Sunday, June 7, 2009

What does All Maya mean?


For some reason not a lot of people ask me about this, even when my email address for the past 15 years has been allmaya, my license plate on my car is ALL MAYA and my user name on most social media sites is allmaya, I'm surprised at how few people ask me about it. But the few that do ask me are always fun to watch when I tell them. It's like asking a 5 year old what they want to be when they grow up and they answer you with a full rundown of their plans to attend Harvard Medical School and then take up a specialty practice in Neonatal ICU - it just isn't what you expect as a response. Fireman, nurse, teacher, but not the depth of thought maybe.

So I thought it was worth a post. Maya is a Sanskrit word that represents the veil of illusion that we perceive the world through - a filter that is our perceptions, judgments and past experiences clouding this reality, changing it, making it in our own vision but changing it along the way from reality to illusion. For most of us the filter is so strong that by the time an experience gets through to us, it resembles nothing like what actually happened. This is why sometimes a situation will be experienced by two people and it is as if they didn't experience the same thing - because they didn't.

When I apply this to my own life it helps me to let go of things that upset me, things I don't like, things that don't turn out the way I wanted them to turn out. I hop in my car or I check my email and these words all maya remind me that whatever I perceive isn't reality - a reminder that it is all an illusion - all maya - something I made up and my emotional reactions aren't real either. They are merely my reactions to this made up story. It helps put things into perspective.

The great thing about this is that I can make up a different reality for anything that happens, I can choose another illusion and a different reaction if I want to. I did this at one time in my life as part of a 22 day intensive course where everyday for 22 days I had to tell my workshop partner my life story, over and over again. But each day I had to change the theme of my life story; one day to be the victim, the next to be the hero, one day my life as a tragedy, the next as a comedy. Let me tell you, after 22 days, I was so sick of my story I didn't ever want to hear it again. And I realized something even more important - it was just a story. It wasn't real. It was the made up things in my mind that were reactions to things that just happened, neither good or bad or happy or tragic, they just were. What a powerful release that was - to see it all as maya, my own personal illusion that was getting in my way of seeing the world as it truly is.

The tarot deck has a powerful figure that represents this concept, the high priestess. She sits in a place of honor with the scroll of our life on her lap. Behind her is the veil of illusion that once we are able to let go of, will reveal to us our true purpose in life. I like this image and she inspires me to let go of these things that stop me from seeing the world and my place in it for what it truly is and what I can truly be - a perfect child of God.

1 comment:

  1. A lot of food for thought. If we remember that others see things through a different "veil," understanding will be easier.

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