Going to places for the sake of it will not help you find ‘yourself’.
Travel, even a yoga retreat, will not necessarily help you find yourself. Yes you will experience new places, different cultures and maybe get new perspectives. It can be eye-opening and perhaps make you further appreciate the life you have.
But it seems that we have lost something.
What you have lost just might be found when you give yourself an opportunity to be still and quiet. It can be found when you give yourself the opportunity to meditate and contemplate the sense of who you are and how your mind creates a sense of ‘me’ and ‘other’.
Maybe you do have to get away for that.
It is not the getting away that is important, it is the opportunity to be quiet.
Maybe you will find yourself sitting in a temple. For example the Nityananda temple in Ganeshpuri is a place of chanting and devotion, and being away from your usual routines might allow you to be open enough to experience the Shakti, the spiritual energy, that is available to us all. Maybe you get a glimpse of perspective of the familiar old mind habits.
Sitting in a cave in a mountain might also allow you to be still and quiet and open to the energy of transformation, the energy that becomes apparent when we become really still and drop back from the busy mind.
Tenzin Palmo sat in a tiny cave on a mountain for many years. In the end one of her statements was …
‘The idea that there’s somewhere we have got to get to, and something we have to attain, is our basic delusion.’
Maybe taking yourself away from your usual routines and responsibilities really does help.
But it is not the travel and it is not necessarily the place that will help you find what you have lost.
What many of us have lost is the sense of inner connection.
The sense that we are really not separate, that we really are all manifestations of one big consciousness and are in this together.
There is no ‘me’ and ‘other’. That is the mind’s creation. (I know, that’s a bit of a mind bender!)
Yes there is a separate body, with a mind, that manifests for a brief period and then fades away again. Maybe as individuals we make a small difference in the world doing work we are called to do, serving in the way that feels authentic. Sitting in stillness helps us to see what that work might be, and helps us to see how we skew our view of reality by believing the mind. We believe the mind that creates ‘me’ and ‘other’, rather than accepting that it is a sort of virtual reality on our mental screen.
Being still will give you perspective on Self and reality.
It will help you see that it is not ‘me’ that has to experience the world, judge the world, manipulate the world to suit the individual. It will help you to feel the sense of one-ness and connection. That is the work of Yoga.
Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo also said:
‘When we are angry, when we are excited, when we are depressed, when we are elated, we are completely submerged in and identified with those thoughts and feelings. This is why we suffer. We suffer because we are completely identified with our thoughts and feelings and we think this is me. This is who I am.
Being still will give you perspective on Self and reality. It will help you see that it is not ‘me’ that has to experience the world, judge the world, manipulate the world to suit the individual. It will help you to feel the sense of one-ness and connection.
That is the work of Yoga.
Then… with a feeling of inner freedom, life might unfold in a way that feels easy and purposeful.
You can’t run away from yourself.
Maybe you can find that inner freedom within right now, or maybe it is time to explore within. If so, I’d love to help.
Fluff free freedom is an online course that helps you to find the state of inner freedom that comes from truly recognizing your mind for what it can and can’t do. It takes you from stressed to calm, from uncertainty to clarity, to being present and mindful and to really getting clear on living your best life. Check it out here.
You can purchase your own set of these ‘Yoga off the mat, contemplations to enrich your practice’ cards from the store HERE.
The gorgeous original picture on the front of each card is by Gayle Stone Art.