Today my longtime teacher Hugo Cory came to Virayoga to offer a talk about attention and its role in Self Mastery. It begins with the simple acts of observation and endeavoring to strengthen the attention so the “observer” in us is always present, aware of the aspects of ourselves that are constantly running the show as they do battle for our attention: the intellectual aspect, the instinctive/physical aspect, the emotional aspect, the sexual aspect. All day long we can watch our VOLATILITY as one takes over, then the other, “I’m hungry, oh now I want to watch the news, now I’ll read, I really want to go running but I have to do the dishes, oh I like her, I don’t like him…” And on. The work at hand is to begin seeing this volatility. Not CHANGING it, but seeing it, and HOLDING it. This volatility, Hugo suggests, is the source of great strength. In working with it, we begin the process of mastering ourselves from within.
As we begin to observe in earnest, to “hold” more of the complaints, speculations, the little ways in which we lie to suit any situation, we cease gossiping and arguing; and start to see the ways in which we’ve been draining ourselves and our precious resources for far too long. Hugo was clear: this is not about “repression” as our society has so clearly labeled such “holding;” this is about actually observing and verifying whether something we’re about to share needs to be shared, whether it will be truly helpful to even get the “advice” we think we’re seeking. It is about noticing that, more often than we might like to think, our attention will best serve us if it is trained on our inner volatility and not on directing our negativity outward, toward those around us. It’s about empowering ourselves to see our own situation and handle it with the inherent power we already possess to navigate the situation quietly, elegantly. It’s learning how to MAGNETIZE what we need by offering that energetically; if we want to surround ourselves with creative, vibrant energy, we best deliver that, and only that, to the world around us. And there is literally no other way to do it.
Among other resonant examples, Hugo spoke about each of the cells in our bodies, and their particular functions. Liver cells, brain cells, muscle cells, all have a specific role, just as each of us serve particular functions in the world. Perhaps the current economic and societal conditions are giving you a moment to really ascertain what your function is, finally. He used the example of white blood cells in the body; they go to the most challenging places and give of themselves to heal those places, to rebalance physical health. Hugo talked about those who choose to be those types of cells in the world, those who serve and heal. A hush fell over the room in that moment. When you first deliver what you expect from the world, your heart is leading the way. In those moments, all the other “voices” have been quieted, what you “hear” is simply the clear aim, what needs to happen next in order to further your vision for your future.
This is the voice of your heart, the Intelligence of your heart, your intuition.
It arrives in the form of your very next breath.