Digital publication - Page 6

6 Live Positive Today/July 2015

THIS YOGA PATH AIN'T EASY

written by Sudha Allitt of Kula Kamala Foundation

To have inherent freedom means we are each free to experience this life in a way that best suits us. The mystical side of freedom is about the karmic interchange we experience, the karma we resolve or acquire, in this life. Our thoughts and decisions support or stall/stifle our spiritual growth. Our choices are not right or wrong, they are simply carriers of karma and reflections of our ability to act as freely as factors allow. It is always a great insight to recognize when one's freedom is being manipulated. Look at advertising, at religions and political systems that claim theirs is the only truth, and at people who tell you who you should be, or how to love. These are obvious external manipulators of freedom. The not so obvious, yet even more powerful manipulator of our freedom is our own egoic tendency to approach life in an imbalanced manner. The imbalanced ego tells us we are not good enough, that we lack abundance, and that circumstances are either our own (as in failure) or more often someone else's fault (as in blame). In many instances the imbalanced ego tells us that we are somehow abdicated from personal responsibility. We are slow to grow and evolve in this life because we tend to think that we are being batted back and forth between pleasure and pain and the game is out of our control. We think we lack the necessary tools to ever get “there” wherever that is. We reject our own diversity. That is an awful lot for any one person to live through.

There is another way of seeing life and that is through the wisdom of Yoga. Yoga teaches us that we do not lack anything, we are not capable of failure, only experience, and if we think outside the very limited range of an imbalanced ego we will come to recognize the deep validity of every moment and our place in it, including the moments we adore and enjoy, and the ones we squirm through. We come to see it all as a part of our purposeful life path. The yogic teachings also say that doubt, anger and hate are the poisons that will kill devotion. Doubt, anger and hate toward self and others. Yoga asks us to constantly witness, to be vigilant in our attentiveness so we learn how to become compassionately discerning about the presence of these qualities. Knowing what is real and what is not real, what is straightforward and what is crooked, what is spirit and what is ego, these are aspects of svadyaya or self study. Try this. Next time you are angry ask yourself if you are angry because you did not get what you wanted, or if your anger stems from a place of true understanding as in you are recognizing the whole story, all sides of it, including the suffering being experienced by all participants, even the ones you dislike. Then ask yourself that again. And again. Such continuous self inquiry moves us through the masks we have chosen to wear in this life until we recover a truer understanding of our Self. The teachings say that once you step on this path every possible obstacle will appear. not that these obstacles were not present before. We were simply not paying attention to them, despite the fact that they have been with us our whole life. The obstacles are called klesha and they are ignorance (avidya), the story of “me” (asmita), being attached (raga), aversion (dvesa), and fear of dying (abhinivesha).