DIRECTING FLOW- WHAT’S YOUR PURPOSE?
Like any good system, the human nervous system is goal seeking. It does not have a mind of its own, but our system’s will-power is strong, so when we set a goal- any goal- it will move quite clearly in the direction of that goal. We set a goal every time we focus on something, and the intensity of our focus determines the speed and accuracy of the outcome. A well-formed vision of an outcome ensures that we get more of what we want in life; this means going beyond conceptual understandings of the things we want- it means developing our goals and giving them dimension by adding the elements of all the senses. When we can see, hear, smell, touch, taste, and really FEEL our goals, the unconscious begins to work and begins sending us in the direction of our desires. To determine if we are heading in the right direction in terms of the goal itself or the steps towards it, we must be conscious of our feelings and always do what feels right; this means being flexible in our behaviour. If we are not getting what we want, we need to be pliable enough to change what we are doing in order to get a different result. If we want something different from our life, it is likely we will need to change the recipe.
So, as stated before, we MUST Vividly Visualize. Make our goals for the future as clear as possible- give them real energy and real life. Our mind does not distinguish between what is real and what is merely visualized, especially when we include all the senses. Act and feel as if the desired outcome already exists in reality, and it won’t be long before it does.
DYNAMICS OF LIVING ON PURPOSE
As mentioned, to become a powerful creator, we need to have a very clear focus (settle the waves of the mind) and to have a nervous system that can support a higher level of energy/consciousness. When that happens we begin to manifest the life we want quicker and quicker. As we move closer to our centre by progressively removing the interruptions of flow on all levels – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual – we start to access the enormous reservoir of energy at our disposal. As our energy container builds it starts to push up against the edges of where we previously sustained a comfortable level. This wanting to become bigger energetically and take more of ourselves out into the world is challenging.
As we pulse against our familiar edges, resistances (karma) begin to arise. Often we then result back to old habits (Samskaras) that bring us back to what is comfortable. There is no growing in this process; it is just the blowing off of charge with the structure not changing. The process of growth is to make the practices more powerful than the resistance.
All life is pulsation (vibration) if the out-pulse is stronger that’s how we expand and grow. In fact the way that the cells move from one to two cells and two to four and so on is to vibrate slightly more on the out-pulse than the in-pulse.
Unfortunately most of us get caught up on a progressive cycle of making the in-pulse stronger than the move to expand and grow. Swami Rama stated it this way –
All life is energy and unless three things are combined there is no vibration:
- There must be an impulse that produces motion – SHAKTI (energy) out-pulse
- A medium of action – (Vayu) a pathway or conduit
- A force of resistance that restrains motion – (karma) in-pulse
If our Shakti is strong, the pathways clear and karma weak then growth/expansion is highly possible. On the other hand if our karma (resistance) is strong and the Vaya (pathways) blocked and Shakti (energy) is weak then expansion/growth is not likely.
So to move to a “state of Yoga” our practices need to be more powerful than the resistances. Movement and lifestyle practices have to be regularly adhered to so that out Shakti can build and our nervous system purified. For clear pathways and to reduce the impact of karma we need not to play out old habits (Samskaras) that keep us limited by using Buddhi (intellect).
SAMSKARAS AND KARMA
The process of ego development is a process of binding space, of building static boundaries in the openness of the mind. It is the carving of structure out of space and the resulting psychic structure then is simply a structuralised space. We then begin to identify with these structures and reinforce them over and over again and the mind becomes more and more active.
The arising of space always precedes change.
YOU CANNOT LEARN FROM WHAT YOU ALREADY KNOW
That’s why it’s important to only notice stories/patterns from the place of being just info – or a bridge of understanding. And then do a new habit that supports well-being. Sensation is the underlying ground substance, it is energy. It is how our bodies communicate to us and it precedes thought. Sensation is always free flowing in our bodies and feelings are just different collections or flavours of sensation: anger being a different flavour then joy.
The problem arises when the mind labels the energy as good (attachment) or not good (aversion) affectively binding the energy and closing down the space. Then we create a story to hold it in place.
We manufacture our own pain; that pain is understood as a failure of creativity. The response to a certain situation has rigidified. We have lost our ability to create new responses for new situations. This causes our pain but we do not understand. When we fail to move with a new situation, there is a failure of creativity. We need to reorganise ourselves away from pain and discomfort to more realistic, supportive and nourishing ways.
In Yoga we are looking at how we have organised our experience. The practises are designed toreorganise ourselves in the direction of well-being.Our mind takes whatever it perceives from the outside through the senses and processes it in complex ways before it decides (creates a concept) what it has experienced and how it will express itself in response. When resistances arise we try to organise in a new way and through good company and practise to allow the fears to be allayed so that reorganisation can take place.
Awareness is not enough in itself in the beginning when we are trying to change patterns because energy tends to move in the old grooves/flows. New channels have to be created, so a routine of discipline is necessary until we establish new patterns of well-being
When awareness has become like breathing, then discipline can be discarded. Discipline, helps us to create new pathways for energy to flow in, pathways that support space and well-being. In an unconscious life, as soon as we have energy it moves in the old pathways and if experienced as uncomfortable we try to deaden or numb ourselves. Discipline is needed to support well-being. When we don’t control or understand our energy system it flows outwards from us towards things, persons, power, sex, fame etc.
Yoga balances body, energy and relaxes the mind. This allows our attention to turn homeward and expand our consciousness.
The following is sections of an article by Swami Janeshvara Bharati:
The word Karma literally means action. It may appear that Karma is happening to us, as if some outside force is causing good things or bad things to come to us. However, it is really our own inner conditionings and processes that are leading us to experience outer effects or consequences in relation to our own actions.
LAW OF KARMA
The law of Karma is a universal process, whereby causes lead to effects. This is something that all of us are already familiar with, whether or not we use the word Karma to describe it. Newton’s third law of motion that every action leads to a reaction, is an application of the law of Karma. Whether we are talking about physics or daily life in the world, it is extremely useful to understand the law and process of Karma so that we may regulate or direct the process. We can soften the impact of the playing out of our past Karmas, and can choose our own future Karma if we are willing to put in the effort to learn how to do it.
TWO ESSENTIAL TERMS
To understand the meaning of Karma, and to reduce its control through Yoga, one needs to understand another term, and that is Samskara. Karma literally means actions, and those actions come from the deep impressions of habit that are called Samskaras.
- These two act together: Our actions and speech bring us experiences or consequences in the world. Those, in turn, lead to further creation of deep impressions (Samskaras) in the basement of the mind. Later, those latent impressions come to life and create still further experiences.
- We must deal with both: If we want the higher insights and freedoms we need to deal with both our actions and these habits.
- Samskara is the most important principle: The most important principle to understand about Karma is the principle of the Samskara, those deep impressions. It is those deep impressions or seed habit patterns, which are at the root of ALL of our Karmas, whether we think of that Karma as good or bad. There are two general things we need to do in relation to those Samskaras:
- External: Allow some Samskaras to wisely play out externally in our life, in ways that allow us to become free from them recycling into more and more loops of habitual actions.
- Internal: Let go of other Samskaras internally by attenuating the colourings of attractions, aversions, and fears through the processes meditation, contemplation, and prayer.
- Karma Yoga: To purify or attenuate the Samskaras while one is doing actions in the world is the Yoga known as Karma Yoga. This involves being aware or mindful of our actions and speech, and seeing their sources in emotions and the subtler processes of the mind. Karma Yoga also involves doing our actions in ways, which are of benefit to others (service or Seva), freeing ourselves from the cycles of feeding egotism.
- Subtler freedom through Meditation: The subtler, finer colourings of Samskaras are systematically encountered, weakened, reduced, eliminated and transcended through the process of meditation.
THE ULTIMATE GOAL
There is one desire that stands alone as different. That is, the desire for Truth, Reality, Self, or God, and this desire alone draws the attention inward, past all of the other desires and conditionings of Samskaras/Karma.
To succeed, we need a high level of energy/prana and clear defined goals:
High energy / clear goals = success
High energy / undirected thoughts = lowered ability to succeed
Low energy / clear focus = low ability to succeed
Most people only have a very limited amount of energy moving through their nervous system, just enough to eat, shit, and sleep, and most people do that poorly, therefore they have a low ability to create successful lives. Asana and Pranayama helps to create a system that can tolerate more energy. We are pranic conductors but most of the wires are bent, blocked or broken.
THE PRACTISE OF SUPPORTING WELL-BEING
As discussed above, contractions are due to repeated patterns or habits (Samskaras) that resulted from old information. They take us out of the present moment and move us away from a sense of well-being in which we can respond to the circumstance as it is presented accurately. This course is designed in a way so that everything that we learn takes us and our students in the direction of well-being until it becomes an ordinary state. The ways this is done is that as soon as we notice contraction (story) and conditioned reaction, move immediately and directly to
- restore pulsation – get energy to free flow
- free movement, breath and expression
- restore alignment – come back and find or create a centre
- strengthen ground
- use Buddhi (intelligence) to notice what is actually true