I did a Life Essentials course with Michael Rowland many years ago. Michael had spent some time in India with highly regarded sage Muktananda. Studying with Muktananda at his ashram proved life changing for Michael as it has proved to be for many others I have met over the years. Most devotees or students of Muktananda that I have come across share similar characteristics. They are all particularly successful in their chosen paths and they all seem pretty happy and content. I’m not inferring here that they are all saints and don’t make mistakes, they’re only human after all, but they all exude that magnetic energy that screams “I am fully alive and I love life” and people are naturally drawn to them.
Many seeking answers to life’s mysteries and looking to personally and spiritually grow travelled to India to visit with Muktananda. No matter what their initial motivation was their ultimate objective soon became very clear. To grow personally and spiritually and be fully alive and capable of fully using your innate potential you have to get over yourself.
We all spend a good part of everyday engrossed in our thoughts and at the mercy of our limiting beliefs and past conditioning. Rarely, if ever, are we fully present and to be fully present we have to get out of our heads. When we are present, right in the current moment, we identify less with ourselves and hence our actions are more deliberate. Whilst our attention is focussed in the now it is much harder to identify with our entrenched beliefs and conditioning which opens our awareness to a higher level of consciousness and being. This brings clarity of mind and obviously the clearer our mind is the better our decision making and life skills.
The more we practice being present the more we expand our awareness or consciousness. Those that I know of Muktananda’s students continue to practice both meditation and being present or mindfulness. In India this form of mindfulness is called Karma Yoga. I know traditional meditation is not for everyone and so I encourage you to try Karma Yoga because it can be done anytime, anywhere throughout the day and can only heighten your performance. Essentially, all you have to do is focus your attention outside of yourself on any task or activity at hand. Breathe normally throughout the practice. Gently release thoughts as they cross your consciousness and focus your attention on the physical sensations of the activity. Become immersed in the total experience. All your senses are engaged and therefore all your attention is on the experience and not on yourself. Whatever the chosen task or activity is you will do it well and efficiently because you are giving it your complete attention.
The more we practice being present the less time we dwell on ourselves and our problems. Our mind becomes clearer and more creative and we begin to live a richer life. Continued practice will encourage indentifying with a higher state of consciousness and identifying less with me, myself and my problems. It is when we can operate at this level that we feel fully alive.