Swamiji’s words ring true today;
“Saadhaana, or practice, is only relevant when you as your source are united to the Whole, and that is called Yog.”
Today on the podcast I share thoughts on the nature of the mind, resolutions or Sankalp, and how social media can keep us in conflict.
I invite you to listen to the episode and contemplate the following in your sadhana;
➖ How does your mind work? Why do you think, feel, act, and relate the way you do?
➖ What might your life look like if your resolution was to simply know, accept and love yourself?
➖ What can you turn your attention towards that illuminates the perfection and wholeness of who you are beyond your personality?
You can simply start and end there, listen or read on for my own exploration of these questions….
Have you really explored the workings of your mind? The whole mechanics of why you think, feel, act, move in the world the way you do?
Such a deep part of Sadhana is observing, witnessing, watching, and recognizing the ever-changing state of the mind. Or, as it’s defined in “yogic terms”, the whole makeup of ahantakaran…which is mind, intellect and ego.
The mind receives inputs from our five senses and decides what is what…this is black, this white, or this is vanilla, not chocolate.
The intellect further divides this information with whether chocolate is preferred over vanilla.
Finally, the ego really crystalizes duality with the false epiphany and identification I, Me, This individual person is the one who likes chocolate and not vanilla.
Boom, the self-fulfilling prophecy that my perception of reality is truth, and I need to uphold these ideas, situations, or relationships to maintain this ever-changing idea of who I am.
It happens to all of us, for better or worse, we are constantly caught in the web of likes and dislikes, striving for what brings us happiness and pushing away what brings us uneasiness.
And rightfully so, I say. The point of the sadhak isn’t to go towards suffering and cry when it hurts. NO, the sadhak or the yogi is always making constant effort for sattwa, or light or clarity, through all the many paths and methods….but the real work is in watching the mechanism of the mind when suffering or discomfort or uneasiness naturally arises in the whole play of life. Because it will, inevitably, someone will die, the job will be lost, the relationship will break down, or you’ll be misunderstood.
But first, let’s talk about New Year resolutions….or resolutions in general. And I’ll preface this by saying hello, this is why sadhana works as we set a resolution, a goal, a resolve, a sankalp (or thought which we become) each and every day when we practice.
So if you’re already on the daily path of sadhana…keep going.
But this perpetuated belief that somehow, when January 1 rocks around, I’ll become the best version of myself yet. It’s like the donkey with the carrot hanging on the nose…inevitably chasing the best version of myself, and then what happens when I achieve my goal, I have to sustain it, I fear losing it (or gaining it back, depending on your resolution).
Or worse yet, what happens if I don’t reach my resolution…then I’m back to the total loser I was on December 31st.
Yet another external expectation guiding our internal experience. It’s not gonna work. The REAL resolution happens on each New Day when we arrive where we are, accept where we are, and continue to practice remembering the truth of who we are – not as some individual personality that needs to be fixed or upheld.
What might your world, your life, and your relationships look like if your New Years resolution was to simply know and love yourself? Just close your eyes and think about that for a moment. If you stopped trying to control this mystical existence and just let it be?
What if our effort is to affirm the awareness of your true being as whole, perfect, and complete? From there, we use our sovereignty and free will to make life-supporting decisions with clarity and brilliance, which naturally results.
Patanjali 2nd pad of the yoga sutras which discusses sadhana, or the practical aspect of attaining self-realization, mentions this;
“from inner contentment, the highest happiness is attained.” 2:46
It doesn’t say from having your preferences met and ideas validated that the highest happiness is attained. Because what is the highest happiness? It’s that which is everlasting, unaffected by the highs and lows of the waking state of mind.
Resolving to continually tap into the truth of yourself, which is experienced through meditation, contemplation, spiritual practices, scriptures, Satsang, sooo many paths…then naturally, your life will change for the better.
Your neediness will resolve.
As we train the senses through these practices, we’re no longer slaves to them. We can direct and co-create with the force of life, which is animating this whole happening.
This is vivek or discernment, which is the work of the yogi. To discern and decipher between reality and illusion. I love the litmans test of anything that is changing is unreal…and anything that is unchanging is the ultimate reality. Observe the crust of illusion for what it is, and become the sakshi or witness of the whole mess and joy of life so you can actually be free from it.
And in that freedom, you can come, go, play, do, act, and live accordingly, and the whole time remain free from it.
Last week on social media, I shared one of my biggest lessons of 2023…and that is that peace comes from within. Duh…I know. But it’s much easier to intellectualize than practice it.
So my resolution this year is to put my lesson into action. And break through the hypnotic cycle of peace-seeking (you can insert joy seeking, love seeking, happiness seeking, wealth seeking) in a world that is ever fluctuating, changing, evolving, and decaying.
The resolve is to give more attention to the Free Being and less attention to upholding my ideas of “being someone.”
To turn my heart, my focus, my inner eye toward sadhana, toward Guru and toward peace.
So I’m taking a leap off of my social media accounts for who knows how long, I hope I’m able to use my time, and effort to continue growing, learning and loving who I am.
Digging into the work of the yogi without the duality of social media.
Thank you for being here and sharing this path of sadhana with me.
Let’s keep connected!
Thanks for listening!
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