“In going over the history of all the inventions for which history could be obtained it became more and more clear that in addition to training and in addition to extensive knowledge, a natural quality of mind was also necessary.” — Reginald Fessenden

Week-ending Conferences have been fruitful and engaging. Sharathji talks a bit about the practice then opens the floor to questions …. “sensible questions” as he likes to put it. And we have lived up to the call. Our very own Kate posed an excellent comment and question regarding the deepening of practice.  Over a long period of time the effects of practice can change the practitioner in ways that might create a struggle in daily life. The aspiring yogi, having trained the mind and body to be present and attentive, experiences the peace of fulfillment in embodying her physicality and its’ concomitant breath / life force. This fullness  is complete in and of itself. The yogi becomes more wiling to say “no” to engaging in life’s busyness infused with the noise of media, vapid conversation and the distraction that most people are swimming in.

Hence the struggle, “My practice is deepening, and I’m feeling less connected to the world.” Looking a bit deeper, “ I feel less willing to leave the experience of fulfillment for distraction.” Sharathji gave a few heartfelt responses, coming at the question from different angles. When it’s all said and done, each yogi needs to grapple with these opposites and somehow find a “whole”. Since we are householders, dropping this life for a Himalayan cave won’t do. Too, the yogi loses a little bit of her soul by disregarding the heart’s desire to remain in fulfillment.

Through daily practice, we are developing the quality of mind that has the ability to integrate this “whole”. It’s as if the purpose of practice is to put us in the place where we are forced to find that whole. My Buddhist teacher would say, “Going farther, faring worse” is precisely what the yogi has asked for. Take solace in the fact that the faring worse is only the limited mind’s experience of growth. Going farther is expanding the awareness of opposites we must integrate. The transformation is the quality of the yogi’s mind.