Healthy Spirit Part 3- Become a Seeker
Morning Satsang, Sivananda Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, CA
The scriptures say that all physical disease comes from negative mental patterns, which starts with wrong thinking. The body is the instrument for you to go back to school, that’s why the state of spiritual health, or liberation is freedom from rebirth. It is said that when you are actually spiritually healthy you are not reborn. Can you imagine? That means you have paid all the karmic debts, and you are free. There is no area of darkness, no illusion; you have completely realized your nature as Satchidananda, immortal self, absolute consciousness, absolute bliss, and absolute reality. If you can accept it, and try to be in Satsanga, or company with those who are experiencing this bliss, they radiate it and they talk about it. That energy will inspire you and give your life good perspective. So keep yourself in satsanga. Most people think, “What are you talking about? I just want to be healthy happy, have my family, my job, do what I need to do, in life that’s it.” So don’t expect to know everything, to think everything, but just know that there’s way to get there and one of the ways is being in the company of the wise. That’s why you come to the ashram; to learn the teaching of enlightened people, yogis, masters, and hear this kind of thing. Refresh your memory and know there is another dimension. There’s no magazine in the world that will say that. No place in the world that will talk about that. You see, you go to a place of enlightenment to get some light, you don’t go to a place of darkness to get some light.
The more that you are able to do that, the more that inside you will believe in it and want it to know more. You become a seeker, you become a yogi, you become a Sadhak; a person who seeks. In the Bible it is said, “Seek and ye shall find.” If you don’t seek you will not find. So first you have to seek. You have to know that you don’t know. You have to know that what ever you know is only a limited idea. And then you have to go to place of knowledge, with people who know, and after some time it starts to make sense. What if you cannot be there, cannot be in the ashram forever? Then you go home and you can also practice. You have to learn and practice and learn and practice. So what is it that you practice? You practice self-discipline; you practice the control of the senses. That’s what it means. Control the senses means the tendency to always believe in something external to you, coming through the senses. So you either eat to live or you live to eat. If you live to eat, you are moving in the wrong direction, it is that simple. So already you can practice proper diet in your life. That means eat to maintain the body, but don’t lose yourself in your senses, by living to eat. This is wrong thinking. You can do this immediately; practice control of the senses.
Start moving in the right direction, with proper exercise. Do Asanas, the yogic postures, everyday. Because when you practice asanas, you stay balance and centered and clear, because the postures move the energy in your body. These practices will bring you back to an awareness of your self. After proper exercise you practice proper breathing. Learn how to manipulate your Prana, your energy. Learn how to breathe, learn how to balance your breath. Because when you balance your breath everything is okay. Your right brain left brain is balanced. Your personality becomes balanced. And then what? Proper relaxation. When you truly relax, it’s very deep and profound. Proper relaxation means letting go of grasping, letting go of worry, letting go of control, letting go of thinking “I know,” letting go of ego, letting go of desire. Because when you try to relax, and you cannot relax, it is because you have nourished the idea, “I need to control, I need to do things, I have so much desire in my mind I need to run- do this, do that.” The practice of letting go, the practice of self surrender, the practice of not wanting anything, the practice of openness of heart, of acceptance, that’s part of eventually letting go of the body. If you do not let go of the body you don’t relax. This is the ultimate relaxation in the class. You have to let go. You also have to let go of your mind.
After you’ve let go of the body, let go of the mind, what remains? What remains is Spirit. You have to relax more than five or ten minutes a day. You have to let go in your life. Let go of the body, let go of the mind all the time. In the yoga class you’re doing that in a very focused way. Life is a big yoga class. In the yoga class you have 12 basic posture. In life you have 1008 postures. In yoga class you have only the inhalation and exhalation; two positions of the mind. But in life you have100,000 positions of the mind. But still you have to be balanced, be aware of the body, aware of the mind, knowing that you are not the body, knowing that you are not the mind. This is the state of absolute awareness, absolute detachment; being in the body without being in the body. Living life without being lost by life, all this takes training. So everyday you do asanas, pranayama, proper diet, proper relaxation, positive thinking. You understand your thoughts and your emotions and know how to deal with them. And everyday you meditate, so you can have the experience - the direct experience of that state beyond your mind. And that’s it - you are on your way to enlightenment.