Wisdom and true understanding come from experiential knowledge. While reading the words of the masters is absolutely necessary it is but one part of the yoga practice that guides us to ourselves to gain this knowing. For all that we need, all the answers to the questions we are asking, can really only be answered by looking within.
When we come into contact with our True Selves, we begin to understand, realize that everything in the external world is truly a reflection of our internal state of being. We have created either, consciously or unconsciously, absolutely every circumstance in our lives. This may be very difficult to accept, when we see that the external world is full of chaos and injustice.
The easiest way to verify that the external world is a reflection of our internal experience is by becoming aware of what is happening within ourselves.
The practices of yoga are a systematic science that enables us to remove the blockages and obstacles that prevent us from seeing who we are and how that person is affecting the outcome of our very lives.
Spiritual practices of contemplation, meditation, prayer, and selfless service are all intended to bring greater awareness to ourselves about our relationship with the people in the world around us. This path takes courage, honestly, and perseverance to be able to confront the aspects of ourselves which could be considered darkness, shadow or negative.
It is through these practices that we begin to understand that these shadows are what helps us to appreciate the light and have deeper compassion for the experience of being human.
Where does this motivation to embark on this challenging path come from?
It is an inner calling to know the truth, to be set free from suffering, and to help others to be free themselves from their suffering. Everyone is on their own unique individual path evolving at their own pace. At some point in the process of our evolution, we begin to yearn for an alternative to the modes of living that create the suffering.
Eventually we have had enough. Eventually we are willing to commit to the process. Eventually we are able to let go. Eventually we must trust a new process, a new method, a new life.
For many people the path to awakening becomes a neccessity, once they have hit rock bottom. This is the grace of the Divine. For living a life of comfort and luxury, can be a cage that prevents us from seeking greater meaning for our lives. A cage with golden bars, is still a cage. A person trapped in a golden cage is susceptible to complacency, an acceptance of status quo.
Complacency is an obstacle on the path to evolution. So, in the ultimate perfection of this universe, each person comes to their own turning point at just the right time, through the right means. We can neither push them onto a path or pull them onto ours.
When that desire for liberation is awakened within ourselves, we can never go back to the lives we were living before. Those who hear this calling can not deny its existence or the urge to seek, to experience love of the Divine.
Yoga is the science of answering this call for Union. This path of yoga is in no way adding to ourselves, it is only removing the misunderstandings, barriers, incorrect identifications and helping us return to what we already are. This is a process of letting go of erroneous belief systems that are instilled in us by the ego driven institutions around us that are only a reflection of our own levels of consciousness.
If we want to change things outside of us, we must be willing to change within. The science of yoga has lasted thousands of years because it is a step by step guide to the Truth. In the West we have become attached to the physical aspects of yoga because our level of consciousness is at the material level.
However, a shift has already begun because as physical aspects of yoga grow in popularity in the West, the door to the deeper aspects of the science is opening for more and more people. It is important to remember that the ego is very cunning and will employ any tactic to maintain its predominance in our psyche, in our consciousness.
Looking at ourselves through this mirror of yoga we begin to ask ourselves:
Why am I here? Why am I doing this? Is it serving a higher purpose? Am I serving a higher purpose? Is this life serving a higher purpose?
Yoga is not a quick fix, take a pill remedy and everything will be okay. The yoga journey requires strength, courage, devotion and the ability to be honest with ourselves. So let us offer our practices to something greater than ourselves. For when we affect change in ourselves, it has an impact on the mass consciousness of which we are all a part.
Begin by looking at your own thoughts. Realize you are not your thoughts or your mind. You are the awareness that is experiencing and then choose the experience you wish to have. Experience the changes. Experience the shifts. Experience the fluctuations. Experience the wisdom that comes form within.
Healer, Spiritual Advisor, Yogini, Mentor