The major obstacle that a teacher may find in the transmission of the teaching concerning Yoga, is to make the candidate understand what the real meaning of this discipline is.
Of course, I don’t speak about the superficial gym or pseudo-spiritual courses performed by “self- made” teachers, but Yoga as an integral discipline, a Path itself, how it was before the various splitting into different branches and, especially, before the newly invented and often harmful branches of this discipline, a phenomenon that has happened in the last 20-30 years.
Yoga, in it’s intergral meaning, is a “path towards self-realization”, and without understanding what this means, no one will have nor will be able to find the necessary strength and motivation to perform with efforts that a real and serious Yoga practice requires.
Yoga today is considered a method for relaxation, to strengthen the body, for better health, and to fantasize about the awakening of energies and principles of which neither is often not understood by the Yoga trainers… and this could be alright, but it appears that Yoga intended as a Path for Self- Realization doesn’t find a place in contemporary human minds.
What is a Path? Sincerely, the same name should give the answer to this question. It’s a path traced to very ancient ages and renewed according to determined ages when it was used by, lets call them – real “seekers for the Truth” whose aim in life was to answer questions such as: Who am I? What is the real nature of this World? What is the motor that made possible, me and what surrounds me, to exist?
Briefly, a Path leads to the heart of the Cause, the essence of the Cause that produced all that existed, exists and will exist.
Those who had the good fortune to meet serious and realized guides, know by experience and not only by information, that we are an Essence that must be realized and a Consciousness that must be developed. Those persons know that they have to “awaken” in the real meaning of the term, and not as a metaphor – how it is today as intended by most. But these aims remain only empty words without a theoretic, practical and well- structured method aimed to realize the Essence and acquire awareness of our self- Consciousness and, of the Universal Consciousness.
In order to realize our intimate nature, a Path of inner research, preparatory for Yoga and indispensable to practice this discipline, is required.
Yoga leads the disciple to the cessation of the associative (accidental and unwanted) mental processes which allows the possibility of access to a different space for observation, in which we simply ARE and simply are aware of being both witnesses and users of billions of inner and outer phenomena that happen every second of our life. In a second moment, Yoga allows the possibility to “make contact” and merge with the Supreme Witness and User, the Cause of all that in Sanskrit is known as Maha Purusha.
What people involved in every kind of inner development (Yoga included) usually don’t understand (namely don’t live it as a direct experience, but eventually as information), is that we are really glimpses of what could be called Divine, intended as the Source of all that exists, the Common Father, merged with matter. Both “spirit” and matter are part of the same Source, and the goal of a disciple is to become aware of this through the direct experience (through becoming and not acquiring information) and learn to manage, and not repress, subdue or deny, its material-natural field (body, thoughts, emotions), whose pure, unconditioned form is far different from what we usually identify under these terms.
Many state that matter (body included) is something sinful and has to be repressed or subjected, but sincerely there is nothing sinful in matter.
Many also state that the main sign of having become aware of the intimate or Divine nature consists in having awakened supernatural skills (the Yogic Siddhis), and if he hasn’t these skills, he doesn’t make any progress, but it’s not exactly so. We can simply become aware of “magic”, “divine”, “transcendental” dimensions and continue to perform our normal life, without dressing as a yogi, without greetings with the common “namaste”, or making our hair and beard grow as sign of our “spirituality.
When we awaken, what changes in us isn’t what we eat, how we dress or how we appear. It’s the level of Consciousness that has changed and with it, the vision of the world and ourselves.
I know many people who claim to channel information from higher dimensions, (Croatia is filled with such bizzare individuals which aim, curiously, not to share such information, but to sell them), but I also know they are not “enlightened”. Indeed- they are very,very far from this.
In addition, we understand that all is magic, that all – every event is marvelous: the rain, the sea waves, the air we breath which transmutates in our body to keep us alive. Beyond this, we also understand to have marvelous skills: the power of motion, communication, thinking and the possibility to enter into empathy with other beings…
So, during the awakening, an individual becomes aware of what at the present moment exists, and has always existed, with the only difference that he sees it with different eyes.
And then, even once awakened, evolution doesn’t end there, because a Path brings us beyond human life, but this is a further story.
Maybe these few words are and will remain only words, but they should describe that a Path in the real meaning of the term, is something that brings us to the realization of the Intimate Nature, acquiring Consciousness and becoming aware of the fact that all is magic, and when this realization happens, the only thing we could feel is amazement… and Love.
A Path is far different than a Religion, gym training (even if there, we learn Yoga) or a superficial approach to every “spiritual” discipline (an attitude that is in vogue in the contemporary age). We have a Divine Nature, and we must become aware of this, freeing ourselves from conditionings, opinions about ourselves and others that have been ”installed” in our minds.
Many speak about the practice of inner silence, and many are skeptical regarding this possibility, because few are able to propose a method which could bring an effective, inner stillness.
During my last meeting in Zagreb, a few agreed to “try” the practice of meditation, those were amazed because of the immediate efficacy of just 45 minutes of practice, and how this practice can really temporarily quiet the mind.
And here comes the need for mental silence and meditation, which is a further step in Yoga: freeing our mind from preconceptions and acquiring a clear, unconditioned vision of all that happens inside and outside of us and, following the various effects and the causes, and return to the Primal Source. Indeed, this is the real spirit of the Path we know as Yoga: realizing that we are and we have always been in unity with this Source.