We are continuing our exploration through the essential human emotions called Rasas and how to use tools to best serve embracing our humanity and skilfully make choices to guide us towards lasting fulfilment, deeper contentment within and freedom from what causes us pain and suffering. Practicing with the undesirable, uncomfortable and unpleasant emotions, helps us learn how to use Yoga as a skilful means towards what matters to us most in life. So this practice is provocative as bringing up stuff that is hard is difficult, however as Yogis we see it as a teacher and want to lean into the challenge as we know the result is that we have new insights, we learn, grow and expand in our lives.
We are working in this practice with the Rasas, Disgust and Love. Vibhatsa means Digust. Disgust is the feeling of dissatisfaction with oneself and or others using offensive and rude words to express how you feel. The Bhava or feeling sense is of disgust is to act with distain, to loath, to be repulsed, to be repugnant, sickened, to detest, to be averse, to be unpleasant, foul, offensive in actions, words and thoughts towards oneself and or others. It shows up as bad intentions, manners or vulgar language spoken to act out with harsh judgement, criticism or malice. At the root of this Rasa there is a feeling of a distorted ego sense of self in relationship to others. This is called Asmita, mental emotional affliction of how we get stuck in the limited sense of self. One extreme way is an inflated arrogant ego thinking its more or superior in comparison to others, that feels justified treat others as less then, stupid or with distain. Or an ego with such poor self-esteem or worthiness that they are so hard on themselves, feeling there is something wrong or bad in comparison to others and then despair in one’s self-loathing. Either way this creates a separateness of us and other.
You can sense that the other unpleasant emotions like fear, anger and sadness can easily join in with the emotion of disgust and muddy ones perspective. The vail of ignorance thickens and in Yoga we call this Avidya. Acting out with the emotion of disgust usually leads us in a shame and guilt spiral as it doesn’t feel good in the long run. All it does is reinforces Dvesa this resistance, aversion and pushing away what is causing pain.
Then to make ourselves feel better, it leads to justify addictively craving for more pleasure, Raga, keeping the cycle of suffering continuing.
The solution is to pause. In the pause we practice RAIN, an acronym that works as a tool to help regulate the power of this emotion. We R- recognise the wave of the strong emotion of disgust within ourself and just like a wave there is a beginning, middle and end. At first it feels like a title wave, however over time as we practice, recognising and breathing, allowing the wave to dissipate its energy, the waves calm and we can open to the ocean of love underneath it. Pause in moments of harsh judgement and criticism A- allow more room around it and see what is needed, Love.
Shringara means Love, this is one of the essence of emotions we use to help with Disgust. The Bhava or feeling of love can be the love of devotion, admiration, love of beauty, nature, ascetics, to the love of family, friends, intimacy, romance, passion, infatuation, to the love of fondness, tenderness, kindness, compassion and empathy.
It is said that is what we truly are, our nature is love. When we get quiet and still enough, we touch a place where we feel that deep love of not just who we are, but what we are. The practice of RAIN helps us heal and mend old core false beliefs that bring us the emotion of disgust. We take I- inventory and investigate what is asking for our attention, where do we need more N- nurturing, support and kindness. We open to be more empathetic when we see ourselves acting out with distain and forgive ourselves for being human. We humans have the disease of forgetfulness, we forget that at our core is LOVE.
So look within your heart, bring up disgust
- What disgusts you? Dirty places, smells, certain type of food?
- Who disgusts you? Type of person, their behaviour, how they talk, behaviour towards others?
- What parts about you make you feel disgusted? Your behaviour towards others? What biases, judgements or bigotry do you carry? How you look, your age, your shape, your intellectual capacity, what you can or can’t do as well as you feel you should, how do you compare yourself with others and what do you find is the hardest thing about yourself to accept?
Let’s bring into this practice RADICAL acceptance for what makes us act out in cruel criticism and vulgar language to ourselves and others. Cozolini – attachment psychologist said ‘it’s not the survival of the fittest, it is survival of the nurtured.’ Bring more non-judgemental LOVING awareness into what is hurting, what is feels not enough, or that we feel that falls short where we want to push away, avoid or resist with disgust. Lean into the pause where love lives within us all.