Two Birds

Oct 04, 2018
Two birds, beautiful of wings, close companions, cling to one common tree_ of the two one eats the sweet fruit of the tree, the other eats not but watches his fellow. Mundaka Upanishad-2.png

Two birds, 
that both exist in our minds.
The thinking mind. The doer. The mover and shaker.
And the watcher, the observer, the awarenesss that witnesses and remains unaffected.

It’s so basic to what we KNOW to be true in yoga, right? The idea that we are self-relational creatures.

We can know what we’re thinking. Unlike these birds, we can give words to our inner experience. 

It means, of course, there’s an awareness that lives BEYOND our thinking mind. And, we can know it. Whoa. In some ways, it’s the whole point of what we’re doing isn’t it?

The Participant-Observer, as anthropologists call it. 

We participate in our lives, and we can observe them, detached, as if watching it all while perched on the next branch.

In yoga, of course, we spend time getting to know this distinction. We create space, becoming just distant enough from our thoughts that we not only see them more clearly, we also create the possibility of choosing how we respond. 

This is THE game-changer, isn’t it? When we GET that we don’t have to be at the mercy of our reactivity? Of our usual responses?

When we’re able to pause, or breathe, or simply shift our awareness from the participant to the observer. Ah, it’s there, and only there, where we able to choose.

And, in that choice, as Viktor Frankl said, lies our freedom. 

This simple phenomenon is one of the keys to transformation in yoga. 

Certainly, it takes practice. We have to MAKE space again, and again to create this possibility. We have to spend time getting to know the observer, to get comfortable being the witness. 

It’s one of the precious gifts of giving yourself dedicated time for practices. We get more and more at ease in this shift, in establishing ourselves in that which watches. In living, acting, and participating in our lives from that place.

If you’re teacher ready to once again, to explore the space between thought and response,

To situate yourself in the transformational stream of practices, contemplation and presence, 

I have the perfect event coming up for you on November 3. 

A full day of practices in nature and uplifting community dedicated to true and expansive freedom. 

For teachers’ only.

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