When each one of us was born, we were like a piece of colourless cloth. Pure. From the very second we made our first cry, that piece of cloth started to be coloured. Our values and beliefs were all influenced and structured by our reactions and responses to our external world. As we become increasingly manipulated by the external consciousness, our internal well-being began to dissipate. We continuously lose our sense of centering.
When posed with a question, “Who do you think you are?”, many of us are unable to find an answer. In fact, confusion of our persona is real and find an answer is not possible. We have lost the Truth in us. We are not being able to be honest with ourselves and and being able of offer a truthful answer.
In our modern world, due to the various distractions and attachments, we could be completely lost to the world of greed, materialism and false reality. We rely on external opinions and views to judge who we are. We no longer determine ourselves who we are. Society dictates how we become ourselves. Therefore, within the course of a day, we could be what others want us to be many times over.
Our mind fluctuates constantly. It changes from moments to moments. It is never ever steady. We are unable to capture our mind’s process. One moment we could be conscious of this and just the very next, we are mindful of another idea. Uninvited thoughts!! Have you ever observed how the more pressure and stress you are under, the more that seems to be on your mind?
On the other hand, the more relaxed you are, the less you will have on your mind.
How is it ever possible to steady our mind? How can we empty and clear our mind, centre a stillness, a calm and silence to evade the busy world we incessantly associate ourselves with?
There is a way. Yoga can provide an answer if there is a desire to seek. You may ask, “What’s Yoga?”. In The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, Yoga is explained as a practice to still the patterning of the consciousness. Indeed, all that one does through is to seek a way to reach still our our conscious pattern. In so achieving that state, we can take a momentary glimpse of our unconscious with a hope to reveal and discover the truth of who we really are as an individual and be honest about our Being.
Man is born with a centre. Most of us never got to know of it or never know that it ever existed. He or she can live through life without knowing its existence. However, one can never live without it!! Not knowing its existence, you will be homeless; without root. Drifting as the fluctuating mind and temptations take over and take you here and there. You are passing time; carrying on with a deep slumber and a dream. And a frustration will build up and become a dark shadow that will be attached to you and follow you everywhere.
When a child is born and he or she is rooted at the navel centre. This is the only real centre throughout his or her life. A natural centre, the original center, not a by-product. The Japanese call it “Hara”, hence the word “hara-kiri”. Most of us do not know that the Hara existed. Observing a child’s breathing, his navel will go up and down. He or she breathes with the belly. He or she lives with the belly – not with the head, not with the heart. As the pure, colourless, stainless cloth get coloured, the child gets drift further and further away from the is natural centre.
A growing child will develop another centre – the Heart. The centre of emotion. This is not the real centre. The centre is a by-product. He or she will learn to love, he will be loved. If the child is not loved, he or she will not love. We all know this. Psychologists know this too. If a child is brought up in a non-loving environment with not love and warmth, he or she will never be able to love another person because this Heart centre has not been developed. We were not born with this centre. We have to develop it by growing the centre.
Therefore, in a busy world, parents are rarely able to offer quality love to grow a child’s Heart centre. Most parents like to think they do. In fact, not many do as they were brought up with less. Many offer materialism instead to replace quality love. Many parents go on producing children and know less how to offer their children a meaningful love centre. Over generations, the true meaning of love diminishes as each generation received less quality love and was not able to pass on more to the next.
As society thinks it is becoming civilized, the more it forces into being a third centre. The Head centre. This is reason, intellect, head. Education, logic and training create this third centre; another by-product. Just observe how much parents focus their effort and time to develop this Head centre. This becomes the basic force in life because the whole life depends on this centre. It is utilitarian. One needs it for reason, logic, thinking. So everyone becomes sooner or later – head-oriented. We begin to live in our heads!!
There are many men and women in this world who were never given a full opportunity to develop a Heart centre. Time was expanded growing the Head centre. The navel is the Being. The Heart is the Feeling. The Head is the Knowing. The link between the Heart and Navel Centres is missing or weak. Knowing is the furthest from the Being. If we miss the Feeling, it is challenging to bridge the Knowing and Being. That is the reason a loving person may realize his or her at-homeness in the world more easily than a person who lives through intellect.
A deep blissful moment occurs when we are able to touch our Hara or come near to the centre. A fine example is Sex. In sex sometimes you come near to the Hara because in sex your mind, your consciousness moves downwards. You have to leave your head. In a deep sexual orgasm, sometimes it happens that you are near your hara. That is why there is so much fascination about sex. It is not really sex which offers you the blissful ezperience. It is the Hara. You can never enjoy sex similar to the Hara, if sex is a cerebral affair in the Head. Sex is an experience. You cannot think about it. Reason is not needed.
Another fascination is Danger. Living dangerously throws you back to the Hara. You cannot think. You cannot work things out with the mind. You have to act immediately. You will have to have a no-mind. Thinking will mean death.
You are driving a car. Faster and faster and faster. Suddenly, a moment enters when every single moment is dangerous. Any moment and there will be death. In that moment of suspense, when death and life are just as near to each other as possible, 2 points just near and you in between, the mind stops. You are thrown into the Hara. That is why there is so much fascination with cars, driving fast and madly. That moment becomes mediative. A bliss erupts, explodes in you. It becomes a showering inside.
Yoga is therefore concerned with creating a rootedness in the Hara. Internal Centering while in consciousness. Seeking silence and discovering the honest deep truth of “Who Am I”. The Being.
1. The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali
2.The Book of Secrets – by Osho
3. Malaysian Yoga Society