As the city was lighting up for the ancient festival of Diwali yesterday, this would be a good time to look within to find what the Yogis call “Jyotismati” or “inner light”. Diwali is commonly called the festival of lights and celebrates the victory of light over darkness. You can use this opportunity to reflect on your spiritual values, on the morals of the stories Diwali was built on, and meditate on the ideas of light, awareness, fertility, prosperity, wealth, relaxation, joy and peace.
Recognition through revolution
To recognise your inner light, you need an inner revolution. What is this inner revolution? To begin with — any revolution is not static. It is alive, ongoing, and continuous. It is a journey and not a destination and it’s the process of being lit up. It cannot be grasped intellectually or made to fit into any logical conceptual model. Nor is there any path to this inner revolution, for it is neither predictable nor controllable and has a life all its own.
What is remarkable about the Yogic texts (Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra I.36) is that it does not cover any specific directions for bringing on this inner revolution of light. In its place, it merely offers the image of Jyotismati, or your inner light, which is free from sorrow or grief — “Visoka”. It deliberately leaves the way open for the method to be varied according to your individual needs, desires and beliefs.
Realisation of this light within you is an existential awakening to one’s true nature that opens the door to the possibility of an inner revolution. Such a revolution requires an ongoing emptying out of the old structures of consciousness and the birth of a living and fluid intelligence. This restructures your entire being, body, mind and perception. It cuts the mind free of its old structures that are rooted within the totality of human consciousness.
This revolution and creation of light within is a moving away from the old, repetitive, dead structures of thought and perception that humanity finds itself trapped in. This revolution is about breaking patterns that no longer serve you and habits that are causing harm and tension. If you cannot become free of the old-conditioned structures, then you are still in a kind of prison.
Guided meditation — ignite your spark
This weekend, attempt this short practice in order to connect with your inner light.
• Sit comfortably in a quiet place, with your hands resting on your lap, palms open, eyes closed.
• Set the intention to ignite sparks of wisdom and awareness within you.
• Begin by taking several relaxed, calming, easy breaths.
• Use the power of visualisation to see light within your heart — at the centre of your chest. Let it be bright.
• As an image comes to mind, continue to breathe comfortably and focus your attention on that light within.
• When your mind wanders with thoughts, gently bring your focus back to this light.
• To help you focus, you may want to watch your breath as you inhale and exhale or reaffirm the words to yourself — “my inner light shines.”
• Once the image of the light feels strong and clear, add a simple movement to the visualisation.
• As you inhale, extend your palms outward. As you exhale, place your palms over your heart.
• Repeat this three times and then sit quietly for a few moments, continuing to take deep, relaxed breaths.
• When you are ready, focus five more breaths on bringing the light into these areas: somewhere in your own body that needs support, your mind, your abundance, your relationships and your community.
• When you feel appropriate, open your eyes gently and feel the glow of the spark that has been lit.
• Repeat for as many days as you wish.
Lift the veil of ignorance
Diwali is the best time of the year to allow the triumph of the light of knowledge over the darkness of ignorance. Light represents clarity; being able to see things the way they are, free from illusion. The lamps are lit to signify kindling the soul-lamp or awakening of the self.
Let this time become a ritual for newness! Clean up your act, drive away old evil habits, patterns that no longer serve you. Use this time to create new connections, and renew your old relationships. Cultivate a new vision and attitude. And most of all, begin your new life filled with the light of awareness.
The true significance of this festival is that when the veil of ignorance is lifted, light overflows. It is the recognition of the pure joy and bliss of the self, the celebration of life. This light has always been here and is only appearing to be covered up by darkness. Use this time to find ways to rejoice and constantly be reminded of the light that you are!
Connect with Anjaan across social media @MeditateWithAnjaan
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