Graffiti along 14th Street, DC
“A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us.
To live is to be slowly born.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Lately, I have been inspired by the unknown. Making best friends with the unknown has been a wonderful blessing in my life since moving to DC last year. There are many days when I’m unsure of where my next job assignment will be, how long it will last, whether it will have a stable salary, or if there will even be another assignment. My wonderful meditation teacher, who survives off donation-based classes and workshops, calls this living by the “wisdom of uncertainty.” I think in the beginning of being confronted by Mr. Unknown there was less wisdom and more, um…freaking out, but over the last 6 months a welcoming shift of acceptance and peace has occurred and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Using the power of insight and discernment to stay fully present is exactly what meditation and yoga practice reveals. Its very simple: we have no idea what the future will bring. There is nothing more compelling and authoritative than the phenomena of the unknown to surrender to our present experience. Buddhist monk and renowned author, Bikkhu Bodhi said that the most present we can ever become is through awareness of breath, because “when we become aware of breathing, really aware of it, we can be aware of it only in the present, never in the past or future.” The most beautiful thing about yoga is that we use our breath to free us from external happenings and fall deeper into the grace of the moment, which is infinite and boundless. When we let go of what we don’t know we find that the nature of our present bounty is so immense that we couldn’t possibly need anything more. We have the gift of our hearts, which beat collectively as one, the fall season breeze flowing through each of us, and the strength of our community to lend us a helping hand. By simply embracing the unknown and renouncing the false illusion that we can somehow control it, we reside in the true refuge of our inner spirit and feel an incredible sense of liberation.
There may be many things I don’t know, but what I do know is that genuine fulfillment is right here, right now, living inside each of us.