Listen to part three of “The Secret of the Yamas”


322 responses »

  1. Violence is something that we all contain, but we all can control it. For some the violence within themselves spreads due to damage or pain they have experienced. We have the chance to chose our path and how we want to treat others. The influence of the Yama and Niyama practices can aid us and lead us to a path of non violence and peace in this chaotic world we live in. It can help us clear our minds to come to a peaceful state and by doing this one can become a happier individual. This audio clip also made me think a lot about how I can only lead myself to who I, supposed to be, I am the only one in charge of my actions and how I treat people. I want to be the best version of myself I can possibly be and I can project this by being kind and expressing all the characteristics mentioned in the previous assignment. Mindfulness is something that can help everyone with controlling our anger and sadness, we can start changing our behavior

  2. I find it interesting in hearing about other folks culture and how they handle certain things. I makes me sad to hurt that “violence is apart of our human nature”. No one is born violence, just like no one is born a racist; however is interesting to see the way people grow up change their mindsets. I also find it interesting how society groups us in these two categories. I like how they said the only way for true change is to go deep in our violence incidents and understand what we did wrong and then, then are we able to actually help ourselves or another individual. In addition, another good thing I heard is that no one can bring you to yourself; no one can help you develop and find who you are. Its only up to ourselves to be willing to change.

    • If you had taken each sentence and made it into an idea to write about moreso you could have created a satisfactory essay. Have you considered seeking help in the writing Center?

  3. “The infinite flower of life is a constant assault on the barriers we’ve constructed and individual violence is a result.” Violence is perceived as a physical action caused by uncontrolled anger or desperation to protect oneself. What most people do not realize is that violence comes in subtle forms and is caused by our own natures. We as people are inherently violent, which is why we strive for nonviolence. However, we are limited because we cannot see the actual root of our violence and therefore are ineffective in preventing it. First, we must alter our definition of violence. Violence is not only physical or verbal assault, but it is any action in which we try to impose our will or belief upon others. Violence is when we try to prevent others from infringing on our ideals or principals. It is when we attempt to persuade someone to do something we like or try to prevent someone from a course of actions because we believe it is wrong. With this definition, it is clear that we are violent everyday. The question is, what can we do? There is no set formula or instructions for eliminating violence. The root of violence is unique for each person. Yet, we seek assurance, and we trick ourselves. We desire to get rid of violence without searching within. When we do this, we act violent towards ourselves and we only address surface effects, not true causes. Consequently, we receive only surface results and we actually strengthen our anger. The first thing we must do to truly minimize violence is to get rid of distractions. As the first part of this series mentioned, we do not want to look within ourselves because it is terrifying. When we look within ourselves, we realize the full extent of our violence and we are ashamed. Yet, looking within ourselves is immensely beneficial. When we focus on self discovery, we can find the internal causes of violence, its impacts, the conditions that give it energy and power, its root, and the mechanism which sustains it. Then, we can change things within ourselves to truly alter our actions and thoughts. This will make us and the people around us much happier.

    I believe that part of our anger stems from mass media and societal standards. Society has taught us that organization and security are ideals which we should strive for. So, we make plans because we believe that our lives will fall apart otherwise. Strict scheduling leads to impatience, which is a widespread form of violence in the world. Society has also conditioned us to be intolerant and aggressive. We believe there is only one correct opinion or idea, and we become defensive when someone challenges these. In my yoga practices, I hope to find the root of violence. I want to look within myself so I can be happier and help the people around me be happier. I believe that if we all focused on the root of violence and became more tolerant, the world could be a much happier, peaceful, and cooperative place.

    SEPTEMBER 27 2017
    When I first learned about the finger holds technique, I was curious. How could such complicated emotions such as fear, anger, sadness, worry, and self esteem be solved while only using your hands? However, as I began to think, I realized that our hands are a large part of calming nerves and overwhelming emotions. When people are nervous, they automatically fiddle with their hands. When they are anxious, people look at their hands. When people need comfort, they hold hands. This response indicates that our hands play a large part in dealing with emotions and stress. If we learn how to utilize our hands, we can become much calmer. The first time we practiced in class, I felt enlightened and I felt like I gained a lot from the experience. Yoga is on Wednesday, after all my art classes. I often feel stressed thinking about all the painting I have to do later in the day. That day, I was anxious thinking about the large painting I had yet to complete. During the finger hold exercise, I focused on my thumb and pinky and I really felt a difference. I felt more relaxed, confident that I would be able to manage my time and get my paintings done. I also felt like I would do a good job. I think focusing for a moment and feeling my pulse allowed me to calm down. Once I calmed my emotions, I realized that I could stop worrying and start doing. I was making my worries much larger than they actually were.

    Ever since we practiced the finger hold exercise, it has become part of my day. It is easy because it only takes a few minutes and does not require equipment. I take a moment every now and then when I am painting to practice. This allows me to focus more, and the feeling of relaxation and confidence I experience definitely affects my art for the better. Since I have benefitted from the practice, I decided to teach my sister. She is in high school and college is approaching. Naturally, life can be stressful. So, I showed her the finger hold exercise so she could calm her stress when needed. She says it has been effective and she finds it amazing how such a small and quick practice can make such a huge difference. As yoga continues to become more of habit than an assignment for me, I will be sure to keep this practice in my routine.

  4. “The infinite flower of life is a constant assault on the barriers we’ve constructed and individual violence is a result.” Violence is perceived as a physical action caused by uncontrolled anger or desperation to protect oneself. What most people do not realize is that violence comes in subtle forms and is caused by our own natures. We as people are inherently violent, which is why we strive for nonviolence. However, we are limited because we cannot see the actual root of our violence and therefore are ineffective in preventing it. First, we must alter our definition of violence. Violence is not only physical or verbal assault, but it is any action in which we try to impose our will or belief upon others. Violence is when we try to prevent others from infringing on our ideals or principals. It is when we attempt to persuade someone to do something we like or try to prevent someone from a course of actions because we believe it is wrong. With this definition, it is clear that we are violent everyday. The question is, what can we do? There is no set formula or instructions for eliminating violence. The root of violence is unique for each person. Yet, we seek assurance, and we trick ourselves. We desire to get rid of violence without searching within. When we do this, we act violent towards ourselves and we only address surface effects, not true causes. Consequently, we receive only surface results and we actually strengthen our anger. The first thing we must do to truly minimize violence is to get rid of distractions. As the first part of this series mentioned, we do not want to look within ourselves because it is terrifying. When we look within ourselves, we realize the full extent of our violence and we are ashamed. Yet, looking within ourselves is immensely beneficial. When we focus on self discovery, we can find the internal causes of violence, its impacts, the conditions that give it energy and power, its root, and the mechanism which sustains it. Then, we can change things within ourselves to truly alter our actions and thoughts. This will make us and the people around us much happier.

    I believe that part of our anger stems from mass media and societal standards. Society has taught us that organization and security are ideals which we should strive for. So, we make plans because we believe that our lives will fall apart otherwise. Strict scheduling leads to impatience, which is a widespread form of violence in the world. Society has also conditioned us to be intolerant and aggressive. We believe there is only one correct opinion or idea, and we become defensive when someone challenges these. In my yoga practices, I hope to find the root of violence. I want to look within myself so I can be happier and help the people around me be happier. I believe that if we all focused on the root of violence and became more tolerant, the world could be a much happier, peaceful, and cooperative place.

  5. As a person that for many years has struggled with both self and outer aggression for many years this is an insightful message. Hostility is something very present in members of my family , not in any physical form but verbally, and once I understood that words can just as (if not more) violent that any physical action I became infinitely conscious of this in myself and also my response to it. Ever since then I am constantly looking for violence in my words and actions as I decided I wanted to end the cycle of verbal violence with those I care about. At first I realized how difficult it was as it was so interwoven in my interactions and reactions , I was so unconscious of it I did not even fathom that violence is complex and can take many forms. I’ve revisited many instances where my main objective was to try and sway someone my way without understanding just how intrusive and aggressive that actions is. I can say though that I have come a long way from where I started, and it has changed me into a more compassionate individual both towards myself and others. I realized the root of my own violence stems from a number of things that I am now actively working on while also learning as much as I can about nonviolent communication. Even if it is something I keep on my mind most times it is good to address it directly once again every once in a while as the source of ones own violence shifts as you grow and change. Thank you for the reminder to keep actively working on being a more open, understanding, and compassionate person.

  6. As a child I struggled with the understanding of violence, and trying to control what I would do with my anger and frustration. As I aged, and began to understand that it was not going anywhere. I did in-fact have to accept that it was apart of my being. This was something that I did not have a hard time figuring out, however I did have a hard time coping with other peoples “Violence.” This is what frustrated me the most. that other people would be so openly violent, and when ever I would have a momentary outburst I would be immediately punished. How come other people could express this emotion free of charge and I was always held accountable for my very human emotions. but then I slowly began to realize that these people that were so openly violent really had no control or refused to acknowledge that they were being violent. For some of my friends, I became a sort of calming force. some have even asked me how I remain so calm. I would tell them “I’m not calm, the situation just doesn’t require more hostility.” So it is nice to hear that the world and I aren’t so different.

  7. In the world we live in now, it is right or wrong, who’s liked or dislike; very black and white. It’s like there can’t be no in between. Like the reading says, we like to see people who wrong us get wronged as well because we think they deserve it. We long or karma to get the people who wrong us. But what happens if karma doesn’t get to them? How are you going to feel then?

    This is where violence comes in. The more we want to see purple hurt, the more separate we are from love. We have to find the root of where this violence is coming from and why. Only then is when we could understand and find a solution to release that violence. This isn’t something that resides in the surface and if you just try to scrape the surface off, it is just going to keep coming back. Releasing this violence also releases your demons and allow you to grow beautifully with love.

  8. This excerpt was very fascinating to me. I have become very interested in learning more about the Yama’s and incorporating it both in my practice and everyday life. The practice of non-violence is something that is always focused on in Buddhism. It is a part of the eightfold path and considered to be one of the most important things when trying to obtain nirvana. I feel as though, violence is very much embedded in our society. It is a part of human nature. Violence can be difficult to outgrow. We must take steps to better ourselves and not allow our minds to take us to that point. We often forget how much we are in control of our emotions. Although we are aware we should not harm others, we often forget to include ourselves in that. I, for one, am very hard on myself when it comes to schoolwork and making sure I am doing enough in my classes. Compassion for oneself is very important. We must always make steps to include that in our practice. Making sure you are kind to yourself and incorporate self love in your life, will make for a healthier lifestyle.

  9. The biggest takeaway that I got from this chapter is that violence is the ego. It is a low state of consciousness that is inherently disconnected from unity with the universe. The feeling of violence gives us the illusion that we are separate; It has the tendency to make us forget our true nature, which is unconditional love. An interesting point that was brought up in the chapter is that violence is stimulated whenever our security is threatened. I think this is so relevant because I witness this in various friend’s and family’s behavior. Many people are living through their ego, meaning that they have a self-imposed identity that they associate themselves with This identity has a unique set of ideas and beliefs that seem objectively real. However, the ego/identity can manipulate an individual to think that his/her experience is the objective truth, when, it can be changed by becoming aware of these reoccurring belief patterns. With regards to violence, we see this emotion arising when an individual experience something out of alignment with his/her identity. For example, a person may have an identity or belief system that they are not fashionable. This belief system will reflect in their action of putting on random clothes without putting any thought into that. Now, if you force that person to start dressing fashionably, he/she will start to feel very uneasy about this action because it is not aligned with their identity. The point I am trying to make is that the identities that we create for ourselves can subconsciously limit us from having certain experiences by making us feel very uncomfortable when leave this comfort zone of beliefs and values.
    Another interesting point that was made in the chapter is that we arrange our day to minimize threats and avoid uncertainty. I believe this behavior derives from an evolutionary drive to survive. Stress hormones are released whenever we are engaging with a perceived threat. This evolutionary system is good for survival, but a huge hinderance for our ability to thrive. I believe that escaping your comfort zone and embracing uncertainty is the best thing you can do. Some of the most euphoric experiences in life are experienced on the other side of fear. We can not let fear hold us back from experiencing the love that we deserve. Every day, I try to escape my comfort zone and challenge my own beliefs, to get closer to understanding what is.
    The final piece of information that I found noteworthy is that they key to letting go of violence is to observe it without engaging with it. It will lose its power. I have personally noticed that the moment I get emotionally triggered, there is a space where I can make the choice to engage with the emotion, or I can take a deep breath and observe it. Choosing the second option is much more difficult because the emotion is very alluring in nature, however it is profound to let go of it and you will feel much better.
    I have done the Isha Kriya six times this week. It is starting to become second nature to me, so I do not need the follow the video or sheet instructions. I find that every time I do this practice, I am strengthening my discipline that goes into disengaging with harmful emotions. It has improved my mental and emotional strength. I have been recording the time on my phone and have been practicing it in my bedroom. I plan on continuing this practice even when this semester is over. Namaste!

  10. I have always thought that we as beings are violent people. The way you handle your anger and violence can say a lot about a person. For example, my cousin has practiced yoga for years, traveling the world as well. She is the most peaceful person I have ever met. Super down to earth and one with herself. Our other cousins aren’t like that. I look up to her a lot. She has pushed me towards yoga and I have loved it.

    In the recording, there was a part of it that made me think more about how someone would end the violence in themself and I thought about her and how she surrounded herself with happy people making the violence in her life more tolerable and how she’s truly happy. I feel like if you are surrounded by angry people, you handle situations and walk through life angrier then someone who can accept themself. Observe and accept the violence, understand it and, as the article says it will evaporate.

    This week I practiced the IK many times. I have realized within myself that I practice better when I am alone. I have heard and did some reading about how doing yoga and meditation with other people boost the energy and allow you to focus more on the practice. I believe that I focus better on my own because I am worried on how I look when doing it or that I am doing it wrong. My goal this week was to do it with more people. Last week I wrote how I shared the IK with my team during tech week. I enjoyed being around people while doing the IK but I wasn’t fully focused on the practice because I was paying attention to the people around me. This week, I did the IK with one of my apartment mates and was able to focus on the IK because I can 100% be myself and not worry about what I look like when doing it. I felt an energy I never felt before in doing it with another person.

    • Well stated, know that I’m the only one looking around the studio. Your classmates are in their own experience with most times eyes closed. I’m looking to make sure everyone is in their best asana safe, please do feel safe in our classes, Namaste

  11. Non violence being a term made because people are inherently violent is a good point that I had never thought of until I had heard it. Viewing violence as a part of you forever is an interesting viewpoint that I hadn’t considered before but is interesting, as well as not defining violence just as physical harm but also as things like “trying to sway someone to our viewpoint”. Saying to not accept or reject the statements but to look inside yourself and find how your violent tendencies function is a good idea as, change can only come from a person themself, not just from agreeing with a book.

  12. Stephanie Poborsky
    Prof Broglin
    Wed Class 8:30

    I forgot to include my IK practices for the week in my recent comment.

    I have slacked a bit this past week since I was a bit sick, and did not feel like moving from bed. I did fit in a couple practices and do this in my dorm room on my bed. I set my alarm for about 14 min, and I practice without the video or instructions. I do the voice exercise to help me fall asleep at night. I used it last night to help me sleep.

    • Hope you are all better now, remember you can sit up in your bed and do your IK practice, don’t miss out on the benefits especially if you’re not feeling well. IK may add to your own healing process.

  13. This chapter was about the Ahisma, or the non-violence yama, or non-harming. Violence, in this sense, is not solely physical violence, but also pushing our own wills and beliefs onto them or directing negative thoughts and every towards them. The reading also states that sometimes, however, suppressing our own violent impulses can be a violence within ourselves. Lastly, the author seems to suggest that finding the root of violence is the true form of non-violence. Greater understanding of ourselves and our interpretations and roots of violence. This path is not straightforward, and it necessitates constant checking in and self awareness.

    I found the concept of looking beyond the “black and white” or morality interesting in the assignment. The suggestion of the passage seems to be that understanding is the only thing that can truly overcome violence. We in our nature are biased beings, and nothing will change this, but allowing ourselves time to under our own biases and time to understand others, blurring the lines between black and white, will lead a path towards non-violence. This really resonated, in my mind, with current politics right now, extremely divided and bipartisan. With the “winner” and “loser” mindset that bipartisanism leaves, there will always be a loser, therefor always some kind of perceived violence in American politics. I think we’d all benefit from a larger understanding from the government of the needs of their people rather than focussed on winning a non-existent race.

    In my own life, I thought about gossiping and assumptions about people as a form of violence I often participate. Though I don’t necessarily act violently, I think allowing people to exist in the stereotypes I create for them, or things I assume about them, and gossiping to reinforce these stereotypes definitely reinforce violence in the sense of Ahisma.

    As for the Isha Kriya, I’ve been practicing it a lot more regularly than I did earlier this year, reaching more of a routine with in throughout my week around 3 times a week. I still use the video as I like the structure it gives me. I also find it really relaxing to feel as though I’m saying the Isha Kriya with someone as we do in class.

  14. What I got out of this is that through suppression, only negative outcomes can be expected. It is natural to feel angry and aggressive. While it is important to express these feelings in a healthy and non-destructive way, it is somewhat discouraged at times. This can cause people to suppress these more aggressive or angry feelings which makes a place for these feelings to grow even more negative within them and have more of a negative impact. Rather than suppressing these feeling, I find it is important to reflect on them before actually expressing them to avoid any damage, physical and otherwise. If people stop to think about why they are feeling the way that they are, it can cause them to think more deeply about how best to express those more negative or aggressive emotions towards others and towards situations.
    I tend to try to talk directly to people about my emotions to avoid a buildup of negativity in my life. I find that this is much more productive and healthy than making an effort to replace those emotions with positivity for the sake of being positive.

    -Daniel Tavares Zlock

  15. Violent is such a natural reaction in this day and age. That the simple practice of non-violence to make a point across is unheard of today. But in fact when non-violence is used it may create an even larger voice and smaller mess which is something we may not realize, or the major leaders of our world realize. I remember learning about Gandhi and his practice of non-violence and he is proof that you can make an impact on the world and change the world by simply fighting for what you believe in without the fight.
    Sometimes when we want to make our voices heard or make a point come across the world, we think the aggression can truly be the only answer but in reality it creates a greater divide. We so badly want to be heard and want to be understood but we are taught from social media, and the media itself that there is violence all around us and we simply don’t know what else to do.
    The flower of life cannot bloom from aggression or the acts of violence and we as a society have somehow lost our way in that violence.

  16. I agree with this we all have some sort of violence in us and can’t change that. And for most of us we get a satisfaction when something happens to an individual who has done us wrong. We often see this as karma doing its job, but nonetheless we still get some sort of pleasure from this. It was interesting to hear that by trying to persuade someone in any many can also be viewed as violence, which we are all guilty of. To help curb our internal violence we must understand it and find the roots cause of it. In doing this we can see the impact of it and then be able to conduct change. We do many things through out our lives to combat certain feelings and build up walls to shelter ourselves from feelings. We in a way distract ourselves so we don’t have to deal with things and when violence presents itself we need to confront it with out prejudice to really make a change. By doing my IK every week between 4-6 times I’m able to really re center myself and reflect on my day. In doing so I can think about what has happened and if I need to change how I reacted to something. I usually do my meditation in my room at night before I go to bed and I set a timer on my phone to keep track. By doing my practice in my room it’s a quiet place that I’m comfortable and I can really get the full effects.

  17. The reading begins by focusing on an overview of the human condition and what drives us and distracts us from what Mr. McAfee deems self awareness. He goes into human accomplishments and cites the human condition as a thirst for understanding that is sought out externally, when it should be focused internally. It then goes into the history of Yoga and describes yoga as the quest for self consciousness and not just a physical strength.

    My first impression is acceptance, this is a good perspective on the history and application of Yoga in daily life. The author sounds knowledgeable and credible and the information is useful.

    I’ve heard some similar evidence for these claims in a lecture by Ram Dass I heard in an audiobook some time ago.

  18. Part 3: The Secret of Yamas discusses hisma. Hisma is an non injury or non violence. In this case, this plays a role of honesty. Honesty is the key for when violence happens, because then you can avoid any unnecessary drama. Violence isn’t really in our nature it’s what forms inside of us through anger or frustration.

    Us as humans we enjoy taking out the pleasure from someone or something. In society, this world is divided into humans dislikes, and likes. This causes violence becuase we as people oppose our beliefs or thoughts on others and they may have a different point of view on how they see something than how you view it. But, violence is part of our being, not nature. We react to then get a reaction out of others, which isn’t the best fix to solve violence or just the interaction between others. We need to see what’s the internal struggle with our internal nature, and to fix the problem.

    We as humans shouldn’t be the violence, we need to fix it. Not only fix this act upon us, but explore it as well. Also, there’s surface affects of violence too. Most violent acts start with a cause and then the affect of it is with the reaction at hand, so we need to find the roots of this violence then understand it and lastly, figure out this problem though others. This role of violence also plays apart into different religion beliefs as well, but we as humans need to understand our limits and triggers, and most of all our self discovery but just not through violence.

  19. I resonate with the idea that violence is underlying and can fester inside of us. Even when we attempt to change the “cosmetic” aspects, that only resolves the surface, and does not erradicate the violence. I also resonate witht he desire of a formula to erase violence. However, I understand now that that is not possible, as it has to come from within. I found it interesting that violence is ” an integral part of our behavior” as humans and animals. As a sociology major, I can understand that this results in the division of people of the world, and lables and groups form, whihc then feeds more violence against other groups. This is why it is only when we look inward to our own selves we can help erradicate the violence inside of us. In order to do so, we also must understand everthing about this violence, why we feel it, what is comes from, what is results in, etc. This piece really spoke to me, and will help me look deeper inside of myself to calm the violent behaviors. -Alexis Gordon

  20. The excerpt immediately opened my mind to the pre connotations of violence and what exactly violence means in the context of The Yamas with direct correlation to Ahimsa. We often associate violence with war, killing or any physical act that causes injury, and our society stands morally to punish those who act in physical violence towards others while ignoring the implications of the violence we face with in ourselves. But what about the type of violence that is mental and emotional which is often overlooked. Understanding Ahimsa means being conscious of the many different ways violence can negatively impact our relationship with others and ourselves, so that one may effectively practice non-violence, by learning to be compassionate with in our reactions. This means controlling how you respond to events in a manner that is positive by accepting the outcome in a kind, loving and compassionate way.

    After hearing this reading I took an introspective look with in and asked myself where I could apply these practices in my life now. Truth be told this is very much applicable with an issue I am currently facing, where I felt wronged by someone and my immediate reaction was negative. Initially my emotional response was to be angry at this person for failing to meet my expectations and angry at myself for various reasons. In hindsight I acknowledge how my response was in a sense an act of violence emotionally and mentally to them and myself. However, through the practices of Ahimsa one must be compassionate with in every situation, and I understand that showing compassion in this scenario means being forgiving. Also being non-violent in the future means that I can not hold high expectations of my myself or other peoples actions, outcomes are uncontrollable and I must accept them whether it be in my favor or not.

    • Perfect! You have really sat with this Yama: Ahisma and looked within to see how it may affect and ultimately positively change how you choose to view yourself in situations with others, I am quite proud of you for this is amazing personal growth! Namaste

  21. This audio excerpt from the book about the Yamas focuses on violence. It expresses the idea that humans don’t necessarily need to be violent. This is because we are only violent to protect ourselves from violent actions performed by other humans, meaning obviously that if no one was violent we wouldn’t need violence.
    Humans have a natural violent instinct when they feel threatened, some clearly more than others. This usually happens out of a combination of frustration and fear, mainly because this person’s mind is extremely clouded to the point of destructive behavior. With one of the Yamas purpose being to level the mind, this practice can be extremely helpful to avoid out of character reactions.
    Along with these direct effects, part of this process involves making connections and analyzing the root of someone’s anger and violence. No one is born angry or aggressive, they had to navigate through circumstances that made them that way. I understand that people are aware that there is obviously a reason someone is mad or reacts a certain way. Although, people need to question why the situation makes a person angry to the point of violence, then understanding why it was wrong. Meaning more people should be concerned about the causes, and actively attempting to avoid violence.

  22. This was an interesting reading on non-violence, specifically ahimsa, one of the restraints of the Yamas. John McAfee said violence is an integral part of our nature. If we attempt to overcome it, our internal struggle with it is violence in itself. He said that to reveal the root of violence, we must observe it without judgement and distraction and in doing so, the violence evaporates.

    I may have misunderstood, but I’m afraid I must disagree with this reading. I guess, according to McAfee, this would be a violent act. My mere disagreement would be considered violence if I tried to sway someone to my point of view. The Meriam Webster dictionary defines ahimsa as “the Hindu and Buddhist doctrine of refraining from harming any living being.” There is simplicity in this definition of non-violence that I can truly understand. The act of refraining from harming any living being is clear.

  23. Georgia Cummings
    Monday Yoga 6:30-9:50

    This section of audio focuses on the yama called ahimsa, the Sanskrit for non-injury, non-violence, or absence of hostility. This idea is valued in most of the world’s major religions.
    Violence is an integral part of our nature. As humans, we have fears and suspicions that lead to hostility. To deal with this violence and hostility, we must observe without judgment. When we understand it, it will evaporate.

    I do find myself becoming hostile when it comes to differing points of view. However, one part of the audio states that “violence is the attempt to impress our will or belief onto others or prevent them from infringing on our own ideals and principles”. While I do believe that arguing points of view can become hostile easily and even violent, I do not think attempting to sway someone’s point of view is an act of hostility in itself. However, I do see a clear connection and slippery slope toward hostility when debating or arguing, which is something I try to practice avoiding when I disagree with someone.

    This method of coping with violence reminds me of coping mechanisms with certain mental illnesses. For example, observing and accepting symptoms in order to understand them is much more beneficial than attempting to avoid them, which will only worsen them.

  24. So often we are compelled by our emotions, and depending on how strong they are, we’ll act based on them. Most of the time its in the defense of whatever our beliefs or ideals are centered around, when those ideals or beliefs are openly rejected by others, our first instinct is to defend. If the rejection is heavily projected enough to create such a great amount of anger, a person will most likely resort to violence in order to let out this aggression. Also like the reading states, we like to see people who wrong us get wronged in return as well because we believe they deserve it, an if karma doesn’t seem to revolve the way we wish, then we try to take into our own hands.

    Once we are consumed by this anger and resort to violence, we loose sight of our main purpose because our attention is just focused on punishing someone else. Unfortunately this creates a block for any positive energy to flow through you , which then creates a hard path to get through in every day life. It also blocks yourself fro your own source of love. Even h=though, opening yourself and releasing yourself of this violence also releases your negativity you had built within you and it allows you to grow and allow benefits in your life.

    Surprisingly in my own sociology class, we recently discussed the behaviors of humans and when it comes to behaviorism, we try to structure peoples ways of life but applying their morals to them. If their morals don’t necessarily met the satisfactory ones, or goes against someone with a strong opinionated side, then one will punish the other in order to correct their beliefs.

  25. The secret of the yamas emphasizes the importance of the absence of hostility- benevolence. To emphasize the absence of hostility, because in yoga the importance is to focus on yourself, and abstain from not only judgment of ourselves, but judgment on others. The point is to free your mind, and connect to your essence, and a real Yogi knows that you cannot poison your brain with negativity if you want to truly connect.
    In my experience, it can be difficult to abstain from judgment even if it is neutral. Sometimes, when I am doing my Isha Kriya (Thursdays, Fridays, Mondays, and Tuesdays at home), random thoughts will slip into my head. Things like “Is it working?” and “My bones just cracked” sometimes clutter my head. I expel them by remembering my purpose here is to grow and harm none.
    Another topic that relates to this yogic practice is this quote by the Dalai Lama that I live by. It is “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you cannot help them, at least do not hurt them”. This quote is important to me because it stresses the importance of benevolence, but then says that if you cannot help, at least do not hurt. That is all humans are resposible for in this life, is to endeavor not to hurt nor judge others.

    • We all begin our mindful practices by noticing the fluid amount of rapid thoughts flooding and flowing! The practice then allows in time for us to manage our thought process better, we call it taming the monkey mind which is constantly jumping here and there. Namaste

  26. Kache’ Mumford
    Wednesday class
    “The Secret of the Yamas”

    Part three explains how we separate ourselves in the world and how we all do violent actions. It’s part of your beings. If you try to will yourself to act without violence the book says that this only creates more violence. I am trying to keep an open mind about this, but honestly I don’t agree and I don’t fully understand what it is trying to say. In the book recording it asked if we truly understand the full nature of violence and its impact? Before we ask this question I think we need to first ask what is violence. I believe that my definition of violence may be different from what the author may be meaning.

    If violence connects to angry and everyone has angry in them then the focus would be on creating a positive energy inside yourself and pushing out the negative angry energy. The root of angry most likely comes from a traumatic event that has likely been kept stirring inside. I don’t believe everyone is born with violence within them but I think we are instead introduced to it through the world. But that just my personal opinion.

    From the past readings of the Yamas we have learned that the energy that you create and share affects every part of yourself. We also learned how yoga has a lot to do with creating a positive clean and spiritual flexible being from the inside out. This section on violence falls in line with making sure that your energy is clean on the inside and i think it was a very helpful topic that people don’t often talk about.

  27. When I was back in my primary school age, it was hard to understand why others, especially kids my age, were so violent towards other kids and me, and all I could do was weep about how I was being treated (until my mom addressed about it). When I started getting older, I realized how crude, fake, and selfish some people were, but I also had to understand that the anger I would have was just hormonal, and confusion and I wish I could take back the things I would say to my guardians/friends under such conditions, but understanding how others could be like that immediately when seeing someone they don’t like without knowing them was cruel, even when I called them out on it.
    I would get in trouble; for example, some girl said I’d never get into college, and I boasted to her about having a scholarship; she then decided to play the ‘woe is me’ act and a teacher got super mad at me. But as I got older, I realized even if you ask a person after a while, why they did the things they did, (new example, some kid in 11th grade, this was when I moved to a new school, who ended up being in my senior year oceanography class; his name was Andrew I think?) he said “I wasn’t in the right place, and I didn’t mean to make you upset, I’m sorry”.
    I felt such a wave of release. Human emotions are complicated enough to understand, but with time and a little bit patience, we can all sometimes understand each other if we listen, even if we don’t agree on some things morally, then eventually, time will pass as we become adults, we become more mature. Sure, people always come to me in support or whatever they need to talk to about, but, I guess it is safe to say that we can’t keep our anger in all the time, but it’s healthy to let that out only a little bit in not to scare others.
    Mackenzie Depietro, Spring 2019, Wednesday Class

  28. McAfee’s book centered around the theme of savagery. When we think about brutality, we consider it as someone being physical. Viciousness can be difficult to oversee for a few, in light of the fact that the base of it is from normal and typical feelings, for example, dread, outrage, and like the perusing stated, it is a piece of human instinct. I think overseeing internal clash and being peaceful to carry on with a serene life, something that everybody has access to and can control, ties in with the principal perusing—section one of “The Secret of the Yamas.” Since we consider brutality just physical, we don’t consider ourselves being brutal individuals. In any case, in the event that we genuinely and earnestly investigate our psyches, we see the other existing types of viciousness. It was intriguing to discover that we are being rough when we induce others to trust our perspective. Brutality can be named abusing our convictions upon others. In this way, it bodes well that when we attempt to lead individuals to concur with us, we are being vicious.
    In any case, in the event that we attempt to prevent ourselves from being vicious, that could be another type of brutality since we are smothering it. Savagery is a piece of our inclination, it is something that happens in regular daily existence. In the event that we truly need to take out our savagery, we need to do it the best possible way. We need to get the hang of all that we can about it so as to upset it. We must be straightforward with ourselves and endeavor to make sense of the genuine idea of our viciousness. We need to comprehend the effect it has on us, its conditions, its source, its instrument, and its capacity. When we really find these elements, at that point we can discuss changing or disposing of it.

  29. Violence is an integral part of human nature, but I very rarely ever condone violence. Feeling threatened or feeling afraid may often trigger violence within ourselves, but I believe that using violence is almost never appropriate. Unless I find myself in immediate danger such as being assaulted, then I will use violence, but that kind of violence is only in self defense of course.

    I have never defined violence as the act of trying to instill our beliefs into someone, but this passage has definitely opened my eyes to that. I am more than willing to accept that I myself have the capability to be physically violent, even though I might have never acted upon it. The passage brings up an excellent point in the sense that if we deny our own potential to be violent, isn’t that enacting violence against ourselves? I believe it is. Being in denial of any aspects within ourselves, even the negative ones, limits us from accepting and understanding those aspects.

    To learn how to quiet any internal violence within us, I believe we must completely understand the “monster” that we’re dealing with so to speak. Enacting internal change requires internal work and understanding. Attempting to quiet our violence requires the same approach as trying to quiet any other condition, we must understand the root of our problem. Like the above passage indicates, once we understand the root, our violence can begin dissolving. This passage helped me greatly to understand violence and how to possibly go about exploring it within myself.

  30. This is a great reading because we live in a world that is full of violence. Ahisma means non-violence and as it was mentioned in the reading violence is part of our life. We seek pleasure when someone that has done us wrong is punished. I can not sit here and say that is not true for me. Even though I try my hardest to be happy with everyone (even if they did something wrong to me) when something goes wrong, I’m secretly like well that’s what you get – karma.
    After listening to this reading, I think I understand the concept of Ahisma. When something in your life goes wrong, just sit back and look at the issue from different perspectives and see how it can affect the other person or the world around you. It’s almost like think before you speak. I can sometimes be very impulsive and just have word vomit but I will try to think before I talk and think before I share my views because I do not want the other person to feel pressured to think like me or feel like their opinion doesn’t matter.

  31. This audio excerpt is rightfully compacted and reveals truth about our nature that may help us maneuver through our daily lives with more tranquility. This was a universal concept to comprehend and apply. When we think of violence, we thing about the rage we feel at a certain point when something or someone does something that hurts and effect us. Understanding violence as just a feeling is not substantial and only hits surface level. We are human beings created three dimensionally ; violence is not justifiable, however understanding the layer of emotions and humanity that causes violence to erupt, is vital. It was mentioned how violence is apart of human nature, I want to argue that violence is not apart our human nature, but that rage, hurt, animosity, passion, disappointment, contempt, frustration, etc. are all emotions that contribute to an act violence. Violence is a choice. Another important thing that was brought up , was the idea of not containing these emotions rather understanding it and altering it in a positive way that may heal us. Additionally, listening to this audio, made me think of Dr. King and his philosophy on non-violence actions to propel the civil rights movement, and further more, to direct the “anger black man” to a moral and conscious state of mind and peace.

  32. Hisma is a noninjury or nonviolence. Violence is never is the answer. In my opinion violence and negative energy is not worth my time. We all have fears that makeup who we are.

    Sometimes we fight those fears sometimes we don’t. We always are wanting to impress someone or make someone jealous of any sort. We have control over violence and we have control of fixing it.

    I honestly don’t understand much about this part but I think what it means is that we have so much to live for and negativity isn’t one of them.

    • Please qualify your statements by adding the whys and how’s. Take more time in writing your review of the subject matter and add a reference. Think about attending the writing center to learn more about developing your writing content, it will help you in this course, others and your ability to communicate your issues successfully all the rest of your life. Namaste

  33. Being human of course we have violence and hostility nearly every day. In Yama, Ahimsa means the absence of hostility. This in question would not be raised if we didn’t state the fact that we were not violent people. This is an integral part in nature where we have frustration and fear. The reason for being so violent is we want to enforce others to see our point of view or beliefs. We shouldn’t reject the truth of our violence and instead see what is the cause of root.

    In my personal experience anger has been a big part of my life. Oddly before, I could never figure out the root cause but deep down I always felt nobody was listening to me. As children we often throw tantrums but mine was nearly everyday all day. Now I realize I was frustrated because of jealousy. I remember being jealous of my older sibling as she got the attention and the best toys. Jealousy is such a hard thing to get rid of. As humans we are competitive people. Even today I still struggle with it.

    With the practice of the Yamas, yoga is turning our bodies and our minds in the way we think. I never considered yoga to be a practice outside a yoga mat. Basically, the Yamas are there for living a life of peace and love. It is a love for others and importantly, a love for ourselves. This I can confirm because I do feel yoga is helping me with that. Looking back, I understand the reason why it is used in practice for anxiety which I suffer from.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences I am sure you will continue to grow and evolve. I hope you keep exploring your thoughts and create letters to those who you felt added to your anxiety. Perhaps do not share the letters, keep them for awhile until you have the confidence to verbally share how others actions made you feel. It’s important to validate our feelings and to remember that doesn’t make anything right or wrong but what we feel is real for us. Equally important is for you to work on tools for your own personal development to grow in a healthy way beyond the past. Sometimes our parents and family members do not know the outcome of their behavior and parenting style affects upon the children. However, when we have opportunities like attending college to grow intellectually, mentally and emotionally through classes, activities and free counseling we can create our own best Selves! Recognizing your own thoughts, the history of your family interactions is the beginning of the Journey to your best You! I admire your courage and honesty, I know you will be successful, if ever you want to talk privately just let me know, Namaste

  34. “The infinite flower of life is a constant assault on the barriers we’ve constructed and individual violence is a result.” Violence is perceived as a physical action caused by uncontrolled anger or desperation to protect oneself. What most people do not realize is that violence comes in subtle forms and is caused by our own natures. We as people are inherently violent, which is why we strive for nonviolence. However, we are limited because we cannot see the actual root of our violence and therefore are ineffective in preventing it. I think violence plays a big part in the mass media and societal standards. We see it here and there on the news and society has conditioned us to be intolerant and aggressive. Last year this time, I had a lot of anxiety about my painting classes and what I will have to paint for junior studio. Will I be inspired by a work of art? A collection of art? How long will this take to paint? Will I have enough time? Being able to meditate and tell myself that “this too shall pass” is the only way I could get through any anxiety attack I have. Today in class we performed the exercise where we squeeze each finger of our hands for worry, fear, anger, sadness and the feeling of trying too hard. I thought this exercise was perfect for me, I really felt the pulses rising when I was holding my thumb in the beginning, which means I tend to worry a lot. Breathing in between each holding, help me relax more and become more self aware.

    Kathy Mathews
    Wednesday 8:30am Yoga Class

    • Remember when we do the Finger Holds we merely have contact not really squeezing. When you felt the pulses in the thumb it signifies your energy is getting balanced not that you have a lot of worry. It may be true that you worry but don’t confuse the pulse sensation. With regular practice you will in fact have a better measure for which emotions wreck havoc over you and as you continue you will be able to replace the positive emotion and also chose to not emote but rather be still and let time heal or change a circumstance if that is what is needed. Also we all need to realize we don’t have to respond to everything. Namaste

  35. The third part of the Yamas speaks more so on the idea of non-violence.Violence is most definitely in all of us. I recently had a conversation with someone who went to war and was placed in Iraq. He started to speak about the idea of killing someone and how we all are capable of doing it but what does it take to actually do this. It is such a scary and uncaring thought but a very intense truth that is happening all over the world.
    Practicing non violence and finding compassion for oneself is so important. I myself, forget sometimes how I have full control of my emotions and where I want them to lead me. It is easy when I’m upset to shrug something off and ignore the problem. Usually I make the problem on my own by telling myself that I am angry. I can instead be mindful of my emotions, realize it upset me, and then thank myself and show gratitude for realizing my emotions, and moving on from it without taking it out on someone else, or letting it build up inside me to the point where violence occurs.
    This idea also comes from the reading where it speaks about how we minimize threats and avoid uncertainty. In order to find a sense of power or nirvana or actually in a sense learn it is very important for us, as humans, to put ourselves in uncomfortable situations and by doing this, it can involve avoiding uncertainty. I find it important to realize the negatives and positives to situations and learn to find a way to work towards the positive outcomes rather than the bad. Fight and flight are in our systems in order to survive, but if we take our violence and turn it into a passion for strive, great things can come ones way.

    Here is a reference on more information about uncertainty avoidance.

  36. Violence is a tricky subject. Especially in todays current climate (with disagreements between political parties, targets on specific races, and constant conflict) widespread violence needs to be tamed. This week’s John McAfee post highlights exactly what I’ve thought/wondered for a while, which is that violence is a response to feeling targeted.
    When you read this section of the reading I had to pause it briefly to let it sink in. When approaching the world as if every act of violence stems from the aggressor reacting to a threat to self, one observes situations differently. This can be seen in governmental policies in the news today; for example a lot of people who have nasty and hurtful words to say about undocumented immigrants often act this way because they feel their livelihood has been threatened somehow. This approach to observing violence gives more insight to reactivity, helps mediate conflict and provides insight into an individual’s motivation.
    What I found however most important about this section of the reading was that the remedy for violence is not universal, and nor is it accessible. However, the path in this direction is one that requires introspection and deep thought. I find this to be wholly true. For years there were aspects about myself that I sought to change and found that no matter how hard I tried it was “impossible”. Well, this turned out to be false because as soon as I started a daily meditation practice I found it was easier to handle my emotions. My biggest issue had and continues to be my lifelong struggle with OCD. Ive personally been on quite a bit of medication to try and treat this but the only thing that I founded pushed me towards my goals was moments of quiet introspection and deep thought. While this is surely different for everyone, I am a large advocate of introspection through meditation because of its healing qualities and the tools it gives an individual to succeed.

    -Rebecca Hartigan

  37. The first yama is ahisma, which means non-injury, non-violence, or harmlessness. This is a basic and common concept that can be found in many different religions and spiritual beliefs. It is such a recurring subject because violence is a part of human nature. The book goes on to explain how this creates a constant internal struggle in our world. We see violence, seek to eradicate it, and end up just creating more violence within ourselves. However, if we seek to understand the violence, see why it is happening, where it is coming from, what the root of said violence is, then the struggle of violence and it’s opposite are eliminated.
    Violence has and always will be a part of our world. As humans, its only natural to feel that type of way. To suppress these urges, will only create a larger conflict within ourselves. I think it’s interesting that in order to reduce the amount of violence in our lives, we must seek to understand it first. Even if we demand peace, and are able to stop an act of violence in its tracks, there is violence created elsewhere as a result of this. This chapter also relates to the larger idea of yoga as a whole, being that you must seek to understand. Looking inward, attempting to know ourselves and the reasons behind our actions is a practice that not many people employ. Violence inherently coexists with conflict. The only way to not be negatively effected by that violence, that confict, is to try and understand it. I think if I try to exercise this knowledge, any violent situations I am in will be easier to diffuse or accept. If I take the time to slow down, reflect inward, and understand the violence of the situation I will be able to handle things in a much healthier way.

  38. Everyone is capable of violence and it’s just because it’s part of our human nature. This audio file was about violence and how we should all live without it. Ahisma means non-violence, non-injury, to be harmless and have an absence of hostility. Every time we try to persuade someone to view something the same way as you that is violence according to the audio file. There is no way to fix your inner violence without knowing the root of the problem. There is no guide to find what it is, so you just have to observe and notice. In other words, you are finding where your inner war is taking place. Once you notice what you need to do then you can make the changes that you need to make.

    I thought that the passage was interesting. I never really thought about violence in the way that it was described in this audio file. I feel like the most important part of it is about the self-discovery of violence that happens inside of all of us. We do need to understand who we are and how we are violent even with ourselves most importantly. In the excerpt it said something about how we cling onto relationships to be able to ward off being lonely. I feel like this an example a lot of people should think about in their daily lives and ask themselves if this is healthy or right for them.

    I did some research and found an article about fighting negativity in ones’ mind. We all think negative thoughts and I think that can be considered violence to ourselves. The article states that we should balance acceptance with self-improvement, consider how bad it would be if our inner thoughts were actually true, and replace our critical thoughts with more accurate statements of what has happen. I believe the only way to we are able to understand the violence we do to each other every day is if we understand it within ourselves first.


    -Charlotte Johansen

  39. Majlinda Novaj
    Honors Yoga Journal #3

    In this audio, there was a very strong focus on Violence. Violence is a part of our nature. As humans, we are filled with fears, and suspicions that motivate our behavior. That is why our world is divided into what we like/dislike, approve and disapprove. We struggle against our own violence and the attempt to contain it results in more violence. Violence is something we all have but must understand. If we see the impact in it, we can find change.
    I personally agree that violence is a part of our nature and it is something we all have. Violence is true in the sense that we have fears that strive us to be violent. For example, when I argue with my little sister, she may say things that I disagree with us and in turn I will get very angry and have violent tendencies such as wanting to push her for making me angry. However, I do not do this because my mind tells me it is wrong even though in the moment of my anger it seems like the right thing to do. Violence is a way we cope with our stresses and things that make us uncomfortable but it is something that we must make sure to keep in control because it can really hurt someone, their feelings or our own feelings. When our own personal beliefs and actions are threatened by someone or something else, we become violent and this is very true of everyone who hasn’t fully come to terms with awareness, actualization and realization within their self and the things that make them human.
    Violence as brought up by tells of how the author says: “In my experience, most people do not want to think about the reality of human violence. I have friends who sleep with their front doors unlocked and who would never consider receiving instruction in self-defense” I found this short piece interesting because Violence is something many people don’t realize. It is hard for anyone to realize that they are violent because in most cases, we use defense mechanisms for it. For example, if a girl and boy are in a relationship and the girl tells her boyfriend she’s going to break up with him, he might scream, throw things, and then after doing so will tell her that doesn’t want to lose her because he loves her so much. He uses loving her so much as his reason to his violent act(s). Violence is a projection of our inner feelings of things that we are afraid of/ don’t agree with. We must however, not project our violence on other things because it is not a smart way of masking our emotions. People must find a balance in everything they do and this balance can be reached if we are more mindful and aware of our nature and how to keep our violence in check.

  40. This excerpt was particularly interesting to me. Violence has so many different meanings in the society we live in. It is not inherently physical, and may simply consist of negative thoughts and feelings that may harm others and even ourselves. As mentioned in the excerpt, the world is incredibly divisive, and people can and will divide each other into many different groups for many different reasons. And because of this, people have a lot of different opinions and prejudices. Whether or not they consciously act upon these thoughts, they can still be violent in some way. It can lead to simple actions that may harm others, and an inability to see things from a perspective other than their own. It also leads to general negativity that can bring the person with the biases down as well. To constantly think negatively about others, whether they deserve it or not, can be exhausting.

    So, as the excerpt states, it begs the question of “what can we do about it?” If we are seemingly built this way and there is no off switch, how to we make ourselves more positive and gentle towards ourselves and others? It’s a complicated question, and I certainly have no answer. But, I can think back on my own experiences of trying to be less judgmental of others. In my family, I was always the one who never appeared to make judgmental comments about people, therefore was considered a “better” person than others in my family. But was I really any better? I still made judgements like that, I just didn’t say them out loud. Since then, I’ve been trying my hardest to see things from other people’s perspectives, so that I can understand them better and perhaps not say something I shouldn’t. It isn’t an easy thing to do, but people can learn over time.

  41. Jordan Reynolds

    The recording was interesting because it stated that violence is inherently apart of being human. As a species we divide ourselves into groups of those we like and those we dislike. Violence is how we impress our ideas and beliefs onto others. Our internal struggle is also a form of violence. Through attempting to discipline ourselves we engage in acts of personal violence. Before we can affect change we have to find our violence’s true cause and find its inner workings in order to be capable of change.

    Personal/inner violence is something that I have pondered for a long time. It often seems impossible to find the root cause of it. There are so many distractions that causes me to lose sight of what I am really looking for when I look inside. An example would be when attempting to work on a piece of art and it does not come out how I want it to I get upset with myself instead of allowing it to just be. This could potentially be a preemptive reaction to how someone outside of myself may react.

    There was a great website I found that gave great tips on how to combat inner violence. On theh author provides ways on how to recognize the violence. They talk about how when they judge themselves their body gets stiff and the air gets stale. Thought creation is incredibly powerful and it is how we perceive our surroundings. It is important to be aware of our thoughts, especially when we are attempting to better ourselves because there will be pushback from our innervoice in the beginning.

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