Contemplative Nature

Before I realized what I was doing, I was cultivating a contemplative approach to life.  You see, it was natural for me to seek stillness in the chaos of my life, natural to seek light where there was darkness, natural to identify with the infinite when confronted with the finite.  Over the years, some have accused me of “escapism”, saying that I have “run away” from life’s challenges.  To this I can only answer, “Not even the saints and sages have been able to escape the slings and arrows of life.”


As a child it occurred to me that I was auspicious, that life was auspicious.  Not that I was special, because anyone who either has children or has spent time with children, realizes that all kids view the world with such happiness and promise.  Maybe my discovery of Yoga philosophy at the age of eleven allowed me to keep that favorable perspective, even in the face of uncertainty and calamity – which befalls us all as we grow through life – because in my Yoga readings, at such an early age, I was encouraged by the promise of  mercy and metta (loving kindness).


What occurred to me later was that all of us are auspicious, that we are Auspicicus Sapian, or that this is our real identity.  After all, as I rationalized early on, we are all born this way.  And those slings and arrows of life, well those are ego and ignorance, or the darkness that comes over us the further we move away from our auspicious self.


A few years after discovering Yoga (while still in my teens), during meditation, I heard a clear voice say, “In the darkness of our lives, there was a spark of existence”, and in that moment, a light literally came on inside my being.  That fire – that tapasya, that heat, that incandescence – transformed me.  Where there was heat to digest and metabolize the food I ate, now that fire sent the Prana of what I ate and drank through the seal in my head.  Where there was experience there was now knowing, where there was learning there was now perception, where there was past and present there was now Now, where there was deception and uncertainty there was truth, where there was separateness there was shared-ness, where there was many there was now One.


Beyond making a connection, beyond finding higher self, beyond replacing the negative with the positive, there is simply a presence of being, an identity as ‘I Am’.


You see, Yoga means ‘yoking’ or ‘union’ of body and mind.  But it also means the union of the lower self with the higher self, the base nature with the exalted nature.  It is not a matter of bailing out of the troubles of the world but embracing them as part of the larger self. It is not about ignoring or destroying or overriding the lower / ego self, to replace it with the higher self .. but to wed the two.


We all live in the world, along a horizontal line, yet many seek the higher world, along a vertical line.  Life is about living at the intersection of those two.


Prem and Metta!

Yogini Devi


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