FIRST HALF OF THE PRACTICE:
AY Experience + Radical Self-Acceptance + Awareness + Equanimity = Insight & Purification.
In this formula, each term is defined very precisely:
- AY Experience: what we hear, see, smell, taste, feel and think of while we are doing the yoga postures.
- Radical Self-Acceptance: the practice of fully embracing our true nature, loving the entirety of our human experience, imperfections and all. An embodiment of interconnectedness.
- Awareness: the ability to directly and specifically know and perceive, to feel, or to be cognizant of our AY experience.
- Equanimity: non-interfering with the awareness of our yoga experience
- Purification: release of blockages to happiness
- Insight: deep, many-faceted understanding into the nature of our experiences
Whenever we bring awareness and equanimity to our AY experience, an evolutionary process takes place, consisting of two aspects. One aspect is Insight and the other is Purification.
As a result of this what happens?
We become empowered, we become free. We have a sense of freedom and connection that is not dependent on circumstances. We have a sense of happiness that is not dependent on conditions.
SECOND HALF OF THE PRACTICE:
Loving Kindness + Compassion = Seva or “Selfless Service”
This process of developing a sense of happiness independent of circumstances is quite challenging but actually is only half of our practice.
The other half involves what we “put out” into the world. In addition to awareness and equanimity, we also cultivate habitual states of Loving Kindness and Compassion so that we could translate these subjective states into objective actions that are of benefit to others.
Through loving kindness and compassion, we intentionally impact to our feeling core a habitual coloration, flavor and tone of deep human warmth and beneficence. This constantly flows out and subtly but significantly influences the people around us. At the level of action, it translates into various expressions of effortless service to others and to the world around us.