Feature: Zen for an Uncluttered Life

Evolution of a Spiritual Gangsta

Author: susan vishmid
Published: July 28, 2011 at 11:53 pm

When I was in college I was your typical Type-A sorority girl who attended all her classes, studied really hard and actually wanted to understand what I was learning rather than just memorizing and regurgitating it like money. Like a dry sponge, I thirsted for all the information thrown at me to soak into my brain. A never-ending need to ask the question "why" resulted in many circular conversations over dozens of cigarettes with fellow philosophy scholars.

The perpetual quest for understanding why things are the way they are stalked me into my adult life. After studying and teaching yoga for several years I began noticing I actually do understand much more than I credit myself for. Is this self-realization? If it is, do we stop the quest once we feel content? Perhaps this newfound wisdom is a result of aggregated experiences and the mere fact of growing more refined (not older).

Through physical activity and meditation practices yoga teaches us to observe rather than to react, an important lesson not taught by even the most elite universities. As a young and relatively naive college student I dealt with my perceived lack of understanding the only way I knew how: with frustration, judgment and self-doubt. This approach only generated more frustration and thus the endless cycle continued. It is the very limitations of human understanding that motivate us to question. Innovation would be impossible without this key component of the human mind, yet innovation comes with many imperfections. Accepting innovation with all its imperfections is a sure sign of maturity. Feeling excitement at the beginning of something new like a relationship or a new book you've been dying to read is like a mini "high."

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Article Author: susan vishmid

Susy Vishmid is founder and editor-in-chief for So You Think You Can Yoga?® Susy has an extensive background in movement. A classically trained as a ballerina, Susy began her studies at Westside Ballet in Los Angeles. …

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