What would you do if a very special person gave you a block of wood?
I would probably place it next to my bed and just randomly stare at it at night before going to sleep, wondering why would this person give me a block of wood? As a matter of fact I am going to play a bit with my imagination….I see my dad, this wonderful giving, joyful person, that has always believed in me and in my dreams, giving me this block of wood. I can see his joyful and hopeful wish behind his eyes as he hands it to me. I smile back full of joy, my heart opens as I receive the block, as if it actually was the most precious thing one could ever receive…just because of the warmth behind his eyes…its like a transfer of love. Later at home, as his energy kind of wears off the block I start to wonder what I should do with this block, so I call him and ask him….dad why did you give me a block of wood?
I imagine his voice telling me this block of wood can be what I want it to be I just have to look at with an open heart.
I think that now, 3 years after having watched the movie, I understand.
The block of wood is an object. The object itself is just a container. Within the object lives its soul, and the soul of the object is what matters. Once you see past the object and realize the value of it despite its outer appearance, the block of wood will all the sudden make sense and turn into whatever you see in it.
There is a buddhist story about a boy that holds a block of wood. He starts chipping away at it. A person walking by notices him and asks him what he is making out of the block of wood. The boy replies that what he sees in his hands is not a block of wood, but rather an elephant, and so he is just chipping away all the parts of the wood that aren't an elephant.
The elephant is within the block of wood, the boy sees it, and so just takes away what is in the way of it being an elephant.
In yoga we are doing the same thing.
We are chipping away all that is not the inner True Self, the light within, the Atman. The soul that resides below the "block of wood" the outer me or you or anyone. Identifying ourselves with the "block of wood" in itself creates a sense of separation, aloneness. On the outside we are all dressed up in different clothes, with a specific type of body, specific taste, name…yoga aims at what is inside this container, the body, that holds the soul! Why? because what is inside the block of wood, is the same in everyone…the soul doesn't have an identity it is just light, and therefore when we recognize that we no longer feel separate from on another…we find the state of yoga…the state of union.
It's not a block of wood, its what you see inside the block of wood.
In my dad's imaginary block of wood I see light, a radiant yellow white light, and it speaks to my soul, it reminds me I must do all that is in my power to shine that light an share it with others…so anytime I forget that, I gaze at my imaginary bock and I am reminded of my soul…my inner true self, the one below my clothes, my skin, my bones…inside deep in my heart!
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