In the last few weeks, I’ve come across many conversations debasing spiritual practices as a human folly of the mind.
Being a western educated individual, I have a propensity to scientific perspectives, even after years of studying yoga and exposure to eastern, spiritual, ritualistic, pagan, occult and religious practices. My love for the unexplained is almost coupled with the necessity to see the truth underneath the cover.
When I first began studying yoga in India, this was something that was cultivated within the yogic practice—the practice of Viveka, (discrimination).
“The person must be able to make up his mind as to what is of real worth or of a permanent nature and what is unsubstantial and transitory.” ~ Gopi Krishna
Humans are suckers for magic, from the past through to now. In many ancient cultures, yoga was practiced not only for health and healing, but for the Siddhis, the amazing powers that lay dormant in all of us. Yoga practices were then kept sacred, to be shared with the true sadhaka, devotees that had clear moral intentions.
As it is written in history books, the charlatans were charismatic and convinced many of miracles—even in this day and age, the age of reason, wider audiences are still fooled by convincing authorities—the more educated, the more Ph.D’s, the more convincing. There does not seem to be a safe haven anymore for the mind to rest with safety without the chance one’s belief is about to be rattled completely.
Practices are bought and sold for the highest price paid, some with money, some scarily with the mind itself—hence the ever more importance to develop Viveka.
So how does one discriminate truth? Do you remember the first time someone told you a lie? Probably not, but maybe when things didn’t feel right—almost the same as when you turn on your shower and the temperature needs to get to be just the right heat for you to jump in, aha! It feels right.
Subtlety, this inner knowing communicates.
As well our inner radar chimes when truth/information seems just right. That right place, right time for this information to come, because one’s mind and heart is ready to hear and assimilate this information.
Interestingly this can be in an organized workshop or when walking by a car in a gas station with just the right bumper sticker for you to read.
Truth is not a packaged commodity, but rather a living symbiotic relationship we are having right now.
It is scary, untamed, beautifully available to all of us at any waking moment, one must just stay open and like you choose your favorite chocolate bar with discriminating reason—maybe for the nuts or 70 percent cacao content—so as one must develop the keen technique of what’s coming at you in the news, internet, from politicians, teachers, art, philosophy or convincing charlatans.
Remember everything you are right now has brought you to this place. When information is veiled in very convincing ways, try to remember you inner punk/rebel, look to the sky, take a breath and feel—is it true? That’s up to you…
Amanda Ramcharitar is a yogini, animal lover and environmentalist, as well as an artist, writer, ponderer and wanderer. She seeks to experience life through the expansive awareness of possibility and hope. Follow Amanda on Twitter or Facebook.
Editor: Jamie Morgan