Dearest Yogis - Welcome to the year 2018!
I can not wait to share this year, offering more Yoga to you, as well as continuing on my own exploration alongside you.
Did you set yourself some intentions for the year ahead? Mine are centred on the improvement of the self and the way that my actions can come from a place of independent thought, as opposed to the influence of power of others or my experiences. This can be controversial, as of course, we are perfect as we are. This perfection is innate, but of course we are also influenced and affected by the world around us and the people within it, as well as our direct and past experiences. We wear an outer shell that surrounds this inner light we hold and this armour is defined by the experiences that we have had so far in our lives.
There is a saying in Sanskrit known as...
Ekham Sad Viprah bahudha vadanti
This means, 'the wise call the one truth by many names'.
The 'one truth' is the inner light of awareness.
This inner light is unmannifest. You can't see it, hear it or touch it. But what you can do is experience it. The manifest world is everything that we can sense. The seer or the witness is the light in the unmanifest world, and is the seeable or observable in the manifest world. The light of awareness therefore is described as the divinity that is simply watching the outside manifest world through your individual field of consciousness. The great thing to understand, is how this light of awareness holds no power to change or act on anything in the manifest world, and this applies in the reverse too where the manifest world has no power over the unmanifest. The light of awareness can however influence the outside world by its presence alone, as it's conscious, permanent and eternal, pervading the manifest world. Time does not exist! In contrast, manifest is unconscious and is changing all the time.
If we take time to spend experiencing this luminous self through meditation and yoga, the more that this experience will affect your field of consciousness. It will shine through you and become love, for everything and all others.
Ask yourself, who is thinking when you think? Witness yourself thinking. What do you observe? If you practice namaste without saying it aloud and direct it towards others, especially during challenging times, you can learn to honour the light that shines in all of us.
'Namaste' means to honour the light in me and the light in you.
To connect to the inner light of awareness, allows us to be more kind and compassionate. This centre of our being is our light of awareness. The heart mind field of consciousness is known as citta.
Our consciousness is a field from where the inner light shines, containing our outer mind, inner mind, the ego and our memory. But do you take time to understand how your complex works? It can help you to understand how yoga works too.
Yoga is the calming down of all the mind in your consciousness and the skill and welfare in all your actions, connecting you to the inner self and what you do.
It expands the physical, mental and emotional bodies and refines and stabilises the outside in, as well as the inside out. When you establish the inner peace and contentment inside, you can witness how many things do not bother you anymore. Your focus increases, contributing to health, happiness and spiritual evolution.
To practice Yoga, you need a willingness to change with personal transformation at the core!
Not the physical look of the self but the way you are inside. To practice yoga is to come with an open-mindedness to confront and face habitual behaviours and be prepared to turn inward, to focus attention away from outer sensory distractions. When we learn to meditate, the object of meditation and the inner light of awareness is this focus. Quietening down the consciousness, increases our ability to listen and to know our truth. Regular practice helps to gain momentum, and requires effort and continual practice. We do this both on and off the mat, caring about others as well as the self is important. We can observe how we can become less attached to material things and begin to prioritise love and kindness to others, that goes beyond what we can see to how we can share and cooperate.
All of this is in the Yoga Sutras, written by Patanjali. It defines Yoga as a school of thought. The focus isn't on the postures we do, known as Asana, but an inward journey in to our consciousness, learning to define and improve it. The inner light of awareness.
To understand Yoga - you must first understand the world of you!
Are you ready to get to know yourself with me?
Learning and experiencing the way the psyche works can help your actions. We can visualise this as the seer or witness that sits behind your citta or lens and sees the outside world in all its manifestations. Often your lens is blurred by a veil of clutter that we have accumulated over time. If we practice yoga, this veil begins to clear and lets the light shine through to the outside world where you as the witness can see things with clarity. Patanjali says in 4.23 sutra that our citta is coloured by the outside world and the seer, which makes it the focus of our yoga practice.
Our outer mind or Manas serves to process sensory perceptions or impressions coming in. And if it is defected it stores information in the memory. The buddi is the inner mind or the intellect, this is the part of the citta that makes decisions and interprets the information based on what is in your memory. The inner mind is influenced by the inner light of awareness. The ego identifies ourself as separate from other people. It is necessary to have an ego but the problem arises as it likes the power and to control, attach and possess things. What our practices help with is to keep the ego subservient to the Buddi, the inner mind. We ingest every experience that we have ever had and store it in our memory, and some leave a stronger impression on us. These impressions affect our thoughts, our words and our actions. So it is important that the impressions that come in are positive and helpful as much as possible. To help the ego to stay serving the inner mind, it needs something that it considers to be higher than itself and we call this the Isvara. To have something we consider to be higher, cultivates humility and helps the energy or Shakti pass through us and transfer to something higher than the self. When the inner mind is influenced by the light of awareness it transforms us to be mindful, kind, compassionate and to think more carefully about our thought, words and actions.
Essentially you can not change another, you can only change yourself. Yoga promotes this self transformation and the ability to develop independent thinking. To clear this heart mind field of consciousness, the light is present in every cell of our bodies and concentrated in the heart area. The centre of physical, spiritual and subtle body, the seat of prana life force. This whole inner light shining will influence others by simply being you. Part of our memory is called the karmasaya, this stores all of our experiences called Karma and it is where our strong habitual patterns are held.
Tonight we observe the light off the back of a superman and the full moon, also known as the Wolf Moon. Howl aloud and let your inner light shine as we work to clear our citta and see clearly in to our outside world ahead.
This year is your chance to shine bright!
Love to you all,