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The Power of a Trained Mind

by Kino MacGregor

The process of seeing an inspired idea all the way through to full fruition in reality requires great mental fortitude. The spiritual practice of yoga harnesses the power of the mind and gives you access to its true inner power. Yoga essentially amplifies the power of the mind and increases its capacity for concentrated focus. This heightened presence is then more successful at remaining devoting to a particular goal in life when that same level of attentiveness is applied. A basic definition of yoga is the ability to maintain unbroken awareness on a single point of attention. As such yoga teaches you how to be humbly willing to put in the work to achieve the results that you want by maintaining your attention to it no matter how long it takes.

When you unroll your yoga mat and commit to the total journey of yoga you unlock the mind’s power to transform physical substance with the power of spirit. As a yoga student you are asked to work every day on postures, movements and techniques that may take years of concentrated study to master. This commitment over a long period of time builds the kind of strength and steadiness needed to see projects, ideas and dreams through in everyday life. There is no sense of entitlement along the path of yoga. Grace is earned through devotion to higher consciousness. Understanding that you will have to maintain belief over a sustained period of time while working tirelessly for your objective demands that you tap into a place inside of yourself that is beyond the physical.

Your level of presence determines the level of success you will achieve in your efforts. Once unwavering devoted to a goal you can harness the limitless creative faculty of your inner being. This powerful force is the foundational element that keeps your mind focused on the ultimate realization of its goal through all the ups and and downs that you experience along the way. Only a strong mind is able to remain steadfast throughout the winding journey to success while remain non-attached to the outcome and happy every step of the way. A weak mind will easily get distracted and diverted from the truest and highest goal by the slightest disturbance and wrongly misidentify self-worth with the achievement of the goal. Daily spiritual practice is the key to training the mind to achieve greatness in the world on both the inner and outer planes. The task of aligning the body, mind and spirit to a single action such as a yoga posture demands that you develop the ability to maintain singular focus on your chosen object of attention. While practicing yoga students learn that the goal is secondary to the journey itself and is in fact merely a tool used to reflect the inner sanctity of spirit. As such the advanced yogi appears existent and playfully creating in the world of form with firm detachment from it, thereby preventing the fatal misidentification with his/her creations. Once this skill is cultivated to a masterful level it is easy to then apply the tools learned from daily spiritual practice to any desired life goal.

When you mobilize the full faculty of your mind you facilitate the change and transformation that leads you to your goal. The accomplished spiritual practitioner can better achieve results in the world by harnessing the strength and steadiness of their mind gained from years of concentrated internal practice. Some people think that spiritual practice demands that you let go of all life goals. However, the heart of that recommendation is actually to release attachment to all things of the manifest world. It is the attachment that is the painful hook rather than the goal itself. We all have dreams and goals in life. The thought that our deeply held desires, dreams and goals are antithetical to spiritual practice is a misunderstanding of the deeper sense of the teaching. The idea at the heart of the inner journey is that no goal, achievement or object defines our identity. As such when strong attachment to a particular goal, thing or being is held suffering will inevitably follow. Yet the truly accomplished spiritual practitioner will use daily life as a tool to practice both non-attachment and true inner strength. Once the belief in the reality of the world is released you are free to enjoy the accomplishment of your dreams without being defined by them. In essence you can be in the world, but not of it. If the yogi comprehends life as a divine play then it behooves that spiritual practitioner to take everything in life as containing the seeds of awakening, worldly goals and spiritual practice, thereby demonstrating an even deeper level of non-attachment by playing with the world of form.

When your dreams take time to manifest in the material world there is a strength of mind that can be practiced as a tool of spiritual awakening. Some goals come easily with little effort, while others take years of dedication in order to become real. If you remain committed to your goal you must maintain unwavering focus and attention for a sustained period of time. You must work without the satisfaction of immediate results and with no guarantee of success other than your own faith. If you set your sights on a far-off goal the only thing that drives you forward is the strength and steadiness of your mind. The power of the human will is such that when applied with full force it has the ability to create whatever life experience is wanted. Indeed this transformation is only possible because the material world is not “real” and because you are not defined by your immediate life circumstance forever. In order to accomplish your goals you must devote yourself tirelessly and humbly towards the task at hand, with no need for immediate results, with heartfelt patience, and no sense of entitlement.

All obstacles you meet along this inner journey will be reflected in the outer journey as well. Yoga practitioners are better poised to achieve the success they want in life because of their depth of presence. By gaining a trial ground upon which to test out strategies, meet inner demons and find the way through to health and happiness yoga students have a breeding ground upon which to develop the life skills needed to live a happy life. When you practice yoga you develop the kind of will power and inner strength that takes you from the initial stages of your dreams to their full fruition. In essence you enter into a deep re-patterning of the mind that supplants old stuck patterns with new, more efficient ones. This transformation is at the heart of the journey of yoga. If you apply the lessons of this process to the world at large you will experience the same mastery over the sense world that you experience in your yoga practice. Just as the yoga practice teaches you that no physical postures defines your being, your spiritual practice asks you to always remember that no worldly goal creates your identity. You are not the posture in your yoga practice no matter how beautiful it may be. You are not your accomplishments no matter how impressive they may be. What is real along this path is the awakening of your inner, eternal light.

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