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Monday, January 17, 2011

The Metaphysical

Where does this path lead to and What lies ahead?
Following onto the last entry, what fascinated me the most about the Mind Reset retreat was the journey into the deep, inner Self. I'd previously heard that a yoga retreat could sometimes evoke feelings of self-loathing (no idea why though) but in my case, my meditation (well, in between streams of fidgeting ... sometimes the physical sensations of, say, a sore bum or foot from sitting cross-legged for too long do get the better of me) brings me calmness and, sometimes, a little sadness.

Meditation is one way of reaching the Anandamaya kosha (or bliss body) ... sometimes I wonder if it is mere a concept than an actual "thing" ... it is "something", as Tara pointed out, that is beyond words. To get there, we have to travel through one layer of cover (or kosha, sanskrit for "sheath") after another, a bit like peeling off an onion. So on the outer most is the Annamaya kosha (physical body), then Pranamaya kosha (breath), Manomaya kosha (senses and thoughts), Vijnanamaya kosha (the mind, ego) and, finally, the Anandamaya kosha. I wouldn't call this a "spiritual" journey in the sense there is nothing "religious" about it but maybe a metaphysical one: the bliss body cannot be pulled from a hat like a bunny.

Tara split the journey up into five meditation sessions over four days, through which we were to tap onto each kosha with our (thus far untrained) inner antenna. These koshas are not separate entities and they are constantly interacting with one another. For instance, my meditation is constantly interferred by sensations and thoughts and the ego ... making reaching the infinite bliss body almost totally impossible.

But how does yoga come into all this, you may ask. Here is where I find Tara's explanation (as I understand it anyway) quite a revelation: it's that (and this is in my interpretation) what's blocking us in the journey into the bliss body can be reflected in the physical body, such as physical tightness, and yoga can help us open up, thus making us more intuitive, easing the path to the supreme "force" or "power" ... the human consciousness, which Science has yet to understand or explain.

PHEW! And Tara made this all quite fun to learn!!! A LOT of thoughts gatecrashed my mind over the four-day retreat, some of which quite unwelcome, but it helped me to understand just a tad more about myself -- and those who were there with me ... our sharing session on "intuition" was particularly powerful: we talked about how we follow our gut instincts/intuition, even though some of the intuitive (or "correct") decisions made were difficult, if not downright painful.

In stillness, silence and solitude I find comfort and consolation
Okay, all this is doing my head in!! I shall be returning to The Physical again next month in a 30-hour Workshop on Yoga Anatomy. Can't wait!

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