Saturday, July 9, 2011


"Nirvana means pacifying, silencing, or extinguishing the fire of suffering.  Nirvana teaches that we already are what we want to become.  We don't have to run after anything anymore.  We only need to return to ourselves and touch our true nature.  When we do, we have real peace and joy." 

from Thich Nhat Hanh's book The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy and Liberation 

Remember the five koshas?   When we sit comfortably in our body and we relax the body (anamaya kosha), we can more easily notice the breath.  When we notice our breath - long, deep, full, and slow; we see that it ignites our prana, our life force energy and we can enjoy the subtle vibrations in the body (pranamaya kosha).   With the body relaxed and with awareness on the breath and the vibrations in the body, the mind (manomaya kosha) has an inward focus and can begin to quiet from all the storytelling that causes us to suffer.  As the mind quiets from these obstacles, the gateway to the deeper koshas is open to reveal our wisdom (vijnamaya kosha) and our bliss (anandamaya kosha).

This yogic concept takes us into this definition of nirvana.  Our wisdom and bliss, our deep peace and feeling of connection to all beings and forms, is our true nature.  Realizing we contain the universe within us - the power and light of the sun, the cool and soothing nature of the moon, the beauty and openness of a flower, the solidity of the mountain - we know that we don't need to chase after anything.  We have the resources within -including the wisdom of when to ask for help - to enjoy all the wonders of this life and to navigate through the suffering. 

Remember your sangha (community).  You are not alone.  The community of your family, your yoga class and studio, your meditation group, the teachers and teachings you find in your inspirational reading, supports you on your way.  We walk together on this journey in the footsteps of those who came before and inspire us, and showing the way for those that follow, shining our own light of inspiration for others.  Yes, you are a light!  Let it shine.

"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine"

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