In my own experience, I have found that the answers to most riddles lie in the question being asked. We’ve all asked the biggie, “What’s the meaning of life?” and only very few of us have a little grasp on what we think our lives are about. If we use my little clue and look within the question, we see that the meaning of life is, well, Life. Now you may be thinking that this answer is a little vague or a duh moment, but this is the beginning. I am not claiming that I have figured it all out, but it’s this very foundational question that has sparked the internal yoga journey for many practitioners through out history. A foundation for self inquiry – after all, the foundation is where the yoga begins.
When the foundation of yoga comes to mind in the average western practitioner, many will think of asana alignment, India, and possibly the Vedas or Sutras. There are many different reasons for beginning a yoga journey and each one is personal, that is what I want you to remember. The foundation is your head space, your ether. We should give great respect to our teachers before us and the knowledge we have shared but not hold them as the foundation of your own personal practice. The birthplace in India does not mean an Indian practice is more authentic, there is only authentic practice if you practice listening to your own heart. I’m not saying not to listen to what they have said in the past though. The messages in the sutras and the Vedas are important and they are beautiful. The weight of the message is in absorbable though unless you feel it and have your own experience. The forms in which these messages come either through teacher, readings, or chaos is irrelevant and unimportant. You are your foundation, you are your best teacher. There is a sanskrit phrase, Sat-Sanga, which means to sit at the foot of a sage/guru. The way I perceive this is that there are two ways to do this. The first way is to go and keep the company of an esteemed Guru or Sage. The second, you can sit with yourself. No one is on a higher pedestal than you, not Buddha, not Jesus, not anyone. If a person has reached enlightenment only to say he has beaten you, then enlightenment is wasted on that man.
There is a beautiful story about how life came into existence that I will leave you with to meditate on. Remember, the only cohesive meaning of life, is to live and the rest is personal experience. It is not the names in the story that are important or where the story came from, it’s just a beautiful idea.
Shiva and Shakti were in the ether, entangled in passionate love making. They were so engrossed that they didn’t know who’s arm belonged where, they were one. After a while of this, they pulled apart just to look at each other and you know, boop each other on the nose. Shakti then had an idea and asked Shiva if he wanted to play a game. He nodded yes and as he agreed. Shakti shattered into billions of pieces and said “Find me”. Distraught, Shiva created awareness and began his search within all things to find Shakti.
So according to this, our purpose it to find the love and light within all things- expand on that what you will.
I hope this has given you some food for thought and meditation.
Noelle Potash is a Yoga Student and Yoga Teacher, Fine Artist, Convivial Adventure Seeker, Traveler, Poet and Lover of Life; she likes to talk, write and share experiences that hopefully lead to more questions and more answers.