Seeking Higher Consciousness

yoga of sound Mar 10, 2022

Mountains have always been a draw for those who seek higher consciousness. Like spiritual practice, climbing mountains require effort. But not everyone wants to see spirituality as something that requires action. For instance, healing through relaxing or meditating to destress is often the draw. 

Here are three reasons why mountains inspire spiritual practice:

1 Effort: First, mountains (like spiritual practice) require effort. Not everyone wants to put in the effort. Most people like things to come easy their way.In Yoga, effort, abhyāsa is the essence of the path. 

2 Detachment: Second, we can only carry what we need to climb a mountain. The rest we must leave behind, which requires detachment, a willingness to let go of all except the essentials. In Yoga, this is vairāgya.

3 Mystery: Finally, mountains move us away from the familiar. We are journeying into the unknown, into the mystery. Most people prefer the familiar, which prevents authentic spiritual awakenings and realizations.

These are just three of many reasons. However, we will focus on just these in this blog. While Yogis traditionally embody all these reasons (and more) for the long term, we can undertake them in short spurts.

For those willing to put in some effort, detach themselves for a short while, and go beyond the familiar into a holy mystery, the rewards of higher consciousness await. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna offers Arjuna this beautiful assurance:

On the path, Arjuna, no effort goes wasted.
Even a little effort goes a long way.

Now, imagine what happens when the effort is intensified for a bit. Where can the soul be taken on such effort? What is its vision? What is its realization?

Ask yourself what you are willing to do to put in some extra effort, go the extra mile, and further your soul's realizations. Arjuna, in the Gita, represents the human soul, who can become dis-empowered on the spiritual path.

The desire, the intention, for effort, opens a gateway. In India, when we encounter the specific architecture of the Dravidian-style temples, we see the gopuram, a large tower that forms the temple's gateway.

While gopurams these days are painted quite colorfully, earlier, the gopurams were white to represent the pure atmosphere of the mountains. You can see this in the image below at one of the temples we have visited on our pilgrimages in India.

The combination of the dark sanctum, in which we encounter the holy mystery, which is also in our hearts, is offset by the grandeur of the gopuram and its striated levels of consciousness.

The layers of consciousness depicted in the gopuram indicate that our own soul's journey is part of the collective consciousness. We move from all of the stimulus and distraction to the depth and attraction of the beloved.

We must approach the temple's sanctum within us through our practice in our spiritual practice. To arrive here, we must be willing to give up all the stimuli of the senses. Tantra teaches us a path of harmonizing our desires, much like circumambulating the central shrine of the temple.

The form of worship within a temple is usually a combination of sacred sound (mantras), Yoga, and Tantric worship. We tap the full scope of this experience during our pilgrimages to India each year. We also tap this through our Yogic Mystery School practices each day to create the temple experience in our own homes and hearts.

Combining mantra practice with Yoga has always been at the heart of Indian spirituality. For those interested in this integration, The Yoga of Sound, especially the integrating of sacred streams through the Tantric Path that we pursue in our Yogic Mystery School, hones this method

The Vedas and the Tantras offer powerful applications of sacred sound for healing and karma transformation. India's rich tradition of sacred sound also influenced Patanjali's and the construction of his famous Yoga Sutras. For instance:

tajjapaḥ tadarthabhāvanam II

Meaning: Reciting the sacred OM prayerfully, with profound reverence, and contemplating its import (leads to the full realization of the fruits of Yoga).

Join us in our Yoga of Sound Immersion to tap the authenticity of the Tantric Yogic experience through an integrated understanding and application of sacred sound.

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