As long as the all-pervading Nada is active, space is imagined to exist. That utter silence beyond all description is called the supreme essence. Whatever, in the form of Nada (sound/vibration) is heard, that is Shakti. And that which is formless and which is the very end of essence is the supreme lord.Last month, I had the good fortune to spend a very short window of time in the Nevada desert. My favorite part of the trip was sitting on the side of the access road leading into the Valley of Fire, an hour after sunset.
On the flight to Boston in 2001, we flew directly over Manhattan, and I proudly got to look down at the top of the World Trade Center towers, upon which I had stood during the Stonewall 25 – March to the UN in 1994. On the return flight home from my YTT, the phrase “Jai Shanti Yoga” echoed in my head, and the seeds for teaching in Atlanta were well germinated. And then in September, the world changed on the 11th, and since then I have watched fear, anger and sound fill the air, with little space for silence, even in the obligatory patriotic moments of silence. Since then, I have tried to “lean in” to this changed world, by practicing what I’ve learned from my teacher, using and exploring my body with breath and concentration, looking for a still and silent place inside, un-infected with fear, anger, reactivity.
Both personal practice and teaching yoga have been my greatest, most humbling and most inspiring teachers for cultivating self-awareness these past 15 years.Each time, I sit and stand with an individual or a group, I try to ‘listen behind’ and ‘lean into’ the silence. When I can find that inner silence, l learn more about being human. I learn more about how I thrive and how I get in my own way.
Each time I sit and stand with myself in my personal practice, I try to be as loving to myself as I can be with others. That is a difficult practice sometimes. The rare glimpses of true silence keep this seeker practicing and sharing the practice. I believe in my heart that silence might manifest John Lennon’s Imagine-ings.
Thank you for practicing with me. May you have many moments of stillness, perhaps even the ecstasy and enchantment described in ancient books. The Utter Silence. Beyond All Description. An Essence, certainly Supreme.
–William Hufschmidt, March 3, 2016