In the Mahabharata, a 2400 year old epic from ancient India, there is the story of an archery competition.
Dronacharya, the teacher, wants to discover who is the Kingdom’s best archer.
A bird in a tree is used as the target.
The teacher gathers together the greatest warriors with their bows and has each of them take a turn stepping up to the plate.
Dronacharya then asks each of them, before they make their effort, “what do you see?”
“I see.... the tree, the other archers, my teacher, my bow and arrow, the bird...”
The various warriors proceed, one by one, to answer his question, describing everything that they see.
Dronacharya has each one step down without even shooting their arrow.
When Arjuna is called up and asked this same question, “what do you see?” Arjuna responded - “I see the eye of the bird.”
Permission was finally granted, the bow drawn, and the arrow sent directly to its bullseye.
This more than two-thousand year old parable tells us the importance of a clear and focused directionality to our goal.
6 years ago I was traveling through Central America, in Panama to be exact. I had a clear goal but no clear steps.
I followed a series of (apparent) synchronicities and coincidences and ended up first in India and then to Southampton, UK, where I was exposed to the systematic methods of Hatha Yoga as taught by my teacher Steve Harrison of the Yoga Sanctuary.
***You can read a little bit about this in my
previous blog post “The Role of the Teacher”.***
I’ve made the return to Southampton several times now, and each visit seems to reveal a little more of the path to me.
In some ways the path forward seems unclear and even a little confusing or daunting; in other ways I feel empowered and confident in my steps. I have my practice to thank for that, and the faith I have in my teacher and the methods of yoga that are supporting this journey I am on. (yogasanctuary.co.uk)
Although I’m no master, and I’ve definitely missed far more times than I’ve made the mark... I am no longer a novice.
I continue to develop respect for what may be required of me on this path, and I am understanding more and more what’s at stake.
As the destination becomes clearer, so does the road become narrower.
Mistakes become more costly.
The precious resource of life-force energy — this incredible force which is manifesting our lives and with which we co-create our reality — is all-important.
Denial of this or suppression, repression of oppression of it leads to soul sickness.
I gratefully reflect now on my time spent in Southampton as I leave for London and I consider the blessings that life has brought to me as a result of my focus on the underlying intelligence of it (Life). This life-force energy — what the yogis call prana — which makes the trees grow, our eyes shine, biology to proliferate, and DNA to unwind into the next cellular package... the intelligence of life which makes everything function according to some Great Pattern.
The path is beyond me and yet it is the very air that I breathe.
The Truth is not far away nor is it buried under thousands of hours of yogic meditation. It is right beneath my nose . It is in the rebound of my step on the Earth, and in the depth of my listening heart, where I receive guidance from the whispering wind and the warmth of an invisible radiance.
I am a child of the mystery — I always will be. But I am growing to become a steward of the mystical way. The enlightened way. A sincere and honest spiritual seeker. Never a master, always a student. Making mistakes as any human might, but hopefully learning from them and trying to make less as time goes on.
I give so much thanks to those who’ve gone before and have suggested the possibility to us. To the beautiful demonstrations of Divine potential made manifest.
I pray that, in the world of watered down spirituality, our sacred traditions will be kept alive ... that there will be small communities of aspirants dedicated to the preservation of this sacred wisdom.
I know that if we value keeping these fires burning we must do our part to cultivate and refine and fall in love with the natural ways.
This is my intention and I invite you to join me. Whether or not you are silently reading this and in the sidelines. You have a special importance on this Earth. May you — May we All — awaken to our highest potential and link up with that Supreme intelligence which govern the whole thing.
May We all do our part to contribute to the Cosmic Plan.
Thank you Steve for always reminding me what that look like and what it takes to do so. How to be truly — TRULY — in service. Wow.
... and, of course, thank you for reading 🙏 hopefully this inspires the life-force in you.
Go forth and generate some shakti for the well-being of All.
with love and prana (from London),