You got 'The Look' right? Want to Look like this? Like that? Like her? Like him? I want, I want, I wish... blah blah blah.
Black friday to the darkest black, but it aint friday and it aint about consumption, it's about stripping it all back, its about less!!!!! It's about the dark that appears inside us all and when that light gets shined on it, we are exposed not by the flash of the camera for a glossy instagram picture or video that gets clipped of our bottom (apologies for that mishap) BUT its about Raga (desire)!!!!! Its about ignorance and its about accepting pain! Ever wondered what that looks like?
It is interesting what our perception is of others and when you got 'the look', what is assumed of you, of me, of us. I guess you never know what is going on in the inside, the outside is just one projection right. Well.... what if 'The Look' was perfection... the reality was Exhaustion and Pain?!
THE LOOK OF EXHAUSTION. The LOOK OF PAIN.
It creeps up on you and the mask we wear can never truly show what the physical and the mental state really looks like.
I sit here in Glastonbury once again off the back of some more Yoga Training... and guess what my body wanted to do? ... SLEEP!
We spoke about in a previous blog the need for tuning in. How incredibly apparent it becomes that a lot of us with a temperament that is Tapas (heat) actually run on our adrenals. What this does is gives us this false sense of energy that excels us in to high states of being and allows us to rush around, believing we have the power to survive anything that presents itself to us and away we go, flying through the clouds in to the space all around us, blinded by the actual reality that this is in fact a false sense of self and we are in actual fact - EXHAUSTED.
I experienced this first hand and do you know, it gives NO WARNING SIGNS. There it is. Body says in a number of manifestations and emotions, come down from the clouds and lie here in the softness and stillness that exists below and rest.
Like the wind, we swirl around and rustle up all kinds of wonder as we go. We create chaos and beauty, we allow ourselves to drift and get carried away by its motion, the motions of life and new connections and then we forget that the wind comes and it goes, sometimes at a pace of force and at other times just in the form of a gentle breeze that caresses our skin.
"We are changing - we have got to change - we can no more help it than leaves can help going yellow and coming loose in autumn. - D.H. LAWRENCE.
Do you know the meaning of Raga in Yogic terms or to you is this a word that represents some of the coolest music around :)
So this month I have been studying The Kleshas and Raga is one of these. Raga as I said above means Desire. Kleshas in yogic philosophy are the obstacles that we encounter.
Each one leads on to the other and before we know it we are in a state of all of them. From the greatest sages to the person that has drawn no connection (thus far) to their spiritual self, we all enter these states and yet here in Yoga once again (Hallelujah) we have been given the texts that allow us to understand what and when we are in these states in order to make change or to even just witness the change that has already occurred within us.
'The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali'- Book Two, describes the Kleshas and highlights Sutra 7. Raga.
Sukha = pleasure; uneasy = follows with; ragah = attachment.
Attachment is that which follows identification with pleasurable experiences.
Attachment to pleasure or Raga is a pain-bearing obstacle describes Satchidananda in the commentary of Patanjali. By attaching ourselves to pleasure we expect happiness from it, forgetting that happiness is always within us as the True Self. We become attached to whatever makes us happy and we create an aversion to the things that we associate to make us unhappy... We call this Dvesha (Aversion).
Happiness seems to be the basic need of everyone and everything in this world. Satchidananda compares this to plants that grow towards the light when placed in the dark and a worm that rolls to the shade when being shined upon by the heat of the sun. The ancient scriptures fable of the deer, whose forehead gives off a musk fragrance, runs around in search of the scent not knowing that it comes from his own head. Our happiness, is reflected and distorted right back at us from what exists in our own inner self.
What follows this association to happy and unhappiness is Abhinivesha (Fear of not living/ Fear of death)
Clinging to life, flowing by its own potency (due to past experiences), exists even in the wise.
If the manifestation of Raga and Aversion become your way of life, many of us begin to Cling to life. This forms the need to either begin to fear letting go of these things that make us happy or doing things in a way that we can avoid this sense of unhappiness and essentially, we in fact are not living at all. There becomes too much control and we begin to rush about in seek of happiness, consuming our lives by these experiences and what comes next is the burn. The pain that this is all an illusion. Essentially this is all based on our past experiences. Something needs to have happened to us in order to have these associations with these things, good or bad, and then this informs why we choose to live in such a way.
Yoga says instinct is a trace of an old experience that has been repeated many times and the impressions have sunk down to the bottom of the mental lake.
Do something several times it forms a HABIT.
Continue with that habit a long time it becomes our CHARACTER.
Continue with that character and eventually it becomes, in another life, AN INSTINCT.
Essentially, these all come from IGNORANCE (Avidya). This is the first obstacle.
Ignorance is regarding the impermanent as permanent, the impure as pure, the painful as pleasant, and the non-self as the Self.
The self is the eternal never changing One. Everything is actually nothing but the Self, in our ignorance we see things as being different. We take the changing appearances to be the unchanging truth. When we forget this truth, we become the non-self, the basic ignorance.
Asmita (Egoism) is the reflection of the true self and will always be falsely represented by the ego until our ignorance is removed.
We need a light - a light of wisdom (jnana) to see that the world is no longer a world and all the qualities we call the non-self appear in their true nature. In total darkness, nothing can be seen.
It is to dispel this ignorance that yoga is practiced. It is that place within the darkness and the bright light that we begin to see and understand the truth.
Rather than seek and consume, begin to minimise! Minimise the obstacles (kleshas) and attain Samadhi! This is Kriya Yoga. Our true nature (Purusha).
SO WHEN WE ARE EXHAUSTED... TAPAS meaning 'to burn or create heat' and if you are a tapas constitution, when exhausted you could say you have burned out! Even thinking about this as a process might seem that way. Acknowledging this we may start from the beginning of Patanjali Book Two and remember...
Accepting Pain as help for purification, study of spiritual books and surrender to the Supreme Being constitute Yoga in practice. The more you fire gold, the more pure it becomes so essentially by accepting pain, even when we seek to run after pleasure which is the nature of the mind, we become happier to receive pain because we are aware of it purifying effects. This makes the mind steady and strong. This too creates self- discipline as we begin to learn to receive pain without the need to return it back out to others or the world. Pain is an opportunity to steady our minds and burn out the impurities. What a yoga thing to say, right?! Suffer to seek enlightenment! BUT deep down you know it's simply truth.
IT AIN'T ABOUT PERFECTION, IT AIN'T ABOUT ALWAYS BEING HAPPY, IT'S ABOUT AWARENESS AND ACCEPTING YOURSELF AND OTHERS JUST AS THEY ARE - EMBRACE THE PAIN, MINIMISE THE EXHAUSTION AND THE NEED TO CLING TO LIFE BY SIMPLIFYING IT.
That LOOKS very different on the outside but in the inside is just the same. Kriya Yoga comprises Tapas, svadhyaya and isvara pranidhanam.
So that look, that image you have, well you can achieve it if you simply look within and find that place between, know that state of happiness is you in your true nature and trust, then watch it radiate out of you like a beam of pure, clear starlight in the dark.
ARE YOU READY???????
YOUR SELF IS READY FOR YOU TO COME AND FIND IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Clue: Find it right where your heart is).
See you this week in class!