I watched a beautiful documentary this week called Baraka, which showcases some of the wonders of our planet both majestic and tragic. The film traverses through scenes of spectacular natural beauty and spiritual devotion to scenes of exhausting industrialization and destruction, causing the viewer to really feel the intense juxtapose between a peaceful slow existence on the planet and the mayhem of a manic one. One scene in particular continues to replay in my mind: a monk in walking meditation on a busy street in Tokyo. He steps one foot, heel touching toe, in front of the next, pausing, ringing a bell, repeating a mantra, and then the next foot, pause, bell, mantra, and again. Excruciatingly slow, focused, meditative moving forward, while the masses pass by him as anxious faced blurs seemingly oblivious to his existence.
The rush and fast pace of the modern world creates a kind of blindness, an inability to observe the world around you as well as the world within you. This inability to observe then creates a feeling of being disconnected from the planet we live in as well as disconnected from our inner source of life, our Purusha. And this disconnection brings about a destructive force, on a global and personal level.
We are not inherently destructive, it is disconnection that is destructive. Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word YUJ, which means union, and all of the Yogic practices essentially lead us toward deeper and ultimate union. The first step is observation, and in order to observe we must SLOW DOWN, look, listen and feel.
Eric Schiffman, author of Moving into Stillness and student of Krishnamurti, Desikachar and Iyengar, says in his book that one of the most important teachings of Yoga is discovering that at our core is Goodness. He goes on to say that this original good nature within us is not elusive, not something we must evolve into or earn, but right here right where we are. We need only make an effort toward stillness, let everything else fall away, and our core Goodness will be what remains.
Mooladhara Chakra, the first chakra located approximately at the perineum, comes from the Sanskrit word ‘moola’ meaning root. It is the root of the chakra system, and the source of Ida, Pingala and Sushumna Nadis, the three main energy channels running through the core of our body. And like a plant’s root system it taps into the Earth below us for energy, connecting and providing grounding stability so that the energy running through our core can expand. As we quiet ourselves and become more aware of our core Goodness, we also become more aware of our connection to the entire planet, and mutually supportive, rather than destructive, relationships are inspired.
“The inherent creative goodness within you is not a mental construct that you attempt to adopt, not pretense or self-deception, not something you conjure up. It’s something you discover… It’s the way you were built. It’s what you are. The emotional feeling-tone of love and goodness is happiness.” – Erich Shiffman, Moving Into Stillness
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