What a blessing music has been to me. When I was a child I was fascinated that by stringing together a few notes the sound produced could either make no sense or could touch my heart. What was is that made the notes melodious and soul stirring? What was the secret behind this? These question lead to a deep inquiry within me, almost like a religious person's journey to find god.
After philosophizing for many years I have concluded that it is better to reject all philosophy. Each moment is so fresh and new and to live with a philosophy is to live by a script. You become an actor fulfilling his or her part in a play, or leela to use a Sanskrit term, without even realizing it.
It seems to me that to be a truly happy and fulfilled person there is a need for self-expression, and that as human beings we have this innate urge to create and to participate in shaping the world around us. We all have the ability to be creative, but how often do we give ourselves the opportunity to do so?
I feel that these last few classes have moved a lot of energy; a lot shifting has been happening, and a lot is being released. Yes, we are in the start of a new year and it's a good time to make changes, but we are also enter a new phase of humanity.
We have all gone through many experiences in our lives that have shaped us to be who we are. Unfortunately sometimes the experiences may have left us feeling like "damaged goods". No one should ever go through life feeling damaged. We are blessed to have been given the sacred teaching of yoga - the science of humanology that heals and uplifts. I have dedicated a significant part of my life to studying the Wisdom of the East and I know the benefits these teaching have brought me. My only wish is to share them with as many people as I can. This is my highest honor and privilege.
One of the key goals of yoga is expansion of consciousness. ("What?!! You mean, it's not to develop great abs, a firm butt, and sweat in a sticky, stinky room that's heated up to 100 degrees???"). Whatever beliefs we hold about ourselves and our place in the universe becomes our truth - a self-imposed, self-perceived reality. As you can imagine, this can be a good thing or it can be a very detrimental thing if the mind moves towards a negative state.
Each day I am convinced more and more that we are entering into a crucial stage of transition for not only human evolution but also the evolution of the earth. I am also convinced that the two, human beings and planet earth, are far more interconnected than most people realize, materially and spiritually. It is almost as if we are the heartbeat of the planet and, conversely, that the earth is our heart.
Have you ever noticed a school of fish or a flock of birds, how they seem to move together in perfect unison, either in air or in water, as if they were one mind?
All the trials that happen in one's life, the sorrow, the misery, the hopelessness, while they may hurt and seem so tangible at the time, are really just illusions. It is so hard to grasp this concept when one is in the midst of pain, but yet this understanding is so vital to attaining inner peace.
Chardi Kala is a term we use in yoga that indicates the mindset that a yogi, and indeed any person on a spiritual path, should espouse. In simple terms Chardi Kala means keeping your mind in an elevated and joyful state at all times and under all circumstances. In practical terms, it means greeting people with a smile, doing your work joyfully, and even when things appear to be going wrong keep a lighthearted and positive attitude.
How do you see yourself? How do you see the world around you? Do you see beauty each day when you arise or do you see conflict, destruction, chaos, helplessness and hopelessness? And what are the dominant feelings you live with each day: happiness, peace, contentment, or fear, anguish, despair, rage?