The not so sexy 'why'
While we are preparing the first Sadhana and the livestream to kick-off the Master Plan program we’re getting into the nitty gritty of why we are actually offering this program and actually that ‘why’ is pretty mind blowing if you think a bit deeper about it. Basically the whole program comes down to a not so sexy word: inner hygiene. Let us explain.
When we are children we are being taught many things so that we can participate in society as civilised people. We learn to speak and write. We learn how to dress ourselves, how to present ourselves, how to keep ourselves clean. We are told to brush our hair, our teeth, take showers, tidy our rooms, do the dishes, etc. We learn to behave decently, what’s ‘not done’ and what is desired of us. In short we learn lots about keeping our bodies, appearance and surroundings neat and clean.
So for most of us in our adult lives these things are a given, they have become a natural part of our lives, because we understand that we will smell bad when we don’t shower, we will look dirty if we don’t wash our clothes and our teeth will get into trouble if we don’t brush them. This is all pretty obvious. But don’t you think it is pretty amazing we don’t learn about how to keep our inner world clean? We are not supposed to accumulate dirt in our rooms but in the meantime our minds get cluttered and we don’t do anything about it.
the crazy thing
Don’t you think it would be great that just as you need to learn traffic rules to avoid accidents, you would learn to understand ways of thinking that support you and how to avoid ways of thinking that cause trouble? And just as you learn the importance of keeping your body clean you would learn how to clear and regulate your emotions? The crazy thing is all the knowledge to learn this inner ‘hygiene’ that keeps you healthy, balanced and harmonious is there for us, it has been around for ages: the science of yoga.
the how, what & why
About 2000 years ago a sage called Patanjali gathered all the knowledge that was available at that time from different lineages and compiled the famous Yoga Sutras. In this major work on Yoga he gives very clear instructions into the how, what and why of yoga, not just as a practice but actually rather as the goal. Yoga is a state of being in harmony with oneself, other beings and your surroundings. Nowadays people mostly think of Yoga being physical exercises but when you look at the Eight Fold Path of Yoga as described by Patanjali it becomes clear right away that the physical practice is just a small part of walking the path of yoga. First and foremost we need to become aware of how our mental attitude affects all of the aspects of our lives.
the do's and don'ts
This is very clearly explained in the first two ‘limbs’ or ‘jewels’ of the Eight Fold Path, the ‘Yamas’ and the ‘Niyamas’. Some people simply call them the ‘do’s and don'ts of Yoga’ but we feel that they go way deeper than that. A beautiful way of translating these two limbs would be to say that the Yamas are a reflection of our True Nature and the Niyamas are guidelines supporting the evolution of our consciousness towards harmony. They actually teach us the ways to think and act that will keep us sane, composed, compassionate and balanced. Add to this the other limbs, asana, pranayama and meditation and there you have three other great tools that support us in living in a harmonious way as they clear the clogged subconscious mind and release tension and emotions from our system, these practices quite literally are our daily inner shower. Integrating these limbs into our daily life will bring us naturally towards the last limb of the Eightfold Path that comes as a result of our dedication, devotion and commitment: peace and intense bliss.
We feel it is majorly importantly in our world today that we incorporate these yogic teachings into our lives, not as the ‘next thing to do’ or to achieve, but because they are so super essential in supporting us to live our lives. They are just as essential as brushing your teeth and taking showers.
the good news
There is one more thing we would like to add to that. We all feel it is absolutely normal that when we want to learn a new skill we need to train and practice. We can spend hours and hours learning to play an instrument, become great soccer players or run a marathon. Can you imagine what the world would be like today if we would all understand that we also need to train our minds in order for it to work skilfully? Because yes, your mind is an instrument that needs tuning, and you need to understand how it works and what strings to pull to create harmony. The good news is, we can all do this. We can all learn to ‘play’ our mind instrument skilfully so that we can have a totally different experience of our lives that is aligned and in tune with our True Self.
the Master Plan
This is why we have created the Master Plan. The whole year we are going to follow the Eight Fold Path of Yoga and experience first hand how these ancient teachings are still super relevant today. The guidance in combination with your daily inner shower, your yoga and meditation practice, will have a deep ripple effect on every aspect of your life.
Learn to play your instrument, Understand how it works and reach Self-Mastery. It takes practice and commitment, but the rewards will definitely be so worth the while and at the end of the year sitting down to meditate will become just as natural to you as brushing your teeth!
The Master Plan 2021 begins with the New Moon New Practice livestream. Registration is open for until then.