Friday, 14 April 2017

The Way of the Yogi

Yoga represents the ideal that is a calm disposition in the face of adversity, flexibility and good health with the ability to calmly adjust when things go wrong. A Yogi is generally optimistic, cheery and a good companion to have at your side. To look up the popular definitions of Yoga, we find that it has its roots in the Sanskrit language and means Union that is to join or yoke with God. This somewhat intangible statement hints at the highest level of relationship between the whole of nature and man himself. The Yogi does not live in isolation from all that is around him, but enjoys the refreshing stillness of the mountain top, the life giving vitality of nature and the energy of sunlight. God speaks to him in the silent space within, as well as in bird song and the sighing of the wind. His truth is a measure of reality, in clearly structured and measured thought. There is nothing to prove, and whether he is here or there he is always at the Centre of his Universe, his truth arises from an inner clarity that transcends the time oppressed world. There is intelligence in nature that unfolds in every living thing, wherein nothing is rushed or forced, and truth as embodied love expresses its beauty and form according to its inmost nature. The Yogi clear in heart and mind is attuned to the natural rhythms of life, with nothing to prove, his watchword is ahimsa (non injury), and his guidance is directed toward developing the uniqueness that lies within each. He does not force or strain beyond his natural limits, encourages harmonious relationship between every living thing, his teaching directed toward health and wholeness of being in one and all.                     

Happiness as a Way of Life

Happiness as a way of life is a question of choice; we can choose to walk in the shadows or the light. The shadows represent the hidden desires and thoughts that lie below the conscious mind and influence our day to day choices. The light is the conscious mind that sees and senses clearly that which is appropriate in any given situation; happiness can be fleeting and transitory or become a joyful sub-stratum that underpins the whole of life; while pleasure can be something of a two edged sword as constant stimulation is no stimulation and can dull the senses, and become addictive as we abandon any sense of self-direction.

We can live our lives in a manner that adds nothing to the total sum of wellbeing on the planet and become nothing more than a little manure to be re-cycled back into the life process;, or we can become self-positing and beings of light, not subject to the laws of decomposition and decay. The essence of being lies in the will itself, and by will we do not refer to the urges and inclinations experienced by the body, but the level at which consciousness initiates change, and becomes the guide that gives direction.

Happiness lies essentially in the will; that is the will to be happy. There are many thoughts and feelings that come drifting by; some are barbed like the fisherman’s bait which can catch us out if we are not wary. We are not unlike swimmers in the ocean of life trying to avoid much of the flotsam and jetsam that comes drifting by. Nothing persists forever and we have to change and adapt, adjusting to changing circumstances. The body that we have fashioned for ourselves is often a reflection of all we have put into it, not only food, but also impressions and the emotional tensions that we have accumulated along the way.

Simplicity is the key as purity of heart is to Will one thing, and that which we all can subscribe to is freedom; freedom from tension, freedom from pain and freedom of choice. To remove clutter from one’s life will help us to see clearly, and discover the clarity of mind and consciousness that does not give rise to doubt, this when heartfelt, unifies Mind, Feeling and Will.

An untroubled calm helps us to enjoy life and this comes from practising meditational stillness while in the midst of conditions. This starts in the quiet of the meditation room and then continues and is reinforced in the hustle and bustle of daily life. This is the quiet still centre that we have carried with us from the beginning of time; it is the seat of wisdom and understanding against which we can pattern our lives, sometimes the pieces of the jigsaw fit and sometimes they don’t, and this is when the law of karma becomes operative.

There is only one person to make you happy and change your life, And That Is You. Your inmost and highest Self (Atman), does not suffer the limitations of the lower self or ego. Stilling the mind is the key, so that mind and emotions are as tranquil as the waters in a Zen Garden, then with a clear and untroubled mind each step you take will be as if under a clear limitless sky.

To be happy is to be ‘Self’ positing, with consciousness as your guide; a skill that requires continual ‘Self’ remembrance as the lower mind, like the naughty child will keep knocking on the door and demanding attention. Yoga is the path to happiness, as with Self realisation, we open the door to Light, Intelligence and Wisdom.