Bram Levinson

As 2011 comes to a close, elements of the Hindu mythology workshop I gave this year keep creeping up int my thoughts, and I find myself listening for the drum beats of Lord Shiva…wondering if the passage of one year constitutes enough time to merit a beat. It is said that with each beat of his drum the death and rebirth of another age comes to pass, and as much as 2011 has been a year of growth and fruition of our efforts (for many of us), all the kineticism and daily events that have brought us everywhere we’ve been and that have shown us everything we’ve seen are all but a tiny blip on the radar. As we all, to varying degrees, look back on everything that 2011 has shown us, all we’ve learned about ourselves and the path we forge (or follow, depending on your beliefs), let’s remember some things, and commit to bringing these things with us into 2012:

1) We are never simply one thing. We are many things to many people, and many things in the image that we hold of ourselves. The root of all these things is a collective energy that itself is timeless, limitless and impossible to define. Let yourselves remember that to see yourselves as your bodies, your careers, your religious beliefs, your failures and successes, your fears, hopes and paranoia is to limit yourselves. To buy into any or all of these things is to give the ego validity to continue to seek out what it is ravenous for, which in turn validates all that is superficial and that serves as a distraction from truth. None of it matters.

2) There is room for everyone. In a world where the human population has just surpassed 7 billion people, it is easy to believe that we need to make ourselves smaller, to be less visible and to speak in quieter tones. We are encouraged to be small by the powers that be online and in our society. Forget all that. Speak up. Step forward. Raise your voice and make sure you’re heard. Take all the space you find yourself blessed with. Be expansive. It is possible to do all these things and still leave as minimal an impact on this earth as possible. Seek out how you will do this.

3) The space between how we see ourselves and the image we project to others needs to diminish. Let people see the real you. The path of truth is there for all those committed to an existence steeped in authenticity. There is no need to project anything other than what and who you are. The sooner we are all more honest about what we are living, the sooner we will be able to understand that we share more than we’d like to admit.

4) The people in your lives are there for a reason. Allow yourselves to be honest with them. Communicate with them. Allow yourselves to share with them the things that you’re proud of as well as that which shames you. Let them in.

5) One aspect of being human is suffering. Buddhism states that life IS suffering. The Yoga Sutras and many of the Hindu Mythological tales exist to show us that the sooner we get past that fact that we suffer and actually start doing something about it, the closer we move to a state of Yoga, of oneness. Don’t be afraid to suffer, and don’t be afraid to let that suffering be seen. To explore the depths of suffering is necessary to be able to fully comprehend how startlingly beautiful the joyous moments of life are. Welcome everything as an opportunity to know more and be greater than you ever thought possible.

6) Teach. Pass on what you’ve learned. Pass on your mistakes. Pass on your successes. They are not who you are. They are to hold up as a marker of humanity and the human condition. Make sure those around you are learning from you and paying attention. We are all messengers, here to make visible that which has always been here but which is veiled.

7) Love. Everyone. Equally. Everyone.

Thank you all for your presence in my life. All the best of health, love and truth in 2012 to you all, and keep your ears open for that drumbeat…♥

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