You don’t have to sit in a cave on a mountain to do this work.

True, it is nice to be able to get away to contemplate, meditate, and get perspective on what it is to have this human life.

I do recommend getting to yoga retreats or something similar from time to time where you can. Your practice, while never predictable, moves in leaps and bounds. You discover or get clarity about aspects of yourself that were perhaps previously hiding.

But for most of us, for most of the time, our daily life is our path.

Not only is it not usually possible to drop out of our responsibilities for long periods of time, it is also not necessary. We can develop awareness and do the work of transformation, realizing the Self and finding freedom right where we are.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not meaning to come across as glib, or to suggest there is nothing to do. There is still work to do on this path to freedom and discovering Self. Among many of the practices Patanjali mentions in the Yoga sutras are tapas (burning desire, discipline, intensity) and also swadhyaya (self study).

Our daily life is the perfect practice ground. We can observe our reactions and behaviours and thought patterns. We can observe the ego ‘me’ in situ in daily life. We may find quiet in a yoga class or meditation practice. We develop awareness of how our body and mind operate and feel.

The real work is keeping this quiet awareness as we move on with our day. That is where the work is.

Many years ago I read the story of Tenzin Palmo in ‘Cave in the snow’. She is a Buddhist nun who spent twelve years living in a remote cave in the Himalayas, three of those years in strict meditation. One of her quotes from after that time is:

‘The more you realize, the more you realize how much there is to realize and, at the same time, how much you realize that there is nothing to realize.’

What we can learn from our practice is that we have everything we need already.

The thing is, we can be all in with our life, feel our reactions, and get perspective on what it is to have human existence.

The way I see it, if you can’t integrate the peace and connectedness that you find in meditation into your daily life, than what is the point? Your practice doesn’t replace your ordinary life, it is something that you can use to enhance your experience of everyday life.

For a while there is your practice time – asana, meditation and so on – and your ‘other’ time. Then little by little I have found that the whole of your life can become your practice. Can you feel the same sense of bliss when having a conversation as you can find on the mat or cushion? Now that is the work!

With a slight shift in perspective we might find that we feel connected, free and whole, right where we are.

Much more meaning than is teased out here can be taken from these cards, this is just a start. I’d love your feedback and look out for my blog about the next card soon.

You can purchase your own set of these contemplation cards from the store HERE and postage is free in Australia.

The gorgeous original picture on the front of each card is by Gayle Stone Art.

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Freedom is your birthright

A series of blogs arising from picking a Contemplation card from my deck

The freedom of Yoga is the freedom within of seeing how the mind creates a ‘me’ from where we operate a lot of the time. It is the freedom of not being bound by the mind’s thoughts and ideas. 

This freedom is not related to your bank balance or your personal circumstances, but the inner freedom where you experience the bliss and love of the universe.

This inner freedom has many names such as kaivalya, nirvana, moksha, Self-realisation or enlightenment. As I see it, if you have been born as a human on this earth you have as much right as anyone to experience that freedom.

From the humble cigarette vendor Nisargadatta, to Jesus, to Patanjali, the Buddha, Nityananda and of course many, many others, the nature of human existence has been questioned and unbound freedom experienced. You have this capacity too.

For many of us, meditation and contemplation are the means, and also for many of us this doesn’t happen without a good teacher to nudge us along and help us see what we cant initially see. To help us experience in a way that is different from the experience that the thinking part of the mind gives us. I am eternally grateful to my teacher Swami Shantananda for opening the path of inner freedom for me.

Why not experience inner freedom in your life? What is stopping you?

Most of the time we are in our heads living a ‘virtual’ life. A virtual reality played out largely in our minds.

You can wake up to awareness and be free of this substitute life. You can feel the love and bliss that you are. You can feel whole and connected and free.

Not much has to change on the outside. Your circumstances don’t have to change. Your family life doesn’t have to change. Your work doesn’t even have to change, although it might. What changes is the experience of that very same life. No longer being so caught up in the small identification of ‘me’ offers possibility for a much more expansive experience. You still have shit to deal with but it won’t feel so shitty and your inner life might explode!

What would it feel like to drop back from your thoughts and allow the feeling of inner bliss and freedom? It is but a heartbeat away.

Much more meaning than is teased out here can be taken from these cards, this is just a start. I’d love your feedback and look out for my blog about the next card soon.

You can purchase your own set of these contemplation cards from the store HERE and postage is free in Australia.

The gorgeous original picture on the front of each card is by Gayle Stone Art.

Share and Enjoy !

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Acceptance does not mean Apathy

A series of blogs arising from picking a contemplation card from my deck

Being okay with how things are is a great yogic practice.

When we practice acceptance, we are not arguing with reality. We are being real. We are being truthful. We are being in the moment and being okay.

Practicing acceptance also does not mean there is nothing to do.

It doesn’t mean we can’t work towards change. It simply means that for this moment now, things are as they are. You have a choice about whether or not you want to do anything to influence the moments in the future. But for this moment now, it is what it is.

Acceptance of this moment can give rise to the capacity for change. When you are not busy in your head arguing with the reality of the moment, perhaps you can more clearly see what needs to be done.

Acceptance does not mean you are a doormat to be walked all over. Acceptance frees you to do what you can do. It does not mean apathy.

I’d love to know what YOU think about acceptance.

You can purchase your own set of these contemplation cards from the store HERE and postage is free in Australia. The picture on the front of each card is by Gayle Stone Art. I’d love your feedback and look out for my blog about the next card soon.

Share and Enjoy !

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