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Inspirations

The Magic of Yoga

As the days go by, yoga practice gets easier and easier. Not yoga as union of mind and body or a kind of fully realized state of being, but yoga as sorcery or magic. Magical display is one of the oldest definitions of yoga, known as maya or illusion. This is evident in the mythology of India, where the gods work their crafty powers of magic to create the world.¬†Each of us operates under the spell of maya. In fact all¬†perception, ideation, concept, and belief–¬†are thought to be¬†“mind-made‚Ä̬†conjurations. Over thousands of years, yogis have done strange things to see through the veil of illusion. They stand on their head, refuse meat, smoke copious amounts of ganja, abandon sex and chant the name of God 1,000 times. Today you don‚Äôt have to go into a cave, lie in the Corpse Pose or¬†huff and puff through sun salutations to see that all things are¬†whiped up by the fantastical workings of maya. With a mere touch of the finger on your hand held screen, you can travel to Paris, translate into Mandarin, or watch old clips of the greatest escape artist, Harry Houdini.
Today deepfake technology, conspiracy theory, and face generated AI abound. Like a demon with many heads who can change its guise at will, we are already under the spell of AI. Hex! It could be that this very scrawl you read in front of you has been generated by Chat GPT! And the most powerful man in America, currently running for office of presidency, is a bogus reality TV star, branded in an image of wealth and celebrity.
For these reasons, it is easier to fathom the words of the¬†Buddha¬†when he pointed to the world as a mirage, a phantom, and a hallucination. The powerful yogi Milarepa once said, “I see this life as a conjuration and a dream. Great compassion rises in my heart for those without a knowledge of this truth.‚ÄĚ In yoga-tantra the fundamental energy that animates all things,¬†kundalini-maya-shakti, is known as the Bewilderer. So if you wake up feeling bewildered by the false and the fictitious, know that you are seeing the world correctly. Know that the world will go on inventing and re-inventing itself, “until the cows come home”. You might ask, outside all the bunk and the phony business, is there anything else? I go back to the delightfully uncomplicated Richard Bach who pondered the sagacity of the seagull. He wrote in Illusions,¬†‚ÄúThis Is¬†doesn‚Äôt even know our illusions and games. It only knows itself, and us in its likeness, perfect and finished.‚ÄĚ The ancient seers of India would likely agree, but say it even more¬†simply:¬†tat¬†tvam¬†asi,¬†‚ÄúThat you are.‚ÄĚ
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