Well, when you have to and want to and time means nothing but a reference point to keep score, and what is really important is that you do it and somehow find what you were looking for. Then, all of it doesn’t matter except that you climbed the mountain inside of you. We share busy lives and yet once in a while it’s nice to put into words what the heart knows and the mind struggles to accept. But, then again, that is the path. So just enjoy it!
When you know you have to give your best, yet you don’t know what to say or where to go with the conversation; there is only one thing to do and that is to tell your own story. If you are a teacher, this happens to you every time you place yourself in that situation. You could be a lecturer at a university or someone who is responsible for the livelihood of others, nevertheless, the challenge is there: what can you say to awaken in them the desire to learn or find inspiration in their work so that today is remembered and those same people before you are thankful for the moment? When you think about it, the idea of giving your best becomes an over-powering idea that allows you to sail past the doldrums of the commonplace and touch excellence, which is nothing more than recognizing the moment for what it can be and living to its expectation.
I found the practice of yoga and in particular Kundalini Yoga, almost 49 years ago. It was key to my education and growth as a young man. I suppose that is why I still love it. You will be surprised, perhaps, that it isn’t about the fact that I still practice yoga or that it is in my life, but rather that it opened in me the desire to think about the deeper meanings of life and living. I sometimes wonder why I am so obsessed with this unending search for meaning in life? Anyway, I’m grateful that someone touched me on the forehead and gave me the mantle to wear to the best of my ability.
We were searching for enlightenment back in those days when life was freer and there were less encumbrances to slow us down. The word sounded good, we wanted it, yet, we had no idea what it would mean in the end. It was about consciousness – seeing and believing in something beyond the ordinary. And it was about growing in maturity as a man or a woman and assuming that responsibility for what would come later. Soon, you too would have to show the way, and that would become your responsibility. We didn’t understand the full scope of what was laid before us during those sunny days on the grass – our long hair blowing in the wind practicing breath of fire with arms reaching towards the sun. We weren’t meant to either for it was too early on and our education wasn’t complete. All we had was our imagination and that sustained us.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
We hoped for a ray of light to enter into us, to find the Guru (the teacher) inside of us, yet still there was lots of work to do in order to clean out the cobwebs from the mind and the endless confusion that makes up who we are as individuals. But, in spite of all that, we did let our imagination encircle us and I think we still follow it. For we are the dreamers of a new age just as John Lennon sang about. We hoped for a world different from the one our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers inherited, one that was based on peace and social acceptance for everyone. Perhaps, we didn’t know if our efforts would make a difference, but the thought of living the changes we wanted to see was enough for us. Just maybe, it was what enlightenment was all about?
We are here for a purpose, at least, this is what I have come to believe. To be able to learn from our mistakes and our failings as human beings, and to become aware of our response to life as life happens to us.
The life is living you, now! Can you hear it?
This path of yoga teaches that learning is everything. It is the only thing that dispels the fact of “not knowing” or ignorance. Ignorance is thought to be the cause for our missteps through life and our suffering. It is the basis for our Karma or lessons of life left unlearned. In the process, I learn that there is another side to truth. I learn that others too are trying to make sense of their own lives. Who among us does not want to feel good about the direction his or her life is taking. We learn that belief begins with belief in oneself and that it is contingent on your being responsible for how you feel and where you want your life to go in the future.
Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.
Perhaps, the hardest lesson to accept is that individual happiness doesn’t depend upon others or certain things happening to you in your life. It just depends upon you. This idea becomes the foundation of your happiness. The process is rather simple. Sit in a place that is free of distractions and start asking of yourself the questions that will naturally well up in you like water from a well. You don’t even have to worry about them being the right questions because just the fact that you are asking is enough. They will be the right questions for now.
Am I happy? Can I look back at all the turns my life has taken and say now, I am grateful for where I’ve been and who I am now? And if my heart wants to say something more to you, can I find the right words to tell you? What do I need to prosper as a human being and to live to the fullest? If I could have everything, how would I live tomorrow?
All things that come to you, belong to you, if you can create the capacity to receive them.
The teacher said to deserve before you desire. This idea of what do I deserve to have in life is so incredible, so earth shaking, it almost goes beyond any rational capacity I might have. It asks me to undo all the past psychological conditioning that has defined me up to now. Others can be rich and successful and so can I. Others can have true love and so can I. I can find fulfillment in my life and so can others. I am content with who I am right here and now, and so can you be. The idea being that the universe, hence life, is full of abundance and there is enough for everybody.
This perennial idea of yoga cements the idea of abundance and asks you to work on all the layers of your personality. There is an obvious need to contribute to society, so find what you can do and do it with love. To develop a loving nature and to be able to receive expressions of love is a dream as old as man himself. Therefore, find where love resides in you. Spirit – inspiration – is what moves you to value yourself and to act on your dreams. Nurture your spirit. Yoga talks about unlocking true potential and bringing that out in you. That is the science! When you first hear of what it is and the proposition that it lays out in front of you – you are naturally intrigued. How can you not be? Someone is telling you and showing you how to be something more than you thought possible for you.
As a teacher of this science or as a long-time practitioner, you have to keep questioning and looking for new answers to those same old questions about self. After all, it is what you do and why you started the practice in the first place. Each time you practice, each time you sit to meditate, each time you chant the mantra that opens your heart; you are reaffirming your commitment to the process of finding yourself. It is this incredibly interesting path towards self-discovery.
I sought myself
Yoga is the dawn that saves each day from the darkness of the night. It is the awakening of thought that unites your inner reality and undeniable truth with your personality for all to see. You come to know that something called the Atma exists, that spirit exists, and that it is spirit that unites us all. For it is only through my own understanding that I come to understand your path too and that we all are in this together.
The guest is inside you, and also inside me; You know the sprout is hidden inside the seed. We are all struggling; none of us has gone far. Let your arrogance go, and look around inside.
Yoga is the lighthouse for the mariner out at sea. Yoga is the first rays of light for he who tends the fields. Yoga is the door that opens showing you a whole new world before you. Yoga is the beginning and doesn’t pretend to be anything more than that. Yoga is just love as you begin again each new day.