“2.Yoga as Meditation
Now the concern is more with the mystery of life than the mastery of life.
Here Yoga is a means for meditation with self-inquiry as the primary focus.
“Who am I?” is the question that acts as a map for an inner journey into our psyche. It is a quest to touch and be touched by the “soulfull” quality of being that resides within.
In this approach Yoga is a tool for a movement towards a deeper relationship with our sense of soul, by searching both into and beyond what we experience as the everyday self.
It is a journey of discovery exploring and ultimately going beyond attitudes that, for better or for worse, have shaped our lives, work and relationships.
Now Yoga is a skill by which we seek to sustain awareness and clarity in spite of the vagaries of everyday life. The quality of this awareness engenders a freshness within which actions are less affected by our usual attitudes and habits. In other words we have more choice over how we respond or react. In those situations where our reaction would be automatic we now find we have different possibilities.
Here Yoga is a process by which we grow in our understanding of ourselves. From this we come to realise that we can change those aspects of ourselves that are unhelpful on our journey. This means firstly recognising the qualities that hinder our personal growth, an important, if not always comfortable stage in the journey. Secondly, having reflected on how we are rather than who we are, we go on to discover that there exists within us a resource with the potential to transform these undesirable aspects.
From this we can take steps towards living more creatively. Here again the help of a teacher is important as a guide for advice and suggestions on practices to support the process of growth into an understanding of how we are and ultimately who we are.
To quote another saying from the teachings on meditation:
“Before I can experience myself as nobody, I must first experience myself as somebody.”
This approach is known as the Yoga of Reflection and Discovery.
However, we all experience problems, poor health or illness from time to time.”
Paul Harvey (yogastudies.org)