Brahmacharya is conserving vital energy, especially sexual energy, in order to channel it in moreproductive directions. When we overindulge in anything, it wastes our energy. We need energy to be mindful and awake in our life. We need energy to reach our goals and dreams. Whether we find ourselves overdoing food, work, exercise, or sleep, excess is often a result of forgetting the sacredness of life. The fourth jewel literally means “walking with the divine or God” and invites us into an awareness of the sacredness of all of life. This guideline is a call to leave greed and excess behind and walk in this world with wonder and awe, practicing nonexcess and attending to each moment as sacred. Brahmacharya has also been interpreted as celibacy or abstinence. The ancient teachings say that our sexual energy is our most vital and potent energy and should be used wisely. The sexual act should be treated sacred and can there be used for love and healing. 

Our lives, in this culture, are full of excess. Supersize meals, big screen televisions, abundance of technology, computers, cells phones, closets full of clothes, and jam packed schedules. This need to fill every moment and every space comes from a feeling of lack. Overindulgence snuffs out the life force like too many logs on a fire overpowers the fire. As we begin to peel ourselves out of our web of excess, we may find we have been burying emotions that are uncomfortable to be with. This habit can become addictive and then the object we use to comfort now begins to control us. When we find the courage to be able to  begin to peel ourselves out of our web of excess we can start to let go of things and habits we no longer need and confront what we have been suppressing. This is what frees us from the habits and addictions that control our lives. With more space, externally and internally, we feel more peaceful and connect to joy that only comes from an inner experience. We are here in this world, in part, to feel enjoyment and pleasure. Practicing nonexcess preserves and honours this life force with us, so that we can live with clarity and sacredness. 

If we find ourselves living in the extremes of addiction, excess, and overindulgence in any place in our life, then fasting, celibacy, or abstinence can be very useful to bring us back to the fullness of pleasure. Fasting and celibacy are both strong practices to pull in the reins, find our center, and return to a place of balance. By over indulging in food it can dull the senses of taste. By taking one day to juice fast can give our digestive organs a rest and remind us to be mindful about what we feed our bodies with and tune into the wisdom of how much food our body needs. A day of silence is very powerful to create clarity and create mindfulness with what we say to others and to ourselves. I love the feeling of returning home after camping and feeling so grateful for my bed and my shower. We take abstain from something it can restore us back to gratitude and awakens our senses. 

When we stop and reflect on our lives and the world, we can see the innate intelligence and mystery to life. Every task becomes an opportunity to mindful and aware.  When gratitude and wonder sit in the heart, there is no need for excess. Where excess overdoes us, overextends us, and takes us way from ourselves, seeing everything as sacred firmly roots us and balances us. It is the simple things that stir our soul and bless us with happiness. The wind in the trees, the colours of the sky, the touch of a loved one, the delight of a child, a shared moment with a friend, can fill us to overflowing. This is expansive and humbling, much different than the satiation of excess. This jewel of Brahmacharya allows us to see the sacred in the ordinary and the ordinary in the sacred.


Speak Your Mind