he lived somewhere between 200 B.C. and 200 A.D. He compiled 195 sutras (a word with the same root as suture!) which are considered to be the essential components of a path called
, the royal path to union.
In Raja yoga, there are 8 limbs, and one of the limbs is called the Yamas. Yamas are the attitudes we have when interacting with others. There are five of them. The one I want to share today is
is the practice of being committed to truthfulness. This means speaking the truth, not misleading anyone, and considering how what we say, or don't say, may affect others. Satya is based on the understanding that honest communication is the bedrock of any healthy relationship, workplace, community, or government.
Truthfulness and integrity arise naturally. Honest communication with others includes being non-judgmental, letting go of the attachment to the role you play, not exaggerating, accepting things and people as they are, and being impeccable with your word. Satya also includes distinguishing your observations from your interpretations. It includes saying what you mean and meaning what you say.
Lying, at the core, is motivated by fear. Satya makes one realize that the short-term benefits of distorting the truth are outweighed by the discomfort that arises from betraying your integrity. Instead, you choose to align your thoughts, words, and actions. And this brings peace, purity, and freedom.
I would love for everyone to tell me the truth, though I realize that when someone doesn't tell the truth, I can't control it. So instead, I have to be committed to speaking my truth, or at least knowing my truth and acting on it.
Most of us know our truth deep within. And though many of us might not listen to our inner knowing, or want to override it because we are being polite (or delusional), I aim not to. So, here's to committing to being truthful each and every day.