One of the final requirements I needed to fulfill the 500 hour yoga teacher certification at Kripalu was to complete “The Inner Quest Intensive”. This was a 3 day immersion program designed for participants to release the “False Self”, to shift awareness inside away from the external world of doing and connect back with the “Real Self”
Let me explain. Upon arrival at Kripalu, participants in the program were taken to a seperate registration table. We were asked to remove all jewelry, hair accoutrements, belts and shoes. We were only allowed to take in personal toiletries, a few changes of clothes, pillow and sleeping bag. Those that had physical limitations were given a mattress on the floor. All the clocks were covered. We were to remain in silence at all times unless it was our turn to speak in diades or triades. We ate as a group in silence, we slept in a large room together in silence, waiting in line during bathroom breaks, morning and evening wash times all in silence. We were all individuals yet nothing from the external world made one person stand out over another.
The goal was to strip away the Ego’s identification with external stuff and create an opportunity to enter the Silence. Silence is the only place where we can observe thoughts, sensations and emotions as they arise… to simply BE. Our ego is very powerful and believes it is in control of our experience here on earth. When we become so immersed in our external worlds the false self is created by the ego. Our beliefs, desires, habits and reactions are rooted in us by the ego. We need our egos, no doubt… they keep us safe. However, we are so much more than our beliefs, our doing, our material possessions.
We were expertly guided by a psychologist and a team of support staff to hold space for each one of us to ensure our safety. This act of silence gave each of us the opportunity to observe our thoughts. Notice sensations generated in the body when we have a thought. Observe if that sensation felt pleasant or not. Decide to hold on to that thought or change it. Consider where that thought came from. Follow it back to its roots. Was it based on a belief, on a past experience, did it come from a foundation of truth (my truth) or was it inherited from society, was it something my ego came up with so I could feel good about myself….oh so much to digest, assimilate and release!
This Corona virus is affording us all the opportunity to move into silence and begin to dissolve the ego’s controlling grip. Maybe, you will begin to embrace this “pause” as an opportunity to create a reality that feels good? In the beginning we are challenged… we don’t like to be controlled or have limitations put on us. The ego doesn’t like this and could possibly go on screaming and kicking for days. We don’t know how to be without all our doing. So many of us DO all the time we have a very challenging time with BEING.
Now is the time to make changes you’ve been longing for. Take inventory. Are you happy? Are you healthy? Are you stuck? Do you feel whole, complete, content? More to follow……