Wake Up!

With the new year underway and the omicron variant of Covid wreaking havoc on communities, I’ve noticed a certain amount of reflection occurring. I think reflection is important. It should be part of regular practice. Reflection may include what your spiritual journey looks like.

Over the years I’ve heard a couple of gurus compel students to wake up. One was so bold as to say wake the fuck up! I remember being a bit perplexed the first time I heard these words. But with years of deepening my sadhana (spiritual practice of yoga and tantra), I believe these commanding words are imperative to our well-being and the future.

Yoga, and other spiritual traditions, provide us with tools to discover who we really are. They introduce us to the part of ourselves that is veiled and forgotten. Through life’s journey, we get stuck in identifying with the mundane world almost exclusively. Relationships, jobs, finances, material possessions, status, sex, food, styles of yoga and health become our preoccupations. We grow attached to stuff, to ideas, to the familiar. These attachments become the root of suffering and misery. They are considered a misapprehension of who and what we really are.

The yoga tradition urges us to be in the world but not of the world. The Bhagavad Gita, for example, instructs us to do our worldly duties well and describes yoga as skill in action. At the same time, the Gita expounds on the importance of dharma or destiny and provides discussions on the difference between reality and illusion.

For most of us, the mystical world is the one of illusion or fantasy. It is steeped in lore and storytelling and sometimes otherworldly powers. Meanwhile, we believe the day-to-day drudgery of life as what is real. For the novice student, the concept of illusion is a bit of a mind-bender. How can what we experience in our daily lives be an illusion?

The long and short is stuff of our daily lives is so all-consuming (excuse the capitalist pun) that we ignore or reject the notion of something bigger than ourselves. Perhaps this is understandable because it requires us to step outside of the familiar and explore the unknown. There are people you may know who enjoy being adventurous, exploring things on this earthly level, things that you would never consider. They can be an inspiration to your stepping into the unfamiliar. Similarly, there are people, let’s call them seekers, who know in their heart of hearts that there’s more to this life experience than the obvious; these individuals are waking up to a new reality. You may know and be inspired by some of them as well.

For the first 35 years of my life, I did not have a spiritual bone in my body. My critical nature was to see spiritual or religious types as gullible and naive. Ah, the arrogance and ignorance of youth. It took a number of years and many dark nights of my soul for me to evolve to a deeper understanding of life and purpose. This journey is not for the faint of heart. Those who seek the light will inevitably have to step into the darkness as part of the process. But this should not be a deterrent. Because what's on the other side is unimaginable.

There are many tools, techniques and processes to help you shed the ignorance that keeps you bound and stuck in your misapprehension of reality. Of truth. I love to share the ones that have worked best for me with students. Consider becoming a member now.

What I’ve found most enlightening about the waking up journey is that it is not a singular path. Rather, each of us has to navigate our own challenges and issues, the karma that we’ve created in this lifetime and brought forward from previous lives, and find the tools and means to facilitate awakening that most resonate. These tools will necessarily change as the journey advances. Rest assured, there are endless possibilities.

I’ve been blessed to have found teachers who were skillful guides in my waking-up process: a wonderful young Indian man who led my first yoga training program; a master hatha yoga teacher with a tremendous capacity to articulate the esoteric teachings in a clear way; a pandit whose shakti transmits the power and wisdom of his lineage simply by being in his presence; and more recently a tantric who integrates the many systems he’s explored into a powerful practice to expedite the student’s awakening.

How is your waking up journey going?

It is easy to shrug off the question, but that may not be in your best interest. Once you start or deepen your waking-up process life starts to look and feel a lot different. You will start living with more freedom, fulfillment and joy. You’ll appreciate the stuff of your daily life even more - family, pets, activities, jobs, travel, nature, food, sex, etc. So, it’s really a win-win.

If you’re feeling like it’s time to take your waking up to the next level, but you are not quite sure about what practices you should be doing, why not reach out to me for a quick chat to discuss your options.

Om Shanti!

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