Spring: I AM
In Taoism yoga and the 5 elemental theory, each season focuses on different aspects of the body, mind and spirit: Jing (body), Chi (energy) and Shen (spirit). Another form of the holy trinity.
I get excited when I find different spiritual practices and religions saying the same thing in their own way, because then it appears as universal truth.
The I AM is the spirit of spring. The observer, the witness, the 3rd eye. When we witness our human experience from this point of view, the back brain where the 3rd eye resides, we gain awareness of our tendencies, behaviors, thought patterns, addictions, habits etc…
To gain awareness we observe without judgment; like a compassionate parent would observe a child. This simple act of self observation shines the light of awareness on the shadow, disabling its power. When the unconscious is brought to the conscious, healing negative patterns of ‘dis-ease’ can occur.
There is a practice to observe our challenges as a divine gift in order to expand our awareness and learn greater compassion for others. So I observe my challenges with my teenage daughter. Her issues that affect me so deeply have created walls between us resulting in lack of trust and betrayal. But when I listen to my higher self and become the beacon of love and light for her the energy shifts between us. My judgment drops and my heart opens to whatever is. And I observe my judgment as fear. Fear blocks love.
Throughout the years of our relationship turmoil I have been brought to my knees several times in deep despair and a complete unknowing of how to proceed. In these moments of desperation I open up to Divine wisdom and am always met with ‘open my heart and love her more’. The worse her behavior, the more she needs love. And to continue to return back to the question, “what would love do?“ Love is patient, kind, generous, accepting but also has clear discernment. In the yoga sutras a term referred to repeatedly is ‘Viveka Khyati’, meaning clear discernment. Different than judgement, as judgment has a lot of fear and labels that we add on, where clear discernment sees things as they are without the labels. So we can act from a higher place rather than limited conditioned thinking.
Our body and emotions are intrinsically linked, and research has shown that our thoughts affect our cells. Self observation without judgment is one of the most effective ways to create sustainable changes within us. When we observe ourselves from a more compassionate view, naming the emotion as it arises, feel it running through us, we take some space from it, rather than it taking us over.
The English language tricks us to think that we are our emotions. I AM mad, I AM angry, I AM lonely etc… In other languages such as Spanish, the emotions are referred to as I HAVE anger, I HAVE loneliness, I HAVE sadness, which provides a bit more space between us and what we’re feeling. In some eastern languages it’s taken even further. Tibetan language speaks of emotions as ‘loneliness is present within me’, ‘I am experiencing anger’, or ‘sadness is present within me.’ In this way it’s as if the I AM is viewing emotions through language, and providing even more distance from what arises, therefore allowing it to pass by quicker, and even gain some wisdom from it.
When we observe our dark emotions we can see the intelligence behind them. When anger (hot quick anger) arises, it signifies a boundary that needs to be established. When sadness is present, it usually means something needs to be let go of. When loneliness is running through it shows us that we are under the veil of delusion that we are separate beings.
A quote from the bible sums up the awareness from our observer, 3rd eye:
‘When Thy eye be single, Thy whole body is filled with light.’
When we can observe from the eye behind the eyes, we are filled with awareness.
When the light of awareness shines on our shadowy areas, they are disabled, less powerful, and brought forward to observe with a kind, gentle heart, so they can shift and heal.
We observe in the spring as the energy is moving up and outward in growth. We observe within us what wants to grow. What would serve? What are our gifts we can contribute to life? We breathe and focus on them. Letting our breath be like fertilizer to inspire our benevolent qualities. And observe what needs to be weeded out. Without awareness a lot of weeds can take over. So with a discriminating awareness (Viveka khyati) we tend to our inner garden. What we put attention into grows, what we don’t doesn’t.