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Is the World In Me?

Stephen in Half Moon Pose in the Lake District

Here I am in Half Moon Pose, Cow Face Pose arms variation, adding to the balance and core strength challenge, from my last trip to Lake Wasdale. Standing with hands gripped, point your foot sideways and lean, engaging your muscles and lateral balance as you go. Posing in front of a beautiful scene, the mountain seems small, and we seem large. And yet we know that really the mountains are huge, and we are relatively tiny. We also know that the universe is vast, possibly without end, and in relation to this great vastness, our tiny existence is certainly nothing to worry about. Contemplating the vastness of the cosmos is used in many yogic and Buddhist meditations, to help us let go of our small frames of reference. And yet, if we consider how we experience life, from the heart rather than the head, we are the centre of the universe, the universe is within us, and if we close our eyes the universe seems to disappear. My head tells me I am nothing really, but my heart tells me, I am everything. I am the ‘I’ through which all this is experienced. Mystical traditions encourage us to use the vastness of the cosmos to inspire us to realise the vastness of our soul. Within us, the yogis tell us, is the light that lights up the sun, and indeed all religions say the same thing, in different ways. Identified with our body, we are very insignificant. Identified with our mind we have greater reach. Identified with our soul, we transcend the world, and identified with our deathless spirit, we are within and beyond everything, flowing with the heart of the universe. Identified with my body, I move through the world. Identified with my soul, the world moves through me. Identified with my mind, I travel through time, from past to future. Identified with my Witnessing Self, there is only now, and I rest eternally, like Vishnu, on a figurative cloud of luminous being.

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