Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Intangible Yet Knowable

I like to think of myself as a tree. As a tree I am connected to the essential elements of existence. Through the roots I connect down deep into the earth, and through leaves I take in the sun's energy. I flourish as a tree. As a tree I turn inward to experience my internal flow. Water and nutrients come up through me (I feel this), and sun rays descend and bless me. I feel warmth coming in. Internal sensations are important to me as a tree. There's not much movement to distract me from deeply perceiving myself. People may come and hang around for a while, but then they'll be gone. And birds may raise their young and enjoy my branches, but they, too move on... I know that what truly sustains me is my relationship with the basics: earth, sun, rain, air, and spirit--or whatever sense of myself I have.

"The next two stages, Pranayama and Pratyahara, teach the aspirant to regulate the breathing, and thereby control the mind. This helps to free the senses from the thralldom of the objects of desire. These two stages of yoga are known as the inner quests (antaranga sadhana)."
-B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Yoga, fourteenth paragraph of the Introduction.

Going inward might offer the perspective of the tree. A person might see the impermanent nature of relationships with individuals, and see the value of our beautiful earth, sun, water, air, and have a fuller sense of the intangible yet knowable essence of "I".

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