Reading: B.K.S. Iyengar’s Serenity Prayer
“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” — B.K.S. Iyengar
“…and the wisdom to know the difference.”
I was reminded of this quote with B.K.S. Iyengar’s birthday this past Monday the 14th. This reminds me of the Serenity Prayer. A benefit of practice that is forever useful.
Here’s a post from August 2013 expanding on the Serenity Prayer in practice:
Reading from Class: Serenity Prayer
Continuing on the theme of True Happiness by way of acceptance and presence, I wanted to share the serenity prayer, which sums up a lot of what the practice has afforded me.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.” — Reinhold Niebuhr
This is such a great practice of surrender, acceptance and presence that takes me closer to a sense of Yoga — Patanjali’s second sutra 1.2 and definition of yoga:
citta vritti nirodha – Yoga is the resolution of the agitations of the mind (translation by Judith Hanson Lasater).
I’ve been sharing first part of the prayer in classes and attributed it to an American Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, however, there is some question as to its origins. While searching for a source, I was reminded of the fuller version and of its affiliation to AA and many 12-step programs.
Below is a complete version of the prayer. While very Christian, this has applicability with any God, deity, Divinity or higher consciousness. I find this also supports the observance or Niyama (the second limb of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra) isvara pranidana (surrender oneself, one’s actions, one’s practice to God).
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.