We all have a tendency to question—it is what our rational mind does best.
This inherent curiosity has lent itself to great discoveries and personal revelations throughout history. After all, science itself is based on the notion of questioning. Trust and faith, however, are partners to curiosity that we often neglect. Having a sense of trust in the midst of questioning is important in stabilizing ourselves and maintaining a sense of serenity.
It is important to be curious. Questioning has led me to the path of yoga and also to trust in the flow of the universe.
When we learn to have faith in the divine plan of the universe, we surrender our ego and we flow in harmony with the whole of existence. We begin to feel a great sense of lightness, as we no longer need to control situations or blame ourselves if the results of our actions turn sour. We simply let go and trust that there is a greater reasoning to all of our experiences. We continue to do our work with vigor and efficiency, while relinquishing the outcome to the universe. We are then able to experience an awakening and realize our deep connection with all of humanity and nature.
This sense of trust in the flow of the universe allows us to practice the act of surrendering. We renounce our illusion of having control over things that cause a great deal of fear in our lives, such as death. Death is one of the deepest fears that humans experience; it is the root of anxiety, worry, doubt,and many other negative emotions. Yet, if we can learn to view death as merely a transition from our current physical body to a different state of being (rebirth) or to another dimension, it will lose its power. Trust that the death of your physical body is a sign of advancement in spiritual terms; you have done all the work you need to in this body and lived out your karmas appropriate to this lifetime.
Our true essence, our divinity within, is immortal and remains unchanged.
This essence is what will survive when we shed our physical sheath. It may take a form of an animal, tree or human life if it has desires and karmas still left to be fulfilled; the appropriate birth will be chosen in accord to what lessons still need to be learned. Ultimately, when we have cleared the karmas accumulated through our actions in all of our births, we will transcend with the One. We will merge with pure consciousness, where we will be in a state of eternal bliss. At this stage, there are no rebirths and we will be formless, flowing in the river of Oneness and undying compassion.
It is said that at the time of death our thoughts carry tremendous weight. Fear can be carried into our next birth, as can faith. When Gandhi was dying, he recited the mantra “Ram” repeatedly, in order to merge with the One.
If we can learn to accept our fate, which is ultimately death, we can live with a sense of peace. For the one who accepts death can live fully in the present, not taking any moment for granted. When we trust that the universe will provide exactly what we need, we never fear or have anxiety. We accept our duty and remember that the personal identity that we have created for ourselves is not our true essence. While remembering our true self, which is eternal, full of compassion and flowing in harmony with the way of the universe, we can never turn in a wrong direction. We accept fully the here and now, and can relinquish any thoughts of doubt. We remain certain that we are on the right path, even while living in a constantly changing, uncertain environment.
May you live fully in your everlasting, illuminating light.
A student and teacher of yoga, Durga Erskine has a deep passion for Eastern studies and spreading the knowledge of yoga. She lives and works at Mount Madonna Center in northern California, where she works daily on living and spreading yoga. Aside from yoga, she is an artist, writer, herbal enthusiasm, and singer of the Tibetan bowls. She delights in sharing her knowledge and spreading light to other beings.
Editor: Olivia Gray
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