At a time when our culture feels a strong pull to “choose sides” and take a stand for the Ideal Country we want to live in, we are asked to find our voice and cast a vote this November. The influences of divisive tools such as fear, blame, resentment, and degradation can strip us of our voices of virtue and replace them with dissonant expressions of confliction. Let us come together in deep remembrance of our true nature so we can navigate these waters of transition with clarity, grace and understanding.
The word Yoga comes from the root word Yuj, meaning “to yoke” or to unite. For something to be yoked, it must mean there is a perceived separation. But what is separate? What needs uniting?
The 13th Century Sufi Mystic, Rumi, delightfully answers this question when he said, “You are not just a drop in the ocean, you are the mighty ocean in the drop.” Although we see ourselves as individuals, and often experience life as an individual, we must remember the sameness of our creation.
The beautiful part of being human is the complexity of our perceived differences, analyzed by the intellectual brain to create tidy compartments of separation. This type of thinking is critically important to humans and has numerous benefits; although at times creates limitations. The other beautiful aspect of being human is the simplicity of our shared experiences, which are the energetic body dissolving the separation the intellectual mind has created, and returning us to the balanced space of the emotional heart. It’s possible, that in the mind we can feel so very different than one another, and yet in the heart-center we can understand the concept of “Oneness.”
The act of Yoga is much less about creating something we don’t have; it’s actually about remembering our original state. We are Yoga right now! You are Yoga, He is Yoga, She is Yoga. Yes, even that person standing next to you in the poll line, they too, are Yoga. In essence, the yoking is the deep remembering that we are all of the same source. It’s the drop of the mighty ocean returning to the sea, if even for a brief moment of connection. The very first Sutra 1:1 in The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali says, “ATHA YOGANUSASANAM.” Meaning that NOW the exposition of yoga is being made. Not before, not later, but NOW. In each moment, yoga is possible because yoga is our natural state.
The various practices we do in Yoga, such as Pranayama, Meditation, and Asana, to name a few; help to purify the physical and energetic body and help to quiet the “thinking mind” (the Manas and Chitta) and move into the buddhi mind, and when purified; reflects consciousness itself. The process of practicing yoga as a whole system will in time, help the individual who once dwelled in the identity of “I” (the ahamkara) to merge back into the ocean of consciousness remembering the wholeness of which all creation exists. And so it is NOW, we ask you to remember and come together!
Purnamadah purnamidam purnat purnamudacyate
Purnasaya purnamasaya purnamevavasisyate
That is the whole. This is the whole. From the whole, the whole becomes manifest. Taking away the whole from the whole, the whole remains.