Photo: Lily Flying with the Seagulls
I guess many practitioners know this from retreats, as well as from their daily practice of yoga: During a session (asana-pranayama-relaxation) there comes a moment or two of sheer bliss, connectedness to everything that is: Life in its pure form. It lasts for some time…then we land back – into our bodies and to the world full of opposites, hopes and fears. We experience a heavy traffic on the way back home, a partner in sullen mood opens the door and…
Where the heck is the feeling of bliss and connectedness? Cries…who? Who is it crying here? Well, he/she/it is a part of us, but not entirely us. A reminder of Let´s get back to the present moment, to the acceptance of what is. As if we have chosen the situation, the feelings. (Eckhard Tolle, The Power of Now). A reminder that we are on the road, and not yet fully awaken and enlightened as not to be touched and disturbed by the circumstances.
Beware of the ego, the inspired texts convey us the message in thousands of stories, parables, and sometimes in direct orders. The Ego tries to get a hold of the happiness and the joy experienced, not knowing that these are our natural states provided that we reach beyond – The Ego.
We, people, would love to convert our surrounding and circumstances so that they adapt to our desires. Exactly the weather we need for the Sunday trip, and that´s still quite a simple wish to twist reality into our shape. We need the sunny day and the neighbor wishes for a good rain for his garden…Whose wish is there to be fulfilled by the Universe? Where is the openness to the unknown, the trust in life unfolding according to a plan The Ego has no clue about?
The trust (in sanskrit Shradda). A trustworthy teacher who walks the road is a great help. And a steady practice, of course.
There is no demon in meditation practice, that´s the mind labeling again.
The fact is: the deeper we go in our practice, the more unknown doors to our deep selves are open, or… the famous endless onion is being peeled. And we stare into the darkness suddenly lit and full of long forgotten objects and emotions. Or the current peel goes off with a great amount of suffering. And it is scary, and we need somebody to hold our hand and say, Hey, everything´s fine, you´re secure. But a partner or a friend are usually not of a help in those moments. The teacher we have chosen yes. An inspired text as well. Or… As the yoga is also a road to autonomy: connecting to the breath, taking a long exhale and embrace those feelings, looking at the objects that are on display in the cellar reminding ourselves that they are precisely that: Objects. Memories. Feelings. Accept the pain. Embraced shadows usually change into smoke and disappear.
And we continue…the deeper we dive into the practice, the more is happening. The part of the happening is also The Ego´s fight for its unique position of a holder, a decision-maker. All that It, in fact, isn´t. The Ego fears it´ll be unmasked and put in its proper place. And as all that is in fear, it needs love and embrace and to be ensured: You will be fine in the place where you belong, my dear. More than that, you will be of great use, yourself, you will have more fun when you leave space for the unknown to unfold at every instant. At the very instant.
Trust. Teacher. Text.
The fiction literature, for book lovers, can play a role here as well. Ursula Le Guinn’s The Wizard of the Middle Earth comes to my mind.
Happy to share the road, happy to be here and now.