Walking with the Divine - The 4th Yama: Brahmacharya

The heart of a human being is no different from the soul of heaven and earth. In your practice always keep in your thoughts the interaction of heaven and earth, water and fire, yin and yang.

-- Morihei Ueshiba

This weekend, we welcome the Spring Equinox, a time in which dark and light, winter and spring, moon and sun, are in perfect harmony. At this point of celestial equilibrium, we are reminded of balance, which is echoed by the 4th Yama, brahmacharya, or moderation.

Brahmacharya asks us how can we distribute our energy wisely? How can we provide ourselves with the right amount of what we need – physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally – so that we are satisfied rather than over-saturated or over-stimulated?

Instead of seeking more, how can we be satisfied with what is? What are we grateful for now?

Conversely, what areas of our lives need more attention? Where can we show ourselves more self-care and self-love?

How can we recognize and unify all of the different parts of ourselves – all of our lights and shadows?

How can we supply ourselves with just enough to cultivate the energy needed to see and pursue a path of greater purpose – a path towards unity consciousness, an enlightened state of wholeness and oneness in which we feel a connection to all beings.

The previous yamas prepare us for this practice, encouraging us to be kind (ahimsa) as we learn to acknowledge and accept (satya) ourselves for who we are so that we may come to a sense of self-reliance (asteya). And from that point of inner richness, how do we achieve and maintain inner stability – inner harmony – so that we can exhibit our truest selves in our relationships with others. How can we maintain our individuality within the context of the collective? What roles do we play that only we can play?