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The Stars Seem High, But You Can Touch the Sky

Updated: Apr 20, 2023


Stephen in one-legged forward bend pose with leg lift at sunset

Here I am in One-Legged Forward Bend with leg lift, from my last trip to Aberdovey, in Wales. Despite travelling to many places, the most beautiful light often happens on this Welsh beach, a simple drive away from home. We often make big journeys to discover what we’ve already got close to home, and yoga is actually like that. We move our body in many directions and orientations, but our mind stays where it is. So we focus our mind on one point, and the dot of concentration opens out into a circle of being at whose centre, in the state of absorption, we experience our flowing heart, right where we’ve been all along. In our physical dimension, we are limited. Our body can only be in one place at one time, and we only have so many karmic pathways open to us, at any given time. In our mind we can be freer, but we are still limited. Our thoughts are conditioned by our culture, our history, our perspectives, our challenges, and opportunities, and our mind dissects reality into opposites, which is the story of the garden of Eden, and eating from the tree of knowledge. In our heart, however, we can be free, as feeling can flow without limit. First, we have feelings, and our feelings can travel beyond our body and mind, merging with others, and blending opposites. Deeper than our feelings, is just feeling, which is more like being. Deeper than being, is presence, which is not just within, but also without, like an atmosphere, which Christians call the presence of God, and Hindu’s call the Self. We may see presence as light, we may hear it as a hum, or we may feel it as an electrifying current in deep meditation, or relaxation, or a wonderfully connected physical flow, in which the bright flame of self, flickers on and caresses the pituitary gland in the mid-brain, releasing ecstatic oxytocin hormones.

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