Do we need to get anywhere?

Category : Asanas (Postures), General advice, Philosophy 25th March 2019

Inside Yoga 265 (25/3/2019)

One of the goals people set with their meditation, yoga, or similar practices is the wish to find a place that is happy, peaceful or simply perfect. Yet we soon learn that the practice teaches us not to go anywhere but to remove what we do not need in our life, leaving behind something that could well be the happy, peaceful or perfect place we were seeking.

There are numerous ways this message is taught, for example, our mind is described as being veiled from what is needed in our life by veils which obscure our view, so through practice we remove these veils to allow us to see clearly.

Another describes that at our core everything is fine, even perfect, like peeling an onion we need to get to the best bit. This might seem hard to believe with all the difficulties we meet in our daily life, yet experience of practice has taught me that the lessons and messages are correct.

Do you recall a moment, however brief, when you were perhaps sitting still, a moment when all was tranquil, you felt at peace with everything, perhaps a slight smile across your face of contentment, and simply not a care in the world? Well, that is our default setting. Hence the message at our core everything is fine. But this moment passes and quickly thoughts and emotions rise in us to remind us of something negative in our life, or perhaps anxiety rises with no apparent reason, but then we add the label to this feeling of anxiety, feed it, and then we have something to worry about.

Perhaps we enjoy these negative states more than the positive feelings, because we do seem to spend more time indulging the negative than enjoying the positive, because even when feeling good we are prone to injecting a sour mood along the lines that this feeling is good but it will not last, but we do not approach the negative thought or emotion with the counter that it will pass – we seem attached to feeling bad… and longing for a far distant place which is great but so far away so why not carry on feeling crap! Why do we do this, when as the message is clear, at our heart of our being we are OK, even content!

Our practice of yoga asanas, yoga meditation and so forth trains us to shed these burdens which weigh us down so we can move forward with our day, with a greater sense of lightness and freedom. It also teaches through practice and experience that our thoughts should not always be heeded, and that our anxieties need not be addressed directly, because if we let them pass, we find that we are actually fine. And if there is action to be taken to remedy a situation then we take action, but why indulge those negative feelings? But we do, and we always do, and that is why this message is a reminder to be attentive and keep getting rid of what we do not need, keep the practice going, because we are not trying to get to that happy place, we are already there but our view is obscured.

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