Avidya means incorrect comprehension. It affects us all. Its root is ego, fear, attachment, and desire. We miss the real world for our own visions of it.
In yoga class, we hear this referred to as “getting out of your head,” or “getting out of your own way.” Take an example. We push off into a challenging balancing pose. We feel the body wobble. We fear the fall. We feel the instability and feel the instinct to “do something” to correct it.
We lean right, lean left, and try to “fix” it…but many times we still fall.
Why Do We Fall?
The reason we sometimes fall is not because we failed to do the “right” thing to get on balance. We fall because the mind got in the way of our body and its process of finding balance.
Our body’s natural state is balance. The body constantly works to stay in balance. The wobbles we feel are the body’s natural correction, not the cause of the instability. We perceive the wobble as the problem because our mind does not comprehend what the body is actually doing.
So our minds take over, rather than back away and let the body do what comes naturally. We often miss that what we are doing is trying to steer a car straight through a foggy windshield.
Looking at Our Lives' "Big Picture"
In Garth Brooks’ great country song, “Unanswered Prayers,” a man meets his old high school crush from many years ago. He feels the rush of emotion that comes from seeing her, as he had spent night after night hoping for her to be the one he was with.
The emotion fades as he introduces the crush to his wife of many years. He realizes that by getting out of his own way (letting go of his ego’s desire), he was free to enjoy the experiences he found on his journey. He comes to be grateful for the journey he actually experienced rather than the journey he wanted.
Far too often we let our fears, desires, needs, and other attachments shape our view of our destiny, missing so much along the way. We try so hard to “fix” our lives from the outside, looking for fillers for feelings of emptiness, and fail to realize that we cannot “correct” our lives from the outside.
It Always Starts From Within
Many of us have heard this before, and are even aware that one does not find happiness from the outside. But we do not always comprehend why we cannot be filled from the outside.
The futility of the search for outside happiness comes from the fact that:
The emptiness we perceive only exists in our minds. It is not real; so it cannot be “fixed.”~Michael Navatril
Like our body’s natural state of balance, everything we need is already within us. We simply have to step back and get out of our own way to be aware of it and appreciate it.