I hope everyone is staying warm and turning up the heaters when they practice. Joy and I have been cranking the heat each morning while we work in New Mexico.
A couple reminders about my winter schedule.
-You can now register for my December 28th New Year’s Bhakti Bash on my site.
-1 month Mysore intensive in Kovalam begins Feb 1st. More info on my site.
-Breitenbush Hot Springs In-depth study retreat is March 5th-9th. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
I hope you can join me at one of these locations,
The need to know the highest order that is part of the supreme beauty is ever present within you. This must remain alive within you because your growth and learning depend on you being fed by images of beauty. And that is why, as an asana lover, you are drawn to form an ideal image and a yearning for expressing that image in each asana. Why else would you be so slow to tire of viewing the nearly endless stream of exotic and beautiful asana positions that people share with you by way of your various news feeds—even though it is likely that you will never personally achieve such extensive expressions of these positions?
It is because the image itself is necessary and inspiring, BUT during your practice it is also essential to remember that generally the final position that you so ardently want to do is an advanced position that requires the skilled performance of multiple baby steps leading up to that position.
You want to align yourself accurately and realistically along the progression that leads to this image. Lining up your efforts with the baby steps in the progression is the way to experience the ideal day by day as opposed to remaining continually soul starved, snared by the illusion posing as the ideal. Because you can only behold Supreme Beauty and Order NOW, in the perfect unfolding of each moment, this experience is available to you instantly, at each step along the way.
Your efforts in practice are meant to feed the ideal images that you are shaping within your mind and body, and this maturation takes place nearly imperceptibly, little by little, day by day. Part of establishing yourself in the discipline, is learning to trust yourself each day to express the shape that perfectly expresses your developing sense of order and beauty. You are not aiming for a final, ideal reward that comes at the end in some distant, unattainable future. But this process does include appreciating and absorbing the expressions of beauty that others create, and you do this without negatively attaching yourself and your efforts to these images.
Remember to elevate your yearning for the sublime knowledge to its highest expression as is symbolized in the famous image of the sacred flame that dwells in the cave of your heart center (anahata-unstruck). This brilliant flame never burns down, does not flicker or waver—is eternally steady and bright, it illuminates the entirety of the infinitely vast space within the cave. This light is a symbol for the light of intelligence that is born of viveka khayti, unceasing discriminative awareness.