LIFE EXPERIENCES AND YOGA AS A WAY BACK TO THE SELF, BUT WAIT, WHAT IS THE SELF?
Rambling about the self-consciousness and the universal consciousness today…
It was something like 7 years ago I got the opportunity to participate, work and live in the middle of the brazilian Amazon rainforest, in a beautiful community based tourism project based in a floating platform in the middle of the river inside of the Mamiraua Sustainable Reserve.
In there, I used to stay around 20 days a month living and working on that floating hotel, the Uakari floating jungle lodge, where we organized excursions, courses for the local community, and other research projects related with wildlife and sustainability.
My time there was a transformational and very enriching process of connection.
Connection with nature, beings around me, and also with myself.
One of the important things to keep in mind is that at the beginning of my time there, there was still no internet or signal. So, I was 20 days of each month immersed in the middle of the amazon, only with the forest noises and surrounded with the abundance and beauty of the rainforest and the river currents and calms.
Also with the company of the knowledgeable local people, known as “Caboclos”, people who live in the forest and the river, and from the forest and the river. They know all the movements, noises, secrets of time and plants, and stories from the wild.
The other enriching connection was with the researchers who came to the floating lodge or platform and let us participate from their projects, analysis, and discovering about jaguar behaviour in flooded forest, trees and plants, pink river dolphins, monkeys of different kinds, caimans, big “pirarucu” fish management projects, local women handicraft, water analysis, turtles… and so on.
About everything that was there surrounding us, day and night, manifesting in sounds, in smells and in beautiful pictures we could take on our boat trips, canoeing or walking excursions.
And last but not least, the connection with the travelers who went so far to spend some time immersed in so much knowledge, nature beauty and disconnected from all the superficial things and noises.
Why so much story telling? How is this related to yoga?
It is not storytelling, it is a way I found to understand the difference between selfconciousness and universal consciousness with my personal experience.
So, selfconsciousness is the one that you can feel as you.
When you ask yourself who is doing this? This is you. Who is having this feelings? This is you. Who is here and now? This is you. Who is inside of this body? This is you. Who is reading this? This is you.
And the universal consciousness is also yours or ours, but it is the one that cannot be defined as us like the selfconsciousness. It is still part of us, me, you, people in the other side of the world, but also the animals, plants and even stones or rivers.
It is the one that exists, but not in time nor in space. It is the one that connects everything and everyone. We can observe this universal or non-defined consciousness when we let the intuition talk louder or, for example, when we observe schools of fishes changing directions synchronized and beautiful at the same time, like a choreography where there is no leader to follow, it simply is, happens. The same we can see in groups of birds in summer season.
It is the one that at the end makes us feel or say we are the universe, when we observe that all is one, and each one is all
Have you ever had one of this situations where you have felt this strong kind of revelation?
What about when you practice yoga? Maybe during shavasana?
When we practice yoga, we always hear frases like “connection within yourself, unite body, mind and spirit”.
Yes, we connect with our self.
By practicing yoga we attain this self concoiusness, maybe for a second or for longer time, even after the practice and bring it to our daily life. But as I am saying, there is more, there is the other consciousness that also comes with the time of practice
The universal consciousness.
This feeling of being part, this certainty that we are one and connected with everything and everyone that surrounds us.
Yoga is a powerful tool to attain this state.
But only yoga?
If we stop to analyze what we do with yoga, we can see that we focus on one thing, breath, movement, parts of the body, feeling or sensation, we try to eliminate external distractions. (Main distraction, the mind)
Couldn’t that be also going into the woods or to the sea? Disconnecting from the internet, superficial needs and things, giving us this time to observe, to open and to flow?
Time to tune and awaken our rusty senses to the sensitive surrounding of nature, events and connections?
Going back to my time in the amazon, I remember sitting on one of the wooden platforms of the Uakari lodge, early in the morning, when the sun rises and all the birds start their party greeting the day. Listening to the loud and skary howler monkeys and at the same time seeing one or two pink dolphins jumping and throwing air through the blowhole close to one of the curves of the river… The orange light dominating the space, reflecting on the river and making this moment more special.
But special, it was every day.
This exact moment was special because I felt this connection.
This moment, where you observe nature, feel part of it, where you understand that everybody, every animal speaks a different language, but, all are in this exact moment connected to the present, sharing the same energy of the starting day… this, for me, is only a glimpse of this universal consciousness, but it makes me believe.
It makes me believe in this whole perfect universe, that dances in a perfect synchronicity including us, me.
Practicing yoga asanas on the mat is like a tool we have to go closer to this consciousness.
We are constantly offered with this moments of presence, moments that show us this consciousness within everything.
Just be open.
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