Recently, I returned for a short visit to the meditation ashram where I lived for several years in the early 2000’s. Pulling into the parking lot I felt a palpable shift of energy, as I always do.
The air felt lighter. The sky seemed to sparkle. My mind immediately became clearer, mundane preoccupations seemed to fade away. Like a camera lens shifting into sharp, crisp focus, my attention was drawn toward what is most essential and important in my life.
To borrow Pico Iyer’s apt image, I felt as if I were passing through the invisible walls around the place. These are the subtle, yet conscious and therefore clearly felt boundaries that exist around sacred places. They are created by the practices performed there over time with one-pointed focus. The purity of the atmosphere in such places is upheld and strengthened moment-to-moment by the actions of who reside there.
This experience was a powerful reminder that our actions and words generate energy that affects the environment and the people around us.
As we develop sensitivity to our selves through practice, we also become more conscious of the energy we put out into the world through what we say, what we do and even what we think.
We become aware of where and how we are placing our energy. We develop the capacity to shift the momentum of our minds, even if by only pausing and taking a breath. Most importantly, we become able to take responsibility for the energetic imprint we make on those around us.
This is one way that yoga helps us develop the capacity to make a lighter, more benevolent impact on the world around us, Not only that, it empowers us to become the creators of that world.