I recently wrote this for a different audience and occasion. I feel compelled to share it in this blog, not because of the encouraging and wonderful responses received from it, rather for this one very meaningful and powerful message that truly resonates with me (I included at the end of this blog post).
Back in the early ’70s, when I was a 7-year-old student in a school in Queens, NY, I was on the receiving end of racism and prejudice. One day, I had brought in the wrong book for the lesson. My teacher was somehow very angry with me and threw my book towards me on the floor, in front of the entire class. She then ignored my shaken tiny presence, the only Asian in class, and went on with the lesson. Fortunately, a Caucasian boy felt sorry for me, had me sit next to him, and kindly shared his book. At the time, I did not understand why my teacher acted the way she did. I was naïve and did not know the concept of racism and prejudice. However, that experience stayed with me for a very long time, the shadow side and the light side of human nature.
Despite having been on the receiving end, as I grew up, I started harboring thoughts of the prejudice of my own towards a certain race. Although I never outwardly did anything with the prejudice, I have to admit I was prejudice. Then about twelve years ago, I was attending a class about human connections where all of us were paired up. I was somehow paired with a man from that specific race I had a prejudice of. The Universe has its unique way of stuff like this. We were asked to do this exercise of sitting very close in front of each other. We then had to look into each other’s eyes. At first, I was resisting and feeling a strong sense of discomfort. I almost wanted to run away, but I stayed on and continued looking into his eyes. Then gradually, I started seeing and experiencing something different. I started to see HIM, I started to see his true BEING. All the physical and personality aspects of him dissolved right in front of my eyes and I SEE just a Beautiful Soul!
Nowadays, I am understanding and acknowledging that each one of us (including my teacher back then) have our shadow side and light side. Embracing both sides of us allows us to be balanced, at peace and in harmony within ourselves.
Here is the message that was written to me:
“To add to your point of “Seeing the Soul”. I am told that about 15,000 years ago some enlightened beings around the Himalayas started to see and realize this. Thus “Yoga” was born. The true meaning of Yoga is “Union”. This means when we see the “light” or “energy” in others that is when we are in Union with the Universe. Because we see everyone as one light or energy without associating with any form or color (no physical forms).”
NAMASTE – I bow to the divine in you! (recognition of the divine spirit (or soul) in another by the divine spirit in you)