Tapasya vs. Ego Tripping.

Via on Dec 3, 2012

The welcoming of tapasya is very much essential and crucial to spiritual practice of any sort.

Tapas or tapasya means a voluntary engagement of practice of that which concerns the harnessing of the senses with austerity and self-discipline.

It’s an intentional heat, fire, drive and focused effort towards that which the aspirant is seeking. Whether that be bodymind purification, spiritual enlightenment, manifesting one’s dreams or simply walking one step closer towards any goal. The practice of tapas is integrated into the lives of yogis and spiritual seekers of any sorts to “burn away” or prevent any accumulation of distractions or dust impeding the clarity of one’s crystal-laden path.

Now the practice of tapas itself can be tricky to navigate within. Ram Dass says,

“The real tapasya happens when we are so ripe to do it that we just do it. We do it joyfully, with a feeling of, ‘Yeah—of course. That’s what happens now.’ We do it with a feeling of, ‘Whew! Now I can be rid of that one.’ It’s release, not self denial.”

What does that mean?

That means, we don’t do these practices, intensifications, fasts, diets, lifestyles and/or modes of living because we’re told to do it by an outside force. We don’t blindly oblige to the shackles of dogma and the imaginary gold stars given to those who may “look” or “act” a certain way. But instead, we choose consciously to go the route that is most serving and in resonance to our inner domain of Truth. And the thing with that is, only you know what your Truth is.

If you’re fooling yourself with ego trips and conversations in your head of “I am so _____, because I do _____.” And “I am _____, _____, and _____, because that’s what the rules say to do and I am abiding to them.” If this is the dialogue, that’s ego validation. That’s mind masturbation. There’s no heart in it. There may be a little bit of heart, but the mind has taken it’s place of dominance. Then it becomes all about your mind and the validation your mind needs of who you think you are vs. truly and authentically being yourself.

Ramana Maharshi says, “I didn’t eat, and they said I was fasting.” My understanding of what he means to say by that is, for him, not eating was a natural process and evolution of where he was at, at that moment. Yes, technically speaking, one who does not eat can be labeled and considered as “fasting,” but in this case, was this great saint fasting for the sake of fasting because that is a “rule” or “something to do”? Or, was he simply not eating for x amount of time as part of his personal sadhana and it felt right to do so at that time?

You don’t get any “gold star points” for being able to fast for 30 days, transition from bakasana (headstand), chatarunga, wear mala beads around your neck, or drink green juice daily with bee pollen. Regardless of how many “things” you renounce and how many mantras you recite, it just doesn’t work if your heart’s not in it. You’ve gotta mean what you say and do what you mean. It’s all gotta start from then inside. You start getting really real when you do these things when your heart tells you it’s time, because you know that it’s good for you and it’s coming from a place of Truth.

Only then, will you be able to experience a truly honest and authentic life. With others as well as your self. Do it because you love it, not because you need outside validation or stroking of that ole’ cat named, “Ego.” Soon, your heart will have such omnipresence in your field, that Ego will have no room or space to enter the room.

As the Buddhists say, “Ehi Passiko.” Come and See. Experiment and define your own experience. Look in, look out, look at everything. Question every little thing about yourself until you are standing from a place of unwavering Truth and Authenticity. Life will surely meet you in miraculous, mystical and magical ways. Om Shanti.


Ed: Lynn H.

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About Chloe Park

Chloe Park is an Artist, Spiritual Teacher, Yoga and Meditation Instructor, Holistic Healing Practitioner, Life Coach, Women's Empowerment Leader, Social Change Activist and Ethnobotanist. A traveling Healer and Teacher, she roams the Earth to share her message: unconditional love, self-healing and awakening. She uses the medium of writing, holistic healing, medicinal plants, yoga and meditation to help all those along the Path to attain harmony with mind, body and spirit. She is devoted to facilitating the space for Healing, Love and Truth and is passionate about bringing ancient practices and traditions into the modern times we live. Her intention with her writing is to offer Q&A for all those who are engaged in the dialogue. Chloe also writes for MindBodyGreen, Healthline, WorldLifestyle, and Yahoo Shine!. To stay connected with her current projects, retreats, teachings and traveling schedule, find her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/chloeparkhealing or visit her website: www.chloeparkhealing.com. Spiritual counseling and life coaching sessions with Chloe are available via Skype. May we all wake up together. ॐ


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One Response to “Tapasya vs. Ego Tripping.”

  1. I get a flu shot yearly. I have a rare heart disease and am 78 years young.

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