Hello! Well here we are, safely past the mid-point of winter. While flakes are still falling outside, and it’s still anything but warm, I have been feeling a slow pull out of my partial wintry slumber, into the field of action. Is someone out there turning up the dimmer switch, or is something else going on?
The other day, I was having a follow-up conversation with some students who had completed a year-long study program with me. One of them has been working with a book about the creative process. She mentioned that, although technically the book wasn’t related to yoga, she was finding a startling number of correspondences between what she was reading and what she had gathered through her own contemplation of yoga’s wisdom traditions. In fact, to her surprise, the book was even helping her integrate some of the tricker, multi-layered philosophical notions I had thrown at the group, which she had been grappling with.
I was not surprised. This is how it’s supposed to work. Once we have practiced and studied for a while, a shift takes place where yoga is no longer just something located in a certain technique, text, or philosophical idea, something that runs parallel to our lives. Rather, it begins to work from inside, illuminating what we see and engage with outside of us (whether that be a book or a life situation). By the same token, over time, through yoga’s intricate process of both undoing and integration, the outer world – our daily life – begins to affirm, clarify, and often test our understanding of the teachings and path of yoga itself. I think of this as a great ongoing dialogue, a living conversation.
As the dimmer switch continues its slow spin towards increased light, pressing us towards action, may we continue to nourish the dialogue between the inner vision and the outer world.