I think it was Osho who once said: “There is a difference between a philosopher and a yogi. The knowledge of the philosopher stays in his head, the yogi brings it to life.”
I have my reasons to be ‘on the road’. One of them is to practice what I preach. I have gained a lot of knowledge over the past years. Studied many books on yoga, on meditation. Spent hours and hours reading about it. It’s something I love and I don’t think there is anything wrong with it, I just like to go one step deeper: practice it. And somehow it never felt like I had time to do it. Probably bad excuses; there is always time. It’s just a matter of the right priorities. But for some reason I felt guilty doing 45 minutes or even two hours of meditation, when there were so many emails to be answered, administration to be done.
The yogis say it takes seven years before you finally understand what yoga is. This is my seventh year of practice. I start realising it, I start feeling it, but I just can grab it. It’s like somebody holding an amazing big bar of chocolate right in front of your nose, but every time you want to take a bite, they pull it away.
For me yoga feels the same. I can almost taste it; this feeling of perfect happiness. I know it’s there, I get a glimpse of it, but I just can’t reach it. I just miss the last pieces of this puzzle that consists of a thousand pieces. That’s the reason I want to intensify my practice. That’s the reason I want to find great yogis and study with them.
I love the asanas. I feel challenged by them. I feel how they have healed my body over the last seven years. How they have cured my chronic back pain. I notice how they are opening up my heart. I’ve cried a lot lately; letting go of old emotions, old memories, breaking old neuro-linguistic bridges in my mind. Freeing myself from old, not-wanted garbage. Now I want to make that next step as well. That final step to ultimate bliss.
This morning I walked into the meditation Garden of San Isidro, Costa Rica. I noticed how alive I was when I sat down. It reminded me of a scene I saw in Peaceful Warrior, a spiritual movie guru Acharya Yogesh made me look at. The main character Dan, a university student and (local) famous gymnast, is asked by his ‘spiritual guide’ Socrates what he sees when the two of them walk through the park. Dan looks around at the people and trees, shrugs his shoulders and answers: “Nothing.” Then Socrates puts his hand on Dan’s shoulders and for one moment Dan ‘awakens’ and in that moment he sees everything. Like I did this morning. I saw all life around me. The ants carrying leaves to their nest. The bees moving from flower to flower, collecting nectar and at the same time pollinating the flowers. Insects flying around everywhere. Birds hunting the insects. Lizards warming their bodies in the early morning sun. I haven’t watched television in a long time (structurally about eight and a half years now) and in that moment I knew I don’t need to look at it anymore. Life is so much more beautiful. Just sitting, being in the moment and looking at it, beats everything.
After that moment, that big moment of happiness, I closed my eyes and meditated for 45 minutes. Sat and watched some more and moved on with pranayama. Intensifying my practice again, because I just had a little taste of that piece of chocolate in front of me and it convinced me again: I want it all.