Twin Cities Edition

Yoga Meets Life’s Essential Questions

Tapping into Our True Nature

Victor Tondee/Shutterstock.com

In 1972, I experienced a profound spiritual awakening and went into seclusion to focus on my inner growth. This awakening helped me see that I’m not my mind—I am the observer of my mind. I watched this chattering mind creating an obstacle to self-realization and true happiness. I also came to realize another clear truth: The outside world isn’t personal. It’s unfolding according to all the forces that have taken place from the beginning of creation. Call it science or the will of God—it doesn’t matter. What matters is we didn’t do it, and it isn’t supposed to match what we want. When we see this, we can transcend the limited mind and embrace the true nature of our being.

We’ve each developed personal likes and dislikes resulting from life experiences that have left good or unfavorable impressions within us. These impressions determine how we view the world, and they limit our ability to enjoy life. We can begin learning how to release these impressions by letting go of the little things that irritate us for no reason—like the weather or someone’s attitude. We have a tendency to resist uncomfortable feelings, so we try to fix and control our environment. A commitment to yoga demands that we let go of our personal reactions and use each experience in life to go beyond our comfort zone.

The science of yoga is centered on realizing the essential self—the one within who is simply aware. It comes from thousands of years of enlightened beings devoting their lives to the questions: “Who am I? Why do my thoughts and emotions change so much?” This inquiry helps us find the true self inside, the self beyond personality and the mind’s fears and opinions.

Progress happens through cultivating awareness. The simplest approach is to ask: “Who is in here looking through these eyes and experiencing this world?” Don’t try to answer. Just relax back into the essence of your being—the one who sees—and experience life from this place of awareness.

When we’re clear and comfortable with who we are inside, life becomes beautiful—regardless of what is going on around us. We can then help raise the world for the better. There is freedom and peace in that.


Michael A. Singer, author of The Untethered Soul, is founder of the Temple of the Universe yoga and meditation center, in Alachua, Florida.


This article appears in the September 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Guided Imagery as a Life-Changing Therapy

Guided imagery therapy is interactive. It most resembles hypnosis in that the therapist and patient are having an ongoing conversation. It differs due to the brainwave level that is engaged during the process.

10 Ways to Create a Healthy Sleeping Sanctuary

The effects of bad sleep can ruin your whole day, making you feel like your brain is full of fog and your limbs are dipped in molasses. Feeling bad the next day isn’t the only effect of bad sleep; it can damage your long-term health as well.

Earth Citizen Day September 8

Body and Brain Yoga & Tai Chi Center, of Maple Grove, will host Earth Citizens’ Walk from 1 to 4 p.m., on September 8, in Minneapolis. The Earth Citizens Organization (ECO) is a nonprofit organization that works to promote mindful living, natural health and world sustainability. Their goal is to create a network of 100 million Earth Citizens by 2020.

Registrations Open for Illuminating Conscious Leadership Workshop

Michele Rae, life and business coach, is co-hosting the Illuminating Conscious Leadership Workshop, from 6 to 9 p.m., on September 19, at The Center Within, in Bloomington. Together with her co-host, Lora Matz, Rae will help participants explore how being a change agent and living from a place of wholeness will increase the wellbeing of their organizations and communities.

Registration Opens for School of Earth Medicine Fall Retreat

Laura Adrian, of the School of Earth Medicine, announces the second annual Earth Medicine Women’s Fall Gathering, to be held September 27 to 30, at the Whitewater State Park, in Altura. This retreat provides participants the opportunity to go within, connect to nature, celebrate the feminine and meet like-hearted women.

Add your comment: