In chapter 1 Schiffmann tells us to move like a perfectly balanced spinning top, into our center. In chapter 2 he tells us what we find in our center: goodness. Seems simple enough, yet most of us don’t believe we are inherently good. And if we do, we don’t believe that we’re worthy of enjoying that goodness, and definitely should not tell others just how great we are!
But guess what - you did not create yourself! Given that fact, why not enjoy the amazing person that you are! Why not be in awe at the miracle of your being, that you had absolutely nothing to do with?
Even still, many of us have a hard time acknowledging our inner goodness and may feel arrogant or somehow narcissistic if they do. Indeed, how are we good enough at all? At some point in our lives, and unfortunately for some during most of our lives, we are told we’re not good enough, that we have to be better . We’re told that happiness comes only when we achieve X or when we become Y. We end up building our lives around a sense of self that does not even exist. And if we by some chance achieve any one of these goals and don’t find the happiness we were promised - what then?
Yoga teaches us that happiness cannot come from external things or experiences. Happiness itself resides within us. At our core, we are good - and happiness is available when we move into our center and acknowledge that goodness.
“The father you are from knowing your truth and experiencing the love that you are, the unhappier you will be; the closer you are, the happier. Keep it simple. It works like this because goodness is at your core and because happiness is the feeling-tone of your true nature. But really whether you are “close” or “far you are always only a thought away.”
What keeps us from having a direct experience of ourselves, of our core? Fear of letting go everything we have draped over our true nature - ideas about ourselves that label us as anything but good. These ideas hide us from our authentic selves and get in the way of experiencing true happiness - because if we do let go of these notions, we really don’t know what will be left in it’s wake. And not knowing is scary.
“It requires tremendous courage to release all of our firmly held beliefs and face ourselves directly. The practice of meditation brings us face to face with these false ideas of ourselves - and yoga practice will bring us in close communion with our true nature."