Shining Clarity

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At the end of a yoga class a while back, I was visited by a marvelous insight. The class sat facing the teacher after Savasana for our Namaste and goodbye. I caught sight of someone’s water bottle standing alone in the space between the group and the teacher. It was a clear orangey plastic and the water inside was glowing with light. Looking around, the room was rather dim. The windows were far away from this spot. Certainly, no direct shaft of light was hitting the bottle. I imagined that light is as dense and real a medium as air, and as ever-present. It takes a glowing water bottle to reveal that. As though the water is in league with the light — standing in the gravity-defying vertical column of that vessel.

The sudden insight was this: we are like that water in the bottle. Our substance can glow just like that — as the light flows around and through us. The difference is that we are not always so transparent. We can choose, in fact, to be opaque, to refuse to glow. Yet it costs us nothing to glow — the light is free and ever-present. It will be there whether we admit it or not. Actually, we can’t choose to admit it or not. Just like air, light enters us; it lives and moves in our cells. The choice is whether we shine or whether we hunker down in our opaque cloak, our armor.

This is one of the things I love best about a good yoga class. At the end of a tough series of poses, a moment of shining clarity blooms in my awareness. The truth revealed in a simple plastic water bottle.

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