The Dynamic Tension of Identity: What we can learn through the Atma Shatakam:




Sunday, February 21, 2021, 10 – 12 Puerto Vallarta time

The question of identity is a fascinating one, especially given the most fundamental message of the Yoga Sutras and the directive to “rest in our own true nature.” Does our “true nature” negate our material nature? Even in terms of social justice, we sometimes hear words like “We’re all the same,” and yes, in some ways we are, but clearly in many ways we are not, especially in terms of access and opportunity. So how do we deal with this question of identity?

Well, sometime around the 6th Century BCE, a six stanza poem emerged, attributed to Adi Shankara, an Indian philosopher and theologian who consolidated and taught the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta – a school of thought anchored in non-dualism. In this poem, Shankaracharya described himself in terms of what he is not – essentially all of the identities he wore as a person of that time, as a person of faith. At the end of each stanza, he proclaimed what he was – loving awareness, consciousness itself.

I have used this poem for over a decade in helping people to undo and examine various identities, while still acknowledging the reality of our material form. I have seen people move out of anxiety, depression and general “stuckness,” by playing with the ideas presented within this powerful declaration. Join me to learn more about the poem and how to use it to find your own “unstuckness” – to explore and own the many truths of “what you are” as a human person, and the one truth of “who you are” as a divine presence.


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