While we want to maintain a committed practice, it is also very important not to lose sight of why we are doing the practice in the first place, what is our intention.
There is an old Zen saying about the “finger that points to the moon.” The practice is just a “finger” and we don’t ever want to mistake it for or lose sight of the moon.
On the one hand, yoga posits that at the core of our being, we are already perfect and whole – we don’t need to do anything except to recognize that and rest in that knowing. And at the absolute level this is very true.
However, at the same time, because of strong subconscious conditioning, most of us find it very difficult to surrender to our Real nature and just be. This is why the practice of hatha yoga and meditation are considered an essential element of the yogic path.
Yoga gives us tools and specific practices that help us to develop greater awareness of our body, breath and the universal energies, while meditation helps us to go further, beyond the mind.
As we purify our being through these practices and develop an ability to dis-identify with old patterns, we gradually begin to remove veils and have a fresh, more intimate sense of ourselves.
Seek the Self in the body.
This body is known as the abode of the Self.
Forsaking greed and attachment
will brighten the body.
The body will shine like the sun.
Slowly through practicing breath control,
the lamp shone
and I saw my true nature.
The inner light I realized –
caught it in darkness and seized it.
Deeds I performed became offerings.
Words I spoke became mantra.
Experiences my body had
were for self-knowledge.
This is the essence of siva’s way.
Some renounce their home,
and some their hermitage.
All is futile
if the mind is not under control.
Meditate on your breath
day and night,
and stay wherever you are.