Space, energy and the spiritual path (jelenleg csak angolul)
Everything that exists in this world can be described in two basic terms: space and energy, yin and yang, form and content, shiva and shakti… The atoms in your body, the thoughts in your mind: everything is just a dance between these two fundamental elements. Does this sound strangely abstract or theoretical?
If so, yoga and meditation can provide a means for discovering the very real space and energy inside you. Endless space. Pure energy. Yes, kundalini yoga will also give you a beautiful body (with regular practice, of course) – but ultimately this is not the reason we do it. Its true purpose is to connect us with us.
All too often, in my view, modern yoga is reduced down to a trendy, slightly exotic physical workout. Likewise, many meditational traditions are excuses to “bliss out” and escape the hard realities of everyday life. For me, yoga and meditation should instead serve to build a bridge between the purely physical and purely spiritual, strengthening our appreciation of both in the process. Yes, you are flesh and blood. Yes, you are pure spirit. It is our job as human beings to recognise that both are true, and to live our lives as materialised spirit.
Our five senses already acknowledge that we are flesh and blood. We need other tools to experience first-hand our spirituality. (And let’s be honest: in this day and age, belief is not enough. We need to know, and this can be achieved only through experience.) A tiny minority of us are born with the gift of such expanded consciousness. A few others will, at some point in their lives, spontaneously awaken to the truth. The rest of us must work at it — which is precisely the goal of each yoga class!
They say you have to “go up” to “come down.” It is only by experiencing your infinity that you will be able to let go and truly appreciate your current life. Otherwise, there is no context. Life here can only seem meaningless.
What is the personal experience of pure space and energy? Pure love. Doesn’t sound like a bad place, does it? In fact, it can be tempting – perhaps too tempting at times – to just stay “up there,” or at least make that the aim of your life. It’s a nice place, after all… But trying to stay “up there” is an implicit denial of life “down here.” It is equally as extreme as the attitude of modern, Western society, which would deny the existence of anything beyond the material, enticing us to fill only our stomachs and bank accounts.
Once we have “gone up,” yoga and meditation in the traditional sense have done their job, and this is why the ancient texts make so little mention of the return journey. But “coming down” also requires tools. There is an old Zen saying: “Before enlightenment, carry water and chop wood. After enlightenment, carry water and chop wood.” True, but it doesn’t offer much in the way of practical advice! In my view, yoga and meditation have as much potential to centre and ground us in “coming down” as they do to raise our awareness of space and energy in the first place. The tools remain the same. Only the perspective changes, evolving as we ourselves do through this dance of life.