Thursday, April 04, 2013

The many selves we have : yogic thought

On the mat, as I teach, I can see how people use their dominant patterns to reach a pose. In fact, often, you may have to use the pose to crack that pattern.  A pattern is like a pond in which the fish is thrown. It does not want to swim in the ocean, and believes itself safe. For the seeker, eager for the ocean, this may be limiting. To be aware of one's patterns, as they come up on the mat, is the intermediate level of practice, in my opinion. It is, for me as a teacher who believes in the spiritual aspect of yoga, extremely disturbing to see students reach advanced poses using their dominant patterns: such patterns are a sense of competition, a fighting sense of achievement, anxiety, a desire to please an imagined audience, and yeeks, a desire to wow the opposite sex!! Though for me, as I teach, I deliberately try to bring up a pattern and see it shatter, I find that as far as my students are concerned, I have not seen many even understand what I mean, when I say that a pose must be used to unlearn a pattern. I used to have a strong sense of hitting my head on the wall. But not any more. Each one makes a karmic choice. Perhaps some people feel the need to stick to a pattern because they are scared of self-revelation and wish to be born again. That must be it. It is not my karma to unknot their karma!! Phew, what a relief.

Here, from one of my most favorite Upanishads, Kathopanishad: 

As water rained on an inaccessible height gets dispersed on (lower) hilly regions, similarly, one who perceives the selves differently, runs after them only. 

As pure water poured on pure water becomes verily the same, so also does self of the man of knowledge, when he deliberates on the Self. 

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