All my life I’ve had very vivid and occasionally lucid dreams. I can still remember nightmares from when I was about 7 or 8 years old that left me jolting awake with heart racing and breath heavy. Other times I’ve adventured through my dreams in conscious control of my actions – talking to dream characters, flying here and there at will. Recently, I’ve had an interesting upsurge of both nightmares and lucid dreams. A few nights ago I found myself in a dream where a young boy had been kept hostage in his own house for a number of years without sunlight. I helped release him from this imprisonment but after years of captivity he.
There is something that calls us to Wholeness (or Spirit, God, Peace, Allah, Jehovah, Krishna etc etc) isn’t there? I remember as a child feeling less like Spirit called to me and more like it bellowed holy renderings at the very top of it’s lungs. At the time I recall feeling what Jeanne de Salzmann calls a “nostaliga for being” that I could neither articulate nor understand. I felt a deep love and appreciation for the wonder of life that would sometimes overwhelm me. Those were softer times when I could lay in the grass of my back yard and let those feelings flood through my relaxed body, tender heart and open.
“The evil of our time is the loss of consciousness of evil.” – Krishnamurti I have to admit, Halloween is one of my favorite “holidays”. And by the way that people adorn their homes with Halloween paraphernalia I don’t think I’m alone. It is one time in the year that we get to openly recognize the dark side of human nature. Not that all things Halloween are ghoulish, there are plenty of ducks and princesses running around. But it is a time when we get to be something “other” than what we are from day to day. We get to be something evil, fantastical, ridiculous or odd without social convention.
Last night I watched a documentary call Into The Universe – The Story of Everything with Stephen Hawking. Some of my first philosophical questions as a child were about the nature of universe: how did it begin? What was there before the beginning? Does it have borders? And how could it have borders – what’s beyond those? I was always shocked when I found out other kids (and adults) had never wondered about these things! The questions became meditations, I realize now, and contemplating them gave me a sense of expansion. I liked the feeling of being overwhelmed by the questions – it always left me in a space of complete awe. .
The journey through my bodies comes to an end! This exploration reinforced to me, yet again, the multidimensional potential of yoga practice. The yoga community in the West spends a great deal of time milling about in the physical realm of the annamaya kosha. In itself, of course, coming to know one’s physical self is a fruitful activity and can lead to many benefits. The unfortunate result of focussing only on one kosha is that yoga, then, can become simply another extension of a vanity obsessed, consumer culture.The over-valuation or over-emphasis of any one kosha leads to an unbalanced, sometimes extremist perspective on the practice. In contrast to the physical obsessions of the West we’ve also heard the stories.
All of existence comes alive in us. When you really contemplate it isn’t it true? It is the Awareness that we are which perceives the heat of the sun, the smell of freshly blossomed lilacs, the glorious flavor of Haagen Dazs ice cream on our palate. In awareness the inner world bursts forth as well. The perception of hunger, the heat of our passions, the heaviness of our grief. All of life, internal and external, become illuminated by the light of Awareness. In the asmitamaya kosha we come to know ourselves as this Awareness. We see that it’s not that awareness is in the person but that the person is experienced in Awareness. .
In my last post I explored the sheath of Joy. At this level of awareness seeking ceases. We come to realize that the Joy that we spend so much energy on trying to attain is closer to us than any possession or achievement could ever be. Thank god this Bliss of living is not an attainment, it cannot be bought or sold, given or taken away. It is part of the fabric of what we are, although often forgotten. As we become still the body of Joy is revealed; remembered. The Joy that we long for is present and contentment arises. If only for a moment. In the lucidity of this contentment there is spaciousness, the mind.
In my last post I concluded by saying that I may not be able to experience life’s ultimate Truth but I can experience it’s ultimate Joy. After recognizing the limitations of the intellect there is a natural letting go that happens. For me, by becoming intimately aware of my koshas I come to see the transient nature of all experiences. There is no foothold on which I can place my security; there is no constant state of pleasure without pain, no ultimate Truth, no state free of the potential for suffering. When I am reminded of the natural flow of things I fall into a state of Grace where every.
At this level of my being I tap into the stories, concepts, images and thoughts that whir about within me. As I self-reflect I notice some anxiety (at the level of the manomaya kosha) about finishing this post knowing that I have little time in the next few days to do so. At a subtler level there is a belief that drives the anxiety. The belief is that if I don’t get it finished and readers are expecting a post that I will have failed in some way. As I try to stay with this belief it gets bumped out by random images of the potato soup I am cooking upstairs and a curiousity about.
I’ve been actively avoiding this post all week. I have often guarded my feelings and emotions and so publicly writing about it fills me with fear. I’m afraid to be honest, I’m afraid that I won’t be honest. So I start there. In the fear. I move through the first two sheaths with ease, I am comfortable here, in sensation and energy. And then I bump up against a wall of butterflies- this is often how I feel fear or anxiety – as mass of butterflies that jitter in my torso. And the butterflies go nowhere. They just flit about in chaotic non-patterns, bunging up any sense of flow within me.I bring more awareness to this moving, immovable mass. As I do this the butterflies seem.