Vishvarupa.

I love yoga because of the way it makes me feel. Breath, movement, focus. Pranayama, asana, drishti. With movement, the oceanic-sounding ujjayi breath is long and smooth drowning out the mind stuff, the citta vrtti. In the pose, it becomes more subtle and everything quiets like the surface water on a lake. I am reminded of those rare days living on the southern California coast when the Pacific Ocean resembled Lake Michigan in the days of my youth and I am humbled. I feel smaller than small, greater than great as the ego settles and comes closer to communion with Self.

Every morning I watch the sunrise overlooking the Tennesse River. Existence, ego, consciousness. Samsara, ahamkara, Purusha. It’s calm glassy surface carried by a swift current fluidly moving everything downstream to the source, the ocean. Nothing stays constant yet everything is the same. Dynamic yet everlasting. There is so much excitement, peace, and relief in the realization that this cosmic manifestation is a chance for our conditioned souls to go back to Godhead, back to home. There is no doubt that the place of freedom– of enlightenment– lies within the infinite palace of the heart within all of us. Persevere on yogis, Namaste.

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Wisdom.

Knowledge is one thing. Abiding in it is another. Steadfast wisdom is a result of unwavering experiential knowledge. It develops from constant reinforcement that strengthens our conviction…through our practice. Every time we show up on our yoga mat the Truth is lit up as the teachings spontaneously present when we need it. And this is no ordinary understanding; with each breath and movement, we polish the lens of our Citta, our mind-stuff, to develop Viveka Khyati, discriminating wisdom.

This perception is not a simple distinguishment of salt from sugar. This is recognizing Truth from the ever-changing names and forms it assumes. A tree is cut into a plank to create a chair that degrades to firewood then burned to ash. The substance is always there; it simply changes form. If we remember this basic Truth we will not attach to one particular form nor find disappointment when it changes. Nothing is lost or gained and in this knowledge is the key to our liberation.

Yoga Sutra 2.26, Vivekakhyatiraviplava hanopayah, is exercising this continuous discriminative discernment as the remedy for our unhappiness. Viveka khyati opens our eyes to realize we are no longer powerless and do not have to accept suffering. It frees us from living stuck in the daily grind of convention and rather become the architects of our own destiny. Through our practice and disciplined inquiry, we make the conscious effort to develop our unique style of surrender that raises our awareness enabling us to separate true consciousness from Maya, the illusion. True consciousness exists in all of us, in everything. Our bodies are just containers for this Spiritual Spark. Imagine we are all gems on a strand and Truth is the thread that is strung through each and every one of us. Shine on yogis, Namaste.