Sunday, May 17, 2009



Discipline, for many people, is a dirty word. It brings up connotations of punishment, harsh means to achieve illusive ends, or strict regimes that have no room for variance. For me, discipline is a word that holds the key to understanding the deeper meaning of a spiritual life.

If we look at the root of the word, we see that it is closely related to the word, “Disciple”. To give one’s attention unwaveringly to living the precepts of a life of Love and Godly aspirations requires a fortitude of character and a persistence that cannot be derailed. This becomes the foundation upon which perseverance and compassion can grow. Life becomes the testing ground. Each seeming obstacle increases our strength to overcome, each hurdle gives us the ability to be flexible, and each joyous moment allows our hearts to soar. In time, the conglomeration of experiences brings us to a place of objective understanding that we could not have known without walking through them. Our intention to find the most valuable lessons in every circumstance becomes the powering force to transform the challenges into wisdom. When we are devoted to this path, we become aware that all individuals are seeking to learn these lessons in their own way. Otherwise, the events that propel their lives would not be happening. As it is for ourselves, so it is for all. Some may be more aware of this than others but the journey is the same. Through our collective perception, a glimmer of compassion is awakened in us.

Transformation does not happen in an instant, although we may have flashes of illumination. In order to establish the higher frequencies of balanced Beingness, we must return moment by moment to the fulcrum point that holds the equilibrium between the pull of opposites. By taking a breath, bringing the mind to silence, something can be born that is beyond our habitual reactions. Through this consistent willingness to put aside all preconceptions and see other possibilities arising out of the circumstance, a new thread is woven into our lives that binds our efforts into strength and commitment. This thread, spun out of the desire to be all that we can be, is Discipline.

My own walk with Discipline began as a child when my love for the ballet spurred me to choose the rigorous practice in the studio to other more childlike games. I wanted to dance like my idols on the stage and I knew that I had to set my standards high to achieve those goals. The work became fulfilling in itself. Now, to be sure, I saw my inherent laziness. Sometimes I succumbed to that indulgence and sometimes it created a wish to work harder. I see how these early influences established in me a foundation that has served me throughout my life. It was a necessary element in my career in the theater, essential to my work as a midwife, and indivisible from my spiritual path.

When I went to live in Auroville, India, several of us were given a parcel of land to cultivate and establish a new community. Geographically, Auroville is a large area consisting of small collectives who have come together to create a common intent. We wanted to be in the “Green Belt”, growing food for the whole and reclaiming the erosion of the land from years of misuse. These small communities were interspersed between Tamil villages and each had a name. I chose ”Discipline” as the name of our cluster of houses that we were building. With hard work and inner discipline, I knew that we would have the ability to serve Auroville. Discipline is still there, thirty-five years later. It is now a garden oasis when it was barren and dry when we started planting.

Seeds of Discipline have sprouted in every area of my life and I am forever grateful to the powerful force that it carries.

Prema Rose

1 comment:

A Week's Worth of Women said...

marvelous !!!!!!!!!
thank you