Yoga means union.
What I often hear yoga teachers say after that is “union of the body, mind and spirit.” And that’s very nice, but then I wonder about everything that’s outside of me. What about other people, plants and animals, my noisy neighbors with the dog who poops in my echinacea? My son’s patronizing music teacher? Lady Gaga?
My 6 year old’s sweet bedtime story says, “All I see is part of me.” That sounds good. I realize my annoyance with people is Spirit’s way of waving a big black flag at the drag race in my head – “Violation! Pull over!” But perhaps thinking everything is my creation could send me down the slippery slope of indulgent self-importance, which sounds kind of antithetical to yoga.
Do I just find my own private union on my own little Manduka mat island and ignore the annihilation of the Gulf of Mexico? Blowing off the world’s problems and focusing on only my own personal liberation sounds like spirituality’s version laissez-faire capitalism. But I come from a culture that has a tendency to celebrate pluralism and radical individualism and ignore the toxic, narcissistic byproducts that it off-gases.
Am I directly responsible for the oil spill? Yes and no. In an Ultimate Spiritual Truth kind of way, yes, I created it, I need to fix it. In an everyday, relative lower case “truth” kind of way, no, but I still should help fix it.
How? I’m a yoga teacher not a petroleum engineer.
My favorite Einstein overly quoted quote:
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
The yogis broke down the human being into 5 layers or koshas – the body, the prana, the mind, the supermind or (wisdom mind), the layer of bliss. The system of yoga practices, with a focus on meditation, help to expand the self into the higher koshas. Get us out of the mind that created the problem, escort us deeper into the layers that can solve it. The world is screaming for higher consciousness.
There’s this thing you might have heard of called Distributed Computing. It combines the unused processing-power of multiple Internet connected computers for number crunching. So when you’re not using it, your computer uses its idle time to do research. One of the standouts is Standford University’s [email protected] which is using the computers of millions of people to do research on Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cancer.
So I got to thinking… What if all meditators participated in Distributed Consciousness? Every time we meditate we intend part of the concentrated consciousness of our higher minds to be used by a central consciousness server, to solve problems – like the Gulf, or Haiti, war in Afghanistan, or a suffering relative. Maybe we’re not even aware of how it’s being used, but we offer it up. Use our mindspace to do the necessary calculations to solve problems. Find that level of consciousness that Einstein says we need to work from.
Maybe the central consciousness server will upload our data and deliver it to the right person or people. Teilhard called this collective intelligence the no-osphere. He believed that we are co-creators of our destiny, that we have a direct hand in it. And that an overarching Consciousness is always there waiting for us to tap in and fiddle with it.
“Not only do we read in our slightest acts the secrets of [evolutions] proceedings; but for an elementary part we hold it in our hands, responsibile for its past to its future.”
Maybe real union is not just about our own personal liberation but about coming together in a synergy of consciousness – both in our practices and also out in the world.
The Transcendental Meditation experiment in 1993 showed a dramatic drop (23%) in violent crime in Washington D.C. when 4000 people meditated for peace between June 7 and July 30.
Why stop the experiment? How much chaos and trauma has to be created before we reach a critical mass of people willing to sit down and expand their consciousness for the good of all?
Something from Andrew Harvey:
“I know there is only one way out of our horror – that of a global revolution in consciousness that expresses itself urgently in radical wise action. And I know too, that if enough human beings became revolutionaries of sacred love the species could be transformed and co-create with the divine a new way of being and doing everything. I know also that my responsibility in knowing these truths is to embody them as completely and humbly as I can…”
What if we all sat down and closed our eyes and allowed our mindspace to be used for research?