Lotus Compass

Many many thousands of lifetimes ago, there was a village in India that wanted to tout it’s many artisans, fresh foods and unique gifts. The village called an meeting to discuss how they might do that. It was decided that they wanted to have a parade to showcase their many and unique gifts. One of the village edlers suggested they include an elephant in the parade, and everyone loved the idea.


So, a date was selected. The word was spread to the surrounding villages. And, everyone was excited. The day finally arrived and the surrounding villagers all came to see what all the excitement was about. The townspeople had set up on their main street with the individual artisans booths all along the street-colorful scarves, beautiful clothing, dazzling jewelry, the most ripe fruits and vegetables.


When the parade began, the local musician’s led the way playing their instruments, the acrobat performers came next leaping, balancing and tumbling. And, there were even poets preforming as they went along. At the very back of the parade the elephant followed the elder.


When the elephant walked up to where all the booths were set up, you could see his eyes light up as he lunged for the papayas stepping over parade performers, leaped for the watermelons crushing the booths and charged for the mangos sending the spectators screaming and scattering. It was a disaster. The parade was a huge mess and the mayor went home crying.


A meeting was called where the townspeople wanted to talk about what to do now. Everyone was pointing fingers at everyone else as to who’s fault it all was. Finally the elder stood up and said, “I know what to do about it. Let’s have another parade and call all the surrounding villagers back.” Everyone thought he was crazy. But he continued, “Let’s set up exactly as before. With one exception, I will train the elephant.” No one had a better idea, so they decided to give it a try.


So, a second date was selected. The word was spread to the surrounding villages. And, everyone’s interest was peaked to see what they could possibly try this time. The second day finally arrived and the surrounding villagers all came back to see what might happen. The townspeople had set up on their main street with the individual artisans booths all along the street-colorful scarves, beautiful clothing, dazzling jewelry, the most ripe fruits and vegetables. The only difference was the villagers set up slightly further back this time.


When the parade began, the local musician’s led the way playing their instruments, the acrobat performers came next leaping, balancing and tumbling. Then came the poets preforming as they went along. At the very back of the parade the elephant followed the elder.


This time, as the elephant walked up to where all the booths were set up, you could see that as he followed the elder, he had been trained to keep his eyes on a flower in his trunk. So, as he walked up to the papayas, watermelons and mangos, he kept his eyes on the flower as didn’t lunge, leap or charge at anyone or anything.


It’s so important that we have a flower to focus on as we move through the marketplace of life. Otherwise, we will end up just like the untrained elephant lunging for one thing, leaping for another and stomping all over those around us as we get pushed and pulled from one thing to the next. In the 8-Limbed Path of Yoga, the Yamas and Niyamas are intended to be just that. Like the flower in the elephants trunk, these practices become a place for us to rest our gaze so we don’t have to be so strongly pushed and pulled. Which isn’t to say that we don’t get to enjoy the marketplace. Actually, it’s the opposite. We get to enjoy it so much more because we don’t lunge over someone or something else to get there and eat it all up.


​© 2020 by Kelly Heath Yoga.

kelly@mountainlotus.com

970-445-7825