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October 08, 2009

Through The Eyes Of A Child

It has been a little over 2 months now since Issa emerged miraculously from his mother's womb. The energy of pure wonder that he has brought with him continues to blow my mind countless times during each day.

All the preconceived notions that I had before he was born have been all thrown by the wayside and it their place stands the dazzling luminescence of the present moment and the glories that are contained in the eternal now.

Whenever I speak about yoga, I often mention how important it is to continuously reflect deep within on the nature of the essential Self by inquiring, "Who am I, really?"

For most of us, the endless layers of beliefs, opinions and preferences embedded strongly in our minds act as a kind of impenetrable veil through which we interact with the world. These mental and emotional conditioned patterns either mildly or strongly interrupt our capacity to experience life purely and without prejudice.

Now, what happens when you are only able to perceive reality through thick mental filters is that you lose the ability to see clearly and to be present with much of the wonder, magic and massive amounts of kinetic energy (also called Shakti) that is intrinsic to all of life.

Spiritual ignorance is when you think you are experiencing life directly, when in fact; your experience is dominated by mental constructs that are mere fabrications of the mind and ego. And although these fabrications of the mind are mostly imaginary in nature, they also have tremendous power, as they are imbued with our very own consciousness.

The supreme blessing that being close to a child brings is that your attention is drawn so strongly into the present moment that the mental patterns that had previously clouded your perception of life are temporarily suspended. When these mental patterns are pierced in any significant way, there is a whole new capacity to experience the world much more directly.

Most of us, when we grow older, develop more and more preconceived notions about who we are, what we are capable of doing or not doing and just what constitutes good and bad, right and wrong. These preconceived ideas are constantly shaping our emotions, moods, behavior and in fact, the very way that our personal and spiritual power is expressed in the world. Depending on the tenacity of these conditioned mental and emotional patterns, many of us quite literally, "shut down" our heart and soul. Thus, we begin to live our lives with decreasing amounts of passion, joy and engagement.

Our yoga and spiritual practice is designed to break through these conditioned patterns so that we can once again have an experience of our selves and our lives that is more pure and direct.

Issa's presence in my day-to-day life has had a profound effect in this way. The purity and strength of his life force has deeply penetrated and interrupted many of my ideas that had about my life and myself. Since my attention is less entangled in my own mind and much more centered in the present moment, I have so many more moments of pure wonder and am seeing myself and the world around me with a whole new perspective. I am inquiring much more deeply and spontaneously about what it means to be human and the inherent power and possibilities of each moment of the day.

Somehow my reactions are less programmed. I am much more reflective with my choices, even the simple ones like what to do with my time moment to moment throughout the day. As a result, there is a greater access to the spiritual power that is inherent in each moment. I can see things and feel things that previously had been too subtle for me to pick up on.

This does not mean that there are still many moments when I notice the addictive and reactive elements of my own mind and ego. It is just that there is an opening and a clarity that I do not remember having.

As Issa grows older, it will be interesting to see just how this newfound perspective evolves and changes. We will just have to wait and see. For now, however, it is remarkable for me to see just how powerful the experiences are that in front of me right now. I truly never imagined just how the presence of this child would have had such a profound effect on my spiritual life.

Next time, you are close to a child, no matter if that child is your own or someone else's, see if you can allow the purity of the child's experience can bleed into your own. Bring your own attention as fully into the present moment as possible and allow your awareness to uncover the layers of preconceived ideas that you have about yourself and the world. What would the experience in front of you be like without any prejudices and preferences? What would the experience in front of you be like if you were to experience it as a child who has seen something for the very first time?

If you are like me, a whole new world will open up to you. You will begin to see life more in the fullness of its own essence. Life in its more original state, free from ideas and beliefs, is one that shines with a divine light that is ripe with the most amazing possibilities. You will begin to realize that the light that you see in front of you is none other than your very own Self.

Hari OM!

Govinda

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