One of the main aims of the Yogilates classes is to create a quiet mind, to find a quiet mind. There are many reasons why this is important, other than because it feels good, and I often mention some of them in my writings and in the classes. I have written a note about how to get a quiet mind here.
But the most important aspect about getting a quiet mind, as with anything else that we want to get, is to attach value to it. Values are what guide our life; one could even say that our life IS nothing other than our values. One of my values may be health, and this value will create the time and the energy to put into staying healthy. But if I value more comfort, or fame, or power, or money, or entertainment, or cars or whatever then my time and energy will go into that and not into health. My values guide my life.
A large aspect of the Yogilates classes is making a quiet mind one of our values.
It is really not difficult to say that we value a quiet mind, anybody can say that, but actually very few people spend time, put any energy into getting a quiet mind. And this is because we don’t value it enough. As an example, many people would like to have a Mercedes but not so many people make the necessary efforts to get one. Unless you come from a privileged family, it is quite difficult to get a Mercedes. One needs to really value having that car in order to make the necessary efforts to get one. And it is the same with everything else. If you want to become a doctor, a lawyer, an architect you need to really value it, as there are many many things that can go against it.
In different ways and at different times I have talked about the need for a quiet mind. Now I am going to talk about another of those many reasons why a quiet mind is so important.
Very generally speaking, what we want in our life could be boiled down to two things:
- Because we are afraid of death, we try to survive, and a lot of what we do in our everyday life is, in one way or another, trying to survive. Acquiring things and getting attached to things and people are examples of ways we try to defeat death (and of course there are thousands of others).
- The other thing we want in life is to cover a profound sense of emptiness we all feel inside, and we do this by trying to entertain ourselves (too much food, too much sex, too many drugs, too much work, too many movies), by being busy, by looking for new toys, by continuously looking for that one thing that will finally fulfill us.
These two things, survival and fulfillment, are, in a sense, ‘a natural occurrence’, so we don’t have to think about them, we do them no matter what, we feel naturally inclined to try defeat death and to feel less the pain that is produced by this emptiness inside.
Without a quiet mind, it is very difficult to contact another part in ourselves that is also there, but is much more hidden. I find it very difficult to name this other part for the incredible amount of misunderstandings that can create; it has many connotations, most of them wrong, but for the sake of this note I will call it an inner whisper (we could also call it the ‘divine within’, or the ‘kundalini rising’, or the ‘third eye’, or the ‘higher self’, as they call it in some places). This inner whisper is a part in ourselves that cares for something besides surviving and fulfillment.
And the reason why it cares for something other is because it knows that death is not the end and so it is not interested in surviving death. And also because this part in itself is already whole and complete – is already fulfilled – it does not really care about fulfillment.
There are different ways in which this inner whisper expresses itself. One way is that it has the space to look for beauty. Beauty is one of those things that are not required, are not necessary for our survival. Actually, putting attention into beauty takes attention away from survival and so beauty becomes a hindrance to survival.
It may be useful for our fulfillment, but when beauty is judged by that need, the search for it takes the shape of attachment, of grasping and grabbing of that beauty, and sooner or later it always becomes painful. Instead, when the search for beauty is led by that inner whisper, beauty is taken for its own beautiful sake.
Another way in which this inner whisper expresses itself is in the search for love. Not the love of survival and fulfillment, which is the love based on fear and attachment (most of the love we see in movies and literature, and the one that most people know and are interested in is based on fear and attachment, is based on me being a needy being looking for somebody that can make me feel better), but the profound search of the love for all and everything, that inner sense of unity and brotherhood with all.
And this search for beauty and love is not possible unless there is a space, a quietness in our mind which allows us to contact and feel that inner whisper, that inner voice.
This inner whisper may also start asking questions like: Who am I, really? What is this life about? What am I doing here? It is the part that may start questioning the regular values that are imposed to us by society. It knows that there is something else, that something is missing in those values, that there is something that is not there. It knows that there is something that is not given by the common values of making money, having a family, having some fun, finding the right profession… it knows that that is not enough.
When the mind is quiet enough*, we may become more aware of this inner whisper and be able to live a life not based on surviving and fulfillment, but a life based on love.
This inner whisper can take us to the deepest meaning of our lives.
*Sometimes these questions appear, that search for love and beauty may be there even when the mind is not quiet, but in those cases that search becomes a conflict, it becomes something too confusing, more of a problem and a disruption than a blessing. That is why I find it so important to take the time and energy – to attach value – for a quiet mind.