I made my way back upstairs from sitting. My sadhana (dedicated spiritual practice) was neither exceptional nor mediocre, it “was”. I looked at the clock and smiled that I had space to ease into the rest of the morning. I sat down with a cup of Kapha tea and turned on a recorded teaching on the Bhagavad Gita. It was a sweet morning; Lake Macquarie was sparkling, and spring was in full swing.
As I sat and listened to the teachings and blew on my tea, Mother Nature lifted her hand and gently rearranged the morning and the view. The balance of earth, water, fire, air and ether changed. The lake that was glistening a moment ago was slowly being veiled by a dense fog. The fog swept in swiftly and within a minute I was unable to see the lake clearly or even our next-door neighbour’s yard. The fog had arrived, and my mind was neither pushing it away or praying for its preservation.
Sitting with what was, I saw my mind head in contemplation of the Yogic teachings of Ignorance. I lent down and turned off Swami Nikilhanda’s teaching and began to explore the metaphor of the “Fog of Ignorance” or not seeing clearly (Avidya). So many of the teachings that I have read, heard and experienced suggest that we are beings of limitless love and strength. That we are greater than the sum of the body and mind, that we are more subtle than the subtlest level we can envisage, that we are actually, existence, consciousness and bliss (sat – chit – ananda).
The sacred teachers and teachings say that our true nature has been veiled. That we are in a deep fog and the absence of clarity in the mind and the misperception of the environment, leads us to the false conclusion that we are these temporary bodies and this often foggy mind.
Spiritual unfoldment is the process of dispersing the fog to reveal the truth of our being. The ways in which we disperse the fog of ignorance will depend on the density and depth of the fog. Many use emotion-Bhakti Yoga to dissipate the fog, others use meditation – Raja Yoga, others use service – Karma Yoga and some use the mind to overcome the mind-Jnana Yoga. We can use one or all of the paths, these methods for fog reduction and dispersement.
In fact, as we evolve, everything, each circumstance, all moments become opportunities for fog reduction. And we can adapt and adjust and use whatever technique or method which will bring the optimal non-attached outcome.
Another way to live with clarity and wisdom is to be aware of when the fog is rolling in and to sound the foghorn of freedom to limit its advancement. To be present enough, quiet enough to see the fog of ignorance sweeping in is miraculous. The spiritual aspirant (sadhaka) seeing the fog approach, unleashes the tools of discernment, self-control, renunciation and sadhana to repel its approach.
Those cultivating strength and clarity will be unyielding in their defence of their peace. They are willing to engage in the inner battle to control and direct the mind, they are fully aware that their mind is their instrument and they are not the minds servant. They are clear about their priorities – to manifest the divinity that dwells within. They possess or are in an earnest search for the tools to halt ignorance’s advancement and capable of masterfully using their tools.
Those unveilers of truth become so attuned that the finest fog, the most distant fog sounds the foghorn of freedom. The sound of the foghorn summons a heightened awareness and ignites the implementation of the strategies to its dissolvement.
Taking the time and devoting right effort to calm and clear the mind so we can hear the foghorn is investment the outstrips the stock markets best returns. It keeps our peace; it reveals our soul and takes us home to the oneness beyond space and time.
Clarity and Strength