Life is evidence of magic. What else could this living world be other than magic? Each new moment is a rabbit pulled from a hat. Dumbfounding in its creativity and mesmerizing in its execution, we ought to be paralyzed in wonder. This enchanting event even ends with a disappearing act that leaves each of us with the question, "But where did it go?" We are then struck with a new question, "Where will I go when I disappear?" Life is regenerating itself moment by moment and yet it is fleeting. Life is ultimately bitter because it slips like sand between our fingers that are themselves aging into dust. Life is actually heaven because it is always growing and evolving, and from our palms themselves, young and old, a flower blooms forever! In this eternal change, where everything oscillates between crib and coffin, nothing can last forever and so now there is at least that single destiny. When we learn to sense with our bodies this everpresent and unavoidable fate of living and dying and the transition between these two epic points, we can say, "Yes, I know now it is a dream." This dream is called Maya, to the yogis. They recognized life is moving and therefore always changing, literally and symbolically. From that observation, they then saw the veil of impermanence itself. Nothing is what it is, because now its something else. It has changed. So what can be said to be true? They saw the mirage of circumstances and forms. Then studied from afar. The game of yoga is to peek behind the veils of change and find that thing that never changes.

Maya Meditation: Meditate with open eyes. Keep the eyes still and then let them fall onto something comfortable. Open peripheral vision. Then notice all the things that are moving at once. Relax eyes. It will look like the trees, or the cars, or the people are dancing. Then you will feel the idea of Maya more deeply.

I believe the first yogis were acutely intuitive and intelligent people who made the choice to study with great intensity the fundamental nature of life itself. The simplicity of their epiphanies is a wonderful antidote to the complexity of modern lives. Again, life is change. There is nothing truer than that. Their insatiable curiosity led them into the study of their own being as both bodies and minds. This desire to know the self is a desire that eventually leads to the absence of all desire, yogic satisfaction. So Life leads to Self and Self leads to peace. Through their efforts and experimentation, such discoveries were made, recorded, and validated with other yogis. It was a renaissance where a new science was birthed for humanity. Europes renaissance was a reaction to the dark ages where culture expanded mainly through the arts. Ancient India's was an expansion in consciousness. They came to great conclusions and predictions about the world and the human condition. The most important being, all human beings are on a quest to achieve themselves. While the world inspires them to move outwardly, the true journey is inside. This journey is called Sadhana.

They believe these conclusions are unquestionably true because they were observed as patterns of nature. The Buddha, for example, created his own strategy of yoga, unique to him, and clarified a specific pattern about suffering which he attained through his Sadhana. Suffering is bonded to desire. This also means the more you want the more stressed you'll be. This correlation between suffering and desire was observed by many but fully uncovered by the Buddha. It is almost as if it is a psychological law, in the sense that it is a pattern that exists within most people, if not all.

The yogis, including Buddha, came from a world that is impossible to understand and had minds that are impossible to know because their cultural priorities were so different than ours. They share glimpses of their worlds through the techniques and philosophies of the practice they designed for themselves. In their time environmental ecosystems were less deprived and the touch of nature was still strong, at least from our perspective. Due to the strength of nature the yogi's minds, with all that special genius, only had the raw experience of the world to study. With fewer distractions, they saw deeper into the essence of life's magic. If life is Maya the dream, as they say, what magical characters these yogis were. Not the magicians, but the ones that new the trick. Elders. Seers. Mystics. They spoke the secrets of the world and knew how to taste its insane perfection. As wise people do they sat in a different part of the mind to get a different perspective and their skies for that reason were filled with new and unknown constellations. New insights, new patterns, new truths. Still, it is only one dream and only one sky.

This attitude can be learned and trained as the body is transformed, healed, and empowered. Yoga does not make life more or less true. It does not make things easier or more beautiful. It simply clears the mind of its chatter and judgments. This permits clarity of perception! To see things as accurately as possible from the unique perspective of yourself. Once you can sit with yourself and appreciate all that you are then meditation begins. Meditation being 1) the absence of all effort 2) the absence of unconsciousness. Completely awake and withdrawn, what a yogi discovers is that they themselves are just as much a part of Maya as anything. Self is a figment of the imagination. When Self is perceived as too solid or real Life becomes heavy and narrow. When Self is felt to be fluid and transparent Life becomes lighter and more playful because after all, it is only a dream.