It's time to stop looking at yoga as something you DO on a MAT. In fact it's time to stop looking AT yoga and begin seeing FROM Yoga. Yoga is the ultimate field of unifying intelligence that, by its very nature, heals us from fragmentation on all levels! Yoga means Union. The ultimate yoga is the yoga of thought! This awareness of thought at the most profound level brings Yoga (Union) to our lives by directly addressing the heart of our deepest suffering on the level of Being itself. So come with me on a journey through the science of liberating yourself through Yoga, From Yoga, AS Yoga!
'Infinite right ways' could be taken a lot of ways. What do I mean by that? Well, to give a snap shot, many of us trip ourselves up and even experience downright paralysis in life by thinking there is only one right way for life to go. When life obviously proves again and again that it is unpredictable, surprising, and infinitely out of our ego's control! There are always contingencies! In every realm of our lives. The reality in which we live is characterized by total unpredictability (That's why we have insurance isn't it?) So when we are experiencing things like regret, disappointment, guilt, shame, blame, or even just find ourselves complaining (we can agree that all of these emotions basically suck, and that they do not yield any results beyond their inherent suckyness), we have an opportunity to see a different choice and proceed in our lives with a kind of lighthearted confidence and forgiveness that only frees us up to be even more successful and happy in our lives... quicker. After all, the negative emotions mentioned above get in the way, slow us down, and are not productive.
I can admit it. I have spent much time with each of these emotions. One little instant of complaining may seem harmless or at worst irritating to listen to. But imagine all the little moments in which we latch on to these emotions of non-acceptance of what is (Such as, "Dammit! Why does this always happen!?!" When something isn't going right.) and you'd have accumulated so much wasted time and energy which could have otherwise be spent living the life you want. Which, ironically, is the reason you are complaining. Because things aren't going like you think they SHOULD! And that is the point of this blog. Empowering ourselves to instantaneously re-chart our course in every single moment until our nature is to be in continuous celebration of Reality's Awesome, Fun, Amusing, Surprising, Spontaneous, infinitely intelligent Nature! It's as plain as day once you see it. But until you call it out for its absurdity, the tendency to unconsciously deflect our infinite blessings remains a permanent installation in your home, polluting the space, draining energy and contributing nothing... kinda like a bad room mate. But you have a choice. You can evict these thought forms simply by starving them out. But you have to see them first. And understand what is really going on. Otherwise you'll keep feeding them and making them strong...essentially, screwing yourself! ;)
In the instant of choosing (which is every moment all day long) many folks don’t realize that they are not just choosing to do one thing or the other. We are also choosing to reiterate the thought patterns in our minds, constructive or destructive, which have all been instilled in us through a lifetime of conditioning to view reality in a certain way. To not realize this level of our creative power is to deny our most essential freedom. Many of these mental ‘programs’ (I like to call them) are detrimental to our well being as individuals and as a whole and are based in a logic that creates an experience of being removed from Nature itself. Which is to say, corrupt, unsustainable and prone to disintegration. So if we are suffering much of the time due to this most fundamental and unsustainable practice of life, how do we gain the ultimate freedom∞happiness which we long for on the deepest level?
So many of us (one might dare to say nearly EVERY one of us on planet Earth) are addressing the unpleasant symptoms of this malpractice, such as the myriad physical, mental, and even environmental illnesses and the countless ways they manifest in our lives, and never realizing that there is a deep underlying root cause to all of them. So just like you may take a prescription drug to treat an unpleasant symptom while not curing the root cause of the disease, you may learn to cope with the existential suffering that is commonplace while still not being genuinely happy, or you can get right to the root of it and be nothing short of the ultimate healer unto yourself! (Remember... you ARE Yoga! The ultimate healing unifying power of consciousness itself!)
I will dare to say that physical illnesses, while seemingly happenstance and based on random environmental circumstances or hereditary susceptibilities, are also based in a fundamental disharmony with the wholeness of nature. When I refer to nature, I’m not just referring to the outdoors, or mother nature and the environment, though it is an embodiment of what I’m referring to.
Rather, Nature is another word for the Universe... the whole of reality, created and uncreated, physical and non physical, conceptual and incarnate, and infinite. And there is a law-like flow to Nature. There is an inborn ethic of wholeness, which is the inescapable and the obvious fundamental substance of reality. To me, this is easy to agree upon as how can anything be outside of everything? Just to meditate upon the very concept of ‘everything’ requires one to perceive from a kind of omnipresent vantage point that is by its very nature infinite. This is what I refer to as Nature... Wholeness... Oneness.... Consciousness... Yoga.
Now one may argue that there are no inherent ethics of nature∞reality and that we as humans create them, and make them convention by practice and cooperation. However, that same person would be hard pressed to deny that killing someone, for example, is not okay by any stretch of the imagination. Or perhaps abusing a child to choose another obvious one. But how do we know, and with such fierce conviction, that such acts are unacceptable? It comes from the inborn ethics of Nature. When we stray from this fundamental Law of oneness, you might call it, it hurts. When we hurt another being, we are hurting ourselves. In other words, there is a level of self conduct and life making that is beyond the realm of opinion, which many hold to be at the crux of reality itself. In other words, many believe that when you get down to it, reality is just what you make of it. ‘So lets all just get along.’ This is not working... obviously. And the human suffering on this planet is as pervasive as ever.
As I stated above, physical illness and disease (dis-Ease) is the natural progression of long term disharmony with the flow of nature. But we must go deeper than this. Think of the human body as an aspect of Nature that is continuously in dialogue with the whole. Just the way we take unhealthy shifts in the environment as indications of imbalance (disharmony) in the greater ecology, so too can we take a disease of the body as an alarm, if you will, indicating a fundamental disharmony at some substructural level to, or more essential level than, the symptoms themselves. We boggle our minds to figure out the causes of such disorders from the same fragmented logic that precipitated such results, and are naturally overwhelmed and daunted by the seemingly endless physical factors that play a role in the human body all while we completely ignore how thought patterns affect our physical bodies and therefore how our misused consciousness leads to disharmony in our bodies. Through scientific observation and countless studies we have identified many tendencies of the body’s behavior and accumulated volumes of compartmentalized information, and we do our best from there to figure it out solutions when Nature itself is NOT compartmentalized.
Deeper still... Look at the word ‘compartmentalize’. Com-part-MENTAL-ize. And for me, this is a big A-ha!! We create compartments on a mental level. While this allows us to discuss the occurrences of the body and nature in neat little packages, the reality is, it is a mental overlay on top of a non-compartmentalized reality (see below picture). Indeed it’s a human generated imposition on the infinitely interconnected, interwoven fabric of Reality∞Nature which overwhelms the linear calculating power of the compartmentalized mind. This does not only impede our ability to address the body, mind, and environment from a holistic vantage point, but is the very cause of the DIS-Ease that is the physical culmination of such unsustainable fragmenting practices in the ceaseless self narration of our lives and culture. The mode of narration itself, based in separation from the field of union (yoga), creates the opposite of ease... DIS-ease... Stress. We have grown accustomed to this stress. Like a nagging, underlying hum of anxiety slowly eating away at us. No wonder our society is extremely unhealthy and obsessed with consumption and distraction! We shouldn't be mean about it. We're genuinely hurting inside. We want to feel good. We just don't have the science yet of understand the root of our suffering.
And this leads us back to the opening of this unconventional exposé. In every moment, we are not just choosing our actions. We are also choosing our thoughts. But will you also consider that you are primarily choosing, at an even more fundamental and habitual level, the mode itself in which you are thinking? For simplicity sake let’s name two modes of thinking. Compartmentalized thinking and Holistic thinking. The difference between the two is obvious and yet it’s very easy to miss the magnitude of the implications of each chosen mode. So for now I will say that compartmentalized thinking creates dis-ease... and holistic thinking generates wellness. Let’s agree that every action we take reinforces the fundamental practice which shapes our experience of life in every way either in a fragmenting way or in an integral, coherent, and holistic way. I also want you to consider that every thought you entertain has an instantaneous bodily counterpart.
Every thought you entertain (give attention to) has a reaction in the body. This is always felt, and often goes unnoticed. And these two aspects of self, mind and body, are in a continual dialogue, each responding to the other. To say that this process is taken for granted would be an enormous understatement! In fact, this level of our reality making process (the creation of all our experiences in our dialogue with everything we perceive to be outside of ourselves) is completely automatic for most human beings. And just like gravity. It’s always there. So we forget about it. But then, if you are not choosing consciously the very mode of thinking∞being which determines the nature of events and choices that follow, then are you really free? Are you really choosing?
One way to think of this is that it is analogous to your computer. Imagine that you are running an operating system that is way out of date, slow, unable to process with very much power, and prone to crashing. Also imagine that there is an operating system with far greater computing power than what you are currently running, yet you are unaware of its availability. You are making do with this operating system and it causes a lot of grief due to its unevolved technology. Part of the problem with this older technology is that it is linear in it’s computing power and unable to multitask and process multiple programs simultaneously. The new technology on the other hand provides tremendous computing power and somehow able to run many different tasks at once with high efficiency.
You may already sense that I’m drawing closer to making and analogy to the human mind. The linear and compartmentalizing mode of thought which we inherit from the world around us is proving to be unsustainable and impractical on every level of human existence, not to mention entirely outdated! While the breakdowns are appearing everywhere we still haven’t gotten hip to the fact that it is due to the operating system we’re using at ground floor of our thinking. Meanwhile, an incredible new technology is available to us! One based in Yoga. Whether you ever roll out a mat or do a downward dog in your life is irrelevant!!! Yoga is the science of unifying consciousness that heals and opens us up to abilities and solutions which we cannot access in the compartmentalized mind. Now, contrary to the computer I used in the analogy. The more advanced technology of mind is NOT more complicated! It actually goes the other direction into an infinite simplicity... (exhale). IT is no longer about accumulating more compartmentalized knowledge or skills. It is a practice of presence. Emptying yourself of all that information based knowledge and remaining in continual presence! This ability to stay present qualifies us to be able to access this higher intelligence while we take action in our lives from from a place of knowing. This requires trust. Our culture teaches us to only trust the tried and true (That 'one right way' to proceed). Yet, think of Nature again. Starting with your body, how many processes are being carried out successfully right now in your body to maintain the homeostasis necessary to health? The most obvious of which would be things like heart beat, circulation, breathing, digestion, detoxification... as well as the micro functions of organelles like that of the ATP generating mitochondria in the cells of your body...? It’s probably in the hundreds or thousands.
Can you imagine the incredible multitasking ‘computing’ power that it requires? Can you imagine attempting, with your everyday consciousness to manage all these tasks simultaneously? Of course you couldn't! So what's carrying these tasks out? Think about how many creatures are on the planet right now. Each of these creatures with a similar mind boggling degree of detailed tasks being carried out within them. Now think of all the countless organisms, plants, insects, microbes....on and on and on. All simultaneously co-existing in an infinitely faceted inter-relationship with everything else that breathes the same air. Each human being like another cell in the greater human body. Each species of plant or animal like another organ in the greater body of Earth and all she is home to. Think of the Cosmos... How many planets, civilizations, creatures, stars, galaxies, all dancing simultaneously in infinite complexity yet somehow coherent as one by the infinite space in which all is held and which transcends physical distance and size. Just that I’m able to begin dabbling on the ledge where finite compartments meet their demise shows the capacity of the human mind to venture beyond the limitation of the old linear, objectifying, and fragmenting operating system we’ve become so accustomed to. What does this means for our lives?... for our health?...for our environment? For our culture?...
Humans have proven to be the only species in the ecology of Earth that create an unbelievable disruption in the harmonious flow of nature. And all living beings are now suffering because of it. Yet we hold ourselves to be far superior than any other creature that walks this planet due to our capacities of self-reflection and intellect. Yet something is terribly wrong. We know this. But have we identified it yet? There’s a lot of fingers being pointed out there and many influential people touting that their diagnosis is the right one and that they found the real problem. It’s the Government... No! It’s the Illuminati... No! It’s Monsanto!... No! It’s the Banks! It’s blacks, It’s Gays, it’s Whites, it’s men, it’s money, it’s meat eaters, it’s chem trails, it’s technology, it’s military, it’s greed, it’s hate, on and on and on in a noisy and desperate clamor as the Titanic slowly sinks into the ocean.
It’s NOT working! But why? The answer is simple... not complicated. How is it that the infinite complexity of all creation can be so simple? The simplicity of waves crashing, a breeze blowing, a sunset, and storm, a heart beat, a breath even while each of those things can be described in great complex detail? This is the glorious dichotomy of infinite oneness and and infinite multiplicity requiring each other in order to unfold...infinitely. This is the flow of nature. If humans are causing the incredible disruption in it all, there has to be some deep misconception at the root of our potentially superior and complex mind. On the level of thought, before the count of one second even begins, there is choice. And it is here where we reclaim our power.... our freedom. We must address the faulty mental program that generates separation.
Hopefully by now we can see that the dysfunction has grown to glaring proportions, no one element can be blamed, we are all continuously conspiring to perpetuate the dysfunctional world making practices we have grown accustomed to and self destruction seems imminent. We have to wake up somehow! The distractions of pop culture, consumerism, and media are not sufficing anymore. The landfills are filling up... the resources are running out... The water shortage is a promise. We MUST wake up! But what does that mean? There is a kind of hysteria... It seems almost normal to us now. But we are frantically running to keep up with a race that is heading for a brick wall fast. We’re all doing it. So it seems normal. But it is time to stop... Even as we go. Though this sounds contradictory, it is really not. If we have to pay our bills, get our kids to school, find jobs, make money, care for each other, improve our world... We have to keep going. But we don’t have to be frantic! The frantic energy of our culture is really rooted at that fundamental level where core Dis-ease exists. It’s even deeper than belief. It’s the practice of being separate. It’s the practice of denying the infinite nature of reality. This is where science and faith marry each other. At this core level, we can choose, with very good reason (science) to trust (faith) enough to sacrifice the drive towards all we have built up from the vantage point of being separate, and find an incredible peace that leads to the higher intelligence we need in order to bring harmony back into our lives and into our world.
Of all the many little suffocating ‘mind bites’ that we picked up from our predecessors, one agreement that may keep us more stuck than any other sounds something like ‘there is only one right way.‘ This is the black-and-white, either/or mentality. We each have our mountain to climb, as ‘they’ say. Yet, how are we supposed to bring peace and order into our lives when there is no black-and-white guide book? It's like being a parent. Your kid isn't born with a manual. Well this is what our religions have attempted to provide. A 'right way' to get to conduct yourself. And there have been all out wars and genocides on this point. Science wants to know the truth, devoid of religious dogma and speculation, and therefore claims to be the only sound way to true results while ignoring the infinite nature of reality and obsessing with compartments. Spiritual practices seem impractical and scientifically sound ones ignore the super-Natural. Where do we go? Who do we turn to? What’s the ‘right’ way? The last question is the perfect example of one of the old operating system’s outdated and linear programs. As if entranced by the tick of the clock, it’s been hard to break our gaze away from the fragmented and linear mental overlay of these programs on an infinitely fractal, infinitely interpretable, infinitely curious reality∞universe filled with infinite possibilities. If, through the fundamental holistic logic of the evolved mind, we see that we are part of this infinite reality, woven into it’s very fabric, then the game changes from ‘finding the one right way to get there’ to discovering one of many right ways to proceed in life as a being of unwavering presence and trust right HERE! In other words there are infinite right ways for life to unfold. And always better ways than you ever could have predicted. So "how do I get out of the way?" becomes the question to ask! Simple answer, breathe deeply any time you feel inclined to contract (complain, fight, doubt) and you instantaneously activate the advanced dormant DNA/software of higher intelligence! Simply by opting out of resistance to what is.
So instead of becoming paralyzed at the thought of one right way, and how many ways you can go wrong. Perhaps consider that there are NO wrong ways in this expansive infinite reality of higher mind, and that you can celebrate every moment, every choice, every occurrence as a perfect part of your perfect unfolding path, no matter what, thereby accelerating your unique healing (Whole-ing) process by removing the mental blocks that seed frantic action and contribute the the destruction of Earth, which in turn makes you a living contribution to the healing of the entire planet. Now... this "no wrong ways" business could easily be taken as a version of our all too familiar hippie-like adage "It's all good". No! Its not all good. Lot's of things are bad! But what I'm trying to say to you is that when life proceeds differently than you had projected or expected, that instant we have a choice! Do we 'marry' the old software AGAIN by cursing the circumstances, or immediately jump on celebration train of Life whose very evolution depends upon continuous and unexpected metamorphosis? Doesn't the latter sound WAY more fun? Have you ever thrown yourself into a situation you were "not ready for" and surprised yourself with what came out of you? This is what I'm talking about! If you had no plan... then how the hell did you know what to do?! This is the higher mind. And it can only be accessed in Presence. Which is to say, you direct no energy to emotions of doubt, fear, and the like.
If we bring the practice of yoga asana into this (it is a yoga blog after all)... An example of this shift would be that in the old mental space we see a yoga posture as an exact form that we must adhere to (one right way). When this is HIGHLY contradictory to the ethics of Yoga consciousness. In the higher mind, we can see the dynamic fluidity of a form that speaks volumes even when it is still. We see a posture that speaks...that breathes... even morphs... This requires us to be out of the compartmental mind and move into the living holistic mind which leaves infinite room for infinite possibilities. The physical effect of this approach is that it creates more energy more relaxation, more strength, more sustainability, more pleasure, more space, I could go on and on. But the point is, we have direct access to the field of infinite intelligence/possibilities when we remove the blockages that come from linear thinking. It's not that children's brains can learn faster cause they're younger! It's that they haven't practiced being so fundamentalist in their life. There is only ONE way! Or so we are taught. Don't you remember how scary school was when you started to feel that pressure to adhere to the rules, color inside the lines, and fill out those little circle thingies on the multiple choice tests? We all went through the meat grinder. And yoga (healing) is the only way back to sanity! Back to Nature. And I feel it behooves me to say yet again, Yoga is NOT stretching on a mat! It's Presence itself!!
Let's wrap this up so you can go play! ;) We can't control the world outside of us very dependably. But we can take the reigns of our story telling (which is essentially our experience of life itself) ALL the time! If this becomes the daily practice, we begin to breathe deep all day long. Which is to say live in ease... which is to say, heal dis-ease... Our society has drilled into us that if we want to be successful in life, we must learn the right way. We must see and recognize that this has been beaten into us. It takes time to notice the tendency to complain, to argue, to regret, etc. because of this deep seated belief in one right way. And it takes time to practice a different choice. But it really is not hard at all! Once you see the science behind how our thinking can create either/or stress vs. the expanded thought which allows infinite possibilities, we are empowered to proceed with perhaps the most important rehabilitation of all! The rehabilitation from the butterfly staying as a caterpillar, to the butterfly becoming a butterfly! That's you baby! Be the butterfly... ditch the limited caterpillar programs and fly!