The Life of a Yogi:
“Everything is according to your firmness, your faith, your sharpness of mind, your spiritual enthusiasm...which comes from keeping Yama and Niyama.” ~Dharma Mittra
On the second day of teacher trainings, one often becomes very aware of the limitations of the body. Most are sore and tired from overstepping their physical boundaries the first day, but not yet deep enough to move beyond the physical, unless you cultivate some serious character. Every breath, every pose (even the ones where you are practicing in small groups) becomes an opportunity to practice Ishvara Pranidhana (devotion to God). Unless you possess the qualities listed above, all you can think about is your sore hamstrings, your aching back, and how you wish you could take a loooong nap after lunch!
By pushing yourself beyond your personal comfort zone, you develop Tapas (known also as discipline, austerity). This “spiritual fire” literally burns away impurities. And like a log that undergoes the heat and flame and fire leaving nothing but simple ash, a person is also burned and purified into the most basic of forms. The ego gets crushed (yeah, ouch), the personal motives and desires fall away as you move into the group consciousness. Like a piece of pottery burned by the potter's oven, the body becomes firm. Surrender is key.
When the case arises that the physical body cannot perform at the very high level that these trainings often demand, one must then cultivate dispassion, and move more deeply into the other practices. One does the best that they can, in the moment. As Dharma said this morning, “Oh Lord, give me the strength to go through it (meaning Karma)...Because if you complain, you have to go through it again! Like being in school, you have to repeat a grade!”
So Almighty One, help me move through this teacher training with the help of your Divine Grace, and with faith in my beloved Guru. I know that I am not worthy enough to remove a speck of dust from thy feet, please forgive me for all my sins from my past, present, and future lives. And please let me practice every action, every moment as an offering to those that cannot be here at this time. In the highest devotion to YOU, Olivia
Some great quotes from Dharma today:
“We are like the anvil, always getting hammered, but always remaining the same.” (Regarding the True Self and experiencing life)
“Man goes to the top of the highest mountain, digs the deepest holes, goes deep into the oceans to find God. But soon we realize...God is within.”
“Whatever is perceivable is something else. Every time you open your eyes, you see your own world...you see the illusion.” (Regarding how our senses perceive the world, but it is not the Ultimate Reality)
“Have to reflect sometimes on what consciousness is”...That was one of Sri Dharma's suggestions during our last class of the day, Self-Knowledge. As I'm writing this blog, following a ten-minute meditation without seed, led by Sri Dharma, I am feeling charged. This is after many attempts of “leg behind the head” (Bhairavasana) during this almost-14-hour day. This feeling was the same feeling I had last night after a long day, and actually every night after long LOAY days – call it the after party…
I'm sure other trainees experience this same energized feeling. Truthfully, this feeling wasn't a constant throughout the day. There were moments, specifically ten to twelve hours ago, when I had difficulty staying awake. Some thoughts ran through my head: “Think of Sri Dharma's expectation of enthusiasm… I AM enthusiastic… Alive, alert, awake, enthusiastic!”
I also reminded myself, “I am not my body… I am not my mind…” As the first Master class of the week was about to start, with the Temple filled to capacity and Sri Dharma's sweet little dog, Baxter, enthusiastically running around, my tiredness and soreness disappeared – it simply was an illusion!
Breakdown of Dharma IV
First master practice of the week
Small group teaching session
Kim showing an assist for bhairavasana