By Yogeshwari Fountain
Not so long ago, we all depended on paper maps to show us how to get where we wanted to go. If someone asked directions to my yoga studio in my home, I’d draw them a clever diagram. Now, that’s a quaint relic of the past. In less than a decade, technology has given us a smart phone app to take us where we’re going. Travel is so easy that we forget there’s more to where we think we are, or have been or even are heading.
In any moment, and in every moment, you have a deeper dimensionality to you, hidden just beneath the surface of your mind. You focus on the surface level of life, losing the multidimensionality that is your birthright. You need the ancient sages’ maps of Consciousness to “find your way home to your Self, your own Divine Essence.”
“Exploring Yoga’s Multidimensionality,” the theme of our 2017 contemplation articles, “will offer us a variety of maps to explore the inner realms.” In January’s article, Swamiji and Vidyadevi gave a succinct overview of the 36 tattvas. This is a cosmic map that explains the movement of Shiva within Shiva, contracting through increasingly denser levels of energy to become matter. Matter includes you and me and all else that exists. It’s personal. Every cell of you is made of Shiva. There is nowhere you can go to not be Shiva. But it’s hard to see this reality when you get entangled in life’s fluctuations and dramas.
Svaroopa® yoga enabled me to live in my body, not my mind. Then I could begin to fathom the vastness of my own existence. The poses and breathing practices were my launching point, but meditation is what took me into Self. With every step, I have relied on the different cosmic maps to route me in the direction of my innate capacity. The ancient sages knew that “our brains aren’t trained to see anything other than our world, and it will likely take something from another dimension to make us understand.”
When I contemplate the involution that Consciousness takes, even before becoming my mind and senses, I can feel it expand my perspective far beyond whatever my small “s” self is experiencing in that moment. Currently, I am following the map of yoga’s ten lifestyle practices: the yamas and niyamas (see Swamiji’s articles in 2010-2011). When I’m lost or off course in my life, I reset to the first yama, ahimsa, non-harming, and begin again. It’s a wonderful freedom.
Yoga says you have a mind and body, but you are so much more. In this coming year, these maps of Consciousness will reveal the “more” to each of us. They will point us inward to arrive at the experiential knowing of our own Divinity.