My two nights out in the wilderness did wonders!
Usually on hikes like this I would bring my guitar, a book, a speaker, my camera(phone), lots of good food and so on. My intention then has been to get away, relax and enjoy- and its been great!
This time was different
This time though, I went with a slightly different intention and approach. My intention this time was to fully be in my yogic practice- to explore the depts of my true nature. One of the challenges I find as a yoga teacher and business owner is to maintain and stay dedicated to my own practice. I also wanted to understand why, and how to do better. I went for a more simple way of living, trying to eliminate as many distractions as possible.
No guitar or books this time. Not even food. I brought my sleeping bag, a tarp, sleeping pad, a thick sweater, my knife, a saw, matches and my toothbrush.
Only a few seconds after I found my spot I realised I was surrounded by mosquitos. Immediately I started thinking about going back home. After a short struggle with myself I found peace in staying- and suddenly the mosquitoes were gone.
I would sit for hours staring into the fire, the woods or with closed eyes. Every now and then I felt the urge to leave- or at least to do something. Every time this happened I asked myself what am I trying to get away from here. Why is doing nothing for a longer period of time uncomfortable? Whats stopping me from being in complete peace, harmony and bliss? Why am I not relaxed, and who and what is this ‘I’ that feels all of this? This is more or less all that I did..
On the third day I woke up to the sound of a mosquito in my ear. As I opened my eyes, all I could see was mosquitos flying around. I had already planned on returning this day, and waking up to this made it really easy! I packed up as quickly as I could while the mosquitos were eating me up. They were really testing my patience.
All in all I had a good time, but I have to admit, it was not my most enjoyable hiking experience. As I was walking back to the car I remember wondering if it did any good. I didn’t have any big epiphanies- and I was never truly relaxed or in a deep meditative state. I felt slightly annoyed as I walked home. Sunburned, itchy and tired.
All the time I spent just being with myself- being with my thoughts and feelings. Welcoming them instead of resisting or escaping them changed how I relate to what is happening within.
As my days get busy, I sometime find myself in the need quick solutions. There is nothing wrong with a quick fix every now and then, but when the quick fix becomes a habit, the better solution gets harder and harder to practice. I like to say, it takes strength to be flexible. What I mean by that is that being flexible in your rutine takes strength. If you’re not strong enough your stretch will break you. Your ‘supposed to be’ one-time quick fix, becomes a two-time thing, and then a three-time thing and suddenly its a habit.
We’re surrounded by ways to quickly fix our symptoms, but if we’re not treating the root, its just going to get worse.
Now that I’ve been totally with all my stuff for a longer period of time, its not as uncomfortable, and my urge to get away from it is no longer there. I’ve gained great strength and my quick fix is no longer needed. I feel happy and at peace by just being, and if I don’t, I have the energy and strength to explore it. I no longer feel like I should be more dedicated to my practice. I now feel like all I want is to be dedicated- or should I say devoted.
It’s giving me inner balance and harmony. I’m more present in the Self, meaning my true nature. What is happening within me flows more freely through me as I’m not holding on to feelings or thoughts the same way. The more time I spend in my practice, the easier I remain unattached. At a higher level, I remain as the observer of life. As pure awareness, rather than the experience itself. Seeing a fire, you see it as it is, from a neutral state, but if you identify with it, you burn. Just like this, we can take a step back from our experience of life and instead be the awareness of our experience, without identifying with it.
The more time we spend as the awareness it self, the more we learn to trust it. The experience of life is chaotic and filled with misunderstanding and deceptions, but the awareness is stable and true. It is untouchable and unchangeable. When we are the awareness, nothing can bother us. This is the path of self realisation. Finding the inner, stable and true core of who and what we are. As this becomes our truth, we will start to let go of our limiting and destructive belief systems, attachments and patterns in life. The truth will set you free- in every possible way.
This is my practice, and that is yoga.