In the tantric yoga philosophy, two key concepts are that of prakasha and vimarsha–light and reflection. Prakasha is the fullness of the light of consciousness itself; vimarsha, the reflection of the light that is our own individual recognition of the light of consciousness in ourselves. The sweetly mysterious joy we get in seeing reflections in a puddle is the reminder we are given of the pulsing dance between the light and the reflection of the light, neither of which we can know without the other.
My gardening friends have been commiserating and worrying about the abnormally dry weather. For the past couple of days, we have all been concerned that this storm has brought so little needed rain, although we are grateful to get whatever rain comes. Other acquaintances were complaining yesterday that it still wasn’t sunny. When I mentioned drought conditions, they had not noticed. If they noticed once it was pointed out, they suggested reasons why for them personally, it would still be a better thing for it to be a sunny day. Part of the reason I garden is to keep me connected with the rhythms of the seasons and the weather. If we do not grow our own food and depend on the fruits of our labors, nor are taught the relationship between the weather and our survival, there is no reason to know it. We become disconnected from nature and from the earth.
For me, connection to the earth deepens my connection to myself and to spirit. How can we know ourselves if we do not know how the earth nourishes us and how we relate to the earth? How can we recognize the light within ourselves, if we are disconnected from nature? At the same time, the practice of yoga, with its inward questing (antar-vimarsha — the quest to touch or reveal the true Self), by revealing to us the subtle energies and knowledge of the relationship of body and mind, can lead us back to yearning for a deeper understanding of the world around us and for a healthier relationship between the give and take between us and the earth. We can thus reach spirit both by being more aware of the outside and seeing where we are disconnected in our practice off the mat and by reaching inward using our spiritual practice (the Anusara principles are designed to be a pulsation of reaching outward and inward for an ever growing expansion and understanding of mind and spirit) and then knowing the outside is not aligned and needs to be shifted. All this is the process of vimarsha, like a little more rain in the drought to nourish and encourage the unfolding of spring.