January 10, 2012

The Invitation of Yoga.

The invitation of yoga is to live as Unity.

And to accept this invitation, we must be willing to radically step beyond our egoic conditioning; which is an audacious task. We will never get beyond our limited sense of self without the practice and  discipline of questioning our mind; how it works, how it operates and processes information and expresses itself in the world. If we are going to live in unity; as an expression of unity, then we must give up our divisive tendencies and movement of our minds.

So we begin to ask questions like, “can we live beyond judgements and limited perspectives?” This is quite a radical stance from the perspective of the egoic mind. One of the main jobs of the mind is to define the world. And as long as we continue to give our mind permission, it will continue to put the world in a box. And we will continue to live in the trance of our self created dualistic virtual reality. And this reality is the world of good and bad, right and wrong, black and white. Our mind does this in order to keep us safe; and that is all that matters to our ego. Its’ job is to keep us safe. But if we want to be free, we must be willing to go beyond who we think we are. We need to go beyond the safety and security created by the insistence on keeping the world packaged up in a safe little box.

What if, when we walked into a room instead of labeling this person beautiful and that person ugly, this person safe and that person bad; we walked into a room and saw Unity.

What if we saw things for what they are in their totality. What if we resisted the urge to comment on each and every person. I know that I have walked into yoga class and quickly scanned the room and allowed my mind to comment on each individual. As I sat there, I experienced my own pettiness. And I grabbed a seat in the back, so no one would judge how unflexible I am. (I am usually the most unflexible person in the room). As long as I give into my judgments of others or judgements of myself; I become very small inside. Isn’t this our experience?

Fortunately for me, I have studied with a teacher who always saw the best in me. His vision of me came from a hugeness of compassion. He looked at me from a place beyond the mind, and was able to see my Divinity. And through years of being reminded of my own innate goodness, something opened beyond my mind. And I received this gift of being able to see and experience this Divinity in unimaginable ways.

And this is the invitation of Yoga. To allow our judgmental mind to break open into a mind that does not have a perspective; that does not see the world in black and white, beyond duality. From the perspective of our limited thinking minds this is impossible. And that’s what the invitation is to be and realize. It comes from joining the impossible; stepping out of the mind and not into a different part of our mind, but actually out of the mind and into a vision that is beyond the mind. Imagine looking into the mirror and seeing Beauty; not beauty defined by Glamourmagazine, but a deeper, richer, Divinity pouring out of your own eyes. Imagine walking into a room of people and seeing Beauty pouring out of everyone. Imagine walking outside and seeing the vastness of the sky and the radiance of Life in everything. It is quite a different reality.

Of course there is a time and a place for our egoic judgmental vision. If you feel unsafe, leave the situation; this is wisdom. If someone looks creepy, stay away from them. Evolution, Life, God (whatever you want to call it) has worked hard to give us a mind that keeps us safe. But for most of us this mind is working on overdrive, constantly putting the world in a box of good and bad, right and wrong, us and them. What if we stepped out of this. Just like when we lay in Chavasana or corpse pose, we are not judging anyone. We are laying and resting in our own Beauty and radiance. But this vision does not need to stop when our teacher says Namaste. This vision is actually here all the time, if we allow it. How would our life change if we stepped out of our conditioned mind and into our Hugeness. What would happen if we relaxed into our Beauty, how would we see the world? Who would we become?

Photo credits: © Pat Young/lululemon athletica 2011

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