Mountain Yoga

Change

One New Year’s Eve, someone interviewing members of our church approached the senior-most member, who had been involved with the church since she was a child, and asked her, “What will our church be like in ten years?” I was eager to hear her answer to this question. She looked up and without a moment’s hesitation replied emphatically: “Different.”

We’re funny about change. Some changes we like: a new car, the baby’s first words, the tomatoes ripening. Some changes are hard: a friend moving away, an in-law moving in, losing a job, getting a job, marriage, divorce.

Why are some changes so hard? We live as though our job, our family, even our opinions are permanent. We accept that they will shift a bit here and there, but there are many aspects to our existence that we expect to stay the same. When they don’t, we lose our equilibrium. To whatever degree we were dependent on things not changing, to that degree we will experience upheaval when they do.

Change is hard when we forget that everything in the manifest world is constantly changing. Change is hard when we see that which is impermanent as permanent. Yoga calls this “ignorance”. Ignorance is what causes suffering. The purpose of yoga is to eliminate ignorance, and bring us to an awareness of that which is unchanging: the bliss of consciousness, the essence of the Self.

Yoga dissolves the barriers to our own bliss. When we live in constant awareness of the unchanging essence of our being, the inevitable changes of life become part of a pattern, an acceptable characteristic of existence. We may even experience gratitude as we embrace the changes and become fully present to Life.

©2003 Mountain Yoga. All rights reserved.

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