What if we had the audacity to assert that despite our fears and insecurities, there is nothing for us to fix? Nothing for us to change. Nothing to do, nowhere to go, and no one else to be. Perhaps, if we had that vision, that hope, we could simply be still. Yoga brings us to a place where we can rest in our being: Being whole, w/holy, and full of grace.
We might look at the idea of two paths in yoga: The Maryada Marg (the path of effort) and the Pushti Marg (the path of grace). Meditation falls into grace. Of course, as practitioners and seekers, we all spend time on both paths. Effort in practice is necessary, but with what approach and what with what mindset? Do we see ourselves as the “doers”? Do we believe that the harder we work, the more we can manipulate a specific result? Do we try and try to “do” yoga to achieve the ultimate state of meditation?
Meditation or dhyana is one of the Eight Limbs (https://vimeo.com/528463574)that we at Raja Yogini Practice – along with Ahimsa (non-harming), Bhakti (devotion), Nada (deep listening) and Shastra (study of the scriptures). Meditation is also one of the most important practices that we teach and practice as well. Bad news, because asana, chanting, service, and other active endeavors feel very natural to most – while sitting, silence and stillness feel a bit foreign and intimidating.
Dhyana (meditation), means contemplation and it comes from a prior state of concentration called Dharana. This contemplative meditation is a state that happens through grace. We practice making ourselves available and opening up, but we have to allow the result to happen (or not) in its own time. In divine time. This is not a Type A activity in that sense. There is a strict dedication in our commitment to come to the practice and to sit down each day. However, there is also a softness and a willingness to let the process unfold with a sense of faith, curiosity, and wonder.
Meditation is one of the primary practices that allow us to let go, and let God”. In my course the “Eight Limbs of Astanga” (https://vimeo.com/528463574) I try to remember that the path to enlightenment and peace were given to us ages and ages ago and are there for us as they have been from the beginning of time.
When I went to my YogaTeacher Training in 2001, I personally loved how rigorous and challenging it was. I was excited to practice asana daily, wake up early, study during breaks, learn a thousand and eight Sanskrit terms, and stay up late practicing assists and chants…but the daily meditation intimidated me beyond belief! We were asked to sit (still and silent ) for up to an hour! Stillness, silence with nothing to do, nowhere to go, and no one else to be. I didn’t know how, I didn’t know if I could, and I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to. But I did trust and love my teachers enough to try, and that little bit of willingness began a process of opening. It began a process of letting go of the thoughts, fears, and self-imposed limitations I had adopted. In truth, all we are asked to do is follow three simple steps to the best of our ability. We are asked to do our best and leave the rest. We are asked to let go.
Trust that yoga is there, love and unity and joy are who you are ~ There is nothing to fix, nothing to change, nothing to do, nowhere to go… and no one else to be. So we can be ourSelves ~ whole, holy, and full of grace.
Hari Om Tat Sat