Thursday, 24 March 2016

Contemplations from the 10th lesson on the Shiva Sutras

Sutra 9:  Hridaye chittasanghattad drisyasvapadarshanam

‘Merge your mind into your heart and everything will feel like it belongs to you’.

There is nothing wrong with having a mind, indeed the mind is a most sophisticated and useful tool. But if we start to live in it, if we take up permanent residence in our heads, then we are going to experience some frustrating limitations in our lives.  This is because our intellect is limited in its functionality. It is designed to dissect, divide and analyse life but it is not designed as a faculty through which to love life and feel connected to all those around us. Its not that the intellect is deficient, it’s just not its job that’s all. 

 So whilst the head may be the penthouse suite of the physical body, living in it full time will inevitably leave us feeling isolated, dissatisfied and divided both from ourselves and from the world. Therefore in the same way that it is useful to have a bathroom in the house, it is also useful to have a mind but only a crazy person would choose to live in the bathroom and ignore the rest of the house

To feel life, to love life, to feel connected to everything and feel a part of it all we need a different instrument altogether; we need the heart.

In this sutra shiva invites us to take a ‘one foot drop’ from our heads into our hearts. Its only a short drop and yet most of us find it to be a daring one because within us all is a deep rooted fear that if we make this small but significant jump, we will somehow lose our minds.  Yet the opposite is true. For when the mind is relaxed into the heart, when we switch from the faculty of thinking to the faculty of feeling, the mind itself receives a significant upgrade. It becomes a tool of contemplation and an instrument of wonder, serving to expand the heart rather than divide it. This meeting between the head and the heart is the perfect collaboration between the scientist and the poet

Shiva says LIVE in your heart and USE your mind.

So here is the practice:

In everyday life whenever you find yourself stuck in the head, take a pause, relax your analysis and feel yourself energetically make the ‘one foot drop’ into your heart. Do it whenever you remember and over time you will find you have made a new and lasting home in your heart.  As you practice this more and more you will find that looking out from your heart rather than from your intellect gives you a whole new relationship with the world. Everything will start to feel more like it is a part of you and everything in a strange way belongs to you.

This union between your heart and your mind, will change your life forever!

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Contemplations from the 9th lesson on the Shiva Sutras

Sutra 8:  Icchashaktir Uma Kumari.

‘Align your will with the will of life’

Icchashaktir’ is the power of our will, the energy of our intention and the force of our desire.
Uma Kumari’ is the energy of life, the power of the universe and the flow of existence.

Shiva says that if we can bring these two together in our lives then a whole new dimension of possibility will become available to us. An opportunity to consciously manifest and ecstatically co-create with the will of the divine, Uma Kumari.

You see, it could turn out that the greatest power we have as human beings is to let go! Of course, for this possibility to arise in us we have to first of all come to terms with that most difficult of truths; that the only aspect of life we are really in control of is our response to it.

So what is the fundamental desire of life that we are to align and harmonise with? What is that aspect of nature that we observe to be always consistent and unchanging?

Yes you got it, CHANGE! The one constant is change. The will of life is perpetual transformation. Life wants to evolve and we are a part of this. If we truly wish to live in joyfulness, life demands that we repeatedly exercise our capacity to transcend our own experience and move on. Because all the pain in our lives is borne from our self-created unwillingness to accept and embrace the inevitable change that life desires at its core.

This is the challenge that life presents to each and every one of us. We are called to match the desire of life itself, to become passionate for change and our own transformation. The desire for growth is at the heart of all life and so if we are to make the most of this life we must surely cultivate a deep and all consuming ‘Wish to Grow’! This wish, energised through the practice of yoga and meditation, will gradually have the power to consume all our petty desires to hold onto the very things we must inevitably leave behind.

Our work this week is to become conscious of the three stages of aligning our will with the will of Life:  1). Resistance, 2). Acceptance, 3). Embrace.