How DO you see your world? Is it a place filled with love and light and joy? Or is it threatening, angry, frightening and full of pain? Maybe it is a sprinkling of both, depending on the “situation.” For most of us, it is not “black and white.”
There is a Siddha Yoga guru who has deeply influenced my life. I never met him while he was in his body, alive in the world, but he surely made his presence known in the most surprising and creative ways. It seemed as if he “lived” at my house, in my yoga room, for many years. His name is Swami Muktananda and he said this:
People become what they are according to the attitude they hold in their mind, and that attitude is what they project into the world. Whatever worth you yourself have, you project that around you, and that is what you see.
In one of his lighter writings he said that you have your own set of glasses and that is how you see the world, so be sure you have the right prescription. I think of this as a bit of yogi humor.
Do you realize that the way you see the world is different from the way everyone else on the planet sees it? Your “world” is colored and influenced by every experience you have ever had. And what you “see” can be altered and changed. You have the capacity to change how you relate to what you see. You can see the world anew and bring forth that which nurtures and comforts you, that calls forth the depth of your spiritual being.
We are speaking now about the sense of sight — what your eyes “see” — as well as your emotional reactions. Most of us take all of this for granted. All of this happens “to” us. But STOP NOW! There is more to this than “meets the eye.” Later this week, I will write about pratyahara, an important limb of true yoga which deals with the control of the senses. But, for now, we have something to try.
“SEEING” YOUR WORLD
Think of all that you see around you, the objects that take up space and flow around you. Much of this may seem out of your control — what you see as you drive your car, the people walking around you on the street, those who surround you at work or school or in your own home. In time, we will learn to practice the “art” of equanimity, staying in balance no matter what surrounds you. You can, for now, choose to surround yourself , as much as possible, with a circle of that which is positive and uplifting..
- Right now, do some inventory, We are learning about sensory input. What your eyes see, in this case. Think about it. What do you see around you when you wake up? In your kitchen? In your office? Are there visual items that are agitating to you? That make you uncomfortable? Do you turn on the news and see (usually, over and over again) images that upset you and make you angry or uncomfortable? Do you do the same on your computer? Become aware of what you voluntarily bring into your field of vision.
- Now think of what you can change or improve in your surroundings. What can you actually put there? Perhaps you will choose a photo of someone you love. Each time you see it, it brightens your mood. Maybe a soothing piece of artwork, of nature, of something with spiritual presence. How about an object that makes you smile that sits on your desk or kitchen counter. Be aware! Begin putting into your presence those “things” that can make you lighter and happier. That is, after all, the purpose of this course.
- Now begin to delete and replace. Let your sense of sight serve you in a spiritual way. You need not be some “victim” of circumstance in these matters. Turn off the TV if is unsettles you. Shake things up. See what happens.
I used this method to good effect in helping my elderly mother. Whenever she went to the hospital or was ill in bed, I made a special effort to put family photos near her bed, to add flowers, and objects she could see whenever she opened her eyes. It was a little gift, so, if I wasn’t there, all of these reminders of love were there, all the time. I even found a stuffed toy, a Siamese cat to lie with her on the bed, in lieu of the much beloved real, live Siamese cat she had to leave at home. Did all of this help? I like to think so.
Use your own personal history. Be creative. What could you be seeing right now that will bolster your happiness and joy? It may seem like a small thing, but, believe me, it is not!
I would be eager to know what you choose and how you are using the sense of sight. We can all learn from one another! Let’s share!
With love and namaste, Deanne