Adventures in Mysore India,  Ashtanga Quotes,  Conference Notes,  Uncategorized,  Yoga Philosophy

A.P. P Goes to Mysore: Everything is Energy. Energy is God

Everything is energy. Energy is God-Sharath Jois

This is probably no surprise to those of you that have been following my blog over the last month but I went through a very brief (thank goodness) period of confusion. I had stopped listening to the still voice within. The ego is an amazing story teller and I had begun to listen to its harrowing tales.

Many teachers say, if you really want to see if you have overcome your ego, go spend time with your relatives! Well, I am used to my family so that wasn’t much of a trigger. Coming to Mysore was a huge trigger. I often share these words by Adyashanti with students and they fit beautifully for what was going on with me.

In speaking regularly with spiritual seekers, it dawned on me one day how addicted so many of them are to the power of charisma. They swap stories about how powerful this or that teacher is and compare experiences. They get a charge from it, many mistaking charisma for enlightenment. Charisma attracts at all levels: political, sexual, spiritual, etc., and it feeds the ego’s desire to feel special. The ego loves getting hits of power—it’s like a form of spiritual candy. The candy may be sweet but can you live on it? Does it make you free?

 

Freedom is not necessarily exciting; it’s just free. Very peaceful and quiet, so very quiet. Of course, it is also filled with joy and wonder, but it is not what you imagine. It is much, much less. Many mistake the intoxicating power of otherworldly charisma for enlightenment. More often than not it is simply otherworldly, and not necessarily free or enlightened. In order to be truly free, you must desire to know the truth more than you want to feel good. Because if feeling good is your goal, then as soon as you feel better you will lose interest in what is true. This does not mean that feeling good or experiencing love and bliss is a bad thing. Given the choice, anyone would choose to feel bliss rather than sorrow. It simply means that if this desire to feel good is stronger than the yearning to see, know, and experience Truth, then this desire will always be distorting the perception of what is Real, while corrupting one’s deepest integrity.

 

In my experience, everyone will say they want to discover the Truth, right up until they realize that the Truth will rob them of their deepest held ideas, beliefs, hopes, and dreams. The freedom of enlightenment means much more than the experience of love and peace. It means discovering a Truth that will turn your view of self and life upside-down. For one who is truly ready, this will be unimaginably liberating. But for one who is still clinging in any way, this will be extremely challenging indeed. How does one know if they are ready? One is ready when they are willing to be absolutely consumed, when they are willing to be fuel for a fire without end.

I had this overwhelming need to feel good and I told myself all types of stories to do that. The thing about ego created stories is that they only work temporarily. They are an illusion that is quickly shattered and has to be replaced by a grander, greater delusion.  The truth is painful but it stops everything. After the pain is done, there is peace. Dukha (suffering ) is a followed by Sukha (pleasure). Sukha is followed by Dukha. This only stops when we release our attachment to our stories.

Sharath talks about the movement of energy and that energy is God. My energy was in flux and it was the voice of God and I chose to ignore God’s voice. It is now flowing within me and peace has returned.

Shanna Small has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga and studying the Yoga Sutras since 2001. She has studied in Mysore with Sharath Jois and is the Director of AYS Charlotte, a school for traditional Ashtanga in Charlotte NC. She has written for Yoga International and the Ashtanga Dispatch. Go here for more information on AYS Charlotte. For information on workshops, please e-mail shanna@ashtangayogaproject.com.

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