Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Everything that has life, will have a pulse, where there is a pulse there is movement. Nothing living is stagnant. Connecting with life force or spirit means ones becomes dynamic. In our western culture everything is put into boxes. Red labeled. Creating boxes creates rigidity and stiffness. That is the cause of so much stress and anxiety. The muscles in our body have become tight and stiff, our minds in flexible, our intelligence can no longer think outside the box. This stagnant energy that consumes our body and minds are often the cause for physical and mental illness. Our natural creativity has unfortunately become blocked.
Yoga in the west has unfortunately in some cases become like this. Being put in a box our yoga practice also carries labels. Yoga is meant to break the walls of ours boxes that we build, but so many times while holding a pose we are holding and creating tension and stress around the neck and shoulder area, or by trying to twist our bodies into some unnatural way to fit into the ‘yoga box’, we cause our bodies injuries. The motives to lose weight look sexy or tone the body again only traps us into this rigid western mindset.
We have become so external and absorbed only in the physical that we have disconnected ourselves from the inner dynamic pulse of life that yoga has to offer. If we can come back to what our essence is, connecting with that empowering energy within, our yoga practice on and off the matt will become dynamic and full of life.
In your personal flow of life, there are so many do’s and do not’s. Both in ones life and in ones yoga practice. Don’t just follow rules because it the “right thing to do” it the “norm” or a tradition. If you do that, your yoga practice and your life’s journey will become rigid, stagnant, and dry. There will be no sweetness, no Rasa (taste) or pleasure. This does not mean you throw tradition away, or rules and regulations and follow what the mind dictates. Understand the meaning of the rule or tradition, learn to go deeper to relish the inner meaning, as if it is not a rules but a key to freedom. Feel the moment, become conscious of the moment and infuse it with bhakti (devotion) and relish the action that you carry out. Make it a self-less offering. That is yoga.
The Yoga Bhakti Flow
Moving from a sacred place, where spirit moves you not the mind. Feeling the pulse is feeling the connection with your pure essence. That pure essence or pure self is pure love. Tap into the source and allow your movement be an expression of love (bhakti). Do not move from an ego-centered motive or create a flow of sensuality. Let bhakti or love transform your movement. Let it come from within, not from the thinking mind or driven body. Take that bhakti flow not just on your matt but of the matt also, how you move in the world, how you interact with others.
Many of our acts of the matt are driven by personal selfish motive, “what’s in it for me”, what am I getting from my actions. We do not come to our matt or life with the mindset of what can I give, how can I serve and give to others. Unfortunately we are driven by our attachments, our ego and bodily desires. Constant external projection and distraction of mind and senses, draws us away from our inner sacredness and purity.
Ones actions are an expression of what is in the heart. Many times our heart is full of resentment or bad feelings that we have been holding onto for years. Our challenge is to be able to truly let go. Know that what you hold on to does not hurt the person who may have hurt you, but that emotion only hurts you, both physically and emotionally. Forgiveness is an act of love, it take humility and compassion. Compassion takes detachment from your personal gain and motives, and means empathizing with another. Feeling another’s pain and hurt, this can allow you to let go of your pain and hurt.
Tapping into sacred, pure love, is a dimension and experience that is foreign to most of us; it means stepping away from acts that are centered on oneself. Through offering service to others as well as connecting with the Divine higher power within, that Divine source of love may then radiate through you to others, in a way that does not make one feel depleted, but fully satisfied and only increases ones potency to give. Example of this is spiritual personalities like the Buddha, the Dialama, Saint Francis, and many more in within all traditions.
When the heart is filled with this pure sacred love, then whatever action one does will be infused with Bhakti (love). One will see and react to life’s challenges, not out of defense or driven by selfish motives, but those challenges will be the pathway to experience an ocean of love. Those challenges will be an opportunity to let go, to forgive, to open up to a Divine arrangement and to ultimately surrender