The Art of Awareness

Yoga stills the movements of the mind, and it is in this stillness that awareness begins to observe itself. When thoughts disturb the lake of the mind, the ripples move across the surface of the awareness in circles spiraling outward, obscuring it's view. Through the practice of yoga, we learn to manually turn off the thoughts, settle the ripples, therein the surface of awareness becomes smooth and clear as glass. 

Peering into the glassy lake, awareness sees her own reflection. This is the meaning and purpose of yoga. For you to observe your true self. Not the self of thought, or of ego, or of identity, the self of awareness, the self of spirit, the universal self. The self reflected back in a shining clear glass lake. The truth, the light. It's shining through each of us. 

The task is not to find the light in yourself, not to search or to seek. The task is to uncover, to remove the walls and habits and thoughts and fears that block the light. The truth hidden by formless shadows. Yoga removes these walls, habits, thoughts and fears one by one. In removal of these objects, we must also face these things, which can be uncomfortable. But once removed, all discomfort dissolves away. 

Truth is freedom. Freedom is discovering who you really are. When you see your reflection and you realize your own nature, the sky will open up to you and tell you all her secrets. You'll dance in harmony with the rhythms and beings of earth. You'll remember you are formless, timeless, limitless, that you are made of love and made to love.

The Purpose of Life

What is the purpose of life? This is the big question. Is the purpose of life to survive? To find a mate? To reproduce? To make money? To travel? To contribute? 

In my search for the truth, I have come to conclusion that the ultimate purpose of life is to love. It's not to be loved or desire love, it's to love everything, to develop compassion for all. To become love. 

The reason our purpose is to become love is because love is the deepest expression of goodness, of respect, of sweet tenderness towards the beings that exist. It's our most compatible vibration. It's the truth of the universe. And although through a trick of perception it appears our universe is made up of an endless variety of separate beings. In reality our universe is just one massive interdependent system. You've heard the quote "we are all one," it turns out it is actually the case. We experience the world in separate bodies but it's all the same energy underneath. Life. All this energy flowing on different scales. From the whirling electrons to humans to galaxies, it's all moving; it's all expressing itself in different forms. And it's all connected, interacting, dancing the great dance of life! If we didn't have bees, we wouldn't have flowers or fruit. If wolves didn't hunt deer, the deer population would explode and destroy the forest. If we didn't have rain, we couldn't grow food to eat. If we didn't have night, the earth would never sleep. If we didn't have stars and galaxies spinning spinning, we'd have nothing at all. 

It's a system of perfect balance, of coexisting beings and forms that all make up the whole. And the spirit which directs it all, the spirit which blooms as rose, buzzes as a bee, howls as a wolf, dreams in the nighttime and spins endlessly as stars and suns and planets, that spirit which lives and dies in a human body, which feels and thinks and learns, who falls in love, who's heart breaks, who dances and dreams, who toils and celebrates, that spirit in each of us, some call it nature, others call it God. 

Yet although we are all one gigantic flowing organism with one underlying spirit, we are also this energy split into a literal endless variety of forms. A tree is not a flower, a fish is not monkey, a mountain is not a star. And like the snowflakes, each entirely unique in its shape, we forms are each unique, each with our own unique personality and essence. So we are one and we are many. Infinite many. And so to exist together, to make it all work between this countless number of forms, we have love. 

Being from the vantage point of humans, we get around 75 years at a time as this form. We can see tiny grains of sand as well as huge stars light years away (although from our vantage point they appear the same size, we have learned that they are not.) We have the earth as our home, the animals as our friends, the ocean our playground, we have cities and wide open spaces, we have created societies, currencies, language, technology, philosophy. We are born, we live and we die. This can all be a joyous celebration or it can be a heavy burden. From our limited perspective we might wonder what is the point of it all. We might forget that it is all a great dance, that grass was meant for bare feet, oceans for swimming, music for playing, life for loving. We may fear death, the great sleep, although everything dies, every single thing, as part of the dance. Trees rot, stars go dim, mountains wash into the sea, people die. So we often struggle against death, deciding it's the opposite of life, and spend our time protecting ourselves from it, running swiftly from the inevitable end of our current unique form in the endless variety of forms. 

It's our vantage point, separately formed, separately experiencing life, that creates the fear of death. If we can begin to look at life on a grander scale, we'd see that you are me and I am you. And that this new expanded viewpoint extends to all forms, from a grain of sand to a supernova. The underlying spirit is the same. We have just been sectioned off into ant and zebra and grass and sky. This sectioning off simply allows spirit, nature, God to experience itself, to move, to taste, to feel, to exist, to wonder and dance and celebrate infinity. So death it happens is not to be mourned or feared. When someone we love ceases to live, nothing is lost, for the spirit is one. It only danced for a short moment in eternity as that person. Instead of grieving, we should rejoice that this unique form existed at all, and at the same time in all of history as we did. To have our 75 year lifespan overlap with this other being is truly epic. To think we only missed knowing jesus by a couple thousand years. So when someone dies, it's really time for celebration. That we had them for a moment to love. That spirit will take another form in the timeless cycle of endless variety. 

So we are here to learn love. Even to love death, for it is death that allows the universe to create ever more new shapes, new beings. And nothing really dies, it just appears that way in our bodies. We are here to remember what we already know, that the spirit of nature is love And this love is eternal, timeless. We are here to experience this grand system with ever refining perception, to behold a flower, to rise with the sun, to taste the sweetness of honey and feel the sting of a bee. We are here to cultivate compassion for all our brother and sister forms, to live wild and free, to die laughing, to celebrate the luck of existence as we dance the great dance of love with God.