“If one is the master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time insight into and understanding of many things.”
— Vincent van Gogh
I have been peripherally aware of Gretchen Rubin’s “Happiness Project,” having followed her on Twitter and Facebook. When she came out with the book, and people I know have found it useful, I began to pay closer attention. I signed up for the daily quotation, and this is today’s. I am especially intrigued by the idea that a blog can become a book, and thus reach a wider audience than may be had in cyberspace.
At the same time, part of me wants to point out the irony of a quote from Van Gogh used to support the notion of “happiness,” given his own struggles with his inner demons.
More importantly, I heard in a workshop that Gurumayi Chivalasanada, the Guru of Siddha Yoga and John Friend’s teacher, once enjoined that one should not become a “bliss nazi.” (We all know the type. I understand Recovering Yogi’s campaign against bliss nazism.)
But enough about form, I really do like the content of the quote, and that is my reason for posting it here. What is our pearl of great price, a thing we do well and cultivate, so that we may understand many things? For me it is increasingly my yoga practice. On the one hand, one may hear from a teacher like John Friend “No judgement. Nothing to attain.” On the other, it is a holistic practice of mind and body, so it hits a lot of bases all and once. Moreover, I seem to stick with it and it with me more than any other sort of practice. As my friends in college used to say “So what if we do? There are worse things.”