July 8, 2015

Living the Yogi’s Life with Kino: A Week of Gentle Action.

Photo: Meghan Powell (http://www.meghanpowellphotography.com/)

Daily assignments for living the yogi’s life with Kino MacGregor.

To check A Week of Self Reflection, click here

To check A Week of Acknowledgements, click here.

To check A Week of Internal Peace, click here.

To check A Week of Contentment, click here.

To check A Week of Healing, click here.

1. Fear.

Love is the antidote to fear. If you can face your fears with love they will melt away in the presence of your true self. Fear is just an illusion of the false self, the material world. It is the ego’s deceptive way of making you believe that you are smaller than you are, that you are defined by what you have. Love is limitless and love is who you are.

Today’s yogi assignment is fear. Ask yourself what your biggest fear is today. You might be afraid of sharing yourself fully for fear of rejection, you might be engaging in controlling or manipulative behaviors out of fear of losing something valuable or you might be blocking your success or your next step out of fear.

Don’t wage a war against fear. Just love so fiercely, so completely, so purely that your inner light radiates outward and dissolves the chains of fear. Don’t wait until you feel confident, let love rule now, get the courage somewhere along the way.

2. Love.

Love is an action—a steady perseverance of the heart and soul. It is said that Sanskrit has 96 words for love, ancient Persian nearly 80, Greek three and English only one. We need adjectives and qualifiers to break it down, discuss our intentions, evaluate and judge matters of the spiritual heart. Or do we? Is it perhaps just that love itself is so powerful, so bold, so big and so all consuming that it remains forever unchained by our linguistic form? Perhaps love is best felt rather than talked about and what we need more than anything is to feel love all around us.

Today’s yogi assignment is love. Express your unwavering devotion through actions.

We could call this Bhakti in Sanskrit, the path of devotional offering and service in honor of the highest truth. You love what you are devoted to. Go out in the world today and devote yourself to love. Hug your friends and family, send sweet text messages, find your language of love and speak in actions more powerful than any words can be.

3. Soul.

There aren’t always words for it, but you feel it when something has soul. Without it even the most beautiful form lacks the raw authenticity that creates meaning.

Whenever I’ve done anything in my life motivated by money, power or success it has always failed, but when I’ve put my soul into it, the act of giving was already enough. Your intention matters. What’s in your heart is what’s in your soul. Be brave enough to look deeply inside and reveal the truth of yourself. While we may give lip service to peace, love and happiness as long as there is irresolution within the inner plane our subconscious mind will sabotage our best consciously stated intention. Get down deeply and know the truth of yourself so that you can finally be free.

Today’s yogi assignment is soul. Define yourself in terms of the eternal divine spark of your inner being and you will find the truth that can set you free. Define yourself by worldly attachments, achievements or accomplishments and you will find yourself failing every time. Chase the fleeting bliss of the temporal world and you will come up empty handed. Root your awareness down in the changeless center of all life and you will rise up and soar above anything that you meet in the material world.

The ephemerality of pleasure and pain will drive you crazy with its endless series of vacillations. Only the permanence of your divine and true soul leads you to the transcendent peace that we all seek.

4. Inspiration.

It can be hard to get motivated to get on your mat in the morning when you want to sleep in and stay out late at night. It can be hard to turn the other cheek when you find a thousand reasons to be annoyed. Finding inspiration to live more peacefully is the heart of the spiritual practice. If you take it on like a dogma it will never last. If you just do what you think is right without yearning for it in your heart then you just won’t find the enthusiasm to practice consistently.

Today’s yogi assignment is inspiration. My biggest inspiration for my practice comes from my teachers. Whenever doubt arises all I have to do is think about Guruji, read his words or watch his videos to give me the energy and enthusiasm for my practice.

Inspiration is the course of Virya, spiritual strength that comes with energy it takes to walk the path of yoga. My students inspire me every day with their powerful stories of healing, their determination to practice and their brilliant, shining hearts.

5. Mercy.

The compassionate heart of the yogi is the essential gift of a lifetime of practice. There is no end to the mercy of the spiritual heart. Let go of spiteful, vindictive thoughts. Let go of punitive measures that you seek against others. Let go of self directed negativity. Be merciful in body, mind and deed.

Today’s yogi assignment is mercy. Called Daya in Sanskrit, it is sometimes included in the list of yamas, moral and ethical guidelines for how to live the yogi’s life. How many times can you afford to show mercy? However many times you are asked for it? The capacity of the heart is infinite, there is no end to love. Show mercy, no matter how many times you are wronged. Seek no action to settle the score. Show mercy and with you will change your world with humility and love.

There are no winners in a personal fight, no victors in emotional wars, no heroes in hostile relationships. Mercy is love and any action taken from any other space than love itself will simply lead to more suffering. Your only power is through forgiveness. Your true strength shines in showing mercy. Be merciful towards yourself, towards others, towards your world.

6. Purification.

There is so much talk about different styles, posture variations, philosophical preferences, but, really, there is only one yoga—the yoga that leads to the direct experience of the divine inner spark is the universal path of awakening. It is the narrow road walked with an equanimous mind and a brave heart. It is a journey illuminated by the eternal inner fire.

Today’s yogi assignment is purification. All practices and experiences that cleanse you through the fire of purification are called Kriyas. Submitting yourself to this intense physical, emotional and spiritual rebirth is like getting baptized with fire. It isn’t always easy and sometimes it hurts to watch your precious ego burn up, but it is all for the good. Once the fire consumes all it needs to, it will leave you free and clear, filled with only the resplendent light of the true self.

To take a few steps along this path today all you have to do is get on your yoga mat and practice. Breathing, asana and meditation all awaken the inner fire. Or turn your attention to emotional, mental or spiritual obstacles that you need to release into the purifying fire.

7. Truthfulness.

Know yourself truthfully and deeply so that you can be authentically yourself. If you don’t know your own truth how can you ever hope to own it, be it and live?

There have been times in the past when I have been unable to feel myself, to recognize and acknowledge my own truth. Usually this has happened in moments when I’ve been afraid of hurting someone I care about or losing something that I deemed as valuable. So instead of recognizing and speaking my truth, I clammed up, blocked myself from feeling, speaking or being truthful in the failed attempt to somehow control the situation. That’s all a false sense of self, an illusion of the ego that thinks that you can see the whole picture, the hubris that thinks that you have the final say in the outcome of the journey of life.

Today’s yogi assignment is truthfulness. Called Satya in Sanskrit, it is one of the moral and ethical principles outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Truth stated in a harsh or abrasive manner is an unskillful execution of this principle that can be avoided with a little compassion, empathy and wisdom. Truth without love is heartless, cold and sometimes even mean-spirited. Truth bottled up inside will eat you away from the inside out, make you sick, harm your body. Be brave enough to first know yourself deeply, truthfully, without hesitation. Then speak your truth with a kind heart and without any attachment to the outcome.

What is the truth that is bottled up so deeply inside of yourself that it scares you to admit it even to yourself? What is the truth about your world that frightens you because if you acknowledge it, it might shatter the glass house that surrounds you? The truth will set you free. Be brave enough to risk it all and wise enough to speak from a place of love.


Author: Kino MacGregor

Editor: Katarina Tavčar

Photo: Meghan Powell Photography

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