Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Wisdom of Elephants

I love this picture. Besides the fact that just looking at it fills me with a sense of peace it also makes me crazy happy. Most of all it makes me think... which is dangerous for me because when I start thinking my thoughts expand in a multitude of directions at once and it's hard to keep track of them.

I probably wouldn't have interpreted this picture in the same way before I started doing yoga. At the end of every yoga class you place your hands at heart center, bow your head and say namaste. Now there are many different meanings behind this word. My favorite is the light in me bows to the light in you. Others include... the god in me recognizes the god in you or the spirit in me honors the spirit in you. To me this picture encompasses every one of those thoughts... most likely because all these thoughts say the same thing. Light, God, spirit... these are all words that attempt to put a name to something that is impossible to be described in just one word. It's an embodiment of peace, joy, hope, love, wisdom, kindness and generosity that is present in all living things. Growing up as a Christian one of the things I was taught is that God's presence is all around me. I envisioned God in the air surrounding me... never did I think about the presence of God in those around me. Let alone in nature.

I'm not a fan of religion, mostly because every religion believes that their religion is the only one that's right. I feel that most religions are saying the same thing... love your neighbor as your self. I used to think this meant treat others as you would want to be treated. Perhaps, we need to look deeper. We need to recognize the light present in each of us... whether we call that light God, or the holy spirit doesn't matter. When we recognize this capacity for peace, joy, hope, love, wisdom, kindness and generosity in others we realize that we are all connected because we are able to feed off that light as well as give it freely.

We aren't all endowed with equal measures of these qualities at all times in our lives. Some people have more wisdom while others are more generous, thus the ability to share these qualities amongst us becomes invaluable. At the lowest points in our lives we want someone next to us with great strength and the ability to lend us that strength. At the most exciting times in our lives with want someone to share our joy with. By recognizing the God in all of us we have all that we need because those around us have all that we lack.

So ... namaste

1 comment:

Running Bums said...

Kat, I love everything about this. You hooked me with the Elephant because that is one of my favorite animals. I really connect with a lot of the themes you are writing about. It is amazing how yoga can help us connect and realize so many links, patterns, and brand new things in our lives! Thank you for sharing.