Yoga of the Heart

The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has unleashed suffering around the world. It is a time when many of us are asking why this is happening and what we can do to minimize the suffering and prevent such tragic events from unfolding in the future. There is almost a feeling of helplessness that as an individual we cannot do much to stop this havoc.

Governments, local administrations, organizations and individuals are waging a battle to contain this pandemic through various measures. Apart from these external efforts which are necessary, every individual, you and we included can do something to help the world by changing our inner world.

Our inner and outer worlds are a play and balance of opposites, the male and female, the yin and yang, the light and dark, the good and bad. It is a balance of consciousness and energy, also known as Shiva-Shakti. It is one appearing to be dual. When there is an imbalance of polarities, nature churns through herself to bring things back into balance. Out of every destruction emerges a better creation, a better world, even though the process of destruction is extremely painful. Our history is a testimony of this.

Even as nature is resetting itself, it is forcing us to look deep within ourselves and to bring into balance the collective human consciousness. The external world is a reflection of our internal world both at an individual consciousness and collective consciousness. As we proactively elevate our inner consciousness, we start seeing changes in the external world. When enough people elevate themselves internally, the world at large will change for the better.

How do we go about doing this?

First, recognize the transient nature of ourselves and transcend beyond to become one with our higher Self. We identify ourselves with our body, mind, name, fame, education, family, possessions and so on. But all these are transient. As we delve deep into who am I, we realize that there is a part of us that is immutable, and that is our higher Self. When we become aware of the impermanence of our bodies and everything around us and when we become aware of the unchanging Self, we have already started an inner journey.

Second, come into Ekatvam, or Oneness with our higher Self. When one is in union with their higher Self, they are really in Oneness with Divine Consciousness. Recognize and acknowledge the inner light. We need to awaken our consciousness from the old to the new, from the lower vibrations to the higher ones, to birth new energies. Operate from the heart space rather than the headspace. Go deep within through the practice of meditation or delving on the Divine. As we go deeper into our inner selves, we develop the acuity to unravel the illusory layers veiling our true Self. As we pierce through these false layers and cast aside everything that is not the true us, we arrive at pure consciousness, the soul embedded deep within our being. It is a pristine place of raw potency, where we see the bright light that we indeed are. When we transcend duality within ourselves and in the outer world, we become truly One with our higher Self.

Third, understand what nature is teaching us through these calamities. As the world is going through an external lockdown, we need to spend time going through an internal lockdown and sit within ourselves. Acknowledge without guilt the darkness that exists within us and shine the inner Divine light in those dark recesses. We need to recognize to go beyond our self-centric existence and to be more in Oneness with the world. We need to be more about unity and harmony with nature and with all beings, animate and inanimate.

Fourth, stop operating from a framework of fear. What is worse than the current coronavirus is the fear of it. Our fears about something make it only worse. When we recognize that fear is an illusion that appears real, when we can observe our fears without judgment, we can stand apart from it and take action despite its presence instead of being paralyzed by it. This will strengthen our mental capacity and our soul and develop enough fortitude within us to not only face the current crisis but anything that may come.

There are unseen positive and negative forces and energies that are working on the earth plane. At the current moment, negative forces are overpowering the positive ones. Like energies attract each other. If we harbor negative energies and consciousness, we attract more negativity and it amplifies itself. By becoming conscious of this, we can transcend, transform and transmute the negative to become magnets for positive energies. Doing this not only helps our individual selves but the world at large.

By practicing this Yoga of the Heart, we can lend our energies for the ascension of the earth plane and become a light in our own right. We can all together in Ekatvam, in Oneness, become co-creators for a better world for ourselves and future generations.

This article is being published in an upcoming United Nations magazine (International Day of Yoga Committee at the UN's special 2020 Yoga Day Edition of LIght on Light).