Nepal captured my heart the moment I arrived. I’ve been fascinated by the stories of the yogis who travelled through this valley. For me it is a place that represents so much sacred history and richness. Practitioners of yoga from many different traditions and lineages were drawn to the power places in Nepal for centuries. This ancient valley is filled with the blessings of the great mahasiddha yogis of our time. This blog is about connection and the mysterious mandala I call Nepal.
My intention here is to touch the subject matter of inner and outer landscapes interconnecting. How can inner yoga prepare you to receive the blessings, the richness, and the sacred essence of the power places that you travel too? My conviction is that the openness we cultivate within our own bodies is equal to the energy we are capable of receiving from power places on this earth.
From a yoga perspective, the human body is charged with divine qualities. Specific areas hold incredible power and energy. Yoga unlocks these inherent qualities within. In the same way external landscapes are charged with power. Theses ancient sites have been worshiped and praised for centuries. They are seen as borders between the ordinary and the divine. Spiritual traditions all across the globe have found sanctuary in these power places on earth. Thus inner yoga is about opening to the sacred reality within, and outer yoga is witnessing these similar divine qualities in nature, in art, in sacred geometry, in architecture, in all these expressions of life.
The path of yoga gives you tools to witness something below the surface of appearances and feel an intrinsic sense of wholeness and connection. It is the journey that takes you towards the inner sacred landscape. The practices found in the yoga tradition are maps that give you direction and tools to navigate your inner landscape. When you open to an inner organic experience of awareness there is potential to feel so much more then appears. You take your understanding from the solid outer surface down into the subtle layers of reality. Yoga is all about opening, expanding and moving from a narrow vision of reality towards something vast. The physical practices literally undo inner tightness and allow the mind to expand in all directions. Ancient sites of pilgrimage are similar. You arrive, you witness and observe the space. You have the capacity to move beyond the outer physical reality and feel the energy that has been created from love, prayer, ritual, insight, meditation and understanding. Whether your journey is the inward practice of yoga or the outward journey to a special place on this planet both are tools to see the deeper meaning of life. Both encourage an experiential sense of wholeness and interconnection. Both ask you to look deeper, to look into the essence.
Yoga is a tool that refines your senses, a tool that makes you more receptive, balanced and in harmony with life. When the instrument of the body is in tune with the mind and with nature there is a powerful opportunity to experience this subtle essence of reality. I always remember the words of great Buddhist master, he said; “ the way in which you look at the world, determines what you see” I think this is very powerful!
So how shall we look at the world? The best place to see the world is by resting in the present moment.
Yoga teaches us how to be present in all circumstances of life. When you rest in the present moment there is potential, there is awareness, mindfulness, and understanding of “being” without “doing”. There is no grasping, no fixating, no chasing hopes, or fears, just resting in time and space and being in union with the experience. When you can learn how to rest, and relax into this kind of space there is an external present. Time ceases to exist, and the presence of the saints, the shamans, the Buddha’s the yogis and yoginis who saturated these power places is all available to you. It’s all within the experience. It’s an external moment. There is no beginning and no end, a timeless experience. This is what I believe is awaiting you in the mysterious mandala of Nepal. These power places nestled in the Kathmandu valley and Himalayan mountain range are a source of spiritual revitalization. A genuine opportunity to touch reality inwardly and outwardly in the most raw and embodied way! Ultimate Yoga is learning to understand the connection with all of life. To rest in the present and receive the power of simply “being “. It is an inward path that expands infinitely outward, a path where all of life is intimately connected.