DESERT JEWEL

In the last month, the Jivamukti Focus has been on Sacred Geometry. In this focus, my holy teacher, David Life, talks about the sometimes invisible connection between two points, dimensions and the consciousness of different shapes.
So it came to me as no surprise when two of my regular Sunday open class students presented me with a pendant necklace from their recent trip to Morocco. It is a beautiful piece of handcrafted silver featuring geometric shapes of triangles, squares and circles. The necklace itself is made of tiny black beads.
I felt so honoured to have been given such a thoughtful gift. And was even more impressed to find out exactly what it was…
You see this beautiful piece of jewellery is far more than aesthetically engaging. It is actually an ancient form of compass. When you are a desert nomad, like the Tuaregs who originally created this ingenious design, it is difficult to distinguish one sand dune from another. There are no recognisable landmarks. Instead you must look up to the desert sky and find the North Star, shining brightest amongst the rest. When you find this star, you hold up the silver compass and place the star inside the top circle. Then you lay the compass flat in your hand and you are able to discern north, south, east and west. And then you are able to move forward.
Sometimes our yoga practice is like the desert. We invest our very best efforts and yet we seem to be travelling without actually moving. We feel like we may have plateaued and all the shapes we make appear the same. Someone says something hurtful to us and we cannot move ahead. Someone else expresses their disdain for the way we live our lives and we are thrown completely off course.
It would be easy to stop practicing all together. To lose faith; lose our way. So we need a tool to keep us moving and keep us heading in the right direction.
The good news is we all ready have it. It’s called intention and it is just as beautiful as any piece of hand-crafted silver. Our intention brings us back to the very reason we started practicing in the first place; that is, to feel connected.
We can feel connected when, for example, we are in downward facing dog. Because we are not just copying the shape of dogs, we are experiencing a very practical empathy for all dogs. We are connected to them in this very intimate way. We have perhaps a very subtle understanding of what it was like to have once been wild…
When we practice tree pose, we feel our roots in mother earth, and yet we are reaching up toward our infinite potential. Connected and aspiring.
We eventually arrive at our fullest potential when our intention is pure. That is, when we practice for the benefit of all living beings. We become so much bigger, more interesting and more resilient than our human forms would have us believe. We move forward, far beyond our limited physical form because we start to see the sacred connection between ourselves and others. And when we have this in mind, we can never really lose our way.

dedicated to Roland De La Cruz; currently a global nomad in support of cancer research

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