The Perfect Light

By Steve Eaton, January, 2011

Farming a piece of land is an incredible illustration of living in harmony with the natural cycles of the earth.  The land is now in a state of dormancy.  The hard frosts and freezes of the past month have brought all growth to a halt and the soil to solid cement.  Every last root and tuber has been pulled from the earth and every last cabbage cut.  There is no weeding, hoing, mulching, planting, or harvesting to be done.  All surface distractions have fallen away.  The root cellar is packed full to the ceiling with bountiful food for the winter.

What an incredible time.  With the least amount of outside light present and the coldest time of the year approaching we can follow the lead of the cabbage and begin to turn inwards.  The life cycle of the cabbage begins in the late summer where it starts to sprout upwards towards the sun.  As the temperature starts to drop, its leaves litterally turn inwards towards the center of the plant.  More and more leaves sprout and curl in tighter and tighter to the center until it becomes a very dense solid head.  The cabbage remains this way until, if left in the ground over the winter, it responds to the sun and heat of the spring-time and starts to bolt straight up towards the sky.  It puts out a stalk and flower and eventually in the summer would be pollinated by bees and drop seeds everywhere for the next batch of baby cabbage plants to sprout.  So here we are approaching the coldest part of the cycle.  Where is the farmer’s mind? How deep can we go?  What we do now will undoubtedly effect how we spread ourselves out in warmer months.

As yogis/yoginis we are used to going inward and exploring.  We go through inner journey’s and do inner work every day, just as a farmer observes what the soil is saying and works accordingly each day.  All this work on the soil and the farm can potentially spread major light to the world through the food that comes forth.  However, the work can also diminish the light of the earth if the farmer does not first recognize the perfection of the earth as it is.  We do not cultivate, add compost and manure, cover crop, rotate crops… because something is missing, but because we love the earth so much we want more and more of it’s perfection and beauty to shine forth through the crops we grow.  We cannot go inward and cultivate our deepest core until we first realize that we are from the very beginning the brightest most beautiful perfect light you can even imagine.  The only thing to  do is dust off the layers and veils that are covering our true essence, and allow our perfection to shine forth to the world and be reflected back at us.  This is how we will encourage all others to shine as well.  In the end the farmer will realize that he/she IS the cropland he/she has been cultivating with such love and awareness, and we all will realize that WE ARE the perfect light we see when we recognize truth within and without.

Steve Eaton

Steven Eaton was introduced to the yoga asana practice at a young age by his mother. He began to deepen his personal practice while studying music at Princeton, and started teaching his friends and fellow students there. After traveling to India in 2008, he began leading kirtan and accompanying yoga classes with his meditative musical style. In 2010, after completing the Yoga Shanti Teacher Training, he began teaching at Yoga Shanti Sag Harbor. He now lives on Shelter Island with his partner and young daughter.

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