Once upon a time, people were very comfortable with understanding who they were, as defined by their bodies and minds (thoughts). Every day, they reinforced their views through their language and how they experienced their everyday world. Their language and experiences reinforced the view that they were an identifiable person with an identifiable form. One day, one occasion after another shattered their view, but they continued to hold onto it anyway. Because of that, they were feeling discomfort in all aspects of their lives. Because of that, they began responding to an inner yearning. They wanted to know how to experience comfort with their Being. They were searching for answers to the causes of their discomfort. Finally, they allowed themselves to abide in their fluid and immaterial nature. After which, they realized their “fixed” physical and mental selves were just aspects of their overall Being. Reunited with all aspects of their Being, they felt so good as discomfort dissipated.
Yoga Nidra teaches one technique to dissipate “discomfort with Being.”
We call that technique “working with opposites.”
We can treat “discomfort with being” as a body sensation or a cognition.
Let’s use the example of “discomfort” as a “tactile sensation” in our body. Next, we’ll work with “cognition” – that “thoughts and images” in another section.
First, we identify a current physical sensation of what “discomfort with being” feels like in our body. If there is no immediate “physical sensation,” try to remember that type of feeling.
We locate a tactile or physical sensation of the discomfort of being.
In what part of the body is it located? In the jaw, shoulders, or neck. What’s its shape? Its contours? Center? Periphery? What is its weight? Flavor? Color? This of other descriptors.
Second, we locate comfort or ease of being in the body. It could be in my eyes, mouth, legs, or breath. We consider its qualities. What’s the shape of comfort? Its contours? Where is its center? Periphery? What is its weight? Flavor? Color? Are there other adjectives you can use?
Third, we shift back to locating a point of comfort in my body, bringing that sense of ease into Awareness, and then returning to moments of tenseness. We move back and forth between tactile sensations of discomfort and comfort of being.
Fourth, we try to hold both sensations of comfort and discomfort in Awareness simultaneously. We note what happens.
When I hold both opposites simultaneously, my mind becomes detached from the sensations of dis-ease and ease of being. As a result, relaxation “happens” in my body/mind.
With a Yoga Nidra practice, we enhance our capacity to experience and work with sensations or cognitions.
Our practice expands our ability to be with any sensations that arise and pass away in Awareness.
It gives us practice going beyond the conceptual and into the realm of “direct experience.”
With this direct experience, we get deeper and deeper insights into “the” nature of reality. We are not fixed or conceptual beings.
This sense of “sensation” as constantly morphing back and forth among solidity, fluidity, and immateriality is all taking place in Awareness.
Then we sense another set of opposites coming into play. On the one hand, there is the sense of being separate from Awareness; on the other hand, there is this sense of being one with Awareness.
We hold these two opposites in our body/mind, and our “body/mind dissolves the Vast Open Spaciousness of Pure Being.
The “discomfort of being” arises when we “attach” to any one of our forms – solid, fluid, or immaterial.
“Ease of being” appears when we can “go with the flow” and apply the insights gained from all states.
What I’ve described is the “Sleep of Yogis.”
It’s having a moment-by-moment awareness of all that arises, unfolds, and passes away, and at the same time, simultaneously, that Awareness is aware of Itself.
We can use the Sleep of Yogis to Wake Up!
We “wake up” to the awareness of different forms of our Being.
Being “woke,” we can abide in those forms as a flow of Being –as an emission of Light.
This is the gift of the practice of Yoga Nidra.
It provides a gateway to knowledge, being, and action.
It allows us to access systematically, acknowledge, welcome, and abide in all aspects of Being. And to let these experiences guide our actions.
For me, this is all still a “state.”
It’s a temporary phenomenon.
I don’t claim to be “fully awake.”
What my practice gives is an experience of “moments of wakefulness.” These “moments “reveal” to me the possibilities and the promise of the course of life.
One key role that “mental states” play is they free us from undue constraints, reveal possibilities and promises, and transport us into various realms of Being.
Here’s my report from sleeping like a Yogi:
Our physical self ceases
Our vibratory self increases
Our essence radiates
For me, Yoga Nidra provides me a chance to test the reports from “The Beyond” regarding what comprises our real essential nature – Energy, Awareness, Awareness of Being Aware, and Transcendence of Awareness.
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