did the rose
ever open its heart
and give to this world all of its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light against its being,
otherwise we all remain too
This poem from Hafiz is one of my very favorite poems, in large part because I believe it relates so well to how to live our lives as yogis.
FEELING THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF LIGHT
I usually end my yoga classes with folded hands, bowed head, and “Namaste.” For me this is an acknowledgement of the place of light and love. This is how I think of my innermost self, and the essence of all beings. Beyond stretching and strengthening our bodies, yoga is intended to help create a connection to, and experience of, that place of light. Our yoga practice creates that connection, which may be felt clearly and consciously like the light of the sun, or may flow more undetected like an underground river. That connection allows us to feel the encouragement of the source light. Our lives begin to open and flow more smoothly, being fed from this source.
OTHERWISE WE ALL REMAIN TOO FRIGHTENED
One of the saddest things for me is to see a shriveled rose bud that has never opened.
Many of us keep our buds closed, we are frightened for whatever reason. Perhaps we were taught to do so, or it feels safer.
Although fear can be useful in some situations, it often acts as an obstacle in our lives, along with a whole lot of other baggage we carry around, all our habitual patterns. When we connect with the source light, that encouragement helps us face those fears, choose to move through them. The challenges begin to resolve, sometimes consciously, but sometimes just naturally and without our notice. That connection creates an en-courage-ment, courage to move from our hearts.
GIVE TO THIS WORLD ALL ITS BEAUTY
When we become connected to source, we naturally want to live our lives fully, and express our own individual gifts, whatever they may be. The rose simply blooms. The mother fully express her love to her child, the scientist begins to see the cause and effect connections more clearly, the writer can articulate more fully. Your smile radiates the inner light. We each have something beautiful and unique to give to this world, and the world desperately needs us to do so. There cannot be too much beauty, especially in this time when society seems to feed off negativity.
BE THE LIGHT OF ENCOURAGEMENT
In this world full of negativity, I feel it is so important for yogis to be the encouragement of light. Not in a surface or play-acting saccharine way, but to truly be pillars of light. . We each must first maintain our connection to essence, then let that stream through us in all our activities. In this way, we encourage and inspire others, help them connect to source, build the strength to face their fears, open their hearts, and give to this world their beauty.
How/what makes you feel the encouragement of light in your life?
What keeps you frightened?
How can you engage more in activities that support connecting with the light rather than inducing fear?
How can you give your beauty to the world? What are your gifts?
How can you encourage others, and therefore be the light that allows others to bring forth their beauty?