Mastering a state of bieng

Picture of Yoga Mandir
Yoga Mandir

Yoga is not merely a set of practices to develop flexibility or concentration; it is the act of entering into a ‘state of being’ quite unlike those states that we normally operate within in daily life. A practice is the act of re-entering a mode of experience and to exist in a place of total absorption. A practitioner can become adept at entering into the direct experience of the moment, uncluttered by memories and desires – clear, proprioceptive vision.

Proprioceptive vision refers to our capacity to experience directly. To know things from our experience, without interpretation; without distortion. To view the world directly.[1]

More often than not, however, there is a disparity in the layers of our experience. What we do with our body, our mind and our emotions lacks unity. For example, we often have jobs that require we apply our intellect and yet our emotional world may be completely at odds with the task. Alternatively, we carry out tasks mindlessly, devoid of concentration and awareness, as the mind roams elsewhere. This disconnect between body, mind and emotions is evident in many areas and examples in daily life. The capacity to be elsewhere in mind gives us an imaginary life of richness and diversity, as the mind is free to imagine and conceive, but in busy lives with little down time the disconnect becomes entrenched. The need to adapt to these demands often requires that we disengage one aspect of ourselves to discipline another aspect. We become fragmented when there are demands upon us, for example, to be physically present for long work days or to be creatively productive on timelines for our livelihood.

This feedback system provides a means by which fine motor actions are possible. We perform complex tasks with great dexterity and constantly learn new skills. Balance, poise and refined action provide the means to develop concentration and refine awareness. These new skills leave imprints which supersede memory. This in turn cleanses our actions of the residues of past experience and enables us to observe (vision) from the current experience (see article Yogic Imprinting by Alan Goode for further details).

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[1] Proprioception is the awareness of posture, movement and changes in equilibrium and the knowledge of position, weight and resistance of objects in relation to the body. (Taber’s Cyclopedic medical dictionary FA Davis Company, Philadelphia Nov 1982)

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