Intermission: The Weight of Yoga In The Modern World

May 11, 2017

Masaccio

When the dust settles on any aspect of my life at any given time, pinned in place behind all layers to be revealed with no further supportive substrate is what I call my yoga experience to be revisited time and again, deeply and ever deeper. This is my fact, an identifier of my life, something more real and true than even the truths of my life before it. The one answer to why this is can only be because yoga has shown me my existence outside of life, outside of time, beyond this life and into death, and a comfort in that connection. When you take all friends, family, individuals known and unknown out of the storyline purposefully to create the sense of not only solitude but a lone existence, that part of the mind that always crops up when you have to test just how truly independent you really are so you imagine how long you think you would survive if not another soul was there to help you, share any time with you, meet with you, or even see you, in that pure helpless scenario yoga emerges as the warm friend to console, advise, inform, support, nourish, and ultimately rescue from any possible calamity either real or imagined. With much of today’s pathology of man and woman residing squarely in the mind and extending into the physical world, both real and imagined situations have equal weight in posing danger and illness not only to the individual but all of society.

We are all connected no matter how much we repeatedly convince ourselves that we can’t be and don’t want to be for any number of possible selfish reasons, and yoga is unmistakably the clearest and strongest way to stay connected even in the stark helpless loneliness of dying alone; but this state is not guaranteed even in the yoga community among all the yoga practitioners, it isn’t a given that this is understood and experienced, to be assimilated into daily memory and being, the most important message falling on not only deaf ears but forgetful minds. It is in this fault of the current decades-long resurgence of yoga across the globe into western cultures that lies my focus on what is left of the core message of yoga that all seek and few seem to find in the confusion of fitness fads, distracting gymnasium classes, trendy diluted offshoots of yoga to feed to the masses, presumptions of religious connotations, pit stops for injured dancers, false guru creations and followings, and contortionist training groups. When the dust settles on all of these distractions, there are a few people who somehow stay away from them and get the real message in the experience at the seat of their being during moments in the practice. These few do nothing special or spectacular, they just pay close attention and actually do what all who enter can learn to do. The rest simply have been distracted and faked it while at the very most being able to say they were in attendance. Just because you were there physically doesn’t mean there’s anybody home upstairs in the secret attic closet whose door is covered in cobwebs and settled debris, evidence that there wasn’t even a recent attempt to look inside.Yoke

So now back to the importance and what the message is for modern people: Yoga is the great deprogrammer. Without removing the layers of scar tissue, dysfunction, pathology, memories, programming, personality-splintering trauma, etc., that makes each one of us unable to be us and therefore false representations of humanity because we are only operating as sums of layered programming from birth all through adulthood handed down from family and environment, how can any of us expect to be anything but a worse facsimile of the broken generations that came before us?

Erase. Rewind. Restore. Run. This is the most profound message I have gotten from Yoga, and it need not be anything else. You can talk all you want about all the peripheral distractions of Yoga that are not even remotely related to this message and get lost in your pleasure seeking narcissism that hides in “your yoga” as a predator does in concealment of night, shadow, and cover while lying to yourself and hoping nobody finds out, or you can seek a silent room for a short time and look yourself straight in the eye in the mirror of introspection and actually help yourself be you for once and allow it to spread to all of humanity. This is what both excites me as the most important priority of potential that is most often overlooked and dismissed, and equally dismays me with no hope for humankind even as I look within those barefoot disciples sitting on rubber mats. When the dust settles and I embrace my sorrow in joyful happiness, Yoga emerges again, as it always does. Now another level deeper, alone and helpless, Yoga is there.

So what becomes of this? If I can’t connect in plain as day face to face alert contact with people, that is not enough concern to give up and throw it all away. The waking consciousness of walking and talking is but one small part of consciousness as any Yoga practitioner knows, and it is the one most expected to fail so all is as it should be. My focus is now shifting into advancing all other aspects of consciousness, the ones that work on the waking mind and define its operation through habit, behavior, and ultimately ability to be attentive or to simply attend. Here is my hope, here is my goal, here is my connection to all that is, here is where truth sits undisturbed. I go there, I’ve been there, it is where you will find me, and it will be easy because I can tell you without hesitation that it is poorly attended. Members only.

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