Words of Wisdom by Swami Satchidananda
- Make the Best Use of the Breath
"In Yoga asanas or in yogic breathing, one should
never exert oneself. Let things come in their own time.
Remember: Slow and steady wins the race. Particularly
when retention during pranayama comes in, one must be
very, very careful. Many people think yogic breathing
means to take a deep breath in and hold it as long as
possible until the entire body becomes shaky, and that
they call yogic breathing. It's not that. Pranayama is
a controlled, rhythmic way of breathing. As you inhale,
you make the best use of the breath by holding just as
long as is comfortable and then exhaling, taking twice
the time to exhale as to inhale. That is how to approach
"God bless you. OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti."
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The Right Thing
How do you know if what you decide to do is the right thing? It's very simple. The right thing will not affect your health and happiness. That's all. Anything that would affect your physical and mental peace, your health and happiness, is wrong. Anything. This might bring another question: "Suppose I want to help somebody who is troubled and that affects me. Should I do it or not?" If you are joyfully serving someone, even going through some pain doesn't affect you. You are still happy; you are simply using a little of your energy to help someone. You can't call that unhappiness.
Sometimes when you help somebody, you feel depressed. Why is that? It is because you had expectations. "I am helping that person. The person should accept my help and get the benefit." When you don't see that person getting the benefit you expected, you get upset. That means it's not a selfless act, it's a selfish act. "I did something and I want a result."
That doesn't mean there shouldn't be positive thoughts behind your actions. Certainly send your prayers, think about the welfare of the person. The difference is this: you want him to be happy of course, but you don't demand it. You are not attached to the outcome; you leave that up to God.
In simple words, I would say an action without any selfish expectation whatsoever is a right action. Such an act will never disturb your mind or body.
Om Shanti, Om Shanti, Om Shanti