36 Hours of Mindful Solitude in NatureAugust 31, 2012
The Healing Art of Thai Yoga MassageNovember 9, 2012
Go round and round…
When you watch your thoughts, where do they go? It’s said that, typically, we spend most of our time in the past or the future, in our mind. When you watch your thoughts, you’ll find this. At any moment, in your yoga practice or your day, check in to see where you are. Are you focused on what you’re doing in that moment or is your mind busy somewhere else? There may be a song spinning in your mental background. Or maybe a commentary of what you or others are doing, have done or may or may not do. Maybe both or more.
One of the main reasons to practice yoga (in all it’s many forms) is to slow down and eventually stop this spinning of the mind. The second line of the Yoga Sutras (one of the most widely known yogic texts), explains that yoga is “to still the patterning of consciousness.” The added bonus of yoga postures may be a yoga bum, among other things, but the important part is that we’re slowing the spinning of our mental patterns by being present as well as keeping a balance of effort and ease while practicing. It has been said in many different ways (which seems typical for our spinning minds) but however you translate it, yoga helps us quiet the mental chatter.
Why stop the spinning?
When not paying attention to what your mind is doing, it could be spinning webs that you will later get stuck in. This may include popular webs like, “I can’t” , “I’m not…”, “I always…”, “I never…” or “This sucks.” To name a few. You may already know your particular flavour or you can pay attention to your thoughts in your next practice and find out. This is the same idea as noticing what else you’re practicing while on the mat. When you choose to bring your focus to the present moment, there’s a chance to slow or stop the spinning wheels in your ruts as well. The more you practice being in the present moment, the easier it gets. Though at first, there is the noticing of not being present over and over. Come back to the present moment as many times as you need to. Your breath is always a good place to start.
Can I get a witness?
The next line in the Yoga Sutras is “then pure awareness can abide in its very nature.” Meaning, when the spinning stops, there is simply a witnessing of everything as it is.
When you can simply look without being identified with the mind, without judging, without appreciating, without choosing – you simply look and the mind flows, a time comes when by itself, of itself, the mind stops. When there is no mind, you are established in your witnessing. Then you have become a witness – just a seer. Then you are not a doer, then you are not a thinker. Then you are simply being – pure being. Then the witness is established in itself.
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
First, there are tastes of this. Then there are longer moments. Eventually, there is no striving to be happy, there is simple joy.
It all starts now.