The heart of the yoga teaching is that there is a unified essence underlying the spiritual teachings of the world. There are many paths, and one destination, although each one of us experiences the destination differently. All spiritual teachings are merely fingers pointing at the moon. There is one truth which exists beyond the form of any teaching. The teaching merely points us in the right direction, and through practice and grace the experience of yoga, of union with the divine, is experienced directly. We choose the depth of our exploration, and so we choose the depths of the empowerment we wish to draw from the practice. Wholeheartedness and integrity are never finite. To be congruent, inside and out, is to discover an extraordinary form of strength. The seeker becomes the finder when joy and feeling better give way to true self knowledge and empowerment.
The word yoga comes from the root word “yuj” which means to yoke together. Like an ox pulling a cart, how much easier things can be when another is by our side, yoked to us and pulling the cart with us? In it’s most essential and authentic form, yoga is about aligning and working together with the divine heart mind, the truth, love itself. That process of yoking – building that connection – building communication and co-working as terrains are travelled and burdens hauled, is the heart of the journey. The working of the relationship creates the connection. Alignment with our true nature, is the work to be done. The healing of the fundamental schism – that experience of being alone and unyoked – is the pathway to coming into our true power, our true resourcefulness, our true prosperity and creativity, our true identity as love itself. This experience of wholeness within – our Destination Sovereignty – is available to all who are willing to change their minds and open their hearts. It is the resolution of all lack, all loneliness, all love longing.
So how do we begin?
I taught for some time in Central New Jersey, where traffic was, erratic. One day it would be fine, and the next it would take hours to drive down the road. When describing how long it took to get somewhere we would say – “It takes a half an hour for travel and a half an hour for the adventure.” You never knew what was going to happen. When we embark on a journey it serves us to consider that it will be an adventure. This way disruptions became scenic detours and delays opportunities to rest. The spiritual journey is no different. The only guarantee is that when the journey is over we will not be the same as we were before. Life is like that you know, but to take a spiritual path, the path of yoga, is to take the reins and face the adventure head on. Old ways will be shed, new ways will be introduced, we will allow ourselves to be melted down and reshaped into more exalted forms.
So perhaps we should begin our journey to sovereignty by asking ourselves
“Am I ready?”
Many people at this point are tempted to check out. As we scan our lives for stability and security we may want to ask ourselves is there is really anything out there we can count on? If so, maybe it’s not the right time to embark. But if we are wobbly and uncertain, stressfully buffeted from one way to the other, wishing we had anchor, a secure place to rest our heads, then, we might want to ask ourselves again,
“Am I ready?”
While there are no guarantees, to have a sense of security within ourselves, well, that is certainly helpful, isn’t it?
It is not a question of repeating spiritually what others have done before us, for our adventure begins beyond that. It is a question of a new creation, entirely new, with all the unforeseen events, the risks, the hazards that it entails–a real adventure, whose goal is certain victory, but the road to which is unknown and must be traced out step by step in the unexplored. Something that has never been in this present universe and that will never be again in the same way. If that interests you….well, let us embark.
From “The Sunlit Path”, Passages from Conversation and Writings of the Mother, Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, India