Take today for example. I've been teaching my college classes about the Yamas. You know, ahimsa, satya, asteya, brahmacharya, and aparigraha. Each week I introduce a new tenet, we discuss and I ask the students to try and weave the practice into their daily life. We touch base at our next class and talk about how it's going. Then we move on to asana practice. Next week we start the Niyamas.
Since we finished up the Yamas this week, I asked my class today if they had any questions or observations after discussing these ideas and practicing with them. One of my students raised his hand and said the following (paraphrasing as little as possible here so you get the full effect!).
"Yes, I've been thinking a lot about these ideas. To me, it seems like the whole world is an ocean of energy and if you don't know about these yamas, it's like your anchored the bottom of the ocean floor, stuck and unable to move. However, once you learn these ideas, you release your anchor and start to float to the top of the energy ocean and learn to ride the waves as they come. You are free and able to navigate the energy without getting pulled to the bottom again."
Needless to say I was floored and at the same time, overjoyed. What a beautiful explanation and given I spend most of my time thinking the students are bored of talking about the Yamas, I was in shock that one of them had given the ideas so much thought. And yes, perhaps he was inspired by song lyrics or something he read somewhere, but it felt genuine and not contrived. Not only that, but he had artfully described a concept that we hadn't or wouldn't even touch on this semester. What he was talking about was liberation, or Jivanmukti, someone who is liberated in this life time. Ironically enough, I was wearing my Jivamukti Charleston t-shirt today.
I was then taken aback when only five minutes later another student of mine beautifully described what true love means to him. Again, I was floored. I won't even try to reiterate because I can't do it justice. I've tried already and have typed, deleted, and retyped it too man times. Just trust me on this one.
Of course, my students also say a lot hilarious things, but they always have the best questions. It's days like this though when I really love my job.