Friday, 16 July 2010

Oneness, Individuality and Life

They say we are all born knowing we are one. Most children I know refer to themselves in the third person when they learn to speak. I always dismissed this as one of the cutest things I have ever heard. As time went by and I came into contact with more children I realised that this cute grammatical error seemed to plague children all around the world.

It was not until I began to tread down the path of yoga and spirituality that I realised that perhaps it’s the small children who have the grammar right and we have it all wrong. After years of study I began to acknowledge the fact that we are all born as individual souls but we are all part of the same source or we simply we are all one.

As we live in this materialistic world, through our environment we are encouraged to identify with the physical body our soul resides in. It is a process whereby we are convinced with time that we are not one but all different. Western Psychologists call this the development of an “ego”.

Ancient Indian philosophies have always maintained that we are all born chanting the mantra “So Ham” which translates as “I am that”, or I am one with the supreme being or I am one with all. As we age we tend to forget “Soham” and then our mantra seems to be “Hamsa”, which translates as “Who am I”. Most people when they get to a certain age feel something is lacking and they then try to focus on “Hamsa” and make it their quest to try to find out who they are by focusing on their individuality when its actually all they need to do is focus on the aspect of oneness.

I love the concepts of free-thinking and free will. So I don’t tend to follow any principal the way its set out and I truly value my individuality and that of others around me. Life would be so terribly boring if we were all the same. However, I thrive on yoga and spirituality so my belief in the fact that we all are souls, which arise from the same source is unshakable.

I reconcile these two very divergent almost opposite concepts by knowing that spiritually we are one and that is unchanging. However, the powers that be have blessed each soul with its own chores and to perform those tasks we have all been given different personalities, physical appearances, intellects etc.

For those who believe in the principle of Karma and Life After Death, basically believe that in every life we are provided the opportunity to improve and it is due to the fact that one wants to get to the next level that one are provided with certain circumstances. These circumstances can make attainment of the lesson or next level easier or harder as it is willed and these circumstances leads to one’s individuality. The aspect of oneness never alters that remains the same. Certain philosophies tend to stress on the fact that when one has perfected themselves one automatically merges with and becomes part of the divine or the one.

I feel that the trick to life is to strike a balance between ones individuality and the fact that one is a part of all. Its simple all it requires is for one to be true to one’s self and the natural abilities and gifts given to us by the supreme, while acknowledging the fact that one is more then their physical identities and one is actually the same and a part of everyone else.

Turning to a spiritual path is the simplest way to attain the confidence and knowledge to acknowledge oneness. However one should not get carried away and loose one’s individuality. It is also a great way to re-connect with that part of you that is lost when you convert from “I am” that to “Who am I?”.

Yoga or just breath awareness is simply enough to get one started on this track too. All one needs to do is sit still and watch one’s breath. As the breath goes in you can actually hear the natural “Soooooooo” and as you exhale “Hummmmm”. It helps clear the mind of clutter created by intrinsic human ability of identifying with our physical body.

I always begin my yoga therapy sessions with breath awareness and it has worked wonders. I don’t always take the time to tell all my students about what they are doing or explain the Soham mantra. To be honest I never really focused on the mantra much when teaching myself but it works as if by magic.

The effects are nothing short of amazing. Even though we may not consciously know the meaning of the mantra Soham as “I am that”, our being or soul remembers it on some level. It resonates through our physical, emotional and mental states and brings about an unimaginable change in a very short duration of time. It enables one to let go and release tremendous amounts of stresses that one has created by identifying with the physical body.

The next time you feel completely stressed or cant sleep try to watch your breath and hear the your breath chant “So””Ham” and experience the change for yourself.

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