72: Who am I?

Intricate Arabic lamp with lights on shiny background. EPS 10.At 6:00am I find myself taking a Dosha quiz to find out what Dosha I am. They are like the yogi’s version of the quizzes from girly magazines,the ‘who am I’ type quizzes. It’s as if I find out who I really am from answering a few questions I can be a better person. Once I know who I am I can then live my life accordingly to some random computer generated answer. Once I can put myself into a category I can be a much better person, or maybe once I know who I am I can blame all my problems on this knowledge.

The yogi’s have a lot to say about who we are. They say we often lose sight of our true nature, of who we really are, because we become imbalanced or sometimes we live under the dark cloud of Avidya, which is incorrect knowledge of ourselves and the world. It can be impossible to see your true nature because the lens that you look at it through is the same lens that you are discerning with, like yourself, looking at yourself. We usually also like to define ourselves according to the category of how we live our life, our jobs our actions and our friends. Gabrielle Harris, yoga teacher, but again this is an illusion, something that we have created out of our desire to define ourselves, which is referred to as our ego.

Yoga has defined life as having two parts. That which can be touched, Prakriti, and that which is untouchable, Perusha. Prakriti is nature, objects, the definable, Perusha is spirit, soul, god. All of the yogic practices are trying to lead us to Perusha, the city of lights that dwells within our being. The trouble is we don’t give a rats about Perusha, we want to look good, have a great job, be admired, be the best yoga teacher. Perusha is too much hard work. Why bother trying to get in touch with something we can’t see, feel or touch? So we put the essence of our true nature on the back burner and stick to our quizzes.

However Perusha is the eternal part in us that never changes. Perusha is what keeps us feeling in love, young, essential. Perusha is the part of us that is always there no matter how badly we treat ourselves, Perusha will never leave you, never dim and never let you down. It is our unbroken self. Prakriti is the opposite of this, the small ‘i’ in the definition of who we really are.

There is a lovely mantra you can try to help you find this jewel within you. ‘So ham’ pronounced hum. It means I am that, or I am what I am. When you step into this thought and cultivate your true nature, all your dis-ease will fall from your shoulders, your suffering, your pain and your confusion will lessen.

Practice for today: Have you lost your way a little in a myriad of quizzes and bad definitions of yourself? Sit back relax and try the So Ham meditation. As you breathe in say So and as you breathe out say Ham. Visualise within you a beautiful place to rest your identity.

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