Week 55: Check-In | Niyama Practice And The Greater Reality

What are Niyamas (duties), and how do they individually, and collectively, support deeper self-purification and higher Self connection?

How do they help to solidify the knowledge that we have discussed previously, and continue to build upon in our understanding of the Self and the greater Reality in which all exists and is expressed?

Niyamas As They Relate To True Self-Expression And Self-Realization

  • Purity– The undistorted, and uncorrupted, expression of the True Self in thoughts, words, actions, body, mind, and spirit.
    • What It Is: Awareness that is not colored by ego-based illusions.
    • How To Do It: See the ego as an object for identification while interfacing in the world and do not adopt its malleable and impermanent form as your True Self. Remain connected to the Truth of who you are at all times.
    • What Is Lost: A distorted and false sense of self that is attached to impermanent form.
    • What Is Gained: A more integrated and solid understanding of the True Nature/Self. Freedom from attachments that lead to suffering by more fully connecting with the Truth of the Self beyond form.
    • How It Helps You On Your Journey: Clears the space for you to more fully experience/be your True Self in action, reducing your potential for ignorant and harmful Karma.
  • Contentment– Self-sustained mood/emotional regulation that creates freedom from attachment and dependency in the world.
    • What It Is: Non-attachment to external objects and things as the source of one’s fulfillment.
    • How To Do It: Recognize that you are whole and complete and that everything that you need/want comes from within you and from the Self (on the personal and wider sense).
    • What Is Lost: Oppressive, addictive, and dependent attachment to people, places, experiences, and things.
    • What Is Gained: A more integrated and solid understanding of the True Nature/Self. Freedom from attachments that lead to suffering by more fully connecting with the Truth of the Self beyond form.
    • How It Helps You On Your Journey: Builds equanimity, resilience, and steadiness of mind and being. This Niyama generates a Sattvic state of being that frees up your energy for your higher spiritual work.
  • Accepting but not causing pain (which includes discipline)– Less over-identification with one’s limited form and/or the limited form of others.
    • What It Is: Reduced clinging to bodily life (running from pain and/or toward pleasure), and becoming grounded in one’s Yamas in actions.
    • How To Do It: Accept pain as purification while extending compassion for those who are lost.
    • What Is Lost: Overidentification with fleeting experience and/or changing roles, expressions, and forms in society. Blame and judgment that keeps one attached to stories, perspectives, and past experiences.
    • What Is Gained: A more integrated and solid understanding of the True Nature/Self. Freedom from attachments that lead to suffering by more fully connecting with the Truth of the Self beyond form.
    • How It Helps You On Your Journey: Creates a greater sense of presence and acceptance of reality, while supporting you to become more firmly grounded in the greater Reality. It sets the foundation for understanding the ever-present nature of paradox within Maya and the fact that everything is, or can be used, for a greater “good.”
  • The study of spiritual books for Self understanding– Gaining a deeper understanding of the True Self through its pure expression in multiple forms/perspectives throughout time, place, and context that you can then verify through/from your own personal experience in your unique form that is seemly “different/separate.”
    • What It Is: Validating and contextualizing the shared experience of the Truth.
    • How To Do It: Study pure, undistorted Self-knowledge in spiritual books and through other forms of spiritual content, and with other spiritual beings/people.
    • What Is Lost: Doubt and confusion about one’s True nature and experiences of connection.
    • What Is Gained: A more integrated and solid understanding of the True Nature/Self. Freedom from attachments that lead to suffering by more fully connecting with the Truth of the Self beyond form.
    • How It Helps You On Your Journey: Develops the solid foundation that prevents distractions and /or ignorant overidentification with illusions.
  • Devotion to God (a higher power beyond form)– Surrender to the higher and greater Self that pervades through all things and more fully expresses the eternal and Absolute manifested in metaphorical, symbolic, and physical form.
    • What It Is: Surrender of the ego-will to a higher and greater will that is not bound or influenced by form, desire, fear, ignorance, or limited perspectives, and fully expresses pure Love for/of all of Creation.
    • How To Do It: Total and complete trust regardless of appearance. See how spirit/God/The Self/The Truth/The Source, etc, is in all things.
    • What Is Lost: Ignorance and attachment to limited nature, experience, and form.
    • What Is Gained: A more integrated and solid understanding of the True Nature/Self. Freedom from attachments that lead to suffering by more fully connecting with the Truth of the Self beyond form.
    • How It Helps You On Your Journey: Maintains focus and perspective that keeps you grounded in Reality beyond the limitations of the ego and fleeting experiences/form.

You can obviously see that a more integrated and solid understanding of one’s True Nature/Self, and freedom from attachments that lead to suffering by more fully connecting with this Truth, is what is gained from this limb of practice (among other things).

One’s “duty” to one’s Self (and by extension “everyone else”), when summarized in this way, is simply to remain connected to the Self on all levels and at all times; nothing more, nothing less.

Whether it is on the personal, social, cosmic, or on the level of the divine, Niyama practice is the expression of your understanding that you are more than your animal-nature and physical form, and it is an acknowledgment that, beyond this limited expression, you are boundless, pure, and complete in your fullest/greatest expression. Niyama practice simply embodies the Truth of your limitless and connected nature even while operating within the realm of your bound and “bonded” ties to others within Maya/the realm of projected appearance and “distorted” form/reality.


Thank you for reading.

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