Entries in Advaita Vedanta (2)

Monday
Jan202014

What Constitutes This [Subtle] Body? 

A morning meditation/interpretation of Subtle+Material by Anuva Kalawar. I'll be posting the second half soon. 

This is the 3rd Installation of the article series on "What are you really acting out?" -- Chapter 2 of the Advaita Life Practice, by Jayant Kalawar. Follow the links for the first and second installments. 

In the previous article, Jayant Kalawar discusses our capacity to understand the world through Buddhi (the function of subtle perception), which becomes Chitta and Manas. Chitta is our collection of physical memory: histories, legacies; traumas, milestones, imprints that inform identities. It is how we sensually understand the world, and how the world understands our bodies at this moment in space-time. Manas is the lake of thought, which is informed by both our Chitta as well as our subtle body awareness and navigation -- called Buddhi

The practice of becoming an observer through developing our Buddhi capacity--of becoming Sakshi -- one who watches and takes note as the physical Self consumes: dinners, drinks, sandalwood paste, honey, twangtwang tunes, conversations, even relationships. Sakshi is always present within us as we perform our days. She is the bird who observers the actor-action self relish thick fruit on the tree of experience, but does not partake in the experience itself.

An ancient story from the Mundaka Upanishad. This morning 2014, Copyright Anuva Kalawar

In our material space-time present -- using two physical eyes -- we recognize the theater of life, Leela, in three dimensions. As Samsarikas -- purely material experiencers -- we so often skid, name those three dimensions “Reality” and accept certain truths (success and pride as much as self-pity and inferiority; pleasure as much as sorrow) -- heavy and holding boundaries and limits. 

We are intoxicated by poisons and joys, moments embodied in material and perpetuated by wheels of thought. We internalize limits and even replay them in our minds, a lake of language calm or hot, projected time and again to become the physical world. 

How do we overcome the limits in our mind? How do we come to understand ourselves, our senses, intentions, capacities for healing and repair?

Can we be free in the 21st Century? Can we soften this Place?

As we develop our Buddhi (capacity for self-awareness in the material world)  through guided meditation and continuous practices, and become the compassionate Observer (Sakshi), we remember that we are made of infinite subtle vibrations. A dynamic collage as multidimensional manifestation. We meet ourselves as conductors with endless creative potentials. We remember vast and limitless beings. We recall strengths and gifts, red roots with Mother Earth, ready to navigate the labryinths of daily living. 

So now we have our Mind (Manas), Physical Experiences (Chitta),  our Self-Awareness (Buddhi). 

"Floating Faces on Vellum" 2010, Copyright Anuva Kalawar.

Who or what is digesting these experiences? My next post will include a small ALC guided observation exercise to uplift our subtle body awareness. 

Understanding our subtle nature, our subtle body, is a liberating and empowering exercise. Peace settles  when Buddhi (self-awareness) is activated and observation is at the forefront of every one of our actions small and large. Ripe and Present, we become effective in each and every one of our tasks. Passion grows positive action. Intention is fresh ice clear. Abundance manifests. Creation flows and Sacred becomes even in dust and puss. Subtle shifts impart actual changes in our worlds -- within our hearts, friendships, families, communities, classrooms, movements, canvasses, compositions. 

The Advaita Life Coaching process is an ongoing guide and modality for navigation and discovery within our various identities--at our work in this lifetime, relationships, in our communities--as well as our histories of identities repeated, regurgitated, remixed in as collective memory. We can bring the subtle world into the material plane, and honor all parts and moments of ourselves. We can achieve our endless and shining creative potentials. We will work to replenish and rejuvenate this spirit. 

The next article on Chapter 2 will ask --Now that I am aware of my subtle body, how do I become a subtle striver (Sadhaka)

 

Advaita Life Coaching offers extensive guided meditations and visualizations in addition to mantra yoga (chanting), pranayama (breath yoga) and chakra balancing in the framework of a nourishing coaching process developed by Jayant Kalawar.

Ancestral yogic practice, pranayama, philosophy, and physical asana combined with precise understands of the modern physical, emotional, and spiritual climate in the 21st Century.

These powerful and transformative workshops can be in person, over Skype, email, or over the phone. We also host workshops and meetings in NYC and NJ. Don’t hesitate to get in touch! 


Support self-published, intergenerational, ancestral creation and healing in the 21st Century. Get your own copy of the Advaita Life Practice, by Jayant Kalawar. 

 

Thank you for reading! Blessings and gratitude. 


 

 



 

Sunday
Aug252013

We cannot Balance Our Lives with Simplistic “Stress Reduction” and “Mall Yoga”

The very process of living a joyful life in relation to relationships, work and money in the beginning of the twenty-first century requires robust physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual health. It is a complex balancing act that takes more than the simple techniques of stress reduction and a weekly yoga class. Rather, it requires continual awareness of our subtle nature. The world we live in, in the second decade of the twenty-first century, calls for maximizing material wellbeing. Across the globe, there is one underlying assumption that seems to be ubiquitous: we need to strive to decrease the apparent uncertainty of material experiences and to extend continuity of preferred experiences. The most common thinking that follows from this central assumption is that the only way we can decrease uncertainty and maintain our preferred experiences is by acquiring and indulging in more material things.

At the back of our minds there is also the looming anxiety of global warming and depletion of natural resources like fossil fuels and, more immediately, how increases in energy prices and lack of economic growth will drive changes in our lives: in how we work, consume, and related to each other. This is the back drop in which we play out our roles on the global stage. A stage on which the economic, political and media leadership daily celebrate the communication revolution unfolding in hyper-drive, as large systems acquire information about every facet of our lives to store, repackage for endless redistribution. And, as we engage with this hyper-connected world, it reflects back to us a myriad of partially changing identities, continually fragments and churning our sense of self.

The Advaita (Non-Dual) perspective regards classical economic views of living life in this globalized world, informed as it is with rational European Enlightenment based paradigms, as valid on their own narrow terms but needing to be embedded in a much more comprehensive, self-aware, and acute understanding of our own nature and the realities around us. Advaita does not ask us to put aside the insights of the economists and theorists of human behavior, with respect to the material world, but to understand them in a new way.

We may think we understand the material world that we experience. It is something we can touch, smell, see, hear or taste. But what is the essential nature of the material experience? Advaita tradition states that the true quality of experience is sukshma, subtle. Our experience of fresh lemonade, which is wet to touch, sweet-and-sour to taste, fragrant to smell, and cloudy to the eye, is subtle. Science tells us that a glass of fresh lemonade is made of molecules that are different configurations of atoms that are made up of charged particles. Quantum physics tells us that our physical tools experience the charged particles of the lemonade as manifestations of energy waves. When we give this experience a name, “lemonade”, we make it into a gross object, an opaque, dense package of experiences, consequently losing our sense of the subtle.

The basis for our material experience is sukshma or subtle. It is the awareness of that subtlety to which Advaita points us. It is not that we leave the material behind. Rather, the understanding of the dynamic between the material and the subtle becomes the basis for the practices that bring us to detachment and efficiency in the leela of our lives. We cannot achieve the balance that we seek in our lives with simplistic stress reduction techniques integral to today’s mall yoga. A contemplative practice of observation is a first step that is more likely to get you there.

This article is an edited extract of chapter 1 of The Advaita Life Practice by Jayant Kalawar, now available at Amazon.