“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” ~Anonymous
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
The Master sees things as they are, without trying to control them.
She lets them go their own way, and resides at the center of the circle.”
Recently, I ran into a student at an event outside of class.
I asked her, “How are you?”
“Great,” she responded, “I just took an awesome yoga class!”
“Sounds wonderful. What made it so?” I asked.
“She really kicked our butts!” she exclaimed with a smile.
I smiled too, and said something like, “Sounds fun.” But, in the back of my head I thought, “Yeah, I’m not really kicking anyone’s butt anymore.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, I think I’ve given and received a fair share of butt kicking in my days, between practice, coaching, and teaching, and believe there’s a place for strong motivation, both internal and external.
Where I’ve come to, however, is, has anyone ever gotten enlightened or free of their suffering by getting or giving a "good" butt kicking?
We will have to work hard though something. We will have to confront our wounds and blocks, will have to cultivate our attention and empathy, will have to expand our minds and our hearts to hold reality as it is… but is butt kicking going to get us there any faster than kindness and consideration?
The issue I have with it is the implication that we’re not ok. We’re somehow inadequate and in need of improvement, and we can’t improve or attain our goals without extreme, perhaps corporal, motivation. We’re attempting, perhaps, to attain inner and outer peace, equanimity, awareness, aliveness. Is butt kicking the fast path or the slow path?
Honestly, I’m not sure, but I’m going with kindness to myself and others as much as I can for now. I’ll keep you posted on progress.
I hope so too.