The Other Person Is You

"We are all connected" a concept that rolls off the tongue with ease, almost as an afterthought. But if you pause to deeply meditate on this truth, you may find that the degrees of separation inevitably circle back to you. 

Every habit fostered in our lives creates an effect on the energetic frequencies we emanate and on the inner space from which we move on a daily basis. Have you ever felt another person's "vibes" to be dissonant? That feelings is an opportunity for us to turn within, and recognize the edges within ourselves which are activated or perhaps still unpolished. 

When we turn to the sacred literature of the Vedas, we can understand this point from a place of compassion and kindness. Recognizing the other person is you awakens consciousness of a unifying force, of a spark that is alive and seeking the same thing, no matter the body. 

The fifth chapter of Bhagavad Gita states:

5.18 - The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brāhmaṇa, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].

The purport of this verse as written by AC Bhaktivedanta Swami: "A Krishna {God} conscious person does not make any distinction between species or castes. The brāhmaṇa {priestly class} and the outcaste may be different from the social point of view, or a dog, a cow, or an elephant may be different from the point of view of species, but these differences of body are meaningless from the viewpoint of a learned transcendentalist. This is due to their relationship to the Supreme, for the Supreme Lord, by His plenary portion as Paramātmā {the Supersoul or universal consciousness}, is present in everyone's heart. Such an understanding of the Supreme is real knowledge. As far as the bodies are concerned in different castes or different species of life, the Lord is equally kind to everyone because He treats every living being as a friend yet maintains Himself as Paramātmā regardless of the circumstances of the living entities. The Lord as Paramātmā is present both in the outcaste and in the brāhmaṇa, although the body of a brāhmaṇa and that of an outcaste are not the same. The bodies are material productions of different modes of material nature, but the soul and the Supersoul within the body are of the same spiritual quality. The similarity in the quality of the soul and the Supersoul, however, does not make them equal in quantity, for the individual soul is present only in that particular body, whereas the Paramātmā is present in each and every body. A Kṛṣṇa conscious person has full knowledge of this, and therefore he is truly learned and has equal vision. The similar characteristics of the soul and Supersoul are that they are both conscious, eternal and blissful. But the difference is that the individual soul is conscious within the limited jurisdiction of the body, whereas the Supersoul is conscious of all bodies. The Supersoul is present in all bodies without distinction."

In essence, if we haven't created a space to recognize, appreciate, honor and accept our own shortcomings, our own 'darkness', then it is nearly guaranteed that upon seeing it 'out there' in another person, we will be short on the understanding needed to overcome the inherent difficulties of relationships. 

But when we strengthen our resolve to approach ourselves with understanding and patience, and with an ear for spirit, we create the space to accept others in that same mood, tolerating difficulties with the equal vision of compassion, viewing all beings as parts of the spiritual source from which we emanate. This month, notice what upsets, annoys, or causes the mind to create a 'me vs them' assessment. And then approach that attitude within yourself with a humble request that you may find compassion and unity - spiritual strength - where once dissonance rang. 

by Alexandra Moga

Teacher Spotlight: Mike Andryszewski

Part of our monthly article series from Supersoul Yoga teachers on a variety of relevant topics. We hope you enjoy reading their words and through them, learning more about your teachers and their insights. 

Journey to the Supersoul

Paramatman (parama - supreme, atma - soul), is a Sanskrit word which translates as Supersoul. "Yet in this body there is another, a transcendental enjoyer, who is the Lord, the supreme proprietor, who exists as the overseer and permitter, and who is known as the Supersoul" - Bhagavad Gita 13.23
We learn that deep down in every being there is the fundamental idea of God, which sometimes is blocked off due to material circumstances. Our job in this life is to unblock ourselves from God so that we may begin to cultivate a loving relationship with our higher power and true selves. God is always present - we just choose to ignore him. 
This is my journey over the past 6 months to the Supersoul:
On June 1, 2016 I moved to Supersoul Farm, with two very inspiring mentors of mine, Raghunath and Bridget Cappo to study yoga more deeply. Originally from New Jersey, I had a well-paying job with many perks and a good standing in my company as well as the local communities that I served. I have a loving and supporting family, but I was always a seeker, wondering what more there was to life. Pained by the materialistic existence I lived, not feeling any bit true to myself, I decided to change one simple detail in my life. Everything. I packed my bags and moved to East Chatham, New York.
Over the past months living here, the internal as well as external transformation I am experiencing is astonishing. I came to upstate NY with no sense of direction in my life. I had no conception of feeling any basic human emotions like love, gratitude and joy and was spiritually numb. Moving into Supersoul, I have been able to create this space to enable this vital growth and manifestation of my true self. For the first time in a very long time, perhaps my entire life, I feel a strong connection to my higher beliefs and the higher forces working in my life. I have been able to develop a very strong sadhana (spiritual practice) and spend a lot of time meditating, studying yogic philosophy and offering seva (service) to the community. The Mike you see today is able to show up in such an authentic portrayal of who I really am.
When I ask myself what my purpose is, or more importantly what I have to offer, I realize that it's my uncensored authenticity that I am able to offer. From this I draw so much self-empowerment. All the experiences of my life have enabled me to build a toolbox of interpersonal skills which not only aid myself, but others. It's my fierce determination to constantly better myself, as well as to show that determination and share personal experiences of what I have experienced or am currently experiencing, that can be channeled to inspire others. This is my gift to offer people, whether working individually or during my yoga asana classes.
This is my journey to the Supersoul, that guiding force within myself that is my direct connection to my true self, to my true creator. When people ask me how life is in upstate New York, I have only one answer to give them: moving upstate was the best decision I've made in my life, and it's a decision I'll never regret. 

Second Annual Supersoul Seva Retreat at Supersoul Farm!

This year's seva retreat was a great, fun success! Over 30 volunteers came out to Supersoul Farm for a weekend of service, camping, yoga, kirtan, swimming, and great farm-to-table food; made by our loving and talented chefs Doyal and Om from NYC's The Bhakti Center!

We're building Supersoul Farm as a place for YOU, for our community of kindred spirits, near and far, as a sanctuary where we can together experience the joy, fulfillment, and love which is the true nature of the soul. Through programs and events around yoga, meditation, kirtan, study of sacred texts, permaculture, and homesteading arts, we hope to serve those seeking reconnection with the essential truth of inspired living. 

Thank you to all the participants and donors who made this weekend possible! We are closer to opening because of your many hands and are so grateful! To learn more about our goals and current projects, email us at yoga@supersoulcollective.com. Donations are also being gratefully accepted through our non-profit Foundation for Inspired Living, which will help us complete renovations and open to the public! Check out photos from the weekend: