This past weekend, I spent teaching 5 Elements and 5 Spirits, Wu Shen to an incredible group of yogis at the world-class Science of Self yoga teaching training held in NYC’s East Village www.scienceofselfytt.com.
With each layer that we were able to unfold, of the Tao, the Elements, the Spirits and the relationship we have with the world around us, we got into a deep discussion of how we can upgrade our Essence, or Consciousness in our daily lives. What were small changes or rituals that we can make to engender big shifts in ourselves and the world around us?
Each time I teach this material, it becomes clear to me - how deeply humans are suffering in how we are living. We are living more affluently with access to greater knowledge and resources than most of mankind throughout history has had access to, and yet we suffer. Some of it is conscious suffering, some of it is buried so deeply within ourSelves - we need to unearth it with mindfulness, care, and guidance.
I wanted to share with you a couple of simple steps that you can incorporate in your daily life to start building your awareness.
Keep a Daily Sadhana
Wake, Meditate, Nourish, Move, Work, Move, Nourish, Meditate, Sleep
You may be saying: I don’t have time to live like this! These practices are in no way radical, but are basic care for the Self. These steps are not optional to a life that strives to be more mindful and progressive in caring for the Self. It may feel overwhelming at first, but keeping a strict schedule is the first step. It will become second nature. It will feed your soul at a deep level and allow you to deeply connect with those you care for most. Eventually it will allow time for creativity and meaningful growth. Like any new skill, keeping a daily sadhana requires practice. With time, you will do it with ease and joy.
Turn to Nature, Observe and Listen
Spend time observing the Elements. See how Water feeds the Wood. Wood feeds Fire. Fire feeds Earth. Earth feeds Metal. We saw this last week when our Mother Water dumped her last breath of winter heavily on our doorsteps, only to awaken the woody sprouts of Spring. We see the sun bursting forth and seed sprouts making their way, pushing through topsoil to greet us. Observe for yourself the interaction of the natural world everyday. How the grass grows in your yard, how the birds speak to each other, how the sun feels warming your face and the wind passing through your clothing. Stop and smell the Roses.
Let the Magic Happen
Once you connect to yourSelf and with Nature, the world around us opens. Just let the magic happen. There is nothing to do. We often talk in my office about letting the body heal through Wu Wei - or Doing by Not Doing. Just getting out of our own way and letting all that is good and whole shine through. It is simple.
“Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu”
“May all beings everywhere be happy and free from suffering. And may my thoughts, words and actions be of benefit to those around me.”
And as always our office is here for your support. Please reach out with any questions on using these practices to support your growth and process.