Day 8 – Steady Focus

Chapter 8 – The Eternal Godhead
Yoga Teacher – Brian Campbell

As progress on this path of yoga we don’t want to loose too much focus from the process of Being Here Now but at the same time every single person who takes birth in this material world questions the nature of death. What happens when we die?

It’s such a heavy and esoteric topic that surely I can’t do it justice in this blog at this time. Nearly every tradition has scriptures that focus on this topic – the Hindus have the Upanishads, The Buddhists have the Tibetan Book of the Dead and so on. Since “we are all here to go” as William Burroughs once said it’s of course natural to prepare for the inevitable.

Up to this point, Arjuna has been given clear instruction on karma yoga and maintaining righteousness in his actions. This is yoga in action. So when the moment of death comes he doesn’t suddenly turn from an unsavory person to that of a yogi and expect everything to be ok. This is why we practice everyday. Our part of the deal is to change our thinking which changes our behavior which changes our lives. It would be so easy if we could act a fool our whole lives and then just chant “hare krishna” and expect the transition to be perfect.

Based off this this understanding Arjuna does look ahead, probably too far, towards the moment of death and asks Krishna “How are the self-controlled united with you at death?”

We already know the answer to this as has been the subject of previous posts, however living in the material world will distract us from this. I know from very first hand experiences in dealing with the distractions in the form of addiction and other ego run wild diversions that falling off the path is easy, life is fragile. I find that everyone has a couple things in common – we all want to be loved and understood. If those desires go to far in the direction of pleasure (sex and drugs) for instance the balance is thrown off and we loose site of the ultimate form of love. We can use these tools as destructive methods if there is no basic for growth or reflection. Or if we put too much emphasis on having other people fulfill our needs and wants then we become co-dependent and can’t take care of ourselves. Somewhere in this there’s a balance – having other people around to love is great, experiencing sensual pleasure with a partner who you love and care about is great and having a satisfying occupational pastime is also great. Keeping it all in balance while focussed on god is the challenge and the true yoga.

Anyway, herein lies the reason I engage in yoga. As I stated before “in it’s ideal state practicing yoga is a moving meditation.” During that 90 minutes I can free myself from all the worries that go on in my life and have even a little glimpse at a relationship with Brahman. It’s a small step forward in my life for sure.

At this point, I am looking for focus. The discipline of a mere 8 days in a row of yoga is setting in, but it’s such a small amount of time that the need to sharpen my gaze is approaching. Besides being lost in the moving mediation what more can this practice offer me? Can I continue to find small miracles in an everyday asana practice? Do people who practice asana everyday really attain moksha or are they just really well settled in their bodies?

Looking forward to finding out.

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