Advanced Yoga Practices
For the Original
Internet Lessons with additions,
For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books,
Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.
We Can Do This (Audio)
The Trials and Tribulations of Spiritual R&D (Audio)
August 24, 2010
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q: How did you know what you had to do with AYP
when you had to do it? I have so much that wants to express itself. So much
hidden stuff (art, music, teaching, etc.) coming out. But I don't feel like
I have found my calling. I am enjoying it all, but you are so driven and are
so clear on
what you want to share with the world,
or rather, it seems so clear on how the divine wants to express itself
I am not sure what I want to do, not
sure how the divine wants to express itself through me, or if it wants to at
all. I love how I am experiencing life now, as an observer in stillness,
laughing at the whole body/mind drama as it plays out, be it my own or the
rest of the world. Where does it go from here?
A: It is in all
of us, you know the divine impulse that longs to express itself. When we are
surging with bhakti for union, it is that very divine impulse expressing
itself. We have our divine desire, but we cannot know
exactly where it will lead us.
When we act as stillness in
action, it is a partnership between our individual expression on this earth
and the divine flow. From our side, it is about
up daily practices, having an intention, letting it go, and allowing
our abilities to become a channel for the divine. It is doing without doing.
In stillness we are able to get out of the way even in the midst of a lot of
practical activity. Who is doing it all? It is a
In terms of how AYP happened, well, you know, one thing leads to the
next, but not necessarily how and when we think. I did not know how it would
happen. There has been a desire all along. When doors appeared, I did my
best to walk through.
I can remember when in my mid-30s, with about
10 years of meditation under the belt, thinking, someday I will write a book
about "the journey." I was supporting a growing family and deep into my own
practices (R&D) during those years, and writing a book was not in the cards.
I was not ready. It wasn't until my mid-50s that it became feasible, with
accumulated spiritual experience, plus practical skills from the career, and
the ability to pay the bills for a few years while writing. That
is when the
written. But no one was interested in publishing it. Meanwhile, the novel
inspired me to continue writing and start putting
practical instructional lessons
on practices on the internet the beginning of AYP. Then
internet-based publishing came into being, and the AYP books started
appearing. One thing kept leading to another, and it has been like that the
whole way through. The intention has been there in stillness all the while,
but what came next has always been largely unknown.
In that sense,
the whole AYP phenomenon is one big happy accident. Or is it?
beginning, and in the end, it boils down to our seed desires, and our
willingness to take next steps when they appear. AYP was always in me (since
early childhood, like with
John Wilder in the
novel), but it took time and circumstances (not to mention elbow grease) for
it to manifest. Honestly, it turned out to be a much bigger project than
anticipated. It was never in the plan to do what has been done. One step
kept leading to the next (divine flow).
It is the same with you and
everyone. If you remain open to next steps in line with your seed desires,
they will reveal themselves sooner or later. If you don't know what your
seed desires are, just keep it gently in samyama (releasing intentions
in stillness), as I know you are. In time, doors will open. Then it is up to
you to walk through. It is like that for all of us.
As Rumi said,
"Keep walking, though there is
no place to get to..."
Whatever is to happen will happen. We all
have much to give. With effective daily
it happens much more than it would otherwise. There is no doubt about that.
It should be added that seed desires are best coupled with our natural
gifts/talents (we all have them), plus practical skills developed in this
life, and a lot of stick-to-it-ness. Seed desires alone are not enough.
Gifts alone are not enough. Developed skills alone are not enough. And
stick-to-it-ness alone is not enough. By itself, no one of these qualities
is enough. Put them all together, with good doses of common sense and
patience, and miracles can happen. But it starts with our seed desires. We
are born with those. Inner silence and samyama will support the rest.
We live in a time when many around the world
are in a position to impact global consciousness in ways that were not
possible even a few decades ago. When
empowered with effective
practices, and have free access to worldwide
communications (seen and unseen), anything can happen.
practical level, we are seeing more and more people coming together in
spiritual networks, meditation groups, teaching of practices, powerful
stillness-radiating retreats, and expanding
research on the process of human spiritual transformation. These are direct
manifestations of individual daily practice and the
resulting stillness in action. It is no longer primarily up to the
gurus, though their blessings are still much needed. But now it is ordinary
people who are picking up the torch in every country and region of the
world. A worldwide web of awakening has formed,
and it is becoming stronger every year (see
Yes, we can do this, for
ourselves, and for everyone.
The guru is in you.
Related Lessons Topic Path
Discuss this Lesson in the AYP Plus Support Forum
For detailed instructions on
building and maintaining a balanced daily practice routine with self-pacing, see the
Eight Limbs of Yoga book,
and AYP Plus.