Oh rats, there goes Ahimsa

rat4I just love this little grocery store which incidentally exhibits an astonishing amount of products in the smallest space possible! There is no wastage of time, if you forget a thing. There is no wishing for roller-skates to get to the cereals. All you need to do is to navigate yourself past the staff and other customers in an unspoken code of who will stop, turn sideways and allows others to pass.

Waiting at the counter, entirely satisfied and happy with my shopping experience, I hear the unmistaken squeaking of a rat. Starting to get worried about my Parmesan I watch two men looking intently down at the cupboard behind the counter. The squeaking is getting louder, alternated with little screams of a woman!? My heart sinks, although I am no rat-lover, I know this one had no chance. As the squeaking becomes more intense, so does the shrieking of the (poor) lady teller. The clobbering of the rat that follows is only intensified by imagination since it all happens behind the counter.

Ahimsa or non-violence, one of the yamas outlined by Sage Patanjali, is probably one of the hardest living principles to follow. When it comes to rats, cockroaches and mosquitoes I pretend I have never heard of such a thing. Some of Kuala Lumpur’s population unfortunately contributes substantially to the proliferation of such pests by indiscriminately dumping their rubbish into backlines and other unsuitable places.

For now I practice Ahimsa as Donna Farhi describes it in “Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit”: To learn how to be non-violent toward ourselves. It takes some self-control not to bring our competitive society into the Yoga-room. Practicing Yoga without hurting ourselves requires awareness, attention and slowing-down. A slow practice intensifies our experience of the moment. We become aware of hurts and pleasures alike. We start realizing our tendencies to avoid certain postures and jump into others with enthusiasm. We have time to become aware of our thoughts. Mine are with that rat and who is to blame for its existence. Us, the rubbish-producers or the rat and its innate will to survive?

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One Response to Oh rats, there goes Ahimsa

  1. monisbest says:

    Thanks for your positive feedback Jenna! Cheers.

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