"It is by the co-ordinated and concentrated efforts of his body, senses, mind, reason and Self that a man obtains the prize of inner peace and fulfills the quest of his soul to meet his Maker. The supreme adventure in a man's life is his journey back to his Creator." - B.K.S. Iyengar, "Light on Yoga," Page 30.
I am on week 5 of Iyengar's asana course (detailed in his book, "Light On Yoga"). I've been doing the yoga practice most days of the week, though the weekends have been, well, weak.
I was drawn to the idea of offering a quote from Iyengar's book for two reasons: (1) I am working from his book almost daily in my personal practice, and (2) because I wanted to write a blog post and I didn't have a topic. ;)
The quote suggests an ultimate reason to do yoga, meeting your Creator, and that the soul's journey is the greatest adventure we can have in our lives on this earth.
The soul's journey is an adventure. Um. Yeah, it sure is! Sometimes that adventure is a tumultuous and painful journey over the highest mountains imaginable. Sometimes, the adventrure is exciting and fun, maybe with a little risk thrown in, like an all-expense-paid week-long trip to Las Vegas or Africa. Sometimes the adventure is smooth sailing; everything goes your way and you have nothing to worry about. You are "in the zone." At times, the adventure isn't an adventure at all. At those times we may feel bored, lazy, depressed, angry, uncertain or apathetic. We are either crying out for a big shot of inspiration, or we really don't give a damn.
You can learn, and further your way along your journey, in any of these phases, some more than others. Even the slowest path can be quicker than the shortest, all depending on what you learn along the way. Even the smoothest journey has lessons. Chances are that you are experiencing more than one type of adventure at any given time.
Luckily, my soul's journey isn't taking me on a trek over any treacherous, barely passable mountains, at the moment anyway. I am experiencing some hills, some taller than others, along with a good portion of smooth sailing and a tiny bit of apathy (since I've been overwhelmed a bit lately). While progression on the journey can bring about your best, it can also bring out the worst in us.
Inner peace is a pretty easy concept to understand; everyone has his or her own idea of what inner peace might be like. The Maker/Creator idea is, for some, an uncertain idea. I think what we are really talking about here is the full and complete union of our self and our soul, allowing for the full and complete expression of ourselves as spiritual beings. It is my belief that my soul, my spirit, is made of exactly the same stuff as my Maker/Creator. My soul/spirit IS my Maker/Creator. My soul/spirit is the perfect, beautiful and eternal part of me, and of every other being on this planet. We are all a part of each other. We are one.
When we get to the part of the journey where we meet our Creator, our egoistic self falls away and we express our REAL self. We live our life expressing our soul, and thus, our Creator. We experience that desired inner peace. But beware. Inner peace can be fleeting. You may have it one day, and not the next. Our UNreal self is imperfect and enjoys keeping us on our toes with new learning opportunities. After all, this is our human, ego self having a spiritual experience.