As I sit in front of the large windows in my living room I notice a lady bug crawling along the windowsill. It is only one small part of the larger scene of life pulsating through this moment. My cat snores beneath my chair. A light breeze ruffles the delicate leaves of freshly planted petunias on my porch. The heavy, grumbling sounds of passing cars periodically mask the fervent chirps of neighborhood robins. The world is vital this morning. It is not a blob of inanimate substance, it is alive. I am alive. My awareness turns inward and I notice that my body feels fatigued from hours of excited gardening. My legs ache.
In yoga we are seen as being made up of various sheaths through which passing phenomena arise and dissolve. These sheaths or bodies are called koshas in Sanskrit. In the non-dual tradition there are 6 koshas and one changless Ground of Being which is both distinct but not separate from the 6 koshas. In the next few blogs I will be exploring these sheaths through my own experience and sharing what I find with all of you. Richard Miller, a modern teacher of non-dualism, has delineated the koshas in the following way in his book Yoga Nidra:1. Physical body (Annamaya kosha) – Awareness of sensation 2. Energy body (Pranamaya kosha).
At 9 years old I was shocked when I realized the degree to which we could do harm to one another. Prior to that time I had been exposed to all sorts of violence on tv, in movies and in rumors and hearsay. But it was the bullies at elementary school that saddened my heart enough to spur a life of questioning. At this young age I began to question the nature of suffering, how any so called benevolent creator could allow for such suffering and whether it was possible to be free of it. At the age of twelve, I was graced with the first glimpse of life without suffering. It.