The path of yoga is one that is guiding us towards liberation. Freeing ourselves from the things which cause us to suffer unnecessarily. We often suffer because we are not conscious that it is ourselves who are causing our own suffering.
I heard this teaching from Mooji recently, which I’m sharing here because it really encapsulates what I’m doing in class…. a part of the way I teach is to create this understanding.
The body can hurt but its the mind that suffers. Pain is there, its part of the reality – it is there for saint and sinner – there’s a pain body, and a pleasure body… but suffering has another quality to it – an emotional quality a psychological quality.
So I feel that suffering is more optional – how one sees and how we meet our pain…
A conversation between a master and his student goes:
S: I am always experiencing suffering
M: No its not true – its not that you’re experiencing suffering its that you’re suffering your experiencing!!
What an amazing insight! Its not that you’re experiencing suffering because there’s nothing called suffering. But its that you’re suffering the way you experience. And find out why!?!
Yoga is a doorway to finding out why through becoming more conscious.
When strong feelings arrive when we’re conscious, we don’t pull the parachute too early and we have the ability to observe and grow and learn from these observations. Something just watches and sees how it pans out and gradually you see, left by itself, life takes care of life somehow. Normally the panic button goes off for the mind because its projecting the worst case scenario – this is the trademark of the mind. You project the worst case scenario and pull the alarm bell super quick because you don’t want to meet your projection… and all of this is a movie being made in your head quite often.
In the place of consciousness there’s more space and one just watches what happens in the body, how the mind is moving, and for awhile there’s acute attention on that and gradually it subsides which is also seen and you’ve not done anything. That is called self mastery.
Yoga is the path of this self mastery.
And the real silence that is always here is not eclipsed anymore by this agitated energy.
That’s why we do yoga… this silence, this consciousness, this space.
In class right now I am building the energy through the class and then getting everyone come to complete stillness, observe the things that attach themselves to you and the experience of the mind creating the suffering. It gives us the ability to step back and watch. This is a powerful tool for growth.
In the words of Victor Frankl: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Yoga for me is in that space. I consciously try to grow it in my life. Whatever we’re learning on the mat the real yoga is when we step off it.