Yoga often mentions self-realisation as its ultimate goal. The path to “realise” “self” may be a long and winding road. A good place to begin is to investigate who, or what, self is. One may think of it as a process of remembering who we are.
The “self” yoga refers to far too easily gets buried under a heap of burdens or distractions. By losing sight of the whole, paying attention to on one aspect, self is often lost when we’re caught up in the details, forgetting the big picture. Or self may be dulled by the humdrum of the same old, same old, drowned in a fuzzy, opaque state of mind caused by the quagmire of surviving in a busy world.
Yoga asks us to go within, and search for the “true” self – which may be found when we ask the right questions, in contextual awareness of the whole and direct experience. “Self” realises it is always there, within, when it remembers – itself. It understands that it can never go away, and it is even closer than just around the corner. It realises it is right there, within. Thus self is realised, strangely enough, by self.
What happens when we remember who we are?
Possibly we stop identifying so much with the ego or worldly self, so there is less judgement and more peace with everything. The process that gets us to the realisation continues when we and carry on with whatever we were doing, or we may make big changes in our lives. But it is not what goes on on the surface, or periphereally that matters; we may find we let go more readily of that which don’t actually matter so much. Perhaps surrender to the tides of change come more easily, and acceptance comes of what can’t readily be changed or of something we don’t like, or fear. When we accept “surrender” we remember to “be with” self, now matter the conditions. Pain and pleasure, at times perhaps more than other, disappear, and joy flows more readily.
Such lightness of being transcends the ordinary self. It helps us be real; we can remember that the same being that sits in a car in the traffic sits in the studio when doing yoga or exercise, or having dinner. The meditator becomes aware of who and what meditates, and the flow and tides of life (see Ying-Yang album cover at bottom of page ) is revealed as an “extraordinary ordinary”. In yoga this experience is part and parcel of meditation, and what yoga is all about as a means of realising what self is. This is the soul, the heart of the experience.
Part 2, Self-realisation & Yoga – Meditation is the essence of yoga and the key to self-realisation.
OM-ness blessings & illuminations
Johann Kotze Music & Yoga
Muizenberg, Cape Town,
6 July 2015
My 2008 album Cosmic Waves was one of my first an ambient music projects to help reach clear, calm and expansive states of consciousness. Cosmic Waves is a celebration of creation with slow, wave-like musical patterns of swirling, lush, ethereal synthesizer and piano melodies that create beautiful and soothing music. The two musical themes of the album, Deep Mind – inwards expansion, and New Beginnings – the outwards expression of the inner centre, is represented by the yin-yang symbol of the cover image. Read more.