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Dear Jenni: YSP 1:41

As fluctuations subside, the contemplative mind becomes transparent like a gem, and reflects the object, whether it is that which perceives, the instrument of perception, or the object perceived.

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 1:41 – Bouanchaud translation

Clear thinking… have you ever wondered how much better this planet would work if everyone, or at least a working majority of people, could think properly? Imagine what it would be like to have conversations about matters of social policy and economics between people who could perceive the situations, the factors, the variable, the effects and the consequences without distortion, fear mongering or the posturing of ideology? Okay, maybe not even my imagination is good enough to figure out what that would look like, but what I can imagine, would be pretty damn good.

I’ve spent the last three days training new dispatchers for our 9-1-1 centre. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to teach them to be flexible in their thinking, expect the unexpected, and overall open themselves to the experience at hand. One of the things I’ve learned over the years in my job is “Don’t borrow trouble”. I usually have enough work issues to deal with – bar brawl, domestic, motor vehicle accident, motor vehicle accident, motor vehicle accident, another fight – without me going looking for me. I’m trying to teach them to avoid the ‘what if catastrophizing” that’s all about the mind building stories about what might be or what could happen.

One of the things I’m trying to teach them is that thinking clearly is a job skill, like any other, that they need to hone. We need minds that are free of the distortions and prejudices of the ego-narrative. And the more we practice it, the better at it we become.

Yoga – it’s not about the ability to put your ankles behind your ears. It’s about enhancing your life on an everyday basis but refining a tool we need more than ever as a society: minds capable of clear and transparent thought. Don’t do it for yourself – do it for your country!!!

Have a lovely week. Jenni’s already clocked in on this discussion here.

Thanks for reading and Namaste,



About Kate MacKay

I'm a certified Viniyoga teacher, in Fredericton, NB. I was a 9-1-1 operator and emergency services dispatcher for 22 years. Surprisingly, the two worked well together, or as I liked to put it, from the sublime to the ridiculous -- all in a day's work. I'm currently off work as a result of a stress-induced cardiac condition that's thrown a few crimps in my lifestyle. I'm not actively teaching yoga in the classroom right now and probably won't for several more months. That said, this blog is one of the forms of practice I can do and I thank you for joining me in this exploration of all things yoga.

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