The Power of Choice

Wat Phra Yai (Big Buddha Temple), Ko Samui. Photo by: Jaclynn Kay

By: Jaclynn Kay

We have a choice every moment of every day.  The choice to speak or listen.  To act or pause.  To work on that project that will propel us to our dreams or binge Schitt’s Creek.  Most of us don’t ever stop to consider this concept unless we’re actively choosing something like what to eat for dinner or what to wear for the day.  But, the reality is every second you are alive, you are making choices.  It’s a power we forget we have.

The Wat Phra Yai (Big Buddha Temple) represents Buddha after he has overcome the fear and temptations sent by Mara, the Lord of Illusion.  Buddha is shown in a state of peace.  Buddha could have made different choices.  He could have given in to the temptations.  He could have let his emotions drive his actions.  But, he did not.  He had a goal in mind and he used the power of choice to achieve enlightenment.  Anything that distracted from that purpose was the wrong choice.  By understanding this power he defeated Mara, achieved his goal, and met truth.

A yoga retreat is not just about taking a vacation in an exotic place, sightseeing, or trying to perfect your favorite yoga pose.  It’s about connecting to the truth that is in each of us.  To do that we practice quieting the mind through meditation and mindfulness.  We move our bodies through asanas to stay healthy and release stress.  And, we use the present moment to make a choice about what we can do right now to move ourselves closer to the future we wish for.