Satya -Living and Speaking Truthfully

Our theme this month is Satya (non-lying, or truthfulness).  The word Sat can be translated to “true essence” or “that which is.”   To practice Satya is to see, speak and behave in accordance  with things as they actually are,  and not as we would like them to be.  As we have all experienced far too much in the world lately, when there is no basis for objective truth, there is a deep sense of groundlessness.  A moral center cannot be found without an understanding of that which IS.

Practicing Satya starts internally.  (If we cannot be honest with ourselves, how can we be honest in other parts of our lives?)  It requires that we stay open to each present moment and create space in our minds so that we are not responding to situations through reactive emotions,  or through the force of habit, circumstance or selfish self interest.  There are countless times throughout the day when this can apply: Are we going into full wheel because it is appropriate and truthful in our body, or are we doing it because everyone else is?  Are we eating that cookie as a special treat – or has it simply become what we do after every meal?  Do we really need extra sleep in the morning, or are we just being lazy?

In our interactions with others it is important to remember that Satya follows Ahimsa, and to honor the principle of non-harming.  It is often better to remain silent than to speak a cruel truth.  This does not mean that uncomfortable truths should never be spoken.  The most difficult truths are often the most necessary to ensure the non-harming of an individual or group – but whenever possible our truth should be conveyed in a way that causes the least harm.  Before we offer opinions or criticism, can we first slow down and consider: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it useful? Is it kind?