Your Universe vs. THE Universe
Imagine yourself standing in a big field looking at the horizon.
We all know the earth is round, but try to imagine how it might have seems to our ancestors! To think the world is flat today is crazy, but it sure looks that way when your standing in the middle of a vast plane, with the land stretching out forever and the sky meeting in the distance. To believe the earth was anything but a flat slab would have been odd.
Today we have the benefit of perspective. Some very insightful thinkers pondered the place of the earth in the universe and after careful study and testing, they called into question the reigning orthodoxy of their day. Though they were derided at the time, their insights were eventually shown to be correct. One thing to remember is that the earth did not become a sphere only once we recognize it, it was always that way, despite how it appeared. Today, there may be many beliefs we hold as obviously true, as plain as the flat earth we are standing on, that my turn out to be something quite different once our eyes have been shown a new perspective.
The sanskrit term for wisdom, pure or true knowledge, is
In contrast, I think I see something correctly and find out later that I was wrong.
This is Avidya.
A fundamental blindness about reality
Avidya is making an assumption on incorrect knowledge and then make a judgement about it.
In T.F.V. Desikachar’s book, The Heart of Yoga he suggests that vidya is often concealed, but if we are knowledgable of the obstacles that prevent us from seeing correctly, we can become aware.
The branches of avidya (incorrect perspective) are:
We have an emotion or thought that seems real. Avidya suggest that the way you think or feel is the reality. The self is clouded and you mistake the emotion or thought for the real self. Avidya is the root cause of suffering because it is based on a happiness that depends on something else ~ our Ego and Desires. Avidya covers truth and replaces it with fear and aversion or rejection of a negative memory.
How do we recognize things as they really are?
We must develop, or cause to grow, an awareness to the things you take personally, the judgements you make, the emotions you have. Through practice we develop a sense of the things which make us see incorrectly. In yoga to truly know something, is to have the correct knowledge and clarity about something. Clarity comes from experience in awareness and insight. Yoga teaches us to reduce the cloud of avidya so that true understanding can take place. Yoga says that we are not our thoughts, we are not our judgements, we are not our emotions. The Self is very real and if purified, is where truth lies. There is a calm and quiet place where the true self exists. Deep down there is a place that is not subject to change.
How do we expand our vision?
How do we develop an alertness to the Self?
Learn to Breathe
Breath is what brings life. Essentially, the Universe Breaths for us. You can rest assured that the universe is supporting us. Most of the time we are unaware of our breath because it just happens. Go figure. I can’t wake up in the morning and breathe all my breaths for the day. My Breath sustains me in the moment. You can relax with breath, you can become energized with breath, you can see correctly with breath.
Begin by being aware of your breath and notice the breath come in and out of your body. Immediately you should notice a calmness, a life sustaining force.
Try this Simple Breathing Pattern
Breathe in 4 counts
Hold 4 counts
Breathe out 6 counts
Hold 2 counts
Keep your awareness on your breath continuously. Do 4 – 8 rounds, 1 – 2 times daily. You may increase the length of your breaths depending on your lung capacity.