My teacher once said, “When you understand something all the way down to its core, you understand everything else.” This is one of those time-lapsed lessons, like a photo of the night sky, taken over several hours that shows you in one shot what actually takes a long time to occur.
I’ve alluded to the Gayatri mantra before. It’s a mantra which essentially states that if I truly understood that everything originates from the same source, I would see that everything is integrally connected and therefore I have everything I need. What I’ve been practicing lately is understanding how through my different disciplines of focus and study in life, yoga/mediation, music, and human relationships, I can see the SAME truths manifest whether I’m practicing sun salutations, playing Coltrane on my sax, or learning to truly listen to my wife and life-partner. Like the Gayatri mantra states, understanding something to its core, means understanding that everything comes from that core.
The ancient Yoga Sutras give us insight on how to achieve Samadhi, the fullest experience of yoga when one realizes the connectedness of all things. There are several ways to this goal—the sutras list 8. Through practicing, yoga, and meditation, I’ve come to understand that it’s foolish to think that one can only get the knowledge and wisdom of Samadhi by practicing yoga. Once I get a taste for what it is, I can feel Samadhi in yoga, hear it in Coltrane, I can feel in when my wife and I are truly connected. Sometimes it takes practicing a discipline and arriving at the finish line, or even at mile markers along the way, to realize that there are several paths that could have brought you there.
So knowing that there are several ways to roll, and I get to choose the one that work best for me, I still choose yoga/meditation, music, and love as my pathways to my personal wisdom and fulfillment. And when someone tells me of their passion for their path, be it Pilates, badminton, painting, or death metal (that’s right), I am offered an opportunity to practice listening and compassion to understand how that pathway could bring that soul to the same place. Critics might say that death metal couldn’t possibly bring someone to the same place that yoga or meditation could. To critics, I would proffer: start listening to death metal.
If yoga and meditation speak to you, I’d be honored to practice with you this week. I’m thrilled to have a job where I get to practice and teach one of the very things that brings me toward my highest truth and I celebrate the opportunity to meet like-minded people along the way. And if what takes you there is death metal, my earphones are ready.
Join me this week as we discover together what golden nuggets line our path to understanding our highest selves.