Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Grand Excavation

   A couple weeks back my theme in my yoga classes was around the yogic principle that comes from the first limb of yoga, the yamas, satya, or truth. This principle has many layers and subtle nuances but most importantly, as a yoga practitioner, it is what yoga is really all about. All yoga should have as its ultimate goal the awakening of and connection to the true self. The process of doing that can have many expressions and techniques, variety is necessary because every individual has a unique body, a unique set of life experiences, and different blockages and obstacles to confront on this journey of self awakening.

   When I get on my yoga mat or my meditation cushion I enter a space of investigation and curiosity. Every moment of practice is an opportunity to dig into the what is of that moment of experience and breath. The underlying question in this inquiry is , Who am I? Who am I really? In the depths of my inner looking what truth is revealed? It is a grand excavation of an amazing internal landscape.

   Thinking of this process as digging and searching, looking for truth, brought to mind being a kid and playing in my sandbox, imagining I was on a grand adventure in search of buried treasure. It struck me that yoga is or should be just like that! So that week I offered this image to my classes, as how we might choose to enter this practice.

This yoga practice and the search for truth, mine and yours, is like a kid going out to play in a sandbox, searching for hidden treasure. It is fun and enticing, we have our play clothes on, our senses focused, but mind and imagination are open. We get in the sandbox and dig, we unearth many things, all with curiosity and great intrigue. Some things we find are wonderful, old toys we forgot were there, acorns and shiny pebbles. Other times we might hit rock, or a bug or spider might scramble out and fear becomes part of the experience. It is all part of the play, the grand adventure and search for the deeply buried treasure. If we stay the course, no matter from what angle or direction we have come, we will eventually get down to the center and there we will find the most amazing and brilliant jewel, priceless and indescribable in its beauty and splendor.

 Yoga is just like that. We all might have different methods and unique experiences, but eventually we will all arrive in the same place, the truth. The truth that we are shining jewels of love and light, that our deepest contentment and peace are within us and not outside of us. I am in this practice and continue my journey and adventure. I have moments in my digging where I glimpse and feel the purity of that jewel within me, and other moments it feels obscured. The journey is rich, it is fun and delightful, and yes, sometimes it is scary and difficult, but I can't wait to see what I will find next.              

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