Thanksgiving Day Schedule:
9 am All Levels Flow with Pam (our only class of the day)
This week in the shala we were working with archetypal Shiva energy. The archetypes are energies and/or forces that we may choose to align ourselves with. In order to learn about the nature of the archetype's energy and to understand the best means to create the alignment, we look to the mythic stories of the deity. Shiva is a master meditator. He sits in perpetual meditation with his physical eyes closed and his third eye, his inner vision, remains open. In mythic art, vertical lines represent action and horizontal lines represent stillness. When a Yogi performs a ritual offering to Shiva, we may use the sacred ash to create a symbol on the forehead (like holy ash on Ash Wednesday) to remind us of our act of devotion. The symbol for Shiva is 3 horizontal lines- the wisdom of Shiva is instruction on the power of stillness and of meditation.
Shiva has a relationship with the concept of Tripura- the 3 worlds. Tripura is where the roots of suffering lie- it is the 3 worlds of Me, Mine and Not Mine. Me is my body and my mind. Mine is my property, my family, my self image. And Not Mine is everything else on the planet that is not under our authority. All suffering dwells in the realm of the the 3 worlds. One of Shiva's 108 names is Tripurantaka- the destroyer of the 3 worlds. Shiva energy is a means toward the alleviation of suffering. It is through the cultivation of awareness, Shiva's 3rd eye is always open, and the practice of stillness and meditation that we move toward happier lives. Through a dedicated practice of meditation, the transitory nature of the 3 worlds is revealed and we begin to understand the futility of clinging to Tripura as our source of happiness. Each meditation serves as an introduction to the part of ourselves that is beyond the 3 worlds, the part of ourselves which has always been and always will be- for many people this essence is called soul.
The sound structure that we may use to align ourselves with Shiva energy is
Om Namah Shivaya