Subtle

Tree at Swami Dayananda Ashram, Rishikesh
Tree at Swami Dayananda Ashram, Rishikesh

“Some men refuse to recognize the depth of something because they demand that the profound should manifest itself in the same way as the superficial”.

˜A.T. de Nicolás, Avatāra

In yoga it is generally said that what is more subtle is more profound, more powerful. For example mental repetition of a mantra is more powerful than verbal repetition and has a greater capacity to change or affect the thought currents.

I am learning that the same is true in life. What appears in front of me with the boldest colours and making the most noise is not necessarily what is best for me. In fact, to recognize the subtle I need to look with a different set of eyes, and to truly understand its value I need to turn off the thinking mind. And even once I have recognized it and understood its value; it is still possible for me to think too much and to forget it, captivated by the other bright noisy thing in front of me.

So M. de Nicolás is correct. I wish for the subtle to shout and wave its arms, and if it doesn’t, I start to doubt whether it is as powerful or as good for me as I had come to realize. I pray for a quiet mind and the grace to continue to nourish myself with subtle awareness and experience.

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