Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, June 11, 2015
How to Be Aware of Soul?
I love going to yoga. Calming my mind, being (more) at peace with myself, and within myself.
Somehow, my yoga practice came to mind tonight as I read this chapter that Ram Dass wrote. The chapter is appropriately called “The Pilgrimage of Awareness,” and Ram Dass talks about the gradual approaching of awareness, of the sense of “me-ness” that I have. Not that yoga was mentioned anywhere in these pages today, but for some reason, I thought of it.
The practice of yoga is gradual, as well. Yet, it is not a sense of “me-ness” as much as becoming engaged with the sense of uniqueness. Yes, my name is Elizabeth, and there have been/are/will be many Elizabeths. However, I am unique. I have “me-ness” that is unlike any other’s.
Although Ram Dass has a more Eastern viewpoint, I can see parallels in his discussion with King David’s writings, and the Jewish understanding of certain Psalms. David mentioned his uniqueness in Psalm 139, and of how precious life itself is, even while still in the mother’s uterus. Ram Dass does something similar, in talking about how separate and unique each human is. Except—being separate is not quite positive, in the Eastern understanding.
I guess I must have been raised with the American mindset of rugged individuality, since I relish this idea of separate, unique personhood. This chapter proposes, instead, that each of us separate individuals needs to be folded back into pure awareness. 
Some people follow the Eastern (Buddhist-oriented) path, while others turn to the mindset of American uniqueness and individualism. For me, I honor and try to learn from those who are espousing a way of thinking and being that is different from mine.
God willing, I’ll be able to learn a great deal from peace, calm, serenity—and yoga.
Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.
 Handbook for the Soul, Richard Carlson and Benjamin Shield, editors. (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1995), 69.