Kyczy Hawk is author of “Yoga and the Twelve Step Path” and “Life in Bite-Sized Morsels” and “From Burnout to Balance” among others. She is the founder of S.O.A.R.(™) Success Over Addiction and Relapse. A leader of Y12SR (Yoga of 12 Step Recovery) classes for nearly five years and a devoted teacher to people in treatment centers and in jail- Kyczy created a teacher training program for others who wish to work in this field.
To set the stage: while “defilement” is a strong word- it is as correct as phrases such as “toxic” thinking, or “poisonous” ponderings. The opposite of defilement is purification. We observe saucha, cleanliness, in yoga and right thinking in recovery.
So: when I become aware of my defects and defenses of un-useful thinking, when I develop expectations, grasping or evasion, I have the gift of becoming aware. In recovery I use the sixth step to acknowledge these, and for a cleaner more wholesome life, a life of less suffering, I look toward the seventh step, look to letting go, turning them over.
If the holidays create difficulty; if closer family connections bring a painful level of expectations, old communication patterns, “should”s or “shouldn’t”s, when advertising creates needs where there previously were none, it is good to remember this. Release the defilements of attachment, aversion, expectation and disappointment.
And as S. Armstrong says: it isn’t really enough to see them; I must also practice disengaging from them. This is when the suffering will cease.
Seeing attachment, aversion, expectation, and disappointment as they arise allows the mind to understand and to disengage from them. Awareness breaks the spell; the mind is no longer enchanted when we see the defilement for what it is. When a defilement has no hold on the mind, suffering ceases. Steve Armstrong, Got Attitude?