Our discussion of the Yamas returns for the fourth Yama: Moderation of the Senses or Brahmacharya. This yama, or rules for living, is based on the concept of “walking in God-consciousness”. In other words, we don’t wish to over indulge our earthly bodies, minds, or souls, but rather try to maintain a connection with the broader spiritual universe by being in balance in all things.
This seems like a lovely practice, and is one that is echoed in many of our discussions around food and drink or other pleasures. However, I feel like in our current world, it’s one we need to revisit in other areas too.
Moderation can include such things as:
Stepping away from doom scrolling on social media. Most of the time this is disassocition which takes us out of our bodies and out of connection with the wider universe.
Not watching the 24/7 news cycle. A lot is happening in the world, and there’s a lot we need to be aware of. Here in the US there are laws being passed which harm many communities. There’s currently a war in Ukraine and conversations around how we can best support the people in harm’s way as well as their valiant, and brave fight against invaders. Locally, where ever you live, I’m sure there are things going on you should be aware of. But we can’t marinate in it all the time. There is a fine line between being aware of what’s happening and simply wallowing in the despair of the world. Self-care, and brahmacharya require we step back and make sure we’re caring for ourselves and those closest to us as well.
Watching overindulgence in sweets. Okay, so maybe this one is for me rather than you, but as Easter is next weekend, Monday brings the grand holiday of “half of Easter Candy” (followed six months later, but the grand “half of Halloween Candy” holidays.) Whether you love Peeps or hate them, or jelly beans are your favorite, it’s important we not overindulge in sweets or other food. Even holiday dinners can be an invitation to eat more than is wise. Eat until you’re comfortable.
Not overworking. Though there’s more talk today around work-life balance than there has in the past, it’s also easy for people to work too many hours. Sometimes it’s a necessity when wages are low and the cost of living keeps rising. I cannot sit here and tell you what is best for you. Only you know your financial and personal situation. However, I can say, that if at all possible, knowing when to rest and enjoy time with pets, family, or friends, will always revitalize the spirit.
Moderation isn’t something we can apply and then forget about. It’s important we keep a focus on this each and every day. How can we bring balance into our lives?