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  • Writer's pictureYAM Patel

How An Eagle taught me Yoga

The first time I met the eagle was during covid. I would wake up between 5.30 and 6.30 am to walk the dogs out into the desert, which was hugged on all sides by the magnificent ocean whose every emotion was played out in the most spectacular way. The island was on lock down and I had lost everything.

By now I was deep into my yogic journey and decided that now was the perfect time to explore the deeper states of meditation. To put all I had learnt into practise and find the truth for myself. However, in the end, it was an Eagle that would show me the way.

I am not sure of the gender of the Eagle, but the energy that emanated was incredibly masculine, so I called him, he. How wrong we humans have got it. Attaching our identity to our genitalia, so we are forever out of balance with our masculine or feminine energy, and therefore with ourselves and others.

He started to arrive on my walks, which always varied slightly in time. At first, he kept a distance, perched upon a large black volcanic rock. Although he kept space between us I felt his power, his gaze, and the magnitude of his presence. However, in the beginning of our connection, I was so deep into myself, I had yet to hear what he had arrived to teach me.

Then the island began to open up for us, as there were no flights coming in or out of the country. I started to windsurf again and teach yoga on an ocean deck, sometimes for fruit and vegetables. All I was seeking was an exchange of energy, not wealth. As the circumference of my movements widened, so did the flight path of the Eagle. He flew over me as I windsurfed. He came to the ocean deck and perched on the roof above. Nearly everywhere I went in silence he appeared. It was then that I began to connect to him, to hear him and to call him when I needed him. Never with words, always with thoughts.

Here is what he told me. I was free. All that I had lost was not me but had in fact liberated me to reconnect with my true self. I could mentally fly and go anywhere I wanted. The whole universe was mine to explore. To do so, all I had to do was un-attach from fear, anger, expectations, love, selfish desires and of course my conditioned mind which held all of the above. To surrender with awareness, spread my wings and open myself to the consciousness that lived in me, that was me.

There were moments when I believed I may be insane and that I was creating this relationship in my head. That it was impossible that an Eagle was showing me the way. Was it not supposed to be some human-like form of a god that would do that? I could see the look in people's eyes when I spotted the Eagle and told them that he was my spirit guide, and that he and I were connected.

Then one day the universe opened a door for me to test our relationship, to hand me the gift of faith based on a foundation of truth.

A team leader of the local organization that worked to preserve all nature in Sal, walked into my life in the most unexpected way. One day I asked him if I could accompany him on his trip to tag baby eagles. I remember him laughing silently when I told him I could talk to eagles and would protect him on the trip. He laughed because on these trips he always wore a helmet and carried sticks to protect himself from the parent eagles that often tried to attack him and his assistant, as they tagged their children. All this on the top edge of a rocky mountain!

However, he humoured me and invited me along on the first expedition. We were to trek to the north of the island to see if the eagles nesting there had given birth to a new generation. He had little hope that we would see the large eagles, I of course knew we would.

As we stopped at the edge of the cliff, looking down at waves greeting the rocks in a tremendous display of water fireworks, they emerged. Two of the most beautiful eagles I had ever seen. They flew over us, around us, and stayed for what seemed like a lifetime. A lifetime in which I sent thoughts of peace and love and they in return opened their world to me. As we watched two ravens try to attack the nest, I was mesmerized. They chased the two ravens straight down the cliff at the speed of a rocket and then right back up again and over the barren landscape. I could feel all their emotions, worry, adrenaline, and then the peace. It was akin to watching B52 fighter planes engage in warfare.

More convinced than before the team leader took me with him to tag the little ones the following week. What ensued was pure magic. On the first mountain, as we sat and the leader climbed over to the nest, two imperial-like eagles arrived. I watched one of them aim for me and start to fly at me. I knew he would not hurt me as I sat still and sent out thoughts of peace and love once again. As he approached me, he flipped his wings up and aimed for the sky. For what must have been 5 minutes he repeated this. Each time flying for me and then at the last minute flying upwards. It was a dance we both enjoyed as we smiled and bowed to each other.

For the rest of the day, wherever we went not one of the Eagles threatened us. Instead, they stayed with us as we tagged their young and left. The sun shone bright, the wind calmed down and all of nature showed up in its finest form to make that day perfect. As I held the baby eagles, while the leader tagged them, I could have closed my eyes and believed I was holding a human baby. Their purity was so great, that I could feel my heart leave me and wrap itself around them. Wanting nothing more than to protect them from us humans. As the sun set, the team no longer had any doubts that something was going on between me and the eagle world.

That day I knew beyound any doubt that Eagles had begun to arrive in my life to show me the way to freedom within myself. They showed me that they too were conscious beings, truly connected, and one of the purest manifestations of the all-encompassing universe.

For we humans are masters of following desire, while resisting our true nature to live in coherence with the planet and all that surrounds it.

Each eagle I met was different, no two were the same in their interaction with me or in their energy. Each arriving to offer me clarity in a separate way, each making me ponder the following.

Each of us is consciousness, a manifestation, not a creation of The All unchanging universal consciousness. What makes each human being different at the individual consciousness level is our karmas and samskaras. When we have cleared all these and reverted back to our purest form we are literally all the same, a united consciousness, Intelligent Nothingness. In following that thought, every living being from plants to animals to water also hold a consciousness inscribed by karmas and samskaras. Each entering a specific form, according to its karma. However, where I was still seeking truth was did their form like ours, give them the means to cleanse karma and be liberated, or were only we humans afforded that privilege?

For is it not that all form is just energy arranged in diverse ways, and all energy holds consciousness? Just as breath is the vehicle for energy (prana), energy is the vehicle for consciousness. This would explain why no two eagles, lions, dogs, chickens, plants, or bodies of water I have ever encountered hold the same essence. Because each holds a karmic history in their consciousness. However, unlike humans, their form does not embody an ego or an analytical conditioned mind. In fact, they live more in congruence with their true conscious self than we humans do, because they are connected to the knowledge that lives within them on how to live with the world, rather than resist it. A knowledge that we all hold within us.

This has often led me to wonder if entering the human form is in fact, a form of hell, from which we can only ascend by purifying our mind and cleansing our consciousness of karma and becoming selfless, literally. Only then are we able to merge back into the light and nature of our pure consciousness.

Every part of nature I have ever listened to and heard has told me a story of suffering, pain, joy, and love. Yet although they hold emotions, just as we do, they do not live their story in the way we humans do, harming ourselves. Nor do they harm others, beyound the need for literal survival. In fact, I believe that unlike us, they do not attach to their emotions. Hence why we only ever use the term emotional for humans.

When covid ended and humans dismantled the walls they had created trying to separate us from nature, I travelled to North America to reconnect with family. If I required more proof of my connection to eagles, it was presented to me here. Everywhere I went, an Eagle appeared. My mom lives in a suburb of Toronto. Every morning I would wake up before the sun rose and walk between the high rises to the local park. On my second day an Eagle met me outside my house, shocking the mind out of me, and guided me in the other direction towards the creek. After that, the two of them met me every day, until I left. Some days they would hover outside our kitchen window or my bedroom window on the 18th floor. In all the years I have visited my mom, I had never seen an eagle, until that visit. From then on everywhere I travelled that summer there was an Eagle or a Hawk. Always in the place I would never expect them to be.

They kept me on my path and reminded me to get back on it whenever I fell off. Telling me over and over again I was free. I was just consciousness in a human form. They told me not to allow that form to enslave me, but to use it to evolve myself, to give selflessly to others, to experience without attachment, and view each experience as a helping hand to learn more about my shackles and handcuffs, known popularly as my conditioned mind. They encouraged me to learn more about the human form, so I could better utilize the tool, just as they did with their form. The tool that if used correctly allowed me to experience this marvellous world, holding its hand, instead of decapitating it with my every thought and action.

They reminded me that they, like the rhino, the earth, and the ocean were all connected to me. And if I just listened and connected, they would lead me out of suffering and into bliss.

When I had finally embraced all they had arrived to teach me, they went back to their worlds. But every time I struggle and seek clarity, I walk out into the desert and no matter what time it is, one or both of them appears. The moment I see them, the answer arrives.

It is for this reason, I have decided to give them a voice, to tell you their stories, so that you too may begin to create your own stories with nature. Humans, the only chance this planet has of surviving in a way that we can live with it, is if we begin to connect to ourselves and then to all of nature. For we are that eagle, and that eagle is all of us.

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