Your problems aren’t big as you think

Are you struggling with problems in life?
Do you feel overwhelmed or depressed by your problems?

The first thing I learned about problems in life from my Guru, Paramahamsa Nithyananda (fondly known as Swamiji) is that our mind is not logical as such every moment our idea of pain, suffering, pleasure, joy, love and hate is constantly changing. Each problem is like a new wave which dissolves after sometime. The problem is we’ve been taught to think the mind is logical but the truth is the mind is more like an ocean. It is not a solid ground as we may like to believe, all ideas we carry about ourselves, ideas about love, pain, worries, fears, pleasure and God – these ideas are floating and not rooted.

One example in my life.
There was a time which I felt troubled in my marriage. I would imagine the different permutations of response I would give and the outcomes from my imagination. When I was diagnosed with Stage 3 cervix cancer in June 2005, suddenly the game of the mind shifted gear to the most basic survival need. The conflict in the relationship didn’t bother me after all, the issue of my basic survival became the main concern. This clearly showed that all my ideas of so-called problems in my life were just not solid. They existed based on my perception of suffering at that moment.

The second truth is that problem can wash away other problems, waves can dissolve waves. When one big survival-need type of problem hits me, it just washed away all my other problems. Other problems such as conflict in relationships and stress from job are no longer a concern. Suddenly all the problems I thought could never be resolved, just disappeared at that moment. Nothing really matters!

The third secret you should know is that whenever we undergo death-related fear, a huge energy is being released in the second energy center (Swadhistana chakra) – it is an automatic mechanism to bring us out of fear. Same way for pain experience, there is an automatic anaesthesia to protect us from pain. Beyond certain limit, we fall into the unconscious layer and we don’t feel the pain anymore. If we internalize this truth, we lose respect for the perceived problems and they no longer have power over us.  It is by making the problem seems big that our mind feels big and important. But the mind is wavering, constantly it creates waves, hence Patanjali says Sutra Verse #2 ‘Mind is an action, you can stop it.’ The first step to get out of this mind game is to become aware that your understanding of problems is not right.

In Patanjali Yoga Sutra Verse 13, it states that ‘The effort to remain constantly in that elevated state of awareness is abhyasa: Tatra sthitau yatno abhyasa.’ Abhyasa means again and again bringng yourself back to the center, elevating yourself to the higher state of consciousness, centering yourself in that truth. By melting the incompletions or hangovers you created unconsciously and living the right truths will bring you back to the center again and again.  This Sutra not only gave me one of the AHA! moments which shifted my perception about problems in life, but it also helped me to strengthen my spiritual practice so that I am able to find my center again and again.

Abhyasa (practice) is deeply connected to the muscles in our body. Whatever we repeat consciously become unconscious because it penetrates into the unconscious layers; that memory creates our body. Any conscious action you do again and again will strengthen you whereas any unconscious action you do repeatedly weakens your body.

Remember this truth – the problems we face are neither permanent nor impermanent as we perceive. We create problems from our unconscious practice or habits (negative abhyasa). When we are able to cognise this fundamental truth about problems, we can simply walk out of any problem and get back to our center of restful awareness. Namaste 😀

Anything you do with intensity becomes Yoga

I was always fascinated by the power of intensity exuded by the enlightened masters. If you notice everything they do, intensity is the underlying common thread. This was one quality which I deeply aspired to develop in me in 2010 but I didn’t have the know-how at that time.

I remembered one experience from my master, Paramahamsa Nithyananda (fondly known as Swamiji), he shared that “In my young age, in the temple where my yoga teacher, Yogiraj Yogananda Puri would teach me yoga, there were twenty to thirty pillars. He would make me climb every stone pillar and come down. And I had to use only one hand to climb the pillars and come down! I had to do this from sunrise to sunset! One day I asked him why he was making me climb all these pillars because I couldn’t find any books or sutras saying climbing pillars was a part of yoga! He revealed a great truth – any movement you make with intensity and intention becomes part of your bio-memory. For whatever purpose you bend your body or move your body, that memory and idea will become completely recorded in your body-mind. That engram (samskara) will start expressing in your body.”

It was a strong click for Swamiji that moment – Yoga is any movement done with a strong intensity. When you bend your body with intensity for some purpose, that purpose becomes part of your prarabdha – the energy with which you create your body every day out of the Hiranyagarbha (the cosmic womb), it is the space where you rest every night, the same darkness which you experience in deep sleep, the space where all memories are available. Patanjali says any thought which you put inside intensely becomes your bio-memory. When you fall asleep with a certain thought and the next morning when you wake up, you will pick up that kind of engram and live it.

From the 12th Yoga Sutra, Patanjali says “Relax from these patterns (5 modifications of the mind) through constant and intensive practice of unclutching”. Swamiji revealed that intensity is the master key to experience Yoga! This is the ultimate sutra for the whole yoga regardless of the forms of spiritual practice you do. Intensity itself can lead you to the ultimate enlightenment without any technique or support. Whatever may be the obstacle you are facing in your spiritual journey, all you need is this one truth: Abhayasa and Vairagya – intense constant practice. You don’t have to bother about what technique you are following, who is your master, who is your teacher, whether he is enlightened – nothing is required. All you need is the ONE thing – intense constant practice. For enlightenment, all you need is the intensity of practice because intensity is an independent intelligence, you will be guided to the right master, right teaching, right technique and right enlightenment experience.

How to practise intensity?

You can pick up any idea and intensely internalise it through constant remembrance. When you fall asleep, be filled with that idea. When you wake up, be filled with that idea. You will see, in ten days your mind gets tuned to that idea, your thinking gets tuned to that idea. You will attract the right kind of people and situations around you.

Let me share my very experience after having practised the truth from Upanishad as instructed by Swamiji since March. I realised that I could smell the fragrance of intensity after I aligned my being with authenticity to ‘Who I am’. The idea I hold for myself is that of ‘I am consciousness’ not this body-mind. My breathing pattern is one with the Cosmic breathing pattern. Every night before sleep, I remember this one idea and burn everything to ashes – any association I carry about this body-mind on this physical plane and return to the state of pure consciousness. After two months of practicing this one idea, every yoga practice is becoming an intense experience of feeling connection with Oneness itself. The intensity led me to discover the Science of breath (pranayama) from Swamiji’s earlier discourse which taught me how to stop the mind and experience the cosmic breathing pattern. Everything seems to fall in place by itself!

In essence, anything you do with intensity becomes Yoga. Intensity is the unfailing way to the ultimate experience. Namaste. 😀