Imagine yourself reading this blog post. You've read so many before. Especially ones about yoga. You're already under the supposition that there's no difference between this one and the ones you read before. You question its author, their experience, and how authentic they might be. Once you've built up a framework of expectations, you begin to read. But even before you read the first word, you're already leaning toward how you feel based on how you want to feel.
By the time you finish, you have essentially read your own emotional state, and ignored the message itself. The words on the page have been left untouched.
It seems all of life operates in the same fashion. From the moment we step out the door of our own comfort, we decorate the world in our suppositions. We fashion the town and people we live among in our own tailored ideas. And we do it for a variety of reasons. The most primitive reason is our need to interact. The most subtle reason is our need to run away. The older we get, the less the world is available to be itself. More and more, the world becomes just a unique and abstract reflection of our own self. Eventually, all the people, and the life around us, is just ourselves, and not really them.
But its actually quite easy to break this cycle. The key is learning how to embrace uncertainty. Instead of fighting and running from the things we can't understand, we just let them be. And not just in an intellectual sense, but in an emotional sense. So instead of saying, "I don't know", we go further and and let ourselves feel without discrimination. You're basically allowing your perception room to breathe. So life can still surprise you.
Recently, an amazing Jivamukti yoga teacher, Tomo Okabe, once explained to me that every class is a beginner's class. So that even if you're physically adept, or have read all the sutras, or if your heart is as humble as water, you still should approach every class as an absolute beginner. In this way, the most introductory yoga class for a veteran student becomes an advanced class. Because the class will challenge your ability to see uncertainty among the most certain things.
When the world becomes absolutely uncertain, our only means of interacting with it is through improvisation. And improvisation is the cornerstone of allowing the most subtle notes of our consciousness to reveal themselves. This is the very first step towards learning who this mysterious self is before its stained by our fears and suppositions. Our true self, one constantly at play and in loving service, waits for us beneath our ego's many masks.
We can entertain this original purity to reveal itself by any means of improvisation. Whether it's dancing, freestyling, painting, all of these crafts originate from the process of not knowing. The more we can express these impulses, the more we can understand the subtler ticks of how we work, why we move, what we're attracted to. This is a huge milestone in our self-development, because then we can start directing ourselves from a subtle, more paramount place in our lives. ॐ