“Even George W. Bush is heading toward enlightenment” paraphrasing Dharma Mittra during a master sadhana in 2003.
Can you imagine the silence in the room. The weight of this conversation. The Trump of the time, moving toward realization… Or perhaps a seed sprouted in their minds.
Something sprouted in my mind. Something clicked hard. We are practitioners of self-awareness and are not strangers to experiential knowledge.
We seek to know. We dive into training programs, classroom sermons, podcasts and deep seated personal practices. We try to understand. At least you think you do. And life happens, slipping from one experience to another.
These moments, off the mat, reveal our truest sense of realization. The living transitions that take us into and away from our truths.
In this moment, as I got off the train in my mind. After attending the master sadhana mentioned above, there was a nausea. Not from the topic but from accumulation of knowledge. It became useless….unless dropped.
Mental shivers from categorical organization into contradictions. Acceptance and faith also made an appearance. Every thought construct was a blinder to clear sight. With it, a residual memory carried to hardened perception.
Do you remember our friend, Arjuna?
The Bhagavad Gita shows Arjuna, warrior and yogi, with foes and brethren on the battlefield. He doesn’t want to fight them. He has the same battlefield of woes in the mind. He doesn’t want to perform his inner duty (dharma). He seeks a different life — that of another person (adharma) with more meaning.
Krishna (God) is continuously showing Arjuna the true form of consciousness. Repeatedly, Arjuna fails to see perfectly. He is clouded by desire and to right something that is wrong. desires a different path.
When we look at stories outside of the Gita, Arjuna is revealed with a great ability of sight. However, the Gita shows how deeply we cannot see if this great warrior and yogi cannot see God before his eyes. Arjuna asks and asks again to see clearly. Think of how deep that is — how deep the misperception can go.
Truth will continue to reveal itself through life.
Mental hardship, the cycle that relates to every ability and inability, is samskara. It can be straight forward or appear in slow cyclical patterns throughout years of your life.
How can we attend to our internal mind when bombarded with stimuli and categories? How can it get clear? How can you cut through the noise?
Dharma proposed a view that was right in front of your face. You could conclude that yoga was not political. It was not just. It was not about activism. Yoga was not about sustainability, accountability, profile, status, ability or even kindness. And it wasn't about postures or yoga socks.
“Even George W. Bush is heading toward enlightenment,” opened us to judgement. There was a desire to right that which was wrong.
It was not about that.
My mind had to drop the need to understand, to fight for attention, and then I began to accept.
I began to cut through the barrage and shift away from perceptions.
I had to allow dropping, forming, reinforcing and shattering again.
You had to take the person right in front of you. The fellow citizen. The stranger. The one you are familiar with and see all the frustration and imperfection. Hold the things that set you off and hold them in the same light you did as the perfection you see in your dear teacher.
You had to love their own plight in the world, conscious or with lack of, moving more in tune with their-self. They too were moving toward enlightenment.
We are ordinary and extraordinary.
Can we see that in each of us there is potential? A potential to evolve beyond our own discolorations and limitations. To transcend concepts of light and dark, into something self-motivating and defining.
All the books I had read, practices I had done, people I sat with did not matter... It was not about how well I could reason. I could not see or pick something up to understand this. It was not about me.
It was about how it all came together and fell apart. It wasn’t even about yoga as I knew it.
It was about trajectory of the soul.
The trajectory of you.