This is the final part of my summary of Masahiro Oki’s article ‘Principles for Living a Healthy Life’, which was written in his Japanese monthly magazine ‘Yoga’ issued in December 1967. Two native English-speakers, Junko Furugori and Hiroyuki Mori, assisted me by correcting and polishing up my English translation.
1. Differences in how we view, take and feel things create completely different worlds. For example,
- whether we think that the way to health is by changing the environment, or by putting ourselves in order,
- whether we think that the way to health is by protecting ourselves defensively, or by rather not doing so,
- whether we see all responsibility elsewhere, or in ourselves,
- whether we take a standpoint that we are weak, or that we are strong,
- whether we think that we can’t do something, or that we can do something,
- whether we see that others are against us, or for us,
- whether we regard every phenomenon as a prelude to a worse situation, or to a better situation,
- whether we interpret that we laugh or cry because we are joyful or sad, or that we become joyful or sad because we laugh or cry.
These sound like small differences in words, but these differences are important crossroads which create completely different worlds. Yoga emphasises that differences in how we view, take and deal with things determine our own fate as well as others’. And therefore, yoga teaches us to make a conscious effort to examine our own words and actions, eliminating what may damage us and others, and always living life in a constructive way for everybody’s benefit.
2. To be alive is to move by sensing. Therefore, when our sensibility becomes dull, we become unable to move or think well. How we sense and how we respond differ depending on how we apply stimulation and how we train ourselves. For example, moving is a result of practice, much like a toddler practising to walk by repeating many falls and gradually getting better at it. Also, the way we move stimulates our brain, and this further affects how we sense and move. In this way, every movement has an important influence on our development.
3. Yoga teaches us to ‘seek the way’ or ‘follow the way’. It means to approach every objective by following three secrets or three gateways. These three are correct state of body, perfect breathing, and well-balanced state of mind. Ingenuity in achieving these three secrets is an important principle for living a healthy life, as well as a gateway to enlightenment.
Yoga teaches the art of living.