Namaste Friends. As we strive to bring more peace and light into our lives through the practice of Yoga, let’s take a look at seven key points that can help us move towards higher consciousness.
1. Self Knowledge
Self Knowledge is the natural goal of each and every one of us and because this knowledge reveals to us our unchanging and Divine Nature, it brings ultimate satisfaction.
Sometimes our desires trick us into thinking, “if only I had a little of this” or “if only I went there” or “if only I could get some of that” then I would feel complete. But the truth is that Self Knowledge is completely independent of our external circumstances. It stands alone beyond the limitations of body and mind.
Even a basic understanding of the Law of Karma can clear up so much tension in life. Some people live a double standard. They take all the credit when things go well in their lives but blame others, destiny or God when things go sour. But the responsibility of our life falls squarely on our own shoulders. If you plant a lemon tree, you can’t expect to eat a mango. So, OK, no more being a victim or saying, “I don’t deserve this”,“I’ve been jipped”, “Why does this have to happen to me”. Everything is a manifestation of our thoughts and actions. By accepting this we can, by the same means, work towards change.
That is where Self-Effort comes in. The saying is, “Just reading the menu does not satisfy one’s hunger.” And so it is with our spiritual ideals; they must translate into practice. Yogis call spiritual practice sadhana. Sadhana helps to solidify our intentions and cultivate right action. Yogi Vasistha said, “There is nothing more powerful than right action done in the present moment.” Therefore it is through Self-Effort that we can begin to steer the ship of our destiny.
All Self-Effort has an aim of purification. The Yogi works to purify physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and to primarily remove the fundamental ignorance-I am limited, I am weak, I am separate. Through the purification process (such as asanas, pranayama, fasting, mantra repetition, selfless service etc.) we allow the mirror of our heart to be polished; we allow the dirty linen of the mind to be laundered. It’s brain washing at its best.
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