A YOGI CHA BLOG
Our search of Self is the reason we suffer
Hi, I’m Charlotte (Yogi Cha). I’m a yoga teacher with a degree in clinical psychology. I’ve always had a deep curiosity toward eastern and western approaches to understanding the mind, and the ming/body union. You’ll find me in the lovely Canggu Bali, nestled amongst coconuts, palm trees and sunshine 🥥🌴🌞
According to Vedanta, the teachings from the ancient texts of the Vedas, our main reason for suffering is Self Non-recognition, I.E: our search for recognition in the outer world.
Whereas the True Self, the Atman is our true nature and is already full and complete in itself.
So the quest for us is to see our true nature, right now!
Basically this means: this is how we are freed from suffering.
The problem is the failed self recognition and due to that ignorance, you suffer.
When the “clouds” of ignorance remove themselves, your true nature reveals itself like the sun.
We are something far beyond what we see or imagine. The illusion that we are living by is the idea of a separate universe where all particles are like orbiting planets.
The ancient scriptures of the Vedas reveals an understanding of the universe different to this. An organic mass of consciousness, like an ocean, a matrix where all is moving together. Like the waves of the ocean. With this perspective, we as humans, are just as much a part of that consciousness as anything we would call “God” or “higher intelligence” or “Source”. Like the 50 trillion cells of our bodies are all part of “I”, like the water in the ocean, it is all but one big mass.
Now, as we developed our own consciousness and became aware of the separateness that is our physical bodies, we began to look at ourselves as that, separate beings. We tried to explain the reason that we are here, our purpose, with stories of creation of the world and religions structured it into some kind of kingdom with the Great Father, the King, God, sitting somewhere in the heavens looking down on his children.
All the pain and cruelty, the control and punishment that was caused by these “religions” finally made us move in the complete opposite direction. An idea of the world as a mechanical, purposeless organism came to be as a reaction.
We decided that unless we could prove something “scientifically”, it would not be validated. We wouldn’t believe it. So naturally, anything that we would experience in our own subjective and separate consciousness would be validated for us.
If I see it, it is true.
When we say that everyone experience reality subjectively, this is exactly what it means. It means that there is A reality but that we do not know it because we are convinced that what we see with our own two eyes as a separate being, can only be the truth.
And what the people back then tried to explain, just like Buddha later on and Jesus as well; is that all the suffering we experience is based on this subjective and separate perception of what is true.
When I say suffering, I include feeling:
That is translated into thoughts and that can go something like:
“no one understands me”
“I will never find love”
“everyone else seem to have such fulfilling lives”
“I’m over 20/30/40/50 and I still have not …..”
“I lost him/her, I feel so rejected. I feel like half of me has died”
And the list goes on…
All the teachings of yoga are really based on this idea of coming back to an original perception of the universe. The word “yolk” that so famously is the “union” that yoga means, is not only a union of body and mind but more so, of the non-dualistic perception of the universe. But because we often have lost touch with the original teachings, the message is a little distorted and more so, seems cryptic to us. When teachings are being taken out of the context and then made into rather cliché seeming catch phrases, then it feels like a lie. Because you have your mat and you go to your classes 3 times a week and you still get angry with your mother.
You don’t experience the promised peaceful mind that the practice is supposed to bring you.
Well no, the yoga asana won’t magically take all of it away. It is a process of transformation. The work is to meditate, wether it is sitting still or moving on the mat, towards a clearer view of reality. The goal is yoga, union. That means, the goal is the clarity of seeing that there is something beyond the subjective separate sense of self.
The goal is to see that even if my thoughts are telling me one thing, ultimately that is not true.
In our “scientifically proven” idea of what can be right, the yogis knew that we needed to experience it, to believe it.
That is the work of your meditation, moving or not.
When you practice, you are directing the focus of the mind as a way to increase the capacity to not just follow the ways of the thoughts and emotions. The better you become at directing the focus, the easier it becomes to STILL THE MIND.
When we manage to have just a split second of clarity : i.e. separation between the thought and ourselves, we get a glimpse into what the more objective reality is.
We don’t need much more in order to begin to believe this.
Once you have experienced a little bit of peace of mind, you will seek it over and over.
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