What is it that makes a chocolate chip cookie taste so good? We might say it depends on whether you use dark chocolate chips versus milk chocolate, or add walnuts or cinnamon. We probably would all have an opinion which would vary according to our own preferences. Ultimately, its the harmony of all the flavors together that makes a chocolate chip cookie what it is.
When it comes to seeing other people, I notice in myself and in so many around me in the world, the tendency to focus on differences, to categorize and make distinctions. We believe we are being discerning, analytical and insightful, when really we are mostly judging and criticizing. Sometimes we are down right mean. It is so prevalent that it seems normal, but it isn't yoga. It is the opposite.
Here in our own community, there are “different styles” of yoga that we might somehow view as distinct from each other when in fact they are expressions of the same thing. These practices are all joined at the root and really not different at all, each one just has its own personality and emphasis. When done mindfully, these practices all have the same goal: Asana, pranayama and meditation are ways for us to feel ourselves more clearly and to experience ourselves more deeply. It is a time where we reflect and become more conscious of where we need to heal and where we need to grow. It is a practice of becoming more aware of who we are, and that at our core we are a sweet, blissful expression of Devine Consciousness. The practices help us to experience our wholeness and to see that we are not separate at all but are all One. This then is Yoga. We are all chocolate chips in the same cosmic cookie.