Be Comfortable with Not Knowing

The Samahita Blog

Be Comfortable with Not Knowing

Paul Dallaghan
By Paul Dallaghan

If you were to be able to take a walk through the grounds of Samahita today you would still see staff keeping the place clean and our teachers still in the shala keeping the vibes and energy fresh. In fact, as I walk back into the main yoga shala it still possesses that electric vibration and special feeling.
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That shala was a mental image 15 years ago, put to paper, planned out, and constructed. It was built for people to be in, to engage in practices that have been done for centuries. In line with what these ancient teachings recommend such a shala is a place of peace yet vitality, supportive and serene, to allow you to go within, to aid you in the transformation of consciousness. This space, this shala, has a purpose. Not built to double-up as some event space in a hotel with yoga on its menu. The opposite of that. To offer the experience to learn, practice, and delve deeper into yourself in a unique space dedicated to change, for you, for people, to be here, with the necessary hospitality infrastructure.
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Just outside this shala hangs a blackboard where weekly insightful and motivational messages would be written for all who enter or pass by. Yet this blackboard has remained with the same message in chalk since March 19, 2020, the day the global situation stopped us all in its tracks.
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On that board is written …. “Be comfortable with not knowing, it is only then the answers come.”
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Following the previous weeks’ theme of “trust” and “not knowing” this message adds another beautiful element to it. In fact, “be comfortable with not knowing” is sufficient. Whatever answers then come may not be what you were looking for or expecting. But that is the point of comfort in not knowing.
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It is effectively letting go. Going with the flow. In terms of outcome. Not in terms of how you take care of yourself, get up, continue inner work, which is not easy, but essential for a better world. You do but let go.
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In this sense answers come because you have let go of the agenda, not of the purpose. You gladly get up, commit and do. Comfortable. Who knows what is coming up today? But you have things to do and you do them, without procrastination, hesitation, excuses. This is the great anxiety reducer.
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The answers that come are what is needed because you have not blocked them with ambition, insecurity, greed, jealousy, fear. You now have attuned yourself “to do the needful” (gotta love that Indian phrase), avoid guessing the future, embrace building towards it instead. While present, now. How? Because you are “comfortable with not knowing”.
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Of course what I describe is a point of balance. The ability to be cheerful, smile, yet still not know. The power to get up, do, plan, without craving, personal desire, demand-driven.
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What I describe here is part of this ancient teaching, how to achieve a heightened state of mind that is stable, robust, compassionate, strong, more powerful than its cravings and desires. Yet not everyone is ready to agree or embrace such an approach. Because the cravings and desires overpower the clear discernment that sees through all this.
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It is that discernment that is at the heart of the yogic-meditative path. Hopefully you can apply, remind yourself, “hey, it’s ok to not know, be comfortable with it.” But it’s not ok to not do, give up, forget, dismiss, criticize, complain. The former comfort lets the “answers” flow, the latter blocks and distorts what’s coming down the line.
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As you practice, tune within, attune yourself to this point of balance, remind yourself it’s ok to not know, cos I will know soon anyway, as it all unfolds. Keep exercising discernment, discriminative thought so the drama doesn’t suck you in and pull you under.
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Hopefully these shala doors will open soon and you’ll be able to visit here, walk down the path, smelling that food, looking at the blue water, and you see that perennial message as you pass the yoga shala … “be comfortable with not knowing.”
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Bravely on, with kindness and truth.

Paul Dallaghan’s expertise with breathwork, body and meditative practices comes from three sources: over 25 years of daily dedicated practice and teaching these techniques; immersion in the original culture through one-on-one direct training in practice and study of ancient texts; doctoral scientific research at a leading US university (Emory) on yoga and breath in terms of stress, health and aging. Paul occupies a unique space to impart genuine teaching and science on these practices, acknowledged by his teacher and lineage (Kuvalayananda) in India as a Teacher-of-teachers and a Master of Breath, identified to carry the tradition (Pranayama). This places him as the only master-level yoga and breath practitioner currently immersed in scientific academic research on breathwork, stress and health. His sincere and ongoing role is to teach, write and research to help put out experienced and authentic information on these areas in a world full of confusion and conflicting messages both off and online.

For more on his background see his bio.

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