"BRAHMA" meaning God
"CHARYA" meaning to walk, to follow
Brahmacharya is literally translated to mean, "to walk with God." However, in modern interpretations Brahmacharya is translated to mean "moderation."
This yama encourages us to practice moderation in all aspects of our life, from the food we eat to the activities we do. Whenever I teach Brahmacharya, I alway think about this other yogic concept that is mentioned in the Yoga Sutras, abhyasa and vairagya. Abhyasa, simply put, is effort. Vairagya, again simply put, is surrender. When we are walking the middle path or the path of moderation, we have to find that sweet space between effort and surrender in our lives.
I sometimes have a challenge with this concept of Brahmacharya (moderation), as well as abhyasa (effort) and vairagya (surrender). I have this thought pattern that says if I'm not doing something with 100% effort, or if it's not going to be 100% perfect then why bother at all. This comes up a lot when I practice meditation. I start to think that I don't have enough time or I just can't get my mind to settle, so it's already wrong from the start and I should give up.
Ultimately, there is a lesson here. Walking the path of moderation is so much easier said than done. Brahmacharya encourages us to begin walking a path of path of contentment so that we may live a life of balance and harmony. When I decide to meditate, or do anything else really, I choose to see my practice for what it is today. It may look different tomorrow, a year from now, ten years from now, but none of that matters. I choose to find my middle path, to find presence, to not live in excess or in deprivation.
You are enough, you are always enough.
"Strength and vitality come to those who use their energy for the greatest good." Sutra II.38