In many regards the spiritual path is described as a path towards one’s own fulfillment. Yes. As we come to understand that our usual way of relating to desirable objects has been keeping us in a circle of perpetual dissatisfaction, we also become more and more motivated to access some other part of our existence. For some, we seek to activate a deep level of understanding of our BE-ing.
We arrive for our yoga practice to experience a type of peace and happiness that is stable and reliable, unruffled by changing circumstances and unchanged by passage of time. But even this is not the end goal.. Why? We are primarily concerned with our own welfare. Concern for our own happiness, while essential, is narrow. It makes it impossible for us to realize the vast potential of our human mind and heart.
Question: Why are you drawn to practice yoga? If the answer has anything to do with the welfare of just one being– yourself — your body, your mind, your sense of purpose… Then, even though these are essential and noble causes, the challenge is clear: you must dig deeper. If your yoga practice is only driven by a need to self realization, self discovery, and self actualization, this extremely restricted view opens our bodies but causes our hearts to close. Even if we do not say so consciously, it is as if we feel, ‘I am the most important person in the world. The problems that others have are of no concern to me; it is only my happiness that counts.’
As long as we remain so tightly focused on our own happiness, whether temporal or ultimate, we are stuck in an ‘Us vs. Them’ game of not having enough money, resources, time or love to go around… Its a bummer to get stuck in this space for too long. Especially if you’ve gotten so far as to arrive on your mat for a consciously dedicated practice towards personal growth and evolution. Deep down we all know life is a big, full, awesome space where there is more than enough for all of us… if we choose to accept it.
Panchen Lama says in his tantric text: “Self cherishing is the cause of all misery and dissatisfaction, while holding other sentient beings dearer than oneself is the foundation of all realizations and knowledge.” Hmm. Self-cherishing.. To check-in with whether our own self worship is the cause of all confusion and frustration all we need to do is look at our own life’s experiences. Check-in carefully.. the ‘Me.. Me.. ME’ focus makes it clear that narrow selfishness always leads to disappointment. From there it becomes powerfully clear that open-hearted dedication to others brings about happiness and a sense of well-being.
Today’s task: Do one thing that is for its own sake ‘Good’ and beyond You. Step back, take a deep breath.
Notice how that feels. Take a few moments out of your day to soak it in.
Yes… Out of your head and beyond your ego. Into your body. Then deeper down into your soul.
“You get rewarded in public for what you practice intensely in private.” – Tony Robbins