Appropriate Kriya

by on June 7, 2012 · 0 comments

in Thoughts on Philosophy

Lately my thoughts have been centered around sadhana and my inquires have pertained to the context of “why, how, where”. I think this is a phase in my practice where kriya is on autopilot and I’m simply following through with what I know works. It’s not quite taking my practice for granted, because I feel I have reached a point in my life with there is no turning away from my sadhana.  Any chance I get to drop in, I’m there instantly. If I have the energy to perform asanas, whether alone or in a group, you can usually find me on the mat. There are even times where I lack the energy for practice, but I somehow manifest it regardless and end up being thankful I did not forsake the routine. I simply adhere to the disciplines of my practice to nourish the nature of this individuality I have refined. The true nature has always been there. It lies within all of us much like a sculpture lies within a block of marble. The beauty is there waiting to be revealed by chipping away excess stone. But, being the sculptor, I have two choices. I can continue with the work or I can be satisfied with the progress I have made.  The only caveat is that for the past few years, I have simply been bringing my medium into rough form, sloughing off crude, unneeded pieces, preparing  for the foundation of a masterpiece.  It’s time to trade in the hammer for a mallet and chisel. It’s time to put my knowledge of the tools and the efforts of my apprenticeship towards Abhyasa.

I’m at a point in a spiritual journey, where the trail markers are abundant. I know where I am and where I have been, but I’m not quite sure where I want to go. I walk the path because I want to walk. But along the way, there are so many pathways of opportunities. Some are disguised as problems, some masquerade as rewards and some are alluring with desire. Most of us have been hiking or have taken a leisurely stroll in nature or have skied the slopes. It is usually easy judge the path that has had the most travelers. The safest route. Some are evidently marked with colors or with warnings indicating steep hills, rocky terrain or dangerous obstacles. Our reasoning to choose one path over another is usually relevant to the reward it offers, whether it’s the exhilaration of speeding down a mountainside of fresh powdery snow, or climbing to the summit to witness a spectacular sunset. But other times, we choose a path because we know what is best for us. When we are in alignment with our true nature, the right choice is often evident, however, acting on the right choice instead of what we truly desire requires discipline. So, I feel that I’m in this state where the easy choice is to continue walking this path knowing that sights to be seen and adventures to be had will eventually happen randomly. There’s safety and comfort here. It’s very familiar. But, in my heart,  I know I have reached a point where this option is not what is best for me and that there is more to explore and my Sadhana is waiting for me to make a deliberate move in one direction or the other.

What leads me to this conclusion? I’ve spent the past year really diving into the Bhagavad Gita and what began as a simple curiosity has ignited a fire within me that I cannot control. But believe me, I try. Sometimes the verses of what I read resonate so deeply within me, I can feel my preconceived notions of everything I suspect to be truth begin to crumble. I desire, to have a Bhakti heart where I can do everything for the glory of God. Yet, I laugh at my sincerity out of self defense. I’m a logical person, everything I do on a daily basis is deeply rooted in science, facts and statistics. Why do I think I could possibly, seriously, actually believe I could embrace the path of the Krishna consciousness? I then tell myself that the teary eyes are from laughter and not from the fear that I’m preventing myself from doing the right thing. Then I watch my actions vigilantly until I make a sarcastic remark or until I unexpectedly judge someone, then I flaunt my validation: “You see? You think that You could actually live up to these standards? As if!”

So why the hesitation? Why the self-limiting internal dialogue? Why do I fear giving the glory and the fruits of my actions to the almighty? Maybe if I could book a private session with Krishna, we could talk through my concerns and he could sell me on the idea that everything I have read in the Gita is rooted in some for of truth. It’s a difficult spot to be in.  Following the path of truth and righteousness juxtaposed with my peers embodying the pleasurable and the succulent that Maya has to offer. I often wonder what the prize will be at the end of the road for those who have sided with self discipline and restraint. I’ve reached a point much like looking at the trail-map and enjoying the idea of what the description of what each path offers. Envisioning what the sunset would look like instead of making the steep hike to see it with my own eyes. Or salivating over all the items on the menu instead of choosing the meal I know is right for my body. I can see how surrendering to the divine would be beneficial. I can envision how my life would transform with a Krishna consciousness. The thought of putting effort towards theistic ideals does not bother me. I’ve expounded upon my opinion in other writings that the existence of a deity is not as important as the transcendental ideals that it represents. Though I don’t feel capable of it, I greatly desire the ability to have blind faith.  I would love to believe, and love even more to know, that Krishna is looking over my shoulder as I write this, and smile with approval when I open the Bhagavad Gita for instant inspiration. Maybe I will make it there someday. Maybe someday I will reach that elevated level where my Sadhana is guided by something that transcends belief.


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