If we ask the question ‘who am I?’, the felt answer will be the sense of being inside this body separated from anything else by the skin. Whatever is on this side of the skin is me and whatever is outside of the skin is not me.
And because of this sense of separation, the basic emotions we feel are either fear or desire: the fear of losing something I have or the desire to get something that I don’t yet have. Metaphorically speaking, I am always putting my hand out, either palm up like a beggar or palm out to reject.
In everything we do there is this movement of either rejecting or grasping, moving away or moving towards the objects of my desires.
But what if this is not how things actually are?
Our senses are continuously misleading us. When we look up in the sky we see blue, even though there is no blue. If you have never learned that the blue in the sky is only an illusion, you will bet your life that the blue you see is real…even if it is not.
The same with the sun that appears to be moving up and down, with so many other things.
And so, what about if this sense of separation is also something that seems to be, but it is not? What about if the sense of separation is something that the senses perceive, like they perceive blue in the sky and the sun moving up and down, but that is not actually there?
But if there is no separation, what is there?
And it is precisely this connection what everybody is searching for.
The emptiness that we so often we feel in our hearts is nothing but a sense of disconnection.
When people talk about the power of love, what are they really talking about? They talk about the power of connection, the sense of being one with somebody or something else.
This sense of unity, of connection, is the most powerful feeling that anybody can ever experience.
Why is that?
Because it is the truth of our existence; but because of the way our senses are set up in order for us to survive, we miss. I mean, as amazing as the sense of connection can feel, if a tiger is coming your way, you’d better run the other way! But just because a tiger will eat you if you stay, it does not mean that there is not a profound, infinite connection between you and the tiger.
To me, this is another aspect of what presence is, the recognition that I am not only in here, behind the skin, but that I am also connected in infinite ways to what seems to be separated from me.
We all feel this, somehow, somewhere.
When we fall in love we certainly feel it, and not only with the person we fall in love with, but we also feel more connected to the world.
But it does not happen only in these cases. Sometimes when nothing especial is happening, but we are more quiet and silent, we feel this connection, this sense of being part of a bigger whole.
But how are our minds most of the time? Are they quiet and silent?
No, quite the opposite!
We are all the time completely lost in the mind, worried, anxious, preoccupied; and in these states, all we feel is separation, not because separation is there, but just like the blue sky, it is what the senses feel and perceive.
All this note can do is create a doubt in our minds, create a question: are we truly separated?
Most of the great teachings of the past, and many modern ones too, point to this truth: we are not separated beings, despite appearances to the contrary, but are connected with all and everything in infinite ways.
Even the Sanskrit word “yoga”, which in our modern western minds means mostly doing some particular movements with the body, actually means “connection”.
If we manage to slow down the mind, even a little bit, we may have a glimpse of this most fundamental truth: there are no separate beings but the entirety of life is one indivisible whole.
This is really what Yoga is all about, and this is really what the meaning of our lives should become: the discovery of this unity, the realization of our infinite connectedness with all that is.