A Talk on Moksha Shiva

Given during the installation of a new Shiva murti at the WYC’s 45th Anniversary Celebration
(I invite you to change any reference of ‘as a school’ to ‘as seekers’ so that you feel included, because you are!)

Moksha means Truly Free—what does true freedom look like/mean?

In this form of Shiva there is a graceful lift of the feet over head from the shift in identity from the small self to the Great Self, from separation to the knowledge of oneness with all that there is.

This is the shift we take as a school, in our vision, because for the small self, when we are caught in the illusion of being separate, surrendering to the Great Self feels like the loss of all we want. For the driven individual, surrender of the small self is doom, surrender is a giving up the fight for your small needs, of trying to win the endless grappling of attachment and aversion. You lose.

Whereas when we graced with the knowledge of the Great Self, surrender is freedom, to be in the form and to fulfill one’s dharma, to fulfill the highs and lows with equal vision and love, because in the knowledge of the Great Self, of oneness, it is all Shiva.

The installation of this new Shiva statue represents a timely shift as a school- the ability to see and sense the veil of separation is also part of the practice- the more light we generate the more we can see and dissolve the darkness. Light reveals darkness. The path doesn’t get easier. As we grow as individuals, as a school, as a collective consciousness, the practices actually get harder. Shiva represents this in the form of Death, he is destruction, he will rip the band-aid right off. The intensity is high with Shiva. And as yogis, we ultimately want this- we want to move through to where pleasure and pain is all one focus, it’s all Shiva. Where we give up the stubborn suffering of attachment and aversion born from separation.

May we never be discouraged from the truth that all of this is Shiva. The mind can’t make sense of it- the mind holds strongly to the dichotomy and our experience of duality confirms this again and again. It’s the willingness to surrender to our dharma, to be in the form but not attached, that opens the door to deeper awareness. How do we do this? It’s that the steady, focused love we learn to give to our practices, we eventually give to everything, and it will be this that shifts us into the Truth of our dharma in the form.

Let us look to attain the great experience of surrender. The moment when our legs naturally lift up and like the Moksha Shiva, we stand balanced on ignorance and darkness with one hand, with another hand reaching back in full-blown ecstasy, complete in the knowledge of the Great Self, in the knowledge of Oneness.

Tonight, we honor this school and invite the liberative force expressed in this Shiva into this space, into our growth as a community.

Together, in our practices and within our own being, may we truly become free and live our lives in liberating, grace-filled surrender.

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