by Nik Robson.
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
– Jiddu Krishnamurti
Float up out of your body for a moment and fly with me beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. As you gaze down, what do you see? Oceans, rivers, lakes, mountains, valleys, deserts, forests, clouds, winds, rain, snow… The forces of nature flow in harmony with one another. Once upon a time animals roamed wild and free. For millions of years it was like this… In the blink of an eye, humans evolved and gained consciousness. In the beginning we were one with mother nature. We worshipped the Earth and the Sun as our gods as we understood that our survival depended upon their cycles. When did we forget? How do we remember?
Not long ago my best friend passed away. He was the reason I began to walk the spiritual path. These were his last written words. I memorized and recited them in my eulogy at his funeral:
“The center, where my two worlds meet.
The spirit and the soul infinite in peace.
The center where east meets west, north meets south.
Papatuanuku (Earth Mother) meets Ranganui (Father Sky)
Wairua (Great Spirit) enters my lungs fills my cells.
Deeply rooted with great wings. I am an eagle, I am a hawk, I am the ancient trees.
In a dance with creation, the drum beats in my chest.
We are one. One people, one tribe, nature. Nature being Nature.
So be as you are, love all that you are.
You have come to dance, to sing, to celebrate all of creation.
Be at one with yourself, return to the center.
Oh infinite one. Remember remember Remember.
The dance of our ancestors, the light now handed to you.”
– Jason Corliss
If we look at the human race through the Taoist lens of Yin/Yang we see a pattern emerging. In almost every aspect, we are leaning to the Yang side. It is not about good and bad or right and wrong. It is a matter of balance. The Earth is getting hotter. The planet we call home, which sustains our life is in a state of fatal decline. The pace of life is getting faster. We are becoming increasing distracted by our external environment. Consumption, consumerism and competition are on the rise. Collaboration, connection and conservation are falling away. Life is not a game. There are no winners and losers. There are no us and them. It’s just us. We are all on the same team. Unfortunately, the culture we are born into indoctrinates us so deeply at a young age that we lose our capacity to see through the illusion of separation. If we are not awake, then flowing with the mainstream current will feel like flowing with nature. The religion we are born into will seem like the only path to god. The monetary system will appear to be the only way to distribute resources. On and on the list goes. Essentially we will believe that our way of perceiving the world is the only way. If we are unaware of our imbalance it will feel good to do the things that keep us out of balance. To wake up will initially feel like going against the grain.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m living in a dream,
But I’m reminded that my hearts still beating,
All of these feelings that I feel,
Never let me forget that I’m still breathing,
What is it that my soul cries out for?
Something more than just myself…
Is it that I am one part of the whole?
Looking for the souls to fill the empty shells…
Open your eyes my friends for you have been deceived,
The world before your eyes is not quite what it seems.
― The Aidan Kelly Project, Psilocin
A key aspect of our journey is to understand why we are here. This is known as our dharma. You can think of this as your purpose, mission or calling. Your dharma relates to your karma. Your karma is the accumulation of every experience your soul has ever had. Your soul is the aspect of you which continues on life after life slowly evolving until the day it is ready to move on to subtler planes of existence. We take human births to learn certain soul lessons. Deep down we all know why we are here, only many beings never search deep enough to discover our truth or perhaps it is just too much to bare. At first I didn’t want to accept my truth. The day it came to me I was shocked. The words “Destroy the system” entered my mind and I thought “No… I don’t want to be violent!” I have since come to understand that destruction is the same as transformation. My mission is to transform the system and to do that I must transform myself. My gift is to reach the masses, paint a bigger picture that we can all understand and offer a simple method that restores harmony throughout the land.
“The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. “Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does.” They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.”
― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
I’m not out there on the front line stopping deforestation in the Amazon, fighting racist regimes, protesting oil drilling, preaching no plastic, veganism or any other kind of ‘ism. Although these are all worthy causes, I don’t want to fight anymore, at least not in that way. The battle is for balance within. My calling is to slow the world down, one person at a time, one room at a time, one community at a time, one culture at a time until we are all one, in harmony with each other, mother nature and the universe. I am just one man but I can inspire many who will in turn inspire many more. What I offer is not my own, but a fusion of the wisdom from the ancient Taoist Sages and Hatha Yogis developed over the last 30 years by Paul Grilley, Sarah Powers, Paulie Zink and Bernie Clark. A simple method which deals directly with disharmony in the most general way possible. We have become too yang, so we must practice yin. It is time to slow down, tune in and wake up. Yin Yoga is medicine for the modern world. The light is now handed to you. Go forth and share it with those who are ready. Be yourself. Love yourself. You are enough. Do your best, forget about the rest and remember you are not alone.
If you are interested in studying yin yoga at The Practice there is still space for our 50 Hour Yin Yoga Teacher Training in June. To apply email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website https://www.thepracticebali.com/50hr-yin-training/