By Gurudevi Nirmalananda
It’s not just spring, there’s something more going on. New possibilities, a bounce in your step, fresh energy, even optimism – after years of laying low, it’s time to emanate again. For us in the northern hemisphere, it coincides nicely with spring.
Planetary cycles have held us up for several years, with the pandemic and fear of death hovering over every encounter. Only a few weeks ago, it felt scary to go out without a mask, but now I don’t think about it.
Unmilana is the Sanskrit word for blossoming forth. It is also translated as the opening of your eyes or the uncovering of the sun at the end of an eclipse. It feels that way. You can poke your head out. The sun is shining!
When bears emerge from their winter hibernation, they spend a couple of weeks in “walking hibernation.” They get out less; they do less. You may be in that phase yourself. After all, home has been a safe haven for quite a while. But your comfort zone can become a trap.
Unmilana also means coming forth, along with becoming visible. While online connections have made visual connections possible during our period of seclusion, there’s nothing like getting together in person. There’s even biochemistry to it.
When women get together, their bodies produce more serotonin and oxytocin, which are called “happiness hormones.” With male bonding, testosterone and cortisol are more involved. Bottom line, it’s physical as well as mental and emotional.
In yoga, we focus on a deeper reality, the spiritual dimension of your own being. This is a time of great opportunity. You could blossom forth from your deeper dimensions or you could get lost in worldly drama. It’s all described in this sutra:
Svecchayaa svabhittau vi”svam unmiilayati. — Pratyabhij~nah.rdayam 2
By free will alone, Consciousness blossoms forth the universe on the screen of her own existence.
You’re doing the same thing as you emerge from your pandemic seclusion, with one minor exception. The sutra says the unmilana or blossoming forth of Consciousness is what created this universe, while you are blossoming forth into the universe that already exists. Since you are part of the universe, you get to choose what part you will play in it.
Will you be a consumer or a producer? If you were holed up during the pandemic, your focus was on consumption, specifically how you could get everything you needed to make it through an unknown time period. Now that you are emerging into the world, you have an opportunity to focus on what you can give.
To draw from your depths and to share with others, this is unmilana – also translated as twinkling. Like a star at night, you can bring the light of your own being into the world, which makes a difference for everyone.
How do you find the light of your own being? Look in the direction where it resides. That’s inside. Meditate.