By Swami Samvidaananda
I ate a cannoli the other day. It was delicious. We went to our local Italian bakery and sat inside for a pastry and espresso. It felt like a major outing, especially with the year we’ve had. It was fun, and satisfying, and fueled me until dinner. Food is important. Your body does its best when you feed it delicious, nutritious food. And, of course, the occasional cannoli (or treat of your choice). Every body is different, but you know when you feel well-fed.
What do you feed your mind? An ancient yoga text says:
J~naanam annam. — Shiva Sutra 2.9
Knowledge is food.
J~naanam means knowledge; anna means food. Knowledge feeds you. It’s built into our language: you can say you savored a book. Just like a good meal, you can devour it. You can polish it off. There’s a satisfaction and pleasure in knowing things. As a little kid I was eager for summer to end. I couldn’t wait to go back to school and learn new things. My younger brother knows every detail of every episode of “The Brady Bunch.” It’s knowledge he will gladly share with you. Thanks to the internet, you can instantly know about practically anything. Just like Jefferson Airplane’s song “White Rabbit” says, you can “feed your head.”
While entertaining, this kind of knowledge is not what the sutra points to. There’s a deeper knowledge that feeds you in an entirely different way. It’s the knowing of the hidden dimension of your being, called your Self. Your Self is your innermost Divine Essence. You are made of God and so is everyone and everything else.
There’s only One Ever-Existent Essence of Beingness. That One Beingness is being everything that exists. And that Beingness is your Self. Your Self is the source of your peace, your creativity and joy. Your capacity for generosity, happiness and love arises from the radiant depths of your Self.
You discover your Self when you dive beneath your ever-fluctuating thoughts. How do you dive within? By meditating. Svaroopa® Vidya Meditation specializes in revealing the deeper dimensions of your Self to you — so you know who you are. This is the knowledge that feeds you. When you know your Self, you truly feel nourished. There’s a blissful fullness and satisfaction to knowing your Self. You are nurtured and sustained from within.
That doesn’t mean you miss out on cannolis. Or that you’ll no longer delight in reading a book. Whatever you choose, you’ll enjoy, appreciate and participate in it more than ever before. That’s because you’ll bring your blissful Divinity to everything you do. It’s the best way to live!