The Ocean

I hear often people saying: I feel quite disconnected from life. What does this actually mean, to be disconnected? 

Let’s say I’m asking someone named Mary why she came to my yoga class. She will probably reply: “Because I want to.” Of course, she might have specific reasons, but, in a nutshell, they will all amount to her choice: “Because I choose to”. It makes sense, doesn’t it? I mean, Mary decides to do something, and she does it. What else is there? 

Well… this is true, but not completely so. Let’s say Mary took the metro to go to that class and, in the middle of the ride, the metro stopped and the driver said: “Good evening ladies and gentlemen, we are having some difficulties with the train and we are very sorry to let you know that there is going to be a delay of 45 minutes”. If this had actually happened, Mary would not have arrived to the class. Or let’s say Mary is about to leave from her job to go to the class but suddenly her boss calls and says that there is an urgent matter that needs attending and that it should take about an hour or so to get it done. If this had happened, Mary would not have been in the class. Or imagine Mary was driving to the class when she got a flat tire and realized she did not have a spare tire; then she most definitely would not have arrived to the class. Or else, on her way to the class, she suddenly experienced a very strong headache; then she most probably would not have gone to the class. Or imagine there is an earthquake and buildings start to collapse all around; again, no class. 

I could go on with millions of reasons as to why Mary may not have arrived to class. These reasons all together are an aspect of what I call Life. 

My desire, my will, is like a drop in a big ocean of Life, and this big ocean of Life is what allows us to do whatever it is that we are doing. The disconnection lies in the fact that we live our lives without concern, relationship or gratitude for this ocean called Life. But if we really think about it, anything that has ever happened did so not because a particular person desired that it should happen, but because Life allowed it to happen.

Often we don’t see that each of our desires is no more than a drop in the ocean of Life. At the same time, a single desire is quite important. An ocean is composed of many drops in the same way that our life – comprised of 70 or 80 years – is actually a series of seconds (in fact, about 2.5 billion seconds), yet each second is very important. Each decision is important in the same way in which a drop in relation to the ocean or a second in relation to our life is important.

For any event to happen, no matter how big or small, a whole, immense sea of events had to move in a certain direction to allow our impulse to manifest. When we take credit for what we accomplish or feel bad for what we were not able to accomplish, we are truly disconnected. In reality, Life allows or does not allow these events to occur.

If we truly understand this in our heart (not just in our head) we will start to see that every move we make in our life is not our own move, but it is the movement of the ocean, the movement of Life.

At the same time, each drop entails a large responsibility. For example: in order for Mary to attend that class, she would have to plan her day accordingly; make certain decisions and preparations. That was her job. If she hadn’t prepared in this way, she would never have made it. But having done all that was required, we must submit to the final outcome, and this outcome is up to Life. Life is in charge. And by connecting to Life, we give credit where credit is due. At this point something very beautiful may happen: the whole vision of our life expands. Instead of taking life for granted, we become grateful, and gratitude brings immense joy. When we start to appreciate that whatever occurs is actually allowed to occur by Life, then we are no longer separated from Life. We are Life. When we see that whatever we are doing, we are doing it because Life allowed it, we will simply give thanks, or more accurately, we will experience a sense of gratitude for what is happening.

On the other hand, when our desires don’t achieve what they intend to achieve, we can see them as nothing other than a drop in this huge ocean; and so we would not become upset. We only become upset when we believe that the outcome of events depends entirely on ourselves. Having seen that it is Life the one that decides whether or not things occur, we are left only to embrace the result; we understand that events could not have occurred in any other way. We understand that, to change one thing, the whole universe has to change.

This is a principle I constantly bring into the classes I teach. While practicing some of the more difficult exercises, the people who do them well often tend to give themselves credit for that. But in reality, it is Life the one who has allowed them – at that particular moment – to do the exercises well.

At the same time, there will be some other people that will not be able to do those exercises so well, and they may feel bad about themselves. But in fact, what they should say/feel is: “this is something that Life, at this particular moment, does not allow me to do. I will try to do whatever is in my power to change this, like practicing more often and being more consistent, but in the end, it will be up to Life when, how and if I would be able to do those exercises well or not”.

This way, in spite of what happens, we are connected to Life.

Categories: Reflections

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