‘All life is Yoga.’
As we said yesterday, this is the epitome of Sri Aurobindo’s teaching. That no matter the situation, there is a way for us to practice our use of spiritual tools.
What are our ‘spiritual tools?’
There are only two things we ever have control over. These are our attention and our intention.
As this separate ego that I know myself as, my attention always will be on my own needs, the fulfillment of my desires and the assuaging of my fears. My intention will be to survive, to get you and the world to like me, to make more money, have more success, to find the proper mate for tonight or a lifetime. The list is endless, because there is never enough of anything, and each accomplishment leads to the need for more.
As the spirit that I am – one individual expression of the undivided whole of consciousness – my attention always will be on the world and all these other expressions of consciousness in it, with the intention to uplift, to love, to come together with. As spirit, knowing myself as a representative of nature itself, my job always is to be of service to the whole, to ask what I might bring to a situation, rather than what it is I need to get.
In the first example, I am self-centered – looking inward, trying to ‘fix’ what’s wrong with me and make myself comfortable and safe. In the second I am centered in the Self – knowing myself as this deepest Truth of Being at the very core of what I am, and from there looking outward, doing my best to shine the light of consciousness into the world.
In every moment, in every situation, in every interaction with another, I am serving the one or the other. I am looking at the world through the eyes of the one or the other. The spiritual work of each day, the yoga which Sri Aurobindo speaks of, is learning to choose the one and progressively letting go of the other. To encourage ourselves to try to love, randomly and arbitrarily, for no good reason. To celebrate where we are able to do the work of consciousness and to have compassion for where we are not.
This is the spiritual work of yoga.
And it bears noting that Sri Aurobindo, having said that ‘all life is yoga,’ goes on to say (and I paraphrase), that ‘if you remember this once in the morning as you start your day, and once in the evening when you end your day, this is a good day.’
Today I will remember that it is my job to uplift and to love, everything always, and I will encourage myself to seek opportunities to do so.
Calf Nirmal Bag, Uttarakhand, India
All original material copyright © 2018 Jeff Kober