The Death of Dreams (Part 3 of 3: Rebirth)

“Death is only the beginning”

We hear this a lot, but I don’t think anyone believes it. But by the nature of physical laws, it has to be true. Energy isn’t created or destroyed, it transforms.

The concept of entropy, or disordered energy, never decreases, but to increase until maximum entropy equilibrates the system. But this doesn’t account for the creation of the system, so it is an incomplete picture due to our lack of understanding of the nature of energy. In truth, I think that people believe that the modern world is much more intelligent than it is. We don’t even really understand how neurons work, let alone the entire human brain. We don’t have the technology to truly understand and measure these minuscule and highly complex concepts.

I don’t know if death is the beginning for the subject that has died, but the death of anything, certainly does mean that a new beginning is coming. All things must end, at one point or another; this is why detachment is such a key concept to finding nirvana. Rebirth implies transformation, and it cannot happen without the freedom and liberation that death creates.

About 18 months ago I ended a relationship that I knew needed to end. Eight months later I moved back to California, to pursue a dream that was growing inside of me, to teach yoga around the world. But I had to let my previous dream die to make space for this new one to grow.

When I was younger I always had problems with love. I went to an all boys high school, Jesuit in Carmichael and it didn’t do well for my social attitude towards women. This changed dramatically in college, but I was always awkward, I never really knew how to act towards the girls that I was interested in. But I had a dream to fall in love and do it right; to be completely committed without hesitation and to share souls with someone else. And then it happened.

I moved to Paris when I was 20 to study French, the major I switched to at the end of my sophomore year. International business, my first major, wasn’t very fun for me and I wasn’t motivated to succeed at all in the classes. I went over there with the dream of bringing back some magnificent French woman who would be the love of my life.

In March, right before Saint Patrick’s Day, I met a girl who changed my life, forever. Her name was Kim and it was like being dropped into a fantasy land. We explored the city together, went on adventures, and had the time of our lives. She was american and from the East Coast and there was so much that was exciting and new. It was like being in a whole new world, colors were brighter, the sun shone higher in the sky, and everything seemed so magnificent. I’ll remember walking through that city with new love in my heart forever, alongside one of the most special people I have ever met.

But like all things, it ended. June came around and we returned to the states and separated to finish school. The rest is history so I won’t get into details now, but the relationship didn’t work out in the end. It was one of the saddest days in my life when it ended. Might have been the saddest, I don’t know. It devastated both of us.

But in the end, I was making space for myself to grow. Death is powerful; volcanic soil is the most fertile, people statistically make love more after funerals than any other event, and the most powerful organisms grow in the wake of enormous death. Even the T-rex was a carnivore and scavenger; part of the reason it could maintain such an enormous size is that it could chew throw enormous carcasses and bones. Just look at the baby-boomers after World War II, the entire country had a collective baby-craze.

So maybe death is just the beginning. Sink into its power and you will find limitless potential. Life is most potent when death surrounds it; the significance grows much more powerful. Give death room and hold space for it; something magnificent will grow in its wake.

“The goal is ne…

“The goal is near for those who are supremely vigorous and intense in practice”

Yogis who practice with enthusiasm, self-honesty, and high levels of energy are close to reaching Samadhi, or the supremely blissful state of existence. But sometimes, even the most intense and powerful of aspirants may become mild or average, slow and moderate in his practice.

This is part of the Sutras where Patanjali talks about the different categories of practitioners and their path on the yoga journey to enlightenment. I interpret this as attempting to give continued inspiration to people who take their practice seriously, and gives understanding that even the most powerful and steadfast of yogis will experience some turbulence on the journey. Bad days happen. Consistency is key with yoga, so detaching from the performance of a practice is key, especially for the impassioned yogi.


Patanjali on partial understanding

“Uncertain knowledge giving rise to violence, whether done directly or indirectly, or condoned, is caused by greed, anger, or delusion in mild, moderate, or intense degree. It results in endless pain and ignorance. Through introspection comes the end of pain and ignorance.”

<> – Patanjali (most believe this personification of the yoga guru to be a compilation of ancient Hindu philosophers, rather than an individual)

This quote refers to acting according to uncertain knowledge and how it leads towards painful experiences. Just knowing a part of the story is not enough to act or truly understand a situation; this is why detachment from the situation is important. Then you can examine which variables that are unknown as decide what is likely, while detaching from the conclusion as well. Then no matter the situation or outcome, the yogi is peaceful, calm, and happy. I think that partial knowledge is perfectly useful, but action should be carefully examined before acting on a partial understanding.

Krishna showing Arjuna his ultimate form

Quote of Day 12/14/13

Sri Krishna to Arjuna:

“Four kinds of virtuous men worship me, O’Arjuna. These are the distressed, the seeker of knowledge, the seeker of wealth, and the man of wisdom O’Bharata.

Of these, the man of wisdom, who is ever united with me in yoga, through single minded devotion, is the foremost. I am extremely dear to the man of wisdom and he too is very dear to me.

All these are noble indeed, but the man of wisdom I regards to be united in the self, and has resorted to Me alone as the Supreme Goal.

At the end of many births, the man of wisdom seeks refuge in Me alone, realizing ‘Vasudeva‘ is all. Its is indeed very difficult to find such a great soul (Mahatma).


“The Sandskrit names of the asanas are significant and illustrate the principle of evolution. Some are named after vegetation like the tree (vrksa) and the lotus (padma); some after insects like the locust (salabha) and the scorpion (vrschika); some after aquatic animals and amphibians like the fish (matsya), the tortoise (kurma), the frog (bheka or manduka), or the crocodile (nakra). There are asanas called after the birds like the cock (kukkuta), the heron (baka), the peacock (mayura) and the swan (hamsa). They are also named after the quadrupeds like the dog (svana), the horse (vatayana), the camel (ustra) and the lion (simha). Creatures that crawl like the serpent (bhujanga) are not forgotten, nor is the human embryonic state (garbha-pinda) overlooked. Asanas are named after legendary heroes like Virabhadra and Hanuman, son of the wind Sages like Bharadvaja, Kapila, Vasistha and Visvamitra are remembered by having asanas named after them. Some asanas are also called after the gods of the Hindu pantheon and some recall the Avataras or incarnations of divine power. While performing the asanas the yogi’s body assumes many forms resembling a variety of creatures. His mind is trained not to despise any creature, for he knows that throughout the whole gamut of creation, from the lowliest insect to the most perfect sage, there breathes the same universal spirit, which assumes innumerable forms. He knows that the highest form is that of the formless. He finds unity in universality.”

BKS Iyengar writes this in his introduction to yoga. I think that it is a really good description of what yoga does; forcing us to become conscious of our environment, our selves, and the beings around us. Yoga means union and I think this quote explains why yoga is so universal. A lot of people view yoga as soft, but I think it can be extraordinarily scientific with proper technique.

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