This Path Embraces the Whole of Life

by Swami Nirmalananda Saraswati & Rukmini Abbruzzi

Yoga’s practices provide you the experience of your Self as the whole ocean of Consciousness.  Especially with the spinal decompression effects of Svaroopa® yoga poses, these experiences are easier to access and they last for longer periods of time.  To attain the permanent state, your most important practice is meditation.  Yet it is mantra that gives you meditation, so you must repeat mantra.

If you’re interested in improving your body, your most important practice is Ujjayi Pranayama.  If you’re interested in improving your life, seva (volunteering) is the most important practice.  Swamiji says, “So many practices, so little time.”  You must choose which practices to do with your available time.

Of course you can do all of them, but don’t think that the goal is to be doing yoga all the time.  This is not about increasing your yoga time so that you can crowd out the other parts of your life, especially the parts that are painful or uncomfortable.  This is not about using yoga to withdraw from life and relationships.  It’s not even about becoming established in a steady state of all-knowing, ever-blissful Beingness.  If that were the goal, this wouldn’t be a tantric path.  This path embraces the whole of life, the whole of Consciousness, recognizing the Divine in the mundane and the mundane as the Divine.

Svaroopa® yoga practices are tools to open up your inner experience.  They are doorways to finding the whole universe that is within your body.  The promise is that, when you open your eyes, you’ll remain in that profound inner state.  You won’t lose your Self when you go back to your life.  You’ll recognize everything you see and every person you meet as another form of embodied Consciousness, the One Reality in a multiplicity of wonderfully different packages.

Every interaction, whether it’s with a friend or a stranger, becomes a dance of the Divine meeting the Divine, Consciousness playing with Consciousness.  Life will still bring you tough stuff.  You’ll still experience pain.  This is because you’ve got karma.  But you’ll no longer suffer in the midst of painful experiences, nor suffer when you cannot attain pleasurable experiences.  Both pleasure and pain are Consciousness; neither one is more desirable than the other.  Pleasure won’t make you any fuller because you’re already full.  Pain won’t diminish you because nothing can take you away from your Self, because there’s nothing that’s not you.

Swamiji remembers her Guru explaining it so beautifully, that you will find only your own home everywhere you go.  You will see that there is no reason to worry. You will meet only yourself everywhere you go, because there is no one else and nothing else in the universe.  You are the One who has become all that exists.  When you see the world, you are looking into the mirror of your Divinity all the time.

Living from the depth of your own embodied Beingness, fully present and engaged in the world that you recognize and celebrate as the same embodied Reality.  This is your future.  Do more yoga (and meditation).

Originally published in May 2014