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The Gift of Poetry

Hello, friends!

I have loved the idea of poetry for a long time but found most of what I read in school confusing. The symbolism was lost on me. I couldn’t figure out what the poems were about. When I started doing yoga, I was introduced to the Sufi poets Rumi and Hafiz. Both of their work spoke to me – my own experience of the divine. It was irreverent and playful all at once. Since then, I have found many poems that I can feel in my bones and understand in my heart. Poems, I realized, were not meant to be heard but meant to be felt.

In yesterday’s class, I shared one of my favorite poems that I found in the introduction to Light On Yoga by Iyengar. I have read it many times over the years and it still moves me. It speaks about the part of us, our souls, that is unaffected by the world around us. It reminds me that even in tough times, there is an ability to feel and experience bliss. I share it with you today in hopes that you too can remember that connection.


Song of the Soul by Shankaracharya

I am neither ego nor reason, I am neither mind nor thought,

I cannot be heard nor cast into words, nor by smell nor sight ever caught:

In light and wind I am not found, nor yet in earth and sky –

Consciousness and joy incarnate, bliss of the blissful am I.

I have no name, I have no life, I breathe no vital air,

No elements have molded me, no bodily sheath is my lair:

I have no speech, no hands and feet, nor means of evolution –

Consciousness and joy am I, and bliss in dissolution.

I cast aside hatred and passion, I conquered delusion and greed;

No touch of pride caressed me, so envy never did breed:

Beyond all faiths, past reach of wealth, past freedom, past desire

Consciousness and joy am I, and bliss is my attire.

Virtue and vice, or pleasure and pain are not my heritage,

Nor sacred texts, nor offerings, nor prayer, nor pilgrimage

I am neither food nor eating, nor yet the eater am I –

Consciousness and joy incarnate, bliss of the blissful am I.

I have no misgivings of death, no chasms of race divide me,

No parent ever called me child, no bond of birth ever tied me:

I am neither disciple nor master, I have no kin, no friend –

Consciousness and joy am I, and merging in Bliss is my end.


Neither knowable, knowledge, nor knower am I, formless is my form,

I dwell within the senses but they are not my home:

Ever serenely balanced, I am neither free nor bound –

Consciousness and joy am I, and bliss is where I am found.


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