Everywhere we look, we are promised a better “you” if we buy, eat or do something differently. You hear people talk about “good” versus “bad” people. We may tell ourselves that by surrounding ourselves with “good” people, we have the opportunity to be heard by people that “matter”, and perhaps even align ourselves with this group of “good” people. The inference here is not only that the others are “bad”, but also that they do not matter. Here is what I know….

By continuing to enforce the verbiage of labels ~ people being “good” versus “bad”, we continue to deepen the grooves along the path of a divisive society. We are all too familiar with our dividing people based on the color of their skin or their religious or political beliefs. To divide people into groups of “good” and “bad” simply continues this line of division. Furthermore, I would ask “good” or “bad” based on whose opinion or perspective?

Perhaps a loving kind way to look at people is to see that we all share the same beautiful golden thread weaving through each of us. Sadly, however, our self-perception becomes clouded and distorted preventing us from connecting with this inner beauty and we are left to suffer in our state of mis-identity. Our patterns and habitual tendencies leave us being “never satisfied” with our human condition. But, if we are truly being honest, we see that we are all in this together. We all have habits and patterns in our lives that prevent us from living with clarity.

In our pursuit of yoga and its practices, we strive to clean up our act, becoming more aware of our habits and thereby more discerning in our lives. That to which we expose ourselves will indeed have an effect on our human conditioning. And so, we begin the practice of replacing old negative habits and impressions with positive ones, with the hope that we may someday reunite with our true nature of divine love, pure consciousness, luminescence ~ sri. Then, when we are able to identify with our own essence of beauty and love, are we able to see this same essence in others, dissolving our divisiveness.

We do not meditate to be comfortable, but instead to learn to have an open heart to the world ~ to be present through all kinds of experiences with a compassionate attentiveness. We meditate to learn to be conscious, aware and present and to see things in a way that we may accept them ~ or at least not be so reactive to them. How amazing would life be if we learned how to be consciously responsive to all that is around us by opening our hearts and minds to all of life?

There is a beautiful analogy of a man walking around the earth and complaining that his feet hurt. Realizing the impossible task of covering the whole earth with leather, he sees fit to cover his own feet. When we attend to the impossible task of tuning out all that may cause us discourse, we rob ourselves of the opportunity to let the world in. By closing ourselves off to only the “good” people, we mindlessly fall prey to our habitual divisive way of seeing the world, further deepening our neurotic chain reactions.

We meditate to work on the mind ~ the perceptions and emotions that arise as a reaction to our outer circumstances. We study these reactions to the world around us so that we can learn to be less reactive and more responsive. No matter how dire the outer circumstances, we learn to work with obstacles from within rather than trying to remove them.

Through my meditation studies, here is what I have come to know ~ I want to be awake to my life and all that is in it! I want to be in this beautiful, vibrant world and learn to be awesomely ok when I do come across people or circumstances that perhaps rub me the wrong way. I want to see the divine in these people, knowing that, like me, they too are somewhere along this path of human suffering. I want to live in this luminescent world with compassionate attentiveness and equanimity. What do you want?

Namaste ~ Shari