Atlantic Beach, 21 September 2009
I remember at certain brief moments throughout my childhood and adolescence I would think about how the world, before our time, was once a vast, empty space...full of nothing and would wonder why it was that people, animals, plants and objects came to exist and fill this pure, uncorrupted space (my private Christian education was wonderful but I could never seem to grasp the whole Adam and Eve thing). What was our purpose? Why were my Mother, Father, family, friends and pets put on this earth? I tried to imagine the expansive nothingness and picture what it was like and when I could finally create a tiny vision of it in my head, I would become afraid...afraid of the solitude, the unknown, darkness and would quickly reach out and cling to the earthly and safe things I knew. Being quite young, I figured that since we, as humans, existed then the divine emptiness must be gone. Our presence destroyed it. It wasn't until my exposure to yogic philosophy and Buddhism where I learned that it's ALL about the emptiness! Believing in emptiness is key to liberation. Not only is emptiness still out there but it is not something that can be destroyed. It is enlightenment, samadhi, god, the soul of the universe, the big picture...titles may vary. It was refreshing to know that harboring those unconventional thoughts as a child didn't mean I was weird, only that I was momentarily contemplating the meaning of life (although some family members might say I was a weird kid ;-)
Luckily, during my yoga practice and meditation I can once again ponder that emptiness, and on a good day even get a tiny glimpse of it without fear or apprehension. Yoga, with its endless lessons, teaches me patience and how to let go. It reminds me that we were created for a beatific reason...to mindfully fulfill our journeys in this life so that we may one day return to the emptiness. Along the way, on my journey back to that emptiness I must learn love, compassion, detachment, mindfulness and so many other truths and principles...I am grateful to be equipped with the compass of yoga and road-map of mediation.