I’ve been thinking about the idea of the person as a pot of water on a stove. We have all these thoughts and emotions in us, which, at any particular time, might be still, or lightly simmering, or occasionally ready to boil over.
If we start to heat up and bubble a little, the suggestion sometimes is to ‘put a lid on it’. Why on earth would we do that? We all know what happens when you put a lid on a pan of boiling water – it can get messy! Another approach is to try and get rid of whatever is troublesome – to turn the gas off, to become detached from our emotions – again, why would we want to be emotionless?
My thoughts are that we should not be concerning ourselves so much with controlling what is inside the pot – let it simmer, let it boil, let it be still!
Instead, let’s worry about the pot itself. If it is too small or too weak, not fit for purpose, it will not be able to contain what is inside it. If, however, we have made our pot big enough and strong enough, it can contain anything. The contents can do whatever they want, run their course, and they, the pot, our emotions and ourselves, will be safe and able to cope with it all.
In yoga, we are working to become stronger and healthier on all levels; physical, psychological, emotional. We are not aiming to suppress anything, or to become detached and unemotional.
We are in the business of making ourselves a stronger pot.