Monday, July 23, 2012

Standing in sameness

In Ashtanga we start our Samadhi (practice) in Samastitih, or even standing. Both words start with the root Sama which means same, equal, even. I think this gives the practice a beautiful twist, starting in a place of sameness, we come together to our mats to practice in sameness. This sameness does not refer to being the same on the outside, we are not all wearing the same yoga clothes, or all have the same yoga mats; it refers to something deeper within, a sameness that stands beyond the layers of the self that responds and is effected by such things as emotion, mood, weather…it is the self that resides at the heart of our being, our eternal soul, Purusha. This self is what we come to practice with, to discover, we open our hearts, we stand in sameness because we are all here to shed or burn through the layers that cover the Purusha, which give us the illusion we are all different.
When someone asks us how we are, we often respond referring to the momentarily state of being, such as im tired, I'm happy, I'm sad…but these are all passing emotions, they are like clouds covering the sun, we identify with them because it is what momentarily covers the light of the Purusha but this is not the natural state of our being. 
A steady Samadhi, or practice is helpful because it allows us to settle down, to sit, to settle. Sitting down you watch those emotions pass like clouds and then once they are gone you realize you are still sitting there, standing in sameness. A great teacher, Lady Ruth, was referring to the story of a lake that is very turbulent, there is a treasure in the lake but you cant see the treasure because of the turbulence, and so you think you are the turbulence, because you cant see the treasure beneath.
Lift up some of those things that are there congesting you and there is the state of yoga, of unity of sameness.

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