This has been all summer in the making, so excuse me if I go on and on. Vibration is the theme of the summer. When we practice Ashtanga yoga we are driven by breath, bandhas and drishti. Drishti is a Sanskrit word that is most commonly used to describe where you are supposed to gaze while in a given yoga posture, the more literal translation is “point of focus”. This gaze point keeps us balanced and limits distraction, but the goal of yoga is to turn the focus inward. I am convinced that as the mind quiets it is not silence we are looking for but merely pure vibration, prana.
Press your hands over your ears and block out all external sounds. What do you hear? NO! Not the to-do list, not what you ate for lunch, not when you have to be at work… what do you HEAR?! I get a dull rumbling, like a far-away ocean. It is definitely not still, I hear whirring in and out like a tide, when I breathe deep the layers of sound grow more complex. Patanjali tells us about the ripples of the mind right away in the Yoga Sutras:
Yoga chitta vritti nerodaha
Yoga is the cessation of the ripples/fluctuations of the mind-stuff
Right away we have ripples, they are real, they exist, and they are powerful; ripples HAPPEN. We also have “mind-stuff”… duh. These ripples help us sort through the mind-stuff and come to peace of mind, or cessation if only for one minute of each day. When peace arrives where does everything else go? Your body is still here, the ground is beneath you and the ripples are most likely about the start up at any moment.
The sound of Om vibrates through the universe beyond time and space. Vibrations are just prana, stuff moving around (ripples?!), at different frequencies and different layers. Rather than silencing prana, we are trying to unify the vibration from the core of our own being with the universal consciousness which vibrates around us constantly. Peace.
How do I expect us all to get there? Well, I have a few suggestions, things I have been living and breathing for the last few years or maybe longer.
1. Realize you are not alone. In this world of technology, business, school and money it’s hard to imagine anyone would feel lonely, but there’s a reason people go to yoga class beyond the good health, lean muscles and fun atmosphere… Friends. Even if you don’t like making friends at yoga, being around friendly vibrations is rather contagious and may make you smile.
2. Listen. Every day. Not to your mind (you probably do that plenty already), listen to your body. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but your body is your best friend. It is with you for this ride from start to finish, there is no “eject” button. Painful experiences manifest in the body and if they aren’t allowed the time to release or heal, they continue to vibrate in the core of our being.
3. Take action. Yoga is one path towards self-love and universal awareness that has worked for many people over thousands of years, and it happens to be my favorite. I also like listening to loud music in the car, dancing in the living room, riding my horse and weeding the garden, all of these things make me vibrate and feel full. The only problem is someone could take away my car, my living room, my horse AND my garden…(welp!). But no one can take away my yoga.
I am prana, I vibrate whether I like it or not. This beautiful Vermont summer has gotten me out into some stunning music venues and it’s times like this where it is hard for me to distinguish between good vibes and universal consciousness. Luckily, I don’t think they are too far apart. Have you ever been to a show or any large event, even a wedding, where the crowd feels united, happy and strong? You might walk away thinking, “Why can’t everyday feel like this?” I’m telling you it can. If you listen closely within and beyond your self we all have that good vibration deep within our core. Find it. Let it out. And share it with the world. Let us cultivate goodness, light and peace, one person at a time.
“I command you to dance
I wanna see motivation
So come on now, feel the vibration.”
-Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch