Precious Perplexity

oyster pearl

We all have problems. We all grapple with the unknown, about the Universe, sure, but more specifically about our own complicated life. We all want to solve our problems as quickly and painlessly as possible. But how can our problems actually help train us to become the people we desire. What way can the yoga concept of Santosha, or contentment, help us move through perplexing times?


The Push of Problems

Sometimes, it is only by questioning, wondering, or struggling, that we are driven to understand an otherwise hidden part of ourselves and our potential. Our questions and problems fuel us to open our hearts, to seek for inspiration, to perform the necessary work, and more profoundly, to abandon our will to the grander wisdom of the divine. The Divine knows how easy it is to be anesthetized by easy and numbed out by normal. Comfortable can sometimes get in the way of us becoming the greatest version of ourselves.

That’s How the Light Gets In

Like the late, great Leonard Cohen says in his song, “Anthem”:

“Ring the bells that still can ring;

Forget your perfect offering.

There is a crack in everything;

That’s how the light gets in.”


Even the rhyme is broken! He’s pointing to the idea that it’s through our brokenness, through our problems that we find the avenue toward the light.

Learning to Sit


When faced with problems, we must at once be willing to seek and do, and also we must sometimes learn to simply sit comfortably and be with what we don’t know or with what doesn’t feel comfortable-happily resolved with the phrase, “I don’t know.” And sometimes to get real answers we must be willing to sit in our own darkness for a while.

This human tendency for control occurs regularly in our yoga practice as many of us strive to either know everything there is to know about yoga or try to perfect our poses; we usually eagerly fill in whatever blanks present themselves in our life’s scripts.

Instead, let us practice the yoga principle of Santosha, or contentment, by learning to sit with and even value perplexity, knowing that it’s molding us into our highest being.


Sitting in the Dark

The following poem by David Whyte seems to speak directly to learning from the darkness, instead of running from it.

Sweet Darkness

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing:
the world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

~ David Whyte ~


Photo by Alex Adams

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Yogi Times, Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.