Staying Awake all Night to Awaken
Maha Shivaratri is an ancient tradition, the Great night of Shiva, in which the astrological alignment before the new moon creates the ideal influence on raising and accumulating energy in the human subtle body. Practitioners of yoga and those using Shiva as a symbol for shedding off limitations and immerging into a broader sense of self stay awake all night and engage in meditative practices and ritual.
Shiva is also called the Adiyogi, or first yogi. A yogi is a master in the art of concentration. Shiva, or the Adiyoga is the proto-being which put it's(His) attention into each singular aspect of nature completely until it's inner mechanics were revealed and the manner in which it could lead to Yoga or union, was realized in every possible way. Have you heard this expression...?
"Where attention goes, energy flows."
Well, when attention keeps going to the same place in a fixed way with consistency & intensity, the accumulating energy will "pierce" or "overflow" the limits of the object or aspect of nature which is being focused on. In the processes of nature we see this as a geyser or volcano erupting, water moving from the Earth's surface to the sky to build up into clouds and rain back down...All of these processes are cyclical and create transformation within their environment. This process is the subtle symbol of Shiva, and why he is often called "The Destroyer". Shiva is building energy to critical mass through concentration, overflowing the old paradigm to actualize new possibilities and more connections. This is the science of revealing the source of nature, which is also the source of the self. This is the art of Yoga.
Things we truly yearn to achieve in our life require dedicating our full energy and limiting the things with which we distract ourselves. Distractions obscure the most satisfying and relevant use of energy for self development, connection, and realization as human beings. Often times we even perceive these distractions as "treats" that we think we deserve, or "breaks" that are earned because we think we've done enough already. Treats and breaks can be good, but it is important that they do not scatter the true focus in our lives. The process of life does not seem to be about self-pleasure and escapism..it seems to be about application of presence, effort, and exponentially increasing interdependency. This is why applying our effort to these causes "puts us in the flow of life" where even though effort is increased...it can seem easier and more healthy than just loafing around and trying to enjoy your individuality which is a hopeless cause in the end. For the human being especially, this is service, this is dharma, this is our higher calling.
Shiva Lingam & Representations of Transformation
All of these processes of consciousness and nature have multiple symbols, stories, and techniques, for individuals of varying constitutions, beliefs, and abilities to work with these processes more consciously. This is one of the strengths of the yoga tradition; the recognition of a singular underlying process which can manifest in many forms.
Aum Namah Shivaya
George is the founder of Sajeeva Yoga School, and a practitioner and teacher on the journey of exploring life, truth, purpose, and
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