Big Self vs little self

When I first came to yoga I remember being bothered by the dharma talk that some teachers would give in regard to the word ‘self.’  Previous experience in my life taught me that my will is wrong and I should only be doing Gods’ will.  Why would I have the innate answers to life inside myself, which I thought undoubtedly would only contain my selfish will?

I’m blessed that I’ve gotten the opportunity to expand past this perception and learn that there are two selves in yoga.  One being the little self, this is the self that I equated with my will.  It’s those animalistic tendencies we have to take our protective instincts too far, resulting in selfish actions to protect ourselves and those we love.  After some research I learned that the big Self was actually perfectly aligned with my perception of God.  This Self is the higher knowledge in us that knows that we are all connected and essentially all of one.

Although this may seem like a miniscule discovery it changed my spirituality.  While before I was hopeless to infinite knowledge as it chose my destiny, now I see that infinite knowledge, or the Self, is in every one of us.  If there were to be some higher power where else would it linger but collectively in our souls?  Finding a location for the infinite has made it easier to find when I lose it, because according to yoga-it’s never really lost.

This was a huge step in my yoga practice. I know see my little self as a shell that contains the big Self.  I may occasionally get lost in the maya (illusion) which is the shell and it’s perceptions, but I just need to look past it.  Through it I see infinite love, wisdom and ultimately-contentment.

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