One day some of us are going to wake up and discover we are not at the centre of this universe. We might also discover that we are not the great controller of everything and that what we want, what we planned, is just not going to happen.
Yoga tells us that everything in this world is suffused with mystery and an intelligence greater than ourselves. It is in the water we drink, the sunsets, the magic of our garden or how we learn to ride a bike. This intelligence has order and symmetry to it and a grand intention on how the world should operate. If we were to practice yoga fully we would learn to get ourselves out of our own way, make our plans but then go quietly with what is.
However we don’t. We are too busy to notice the subtle, ever present pull of something more than us. We don’t notice how a devastating event catapults us in the right direction, giving us the spiritual back slap saying, get back on the right path. We don’t notice when things are beautifully easy and simple either, a sure sign we have got things together.
This surrender to a greater good is called Ishvarapranidhana. Ishvarapranidhana asks we give up our attempts to control and manipulate our worlds. When we think we are in control of our destiny completely we open ourselves up for pain and disappointment. Instead of being really upset about not getting that job, being dumped, not getting the promotion, losing your house you can quietly sit back in wonder as to why or where this will now take you. We can start to practice this by just taking note of the majestic forces of nature. We can start to look at coincidence and serendipity in our lives. We can start to look at our world from eyes that acknowledge that we are part of one big mysterious working.
Practice for today: Develop some sensitivity to this extraordinary omnipresence in your life. Go into the garden, watch the sunset, meditate. Put down your busyness and distraction and maybe you will start to see the purpose of your life and everything around you with renewed vision