Who are we within our Practice?
The journey of Yoga is from the self to the Self, through the self.
What is critical here is who YOU are within that journey and how that influences what YOU bring or put into that journey.
Many years ago I had some powerful spiritual experiences and visions. I came to experience the whole universe as pulsating with love. There were some special influences that supported this awakening.
My teacher Sathya Sai Baba gave me one of his robes and instructed me to put it beneath my pillow each night. A few weeks later I visited Patel Bhuvaneshwara, a mysterious and ancient cave complex, vibrant with spiritual power (described in the ancient text – the Skanda Purana).
The journey underground was one of the most profound experiences of my life. I entered the darkness by slithering down a slope into an unknown world. In this world there were mysterious natural ‘sculptures’ seemingly carved into the rocks by an unknown hand (the Hand of the Divine?). As we walked along the spine of the world snake – Sheshnag, I passed naturally formed shapes of Gods and Goddesses, a headless Ganesha (the elephant headed God who lost his ‘human’ head and was succoured by divine nectar until his elephant head was placed in his shoulders), lotus forms as well as a many tusked elephant and many others. I finally reached the magnificent and powerful cave where Shiva’s matted hair is clearly evident in the stalactite formation, glistening and shining in the glow of the lights placed underneath it. I was seated in meditation, chanting the Gayatri mantra, when the petrol in the generator ran out and the cavern was plunged into darkness. I felt a bolt of white light shoot up my spine and I was filled with awe and wonder. I emerged from the cave wondering what this was all about.
Later in the journey I found myself at an ancient hermitage, that is located on a confluence of rivers, (a special energetic vibration is found at these confluences) where, in the hour before dawn (the Brahma muhurta – hour of God) I was mysteriously called to go outside and meditate. The experiences I had during that meditation and those that followed, were unforgettable. The body was permeated with bliss, like a golden shower of ecstasy, and all of nature revealed its true essence.
For decades I kept trying to recreate these experiences by going back to the places I believed were locations I could energetically recreate these experiences. In ignorance, I was chasing spiritual experience, believing that it was the power of these places that was important. In the same way I also believed that there was a great guru would one day awaken me.
Naturally there was always a sense of disappointment that none of these expectations were fulfilled. Over the years I have come to learn that what is critical on the yoga journey is not to chase some experiences, something that will come to me from outside of myself, but what I bring to the practice, every day, in every moment.
Divine intelligence is crystallizing around us right now. Love is loving us right now. How long will we wait to open the doorway to our own hearts, the heart of the universe and allow the universal truths to reveal themselves in our beingness?
We need to ask ourselves. Why have we not evolved?
There was no-one that made us the way we are. There is no-one else, no great teacher or a special place that will set us free. Right now, wherever we are in our life, we can open to the possibility of experiencing the truth of our inner nature, our own Self.
The NOW is inseparable from who we are at the deepest level. If we want to experience God, our deepest and highest reality, right now, we can! We always have the option to come out of the ego self, a process of awareness and correction, awareness and correction.
My deepest lesson after years of looking outside myself for help is that the path is us and we are the path!
What dedication, determination, trust and most of all surrender can we bring to this moment, to our practice?