This week one of my oldest best friends died suddenly of a heart attack at 43. His funeral was yesterday. It has happened so fast that it has not even begun to sink in. In the midst of funeral planning and friends coming in from all over the country, the Boston Marathon was bombed maliciously in a terrorist attack. And a day later a factory explosion in Texas is still burning with untold casualties. Not to mention earthquakes, war, and giant sinkholes freakishly swallowing large tracts of land.
Unbelievable bad news continues to pile on. Meanwhile old friends bid the final farewell to a brother, his family, and then to each other as we return to the daily routines that run our lives.
When someone dies everything seems to come into a more clear perspective. We enter a heightened state of awareness of the preciousness of time and relationships. We complain less, are more forgiving, and show more kindness and compassion towards one another. These are traits of our true Nature.
Then, it seems, that the grasp on the splendor of our reality slowly fades. Not long after touching the sensitivity of Spirit, we find ourselves back in the fast paced, anxiety addled, harsh contexts from which we temporarily emerged. Once again we are separated from ourselves and the connection to the radiance of the forever-illuminated Light within.
The loss of life and limb awakens us to the actuality that life is utterly fragile and that we have a finite number of heart beats allotted to us, pre-determined by our Maker.
How can we stay more consistently connected to this precious certainty?
Humbly, I offer, from my own experience, yoga. Every time I come to a place of vibrant repose, awake and aware in relaxation, I become deeply still and internally quiet. This enables a connection to subtle realms of consciousness. Some call this the Higher Self or the part of us that is eternal, unchanging and luminous. I enter this brilliant and fragile state most often in Savasana, not ironically translated as ‘corpse pose’. Meeting this other-worldly part of myself on a daily basis is Yoga. And it’s from this place and experience that I can relate tangibly to the Spirits of those who have gone before me.
The physical loss of my friend hurts. Even more painful is thinking of the hole that has been left in his home amongst his immediate family. It’s almost unbearable and I can not stop crying for them and selfishly for myself at never being able to see his smile or hear his laugh again.
Life in the physical world stops for nothing. We must find ways to move through the days without being crippled by the unending tide of bad news and sadness.
We will all eventually be together in the blissful Eternal Light. Those of us temporarily left behind, will continue to explore ways to stay connected to the intrinsic goodness of life and Spirit. It’s simply impossible to ever forget those we have loved, and we must find the ways and means to peacefully soldier-on in true joy in their honor. PEACE LOVE YOGA