Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What I wanted to say, asmita, and my big ole' ego.

This past weekend was teacher training.  I was asked to present on Kriya Yoga, the yoga of action, for 5 minutes.  I began by reading up a week ahead of time and prepared the entire week for this 5 minutes.  With white board and journal in hand I did it.....well, sort of. My body shook, I think I had some hives on my chest and I couldn't even look at my peers until the end when I finally started to relax. My ego and pride, asmita were shrunk down to nothing. Then when I was asked a question, that I even wrote down the answer to, I froze, looking something like Wilson. I was stripped down to the core. Maybe I am dramatizing it for the sake of readers, but that is what it felt like, really.

There is the strange thing that happens to me when I get in front of a group of people and I am asked to speak on philosophy,  something personal,  or even when sharing what yoga has done for me.  Crying commences. I am not sure anymore if this is a sign that I lack emotional and spiritual intelligence (this is defined as avidya or the seat of all klesas, obstacles) or if this is a sign that I just have more tears that need to escape than most people.

I may have actually over prepared for this.  I googled, I binged, I facebooked, I tweeted, I read the Sutras, the Gita, Light on Yoga, Autobiography of a Yogi and I really just found the same thing.  If we are following the path of yoga, whether it is by the Astanga Yoga of Patanjali, or the Science of Kriya Yoga  and the Path of Kriya Yoga ( both of these latter two are known as the path that Mahavatar Babaji reintroduced after it was lost for centuries) then we will eventually know the freedom that comes from liberating ourselves from  the Obstacles of life, klesas.

What I found most interesting is they both have creative ways of saying the same thing. Follow a path that encompasses Tapas (fire, determination), Svadhyaya (study of scriptures and study of the Self/self), and Isvara Pranidhana (faith and surrender to the higher power) and you will be free! In Light on the Yoga Sutras, Guruji explains, "When these three aspects of Kriya Yoga are followed with zeal and earnestness life's sufferings are overcome, and Samadhi is experienced." The Kriya Yoga Path of Meditation website says this,  "Correct practice of Kriya Yoga enables the normal activities of the heart and lungs and nervous system to slow down naturally, producing deep inner stillness of body and mind and freeing the attention from the usual turbulence of thoughts, emotions, and sensory perceptions. In the clarity of that inner stillness, one comes to experience a deepening interior peace and attunement with one's soul and with God."

In fact they are saying the same thing, be good to society and yourself, have some respect for the law of Karma.  Incorporate a spiritual practice of asana, pranayama.  After this first tier, detach yourself from the everyday vrittis (fluctuations that happen in our mind) and from some of the modern day crap that steals our souls like social media, internet shopping, and reality tv shows with Gordan Ramsey. (Just kidding , I'm obsessed with any cooking shows, so those can stay) After detaching, learn to concentrate, slow down some more, then meditate. Now we can truly see that stripped down Self we have been longing to see.

I will leave you with what I wrote as a synopsis, only because I think it is what this path of Kriya Yoga has really done for me.

-Practicing this path of Yoga does not mean that all life's problems disappear forever.  It just means you learn tools to help you through those times when it seems all you have are obstacles.  By facing these obstacles and fears head on, one by one, you are lead to be more open, or as one of my teachers likes to say, Radically open, to new ideas, people, experiences, not lead anymore by your fears. You now have the wisdom, the humility, and the discipline so you can  be lead by your curiosities and passions.-