One of the most controversial teachings in Yoga, is the lesson of Brahmacharya. It was originally translated as celibacy, which was a big turn off in the States! Turns out though that is just one of the layers of Brahmacharya. The literal translation is to “Walk With the Divine.” It is a lesson on the proper use of one’s energy.
As with most Yoga teachings the interpretation is diverse. Traditional Buddhist monks and nuns practiced it as a call to celibacy, and hence the controversy began! Modern Yogis interpret it to include the proper use of sexual energy. This means not using your sexual energy to manipulate others... Which applies to like half the media in the USA!
Walking With the Divine goes a bit deeper than just sexual energy. It's a guideline on how to you use ALL of your energy. Brahmacharya encourages us to use moderation in our daily lives. We are invited to experience pleasure without overindulgence. That means monitoring what we eat and drink to enjoy our favorites without consuming too much. It means we should pursue the activities we enjoy without going to the extreme. We should consider carefully what we buy, how much screen time we have, etc. This lesson guides us to sets limits and boundaries so that we enjoy life while also pursuing enlightenment and keeping our habits healthy. Of course, it relates to our relationships as well, with regard to how we treat other people. Are we acting in a way that is manipulative or enabling? Are we just trying to get something? Or do we truly seek authentic connections in our relationships? Using people might get us certain immediate favors and gains, but long term will leave us lonely and depressed, wondering why no one cares. Brahmacharya brings balance to our lives as it invites pleasure while also keeping us centered and strong. It leads to freedom of dependencies and cravings by encouraging us to take the middle path of restraint. All things in moderation. If you were to "Walk With the Divine" would they approve ? I hope so! You are a being of energy, and how you use your energy is everything. Use it wisely. 💚