Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Leave your ego at the door

The problem with ego is not the fact that we have one; it is useful, even necessary to have an ego in order to function and live. The problem arises when the ego believes it is the Self. If all we do is in service of the little self, our life will be sorrowful. Only when we recognize and serve our higher “Self” does liberation become possible.

From a spiritual perspective; identification with the ego denotes considering oneself to be distinct and/or separate from others (and the Divine) due to identification with the physical body and impressions (Samskaras) in various centers of the subtle (energetic) body. In other words, the ego-self is allowed to lead our life by us maintaining the false notion that our existence is limited to our five senses, our mind and intellect, and identifying with them to various degrees.

“In yoga we first learn to observe the body. Once this observation is established, we know that we are not the body but an observing agent independent of the body. Otherwise we could not observe the body. The next step is that we start observing our thoughts. Eventually, from being established in that observation, we know that we are not our thoughts, since we can detach ourselves and observe them like the thoughts of a stranger. Who are we, then, if we are not the body and not the mind (manas, the thinking principle)? The agent that claims ownership of body and mind is called ahamkara — ego. Its function, which is the erroneous commingling or mixing of seer (pure consciousness) and seeing (the mind), is called egoity or I-am-ness (asmita).”- Gregor Maehle

Yoga deals with the body but it is so much more about managing the mind. It’s a moving meditation and everything that you need to deal with emotionally is going to come up. You are doing yoga so that you can let go. Everyone in the class, regardless of how skinny or bendy or cute they look, had a first class where they felt lost and scared and incompetent. It’s just part of the deal. Stop being so hard on yourself, stop judging yourself and just be in the moment and do the best you can. 

"The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life." - B.K.S. Iyengar




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