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a sample from archived thoughts of the month – march 2014

Tada drashtu svarupe avasthanam: Abiding in our true nature

Happy March! As we enter spring and the season of growth, it’s a good time to revisit sutra 1.3: Tada drashtu svarupe avasthanam. When, by reaching a state of yoga (wholeness), the mind has been cleared of its modifications from stress, history and ego, then we reside (avasthanam) in our own true nature (svarupe). Last year we adopted a new cat. At the time, she was extremely shy, afraid of people and other animals, and had clearly had some bad experiences. A year later, she is the most affectionate cat I have ever had.

But she hasn’t become someone new: she’s returned to her true self. She could not become so loving if the seeds of that nature weren’t within her! Her fear and mistrust were the result of negative experiences. With patience and dedication to clearing away those negative patterns – showing her that she was loveable and she was safe – she has bloomed into who she always was underneath her troubles and stress.

Our yoga is in the service of this svarupe, this true nature. Philosophy also tells us about anandam, or bliss – that love and joy are part of this true nature. To feel joy, we don’t have to become something different or new. The flower, while receiving the support of the earth, the sun and the rain, does not fault itself for not being a tree. And we don’t need to turn it into a tree! We just need to weed the garden of the negative thoughts and habits that block our own growth and freedom, and find the light and support needed to grow. To become more strongly and joyfully our true selves, and transform into who we were always meant to be.

Enjoy the coming of spring! Hari om, om tat sat.

For past newsletters / practices of the month, click here.