What more can I say– birth is a moment of recognition, whether seen as meeting the world for the first time, giving form to life’s potential, or in re-birth, having a life-changing experience of life’s all-powerful throb. To re-cognize is to see once more– life in oneself and oneself in all of life.

The edges of intensity and the vibrancy of the sensations will surely fade, yet the birth of my second child is something I will treasure forever. Round two offered a certain familiarity to it, like a path you’ve walked- even just once before. I felt the space to be confronted by the mystery and force of life in a way that was perhaps a bit too much to consider last time.

It reminded me just how true it is: that to feel the full extent of our aliveness is not a given in our encounter with the day to day. Being fully awake, what the sages call recognition, is a state that we will occasionally glimpse because of certain circumstances (usually ones where we do meet the seam of life and death) but otherwise we have to diligently practice. The scriptures basically describe us humans as sleepwalkers, moving through the motions under the haze of the mind, missing out on the realization of how grand life is, the bliss of being, ourselves, one with and immersed in its scintillating, pulsating presence.

In yoga we are called to meet life face to face. This isn’t accomplished by increasing our dose of stimulation, rather by transforming the mind– from its tendency to dull our awareness of life’s presence to its greatest potential to discern the living current in every moment. Whether we describe this as stilling the mind, witness consciousness, waking up… it produces joy and connection, even amidst pain. To not lose track of Spirit, to stay inspired- aware of the gift of breath- is then to be among the living.


Two Kindred Spirits Meet for the First Time

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