Friday, October 24, 2014

Billy Doyle - Yoga in the Kashmir Tradition

An excerpt from our latest publication - 'Yoga in the Kashmir Tradition: The Art of Listening' 
by Billy Doyle.

Advaita asks us to question what is real, to question the common-sense view that we are separate entities, each body-mind being distinct from other body-minds and from the world. It asks: What is our essential nature? The body and mind are always changing. Is there not something that is beyond the flux of time? Is there not something beyond the mind? To recognise change there must be something in us that is changeless. What is changeless in me? Is it not the sense of presence, the sense of knowing? I know myself, I know the world, but the real question is: 
Who is the knower?
We don't cease to be when there is no thought; we still know that we are, but we generally only know ourselves in relation to objects, such as thoughts, images, memory. In other words, I am a woman, I am a doctor, I'm young, a person of worth. We don't know ourselves without the adornment of a string of characteristics.
It is this identification with an I-image, which is no more than a projection of the mind, that veils our true reality. Taking myself to be a limited separate entity in a universe invites fear and desire. In fact, fear and desire are the very essence of this separate personal entity. It is from this state of insecurity that we begin to look for happiness, for security. In the beginning this search is usually directed towards material objects, acquiring knowledge, enhancing our self-image, or towards relationships. Only when we realise from our failures that nothing in the world will completely satisfy our longing, do we begin to ask deeper questions.
This is the beginning of a more conscious spiritual search. We begin to realise what we are not: not a body, not a personality, not a series of images, not any kind of object. Our real nature is prior to any image, any thought. The body is in awareness, the mind is in awareness, the world too exists in awareness. Thus, awareness is prior to all manifestation.
We begin to give precedence to awareness and not to what we're aware of. We begin to feel ourselves as awareness, a witness to the passing show. Like the screen in the film show, the images are always changing, but the screen is unaffected. A feeling of space opens up between what I am and what I'm aware of. I begin to feel my autonomy, that I'm free of all things. I'm no longer locked in space and time, rather space and time are in me.

~ Billy Doyle | Read more:

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