Heart of YOGADHARMA – “All beings” means “ALL beings,” dude.
Welcome to the Heart of YOGADHARMA, our weekly blog that strives to help the teachings MAKE SENSE in a down-to-earth, meaningful, even USEFUL way.
Have you heard this mantra?
LOKA SAMASTA SUKHINO BHAVANTU
It’s often translated as… May all beings everywhere be happy and free.
But what does that mean? It’s a beautiful prayer, and the more we chant it, out loud or silent, with an understanding of what it means, the more that idea becomes part of who we are and how we operate.
BUT. Knowing the translation does not equal understanding it. At least in a way that it can resonate for us.
For today, I want to just look at one element. (Short and sweet, my dears… at least, I’m trying to be…)
May ALL BEINGS be happy and free.
Yes, you read that right… ALL BEINGS.
“All beings” includes the person who pisses you off. (Try it on for size.)
“All beings” includes Barack Obama.
“All beings” includes Mitt Romney.
“All beings” includes the easy ones: our families, our friends, the people who think/act/walk/talk like you or I do.
But “all beings” also includes ALL beings, not just human beings. (A being’s a being, no matter how small!)
And “all beings” also includes You. May YOU be happy and free too. May you be happy and free too, please.
But not JUST you. Right? Does this make sense?
Chanting this mantra becomes a yogic practice when we let it resonate in that way, when we bump up against thoughts we have of NOT wanting others to be happy or free, or when (ever experienced this one?) we justify why some other being’s happiness or freedom is less important that our own. When we encourage ourselves to actually FEEL the desire for that other being to be both happy, and free.Without malice or judgement or righteousness rolled in to it.
So. I encourage you to chant this. Sing it. In your car. In your kitchen. In voting lines. (ha HA!)
Make it MEAN something to you. Only then can it expand your heart. Only then will it evolve you and your operating system.
Which feels really good, by the way.
Okay. That’s it for today. See you next week.
SO MUCH LOVE.
PS. Below is one tune to chant it to… I’ll have another one for you next week too.
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