“The ultimate goal of human life is liberation of the spirit, called moksha in Sanskrit, the realization of the pure self, beyond time, space and action” – David Frawley. “Yogah cittavritti nirodhah” means ‘Yoga is the stilling of the fluctuations of the mind’ –  Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. When the mind is still, we are able to “abide in the Self” – Ramana Maharshi.

Many of us know this truth, yet we continue to push for the next ‘better’ moment to arrive in the hope that it will liberate us from the bondage we feel in this ‘not so good’ moment. Or we cling onto one ‘special moment’ that satisfies our ego desire in the hope that this experience will set us free. In reality we continually miss the raw sacredness of life in this present moment. We ignore the fact that nothing outside of our true ‘Self’ can bring us lasting happiness.

The more I encounter inner blockages and outer obstacles, the more I see how Yoga is about inner peace, not outer physical achievement. A fit body and worldly success is of no use to me if my mind is not silent. A fleeting moment of calm after a strong asana practice is not the same as sustained meditation in every moment of ordinary life. How do we react when we are late and stuck in traffic? How do we deal with insult or defeat or illness or loss?

More important than performing exotic shapes on our Yoga mats, is our ability to surpass the entanglement of our ego’s false identification with the outer world. Realizing ourselves as the formless essence of life, beyond the boundaries of this three-dimensional existence is the only path to sustained liberation. So simple and yet so freaking difficult!

Two pieces of wisdom recently bailed me out of my self-imposed ‘prison’. One by David Frawley: “We cannot go beyond anything unless we first honor the Shakti behind it, which means to touch its core energy in consciousness. By recognizing the Shakti (energy) behind it and concentrating on it, one can move beyond the limitations of the form.” and the other by Ramana Maharshi: “What exists in truth is the Self alone. The world, the individual soul, and God are appearances in the Self. These three appear at the same time, and disappear at the same time.The Self is that where there is absolutely no ‘I’ thought. That is called ‘Silence’”

(Yoga inspiration by Melanie de Villiers in Camps Bay, Cape Town)

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