Mirror Wisdom

May 08, 2024

During a long drive this week, I got to catch up with two long-time yoga friends, both going through their own version of tough times.

Surprisingly, our conversations left me feeling uplifted and invigorated. Rather than feeling burdened by their struggles, I felt a deep sense of compassion and solidarity.

Just a few weeks ago, the roles were reversed. It was me confiding in a close friend about something that was weighing on my heart. She received my vulnerability with grace and openness.

While a friend’s listening ear may not solve our problems, it sure can lighten our load and buoy us through the turbulence of life’s uncertainties.  

In the Buddhist tradition, when one enters the transitional space between known worlds, known as the bardo, the Buddha they encounter is Akshobhya, holding a mirror.

The mirror represents the clear and unclouded mind that reflects reality as it is yet remains undisturbed. Akshobhya’s mirror teaches us not to avert our gaze, not to look away or avoid what we see.

It strikes me that this ability to face life’s intensity without flinching is a crucial outcome of an introspective yoga practice. By strengthening your self-reflective capacity, you are able to hold space for your own struggles and those of others.

In fostering the ability to observe your thoughts, your awareness becomes like a mirror that reflects the clear-eyed wisdom of your highest self – the part of you that knows you are more than your hardships, more than your past, more than whatever you are going through.

Read more from the Beyond Asana blog