Recently, I was captivated by a newsletter sent out by certified Anusara yoga teacher Abby Tucker, who referred to this wonderful Sanskrit word - "camatkara."
Abby quoted the Tantrik scholar, Christopher Wallis, the author of the exquisite book, Tantra Illuminated: The Philosophy, History, and Practice of a Timeless Tradition, who defined this word as the highest state of consciousness "that is, wonder, or aesthetic rapture." Abby, in her newsletter describes this word as "the state of fully self-aware expansive wonder."
As I worked with the Anusara Yoga Universal Principle of Alignment of both "Muscle Energy" and "Organic Energy" in my yoga class this morning - I considered how if we draw in, and wrap ourselves in wonder - that in time, wonder would wrap itself around us, enabling us to embody both of these principles.
When we apply muscle energy to anything - we draw in and connect ourselves to that which matters and grounds us and feeds us. When we apply organic energy, we become expansive - but we never forget or stray far from our source or sustenance.
Looking at it another way, I invited my students to become expansive, like the waves of the ocean, but remembering to eventually come back to the shore. In our own growth and creativity, we venture forth - but we always return to that which fed us and nurtured us.
So yes - if we wrap ourselves with wonder and love and compassion - we become expansive and embody the very qualities we wrapped ourselves with. Only then can we shine them back out, so that they return, mirrored and reflected back to us. And so, in this process of reflection, these very qualities of wonder, love and compassion, wrap themselves around us!
We become what we strive to embody and what we practice. If we wish to cultivate a different trait, we simply "fake it until we make it!"
My themes often take the form of the repetition of a phrase in reverse order - a teaching technique known as "epanados" - one definition of which is the return to a topic or main point after a digression...
We shine out, we draw in... we ride the waves out to the sea, but eventually the waves come back to the shore...
Think for a moment of a quality or trait you wish to embody, and then just practice it. Someday you will shine it out - and it will be mirrored back at you!