In the yogic traditions we often talk about duality and how we experience the world through this construct. We experience me and you, us and them, inner and outer, light and dark. We experience cold and hot, feminine and masculine, moon and sun, yin and yang. This is the dance of duality, the push and pull of the world. But we don’t just experience this externally, we experience this dynamic within ourselves. We want to move yet we remain still. We want to touch stillness but remain ever in motion. We want to love but we cave into fear. We long to expand beyond ourselves and connect, but we contract in the face of vulnerability. This reflects the yogic dance of the universe: the contraction and expansion, the binding and freedom… even the ongoing web of karma and liberation.
If we want to unravel the patterns of our own self-limiting behavior, we must begin to bravely look towards our own insecurities. In all of us, there is an internal push and pull of wanting to grow and fearing transformative change. In yoga, that is called tantra. It’s the warp and woof of duality that will ultimately propel us toward union and the wholeness of self. There is one aspect of us that really wants to dig in and do the deeper work. We want to uncover our imperfections in the spirit of growth and healing, so that we can learn and be free. Simultaneously there’s part of us that’s protected, defended and afraid, or that just doesn’t want to do the work. We don’t relish revealing our lack of awareness and we rail against exposing that part of ourselves to anyone else. What if they stop loving us? What if we are judged as being unlovable? What if people really see us and find us failing?
If we are truly and deeply committed to being on the spiritual path, we must acknowledge that we experience this ongoing duality. You must widen your path to encompass all of you and all of your longings, desires and experiences. Otherwise you will inevitably use the path against yourself and create more pain. One part of you will start choosing and enforcing conscious behavior while another is resisting and undermining it. Honoring all parts of yourself – the light and the dark – on an evolutionary spiritual path takes courage, compassion and resilience. It takes real authenticity to do this profound inner work.
By cultivating a quiet inner knowing, an ability to touch into the center of stillness within, you stand in the ground of your own wakeful presence. This stance of internal stillness is the honing ground of your being, where you know you are not the push or the pull. You become the eye of the storm. You soften and open to the vulnerable stance of pure being. Not doing, not chasing, just breathing and opening, breathing and opening. Being is the oppositional force that duality cannot consume. But only pure, unadulterated being can consume duality, returning you, broken and whole to the reality of living and loving the self.