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Wednesday, February 27


Kyle Thomas Marshall guides yoga and meditation at Moksha Yoga Uptown and Downtown.  The downtown studio is where Naomi reconnected with him when she began practicing just 6 months after he discovered the Moksha community.  With an interest in learning more about Kyle's spirituality and life story, we met up on a snowy morning, days before he left for Los Angeles to attend a seminar for Moksha yoga instructors. Our conversation left my mind spinning with lasting influence.

In his early 20s Kyle suffered from an episode in which his "center was blown open in a second."  Fevered visions plagued him for 3 weeks, leaving him with the question "who am I really?"  It was Ojelanki Ngwenyama, a family member and professor of Information Technology Managment  at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson, who became his teacher and guide, leading him to meditation and an awarness of the ineffable.  I consider myself a "seeker" after the big questions.  Kyle is calmly rooted in the answers, and understands, like the great teachers, that the answer is simple, so simple that it is hard to accept in our seemingly complicated world.  What I gleaned in our limited encounter is that the purpose in life is for consciousness to realize itself.  Once this is achieved you realize that: you lack nothing, you don't have to be burdened by conventions and expectations, and everything is one.  In reaching this realization you are free to do anything.

An image that has stayed with me is a pendulum that Kyle described.  He explained that if the pendulum is your life, most exist at the swinging end, chasing something unattainable, controlled by our petty moods and insular mindset, and unable to see the big picture.  The goal is to spend most of the time at the top of the pendulum, observing the swings of fortune and misfortune but remaining unfazed, centred and self aware.   The concepts are clear but the achievement can be hard.  Kyle credits spending time at the Ontario Vipassana Centre outside of Barrie, where he attends 10 day retreats of total silence.  It will often take him 7 days to turn off the chatter of the world but he reaches a point that he described loosely as "meditation happens when there is no meditator."

It is human nature to question our purpose and I think that Kyle has been called to guide the discovery to the answers that are right in front of us, teaching Yoga and meditation as a means to this end.  I appreciate how grounded in reality he is, how clearly he speaks and how unbound he is to any specific tradition or system.  We ended our conversation discussing Jesus (the man and teacher, not the god), and Kyle recommended reading the Gospel of Thomas, a cryptic apocryphal text.  Ideas we discussed resonated in some of the passages which I thought you may enjoy:

3) Jesus said, "If those who lead you say, 'See, the Kingdom is
in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they
say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you.
Rather, the Kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you.
When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and
you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living
Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty
and it is you who are that poverty."

70)  Jesus said, "If you bring forth what is within you, what you
bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is
within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."
91) They said to Him, "Tell us who You are so that we may
believe in You."
He said to them, "You read the face of the sky and of the
earth, but you have not recognized the one who is before you, and
you do not know how to read this moment."

Passages sourced from Sacred Text Archive

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