“The frightening nature of knowledge leaves one no alternative but to become a warrior.” Carlos Castenada
Although we all differ vastly in our makeup, our connection through the web of life brings each of us back to our inner awakening to Divine presence. If you do not believe in a God or in the traditional religion-based image of God, then you will see consciousness as your higher Self-your better half, as it were. Regardless of your beliefs, know that you play an important role in the world as a spiritual being and that you are made up of the conditioned mindsets constructed from all past actions taken by you and interconnected to all past actions taken throughout time by other human beings. Cause and effect, action and reaction are all part of the connection we have to all that exists in the present and all that happened in the past.When you step onto the path of yoga you set forth on a journey that moves you eight steps towards liberation, or as some might say, enlightenment.
These eight steps, though they might seem few are fraught with all the mental afflictions or kleshas, humans carry within them. The buddha taught that all beings, without exception, are endowed with “buddhanature”-the heart of enlightenment-and that everyone has the potential to fully awaken to his or her truest state. This state is already present in our being, awaiting discovery; but we can also fall under the influence of these three kleshas: Greed. Grasping, attachment, clinging, fear of losing. Hatred. Ill will, aggression, aversion, fear of being opposed. Delusion. Illusion, ignorance, lack of awareness, fear of seeing the truth.
These mental afflictions block the perception of our true nature and are the cause for all actions that are harmful to ourselves and others. They are regular visitors to your daily life, but it is on the yoga mat and sitting on a meditation cushion that you can come to see them for what they are and transform them to their opposites: Generosity, Love, and Awareness.
As you contemplate your yoga practice, or even if you are taking the first steps to begin a yoga class, consider these few things:
- Yoga should be practiced with the commitment to enhance the purpose of your life, not to detract from it.
- Yoga should not be used as an escape from life, but as a means of making a deeper inquiry into the purpose of existence.
- Meditation should not be used to daydream and fantasize, over stimulating the mind and leading one away from mindful awareness.
- Yoga/Meditation helps you to see your illusions for the misleading fantasies that they are and dissolve them in the light of this understanding.
- Meditation reveals that there is no escape to be found in a nonexistent future and the pain and failures of the past. Thus, “Be here now.”
- Yoga/Meditation gives you the opportunity to manifest your highest state of consciousness.
When attending any yoga class arrive with a beginners mind and a sense of humor, for you will surely see yourself in that moments light of reality. Be patient, stay focused and persistent, allowing your body to give you only what it is willing and able to give. Then step by step that which seemed impossible can transform to all possibility.