Liberation, in a yogic sense, is freedom from all the sources of conditioning that bind us to small ways of thinking and being. Liberation means to be entirely awake and fully alive!
I recently read that in Stephen Cope's, The Wisdom of Yoga, and it got me contemplating… What parts of myself are sleeping (am I ignorant of)? And what parts of myself do I keep buried or hidden in the shadows (am I insecure or ashamed about)?
Thinking, thinking, thinking… Observing, analyzing, blaming, trying to make sense of it, judging…. Pause. Breathe. Experience yourself.
In the pause I begin to notice the parts of myself that I have tucked away in the shadows of shame and fear.. They've been locked away by a part of myself that is of judgement and ego... a very limited part of myself. The lens that categorizes things as good or bad, right or wrong, etc… It is this lens, this conditioned way of thinking, that keeps things from the light.
Thinking, thinking, thinking... No thing is good or bad, only thinking makes it so.
As I pause, breath and experience myself; I move away from blaming others or the situations around me; I reflect on my reactions to the outer world as a mirror of my inner world.
I am grateful for this opportunity to discover myself. To bring light into these areas of myself that I have been ignoring or unaware of.
As I courageously step into my own darkness, I experience expansiveness in my heart. My heart grows bigger than my small, limited and judging mind. I am no longer bothered by or fearful of these dark things around me. Because, as I wake up to these parts of myself, I can relate to the outside with understanding and empathy. Instead of fighting it and pushing it further into the dark, I can breathe light into it.
Tamaso ma jyotirgamaya
This the second line of one of my favorite and most used Sanskrit Slokas.
It translates to: From darkness to light.
Remember, it only takes the light of one candle to illuminate the darkness. That tiny little flame. That brilliant, warm flicker of fire. It lights up the entire room.