Homer’s Odyssey is a well known legend by most people. The highlights of the story include:
- The Lotus Eaters. Odysseus’ men forgot their purpose of going back home after eating the lotus fruit.
- Odysseus blinded the giant Polyphemus and thus was cursed by the sea god Poseidon.
- When they almost reached their homeland of Ithaca, Odysseus’ men opened the bag of winds that the wind god Aeolus had given to Odysseus and they had to start the journey of sailing home all over again.
- Some of Odysseus’ men were eaten by cannibals.
- The mystical Circe turned Odysseus’ men into pigs. After they were transformed back into humans, Odysseus stayed with charming Circe for a year.
- Odysseus visited the land of Hades and spoke to the dead spirits.
- The singing of Sirens.
- Going through the narrow strait between the six-headed creature Scylla and the whirlpool Charybdis.
- All the men except Odysseus were drowned because they slained the sacred cattle of the sun god Helios.
- Odysseus was trapped on Ogygia, the island of the nymph Calypso, for seven years.
Homer’s Odyssey tells us of a journey that all of us will face: temptations, death, division-making and consequences. A warrior’s journey is not just a breathtaking adventure. In fact, the struggle of being trapped in the middle of nowhere can be the main part of the journey. Like Odysseus, during the 10-years of sailing home, 7 years were stuck on an isolated island. The difference between a warrior and an ordinary person is: A warrior has a clear goal. Despite Ogygia being like a paradise and Calypso so beautiful, Odysseus would sit and gaze out to sea, dreaming of returning home. The journey is not for showing strength and cleverness, not for gaining fame and wealth, but is simply for going home.
Yoga is always regarded as a spiritual practice, and
The purpose of spiritual practice is not to get somewhere. The purpose is to come home, to return to ourselves……We practice not to improve our situation but rather to recognize, celebrate, and express who we really are and have been all along.Norman Fischer “Sailing Home: Using the Wisdom of Homer’s Odyssey to Navigate Life’s Perils and Pitfalls”
We all face challenges in life. In the turns and twists of life, we need a defining purpose. A purpose that can give us inner strength to go through all the obstacles. A purpose that can make us become a warrior and start a journey as a warrior with determination and courage.
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