My son was two and a half, when he was standing outside and saw a large dog. Dogs, large dogs, always scared me in my childhood. It took me a long time, well into my middle age, to become easy around dogs.
My son immediately ran to the dog before I could do anything, and started petting him. The dog in turn, bewildered yet lovingly let him. My son even tried to pet his face, to my angst, which the dog was nice enough to indulge.
The little kid was not bothered nor affected by the potential danger from a ferocious dog, which this one could have been. And without any care for self preservation, his love and affection overpowered him to shower compassion on an animal such that it responded back. Something in him had already made a connection to something in the dog at just the sight of it!
As mundane as it may have seemed, it was a spiritual moment as I look back at it now. That which is compassionate, and that which wants to reach “out” had belittled that (body and mind) which limits!
Body and Mind are the physical tools that we use to function and interact. These two are prisoners of accumulation and both have the irresistable urge for self-preservation.
Growth of body showcases the self-presevation tendency of body. Ego, on the other hand, showcases the self preservation tendency of the Mind.
Whatever happens to “us” happens within the confines and interaction of these two accumulations. We are defined by these accumulations. Sometimes, minds limitations subdue a perfectly healthy body to go beyond a certain limit, and sometimes limitations of body don’t let mind assert itself.
Our entire life experience is always defined in this small cross-section, unfortunately. The moments of joy (as transient as they may be), the ego-enhancing hurts, the self imposed limits are all because we choose to live in a small and limited cell on this unlimited Matrix.
Mind is surely more powerful than body. We could redefine our body if we focus our mind enough. Indeed, we could completely rehaul our physical body.
But Mind, no matter how much it tries to expand its expanse, is still limited in its articulation. For, it is defined by the tendencies and the past.
So, is human experience always to be limited and mired in the small cross section? Ancient Sages say no!
One could go beyond, if one tried enough and stretched the body and mind to a point where they give way so that we only function from that “part” of “us”, which IS, but not visible nor felt. Until the mind is active, that which powers a person from his/her depths does not start asserting itself.
For example, there have been numerous cases of “Near Death Experiences”, where the Mind and the Body were no more alive nor active. Yet, something was kicking which brought both of them back to life. There was a strange case of a person, Grigorievich Rodonai, who was kept in cold storage for 3 days and when he was laid down on autopsy table, he came alive. Now, shut off in a cold drawer, his body or “mind” or brain had no way to survive or fight for survival. They were dead. What then could have fought for “survival”? What could have “decided” that it will again power the dead elements and reinforce the sense of body and mind?
The aim of Isha Yoga’s Bhava Spandana Program (BSP) was to help you create a resonance with the beautiful and unlimited frequency at which the part of self that is beyond the body and mind exists.
One went on an emotional, mental and physical roller coaster, as it were. Not a minute and not a second was wasted. Every moment both, the Body and Mind, were focused on self annihilation so that that which is beyond, could flower.
Unfortunately, these two components of self were so strong for most of us that it was tough to fight the resistance that these two entities put up. Self preservation instincts of these two entities can break mountains but it cannot break limitations of the finite. The flowering of the beyond, however, creates a perfume that invades every corner of your being and the existence, where nothing seems any different. You start feeling the pain of even a small grain or a leaf. Sunlight becomes part of you. You become the wind that blows.
For no reason, you start crying at the sight and empathy of the pain the other carries. The other doesn’t share, yet you feel it till the resonance of your empathy reaches a level where the other’s pain manifests as his or her tears as well. Just as two resonating objects vibrate at the same frequency reaching a crescendo which could break largest of structures; the crescendo of Empathised pain and Internally felt pain reaches a level where the strongest of limiting structures in both start to break off.
There seems to be no reason to why the crescendo builds and there is no reason why such well entrenched, well formed structures of mind and body start shaking. But they do. And they do with a vigor that is sometimes very hard to handle within the confines of body and mind.
As much as the effort is to break the entrenched structures, the intent is not to actually break them fully.. yet. For, otherwise, one would have a room full of dead bodies with minds dissipated.
The aim is to show you that such a state is achievable. And the ecstacy of that state is well worth it. Those who treaded this path did so only when they reached an intensity that was well into the definition of insanity. Even that level of insane, self annihilating effort took years and decades to reach where those people could function alive, driven in real time by that “component” which is beyond the physical (Mind and Body).
Our aim was to get close to that state in 3 days. Well nigh impossible. But then we were standing on the shoulders of giants who had showed how it could be done. We all finally agreed that we got a glimpse of death and the “beyond”.
As I came out and have been through my normal life, I cannot say that my mind has become “lighter” as it happens when you go through a cathartic experience and cry your heart out. I cried too.. like a baby… howling.. for several hours on end. Yet, my mind feels no lighter. “I” do! However, you may define or understand it.
Featured Image: Source – It is the property of Isha Foundation.