By Barbara Schuette on October 26, 2021
Samavesha is a Sanskrit term that means the study of self. But let’s first try to understand this word “Sanskrit” that we hear so commonly referred to in the yoga world.
Sanskrit is the original language of yoga. It is an ancient language that is the classical language of India. It literally connects us to the classical form of yoga that has been orally repeated for thousands of years. There is a deep and rich philosophy beneath the yoga practice. Sanskrit is the language by which that philosophy lives, breathes + flows.
Samavesha is a yoga term that has a lot of meaning in the meditation practice. I like to think of it in meditation as this balance between the inside and the outside. The balance between our relationship with self and our relationship with others.
The yoga practice ultimately wants us to have a better relationship and understanding of ourselves. Yoga is not about getting better at yoga. Yoga is about having a better understanding of who we are in our mind, body + spirit and carrying that knowledge of ourselves as we interact with others in our external world. This connection we have with self can help us make the world a more peaceful and happy place to live.
From the Dhammapada, which is a philosophical yogic text, we learn that our jobs here are “to laugh with wisdom and tenderly care for the precious days we are given.” For me this pretty much sums it all up, highlighting “to laugh.” We just don’t need to take it all so seriously.
With this in mind, let our relationship with ourselves be a dance. Enjoy the flux between the inward and the outward: between being with self and being with others. In time alone, you will build nutrients to bring to your relationships. In time with others, you can lean into support and being nurtured and loved.
Something that has helped me in my own self study is “maitri” which translates loving kindness toward oneself. There is a great need for that in today's world of constant interaction with computers, cell phones, and multi media. A wonderful book that offers heart advice for difficult times and enlightenment for our own self study is Pema Chodron’s "When Things Fall Apart."