"Every human being longs for true and lasting happiness. The path or means through which (s)he attempts to find it varies according to the level of the individual's development. (S)he may strive for happiness by satisfying the physical, emotional, and intellectual aspects of his/her personality. Experience may teach him/her what sages and saints have been proclaiming throughout the ages: that true and lasting happiness cannot be based upon that which is impermanent in its nature. True and lasting happiness can only be attained through the knowledge of the source of all life. It has been given such names as the Self, Nature, God, Brahman, Cosmic Consciousness, Infinity the Thing in Itself, Nirvana and so on. Since it is infinite, it can only be experienced when the individual raises above the limited personality."
“One can talk endlessly, piling words upon words, coming to various conclusions, but out of all the verbal confusion, if there is one clear action, that action is worth ten thousand words.”
The somatic practices of yoga include: yoga postures (asanas), breathing practices (pranayama) and relaxation practices (yoga nidra). These somatic practices are designed to help you observe, listen, and uncover your inner intelligence.
Developing a positive relationship with one’s physical body is imperative to the process of healing.
The somatic practices of Yoga are designed to cultivate increased awareness of the functioning of our physical body, and how it functions in relationship to our mental and emotional habits. As we engage in the exploratory practices of Yoga, we find out how our body reacts to stress, and uncover ways that we can work with the body to remove long-term patterns of embodying stress.
“We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing? (136-137)”
The psychological practices of yoga include sense withdrawal (pratyahara) and concentration techniques (dharna) The psychological practices are designed to help you understand the role of the mind in creating peace and suffering.
Developing an understanding of the mind is central to the process of healing. From a yogic perspective all suffering comes from the mind.
Concentration and meditation techniques will assist you in developing a clear understanding of the minds likes/attractions and dislikes/repulsion. The goal of these practices is to learn to find equanimity in all circumstances.
Many individuals find concentration and meditation techniques too disturbing. If this is your experience, return to the somatic practices of yoga.
The benefits of practicing meditation include:
"Always do good to others. Be selfless. Mentally remove everything and be free. This is divine life. This is the direct way to Moksha or salvation.
The spiritual practices of yoga are dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (sustained bliss over time). The spiritual practices of yoga cannot be taught, as they are your own true nature: truth, knowledge and sustained happiness. The spiritual state of consciousness are unveiled once the mind is still.
Spirituality provides a meaning making framework from which to understand the nature of this existence; this can be particular useful if you've experienced trauma and have a sense of the hostile, futility of existence.
We can try to develop an understanding of spirituality by reading books, studying spiritual texts and listening to teachers. Yet the truth of the matter is that we already are perfect and whole. Learning spirituality is a reminder of who we are and why we are here.
The entire universe is a spiritual creation. The entire world if your home.
All religious traditions offer spiritual truths that you can use to make sense of this very strange human experience.
Many individuals find spirituality annoying because some people hide behind spiritual ideas, perpetuating false notions like: you personally create all of your own suffering. That's doubtful! Why? Because you didn't create gender bias, racism, social inequality and violence all on your own.
Here's a few quotes from spiritual traditions around the world: