Chapter 28: The White Horse
We are constantly being pulled in many different directions yet we still feel drawn towards our dharma. The Shvetashvatara Upanishad tells us to use our white horse as a guide. The white horse is symbolic of the light of our true Self, that which lights the essence of all things and is the source of contentment. You can find it in the heart, as a small white flame and the way to access it should be no surprise to you by now: stilling the mind.
In the previous chapter we talked about contentment and how it was pivotal to feeling fulfillment. Let us go a step further. With contentment we have clear access to the white horse that can lead us towards our best life. Without contentment we are distracted by the other pulls of those lower tendencies that do not fulfill our soul’s purpose. Even while being aware and steeped in the process of self-reflection, it can become difficult or daunting to take the next step and adjust our lives.
Contentment and adjustment go hand in hand. When we can truly access contentment along with it comes the freedom born of viraigya (non-attachment). We then have the ability to let go, dialing our needs and efforts towards living our dharma.
Accessing the teachings
Being close to your Self supports your ability to tap into self-guiding wisdom. Connecting to this wisdom will be the most beneficial teaching in The Four Desires.
How do we gain access to this wisdom? In silence: The more time spent in the sacred abode of stillness, the more your Higher Self will provide you with the answers you seek.
Meditation as we have mentioned countless times, turns you inward but there are also other ways to experience silence that will support your meditation.
Turn off some of the external sensory inputs that can invade our everyday. Unplug the T.V., don’t listen to the news, or check e-mail (perhaps even make a resolution to not check email for a full day or two). Try turning your own volume down or off for just a few hours. By following these guidelines, I have found lately that I can hear my Self much better. Meditation and stillness are inward journeys; too much stimulation and outward focusing of our attention is directly counterproductive. Through meditation you are deliberately reshaping your nervous system from an outward to an inward orientation.
Meditation, time spent for yourself is (do I have to say this again?) the best way to access quietude. To send you off with a box full of handy tools lets go over the basics of meditation, one more time.
- Resolution If you haven’t started meditating yet, this is the first step. Create time and space for your Self. Change your schedule, wake up 15 minutes earlier, do whatever it takes. Make meditation a regular part of your day, and soon you will see it’s effects and it will become part of your life.
- Practice Find a place to sit. If you have made the decision, now all you have to do is practice! Remember that a meditation practice starts to bear fruit when it is done consistently for a long period of time. For instance, it is better to practice 5 minutes a day, rather than once a week for one hour. This steadiness reminds you that you are important and you deserve time each day. Day to day consistency is very important.
- Attention When your practice becomes steady you will begin to experience that you are more than your body, your identity or even your thoughts. Start to become attentive of how your attitude changes and how your positive qualities can’t help but shine though. As the hold the ego has over your mind loosens, awareness is polished revealing the true Self.
- Self-Awareness What you are and what you are not becomes apparent. There may be some resistance here, as those old patterns (that we may be very attached to) start to be shaken up. Here you experience life’s greatest meaning, and your ability for lasting happiness and prosperity. This is contentment or moksha.
- Reprioritize When we are connected to that lasting freedom then we have the will to change and release those tendencies that don’t serve us.
- Adjustment When we let go of those habits and stories adjustment naturally happens. We are guided by the white horse; we know when and where to look to feel completely supported, able to express and be exactly who we are.
Learn more about Rod Stryker and ParaYoga at RodStryker.com
Read The Four Desires book review on Elephant Journal.
The Four Desires: YouTube talks with Rod Stryker
Read other discussions about The Four Desires
Instructions: How the book club works
Rod Stryker travels to the largest spiritual pilgrimage in history in 2013. I’ll be there. Will you?
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