Rhythm: A Natural Approach to Practice
A Natural State of Being
In order to make any significant strides in yogic practice, it is necessary for one to have a daily practice. This allows the practices to truly build on themselves and provide a forward momentum that builds various aspects of the being. One must establish a Rhythm with the doing of the action and allow it to become something that is a Natural aspect of your life. Perhaps what hinders some on the path are their concepts of the practices and the ideals that they have built around them. Latent within the subconscious are the layers of collective human thought that linger and convince us very quietly of what it means to be a Mystic or a Yogi. Here it should be noted that these ideas were not necessarily penned into the Collective Unconscious by the Yogis and Mystics themselves, but rather, by the myths of those who watched from a distance something that they had little understanding of. This being said, lofty ideals in and of themselves are sometimes a deterrent to establishing a solid Rhythm. This has largely to do with the nature of the Will of a given individual. If one believes that something is unattainable (this can occur subconsciously) then they are apt to stray from an idea. This is why I have often thought it beneficial to de-mystify your practice; make it something that is Natural to life. Through this de-mystification the practice becomes palpable and more personal. One begins to see that yoga and other meditative practices are actually moving you toward a Natural state that is possible within the human, rather than into something that is foreign or super-natural. Defy your myths and become what you are.
Habit or Rhythm?
A Habit is defined as “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” A Rhythm is defined as “a regularly recurring sequence of events or processes.” As you can see there is little difference between Habit and Rhythm. However, one important factor does exist: our perception of what each word means. Habits often have a negative connotation, whereas a Rhythm has perhaps little connotation for us, after all, we are not in the habit of referring to our lives in terms of Rhythms (though they are all around you, constantly). What is being presented in this language of Rhythm is a means by which to replace our “habits” and align our being with something more wholistic and on a larger arc than that of the small day to day Ego which dwells within its habits.And so, by means of the manner in which we think of the concept of Rhythm, we can begin to re-work our thought processes and actions. What do you wish to get in the rhythm of? The stars are in rhythm, the moon, the oceans, the seasons; rhythm is Nature, an essence which controls the motion of consciousness through its various forms and states.
“Everything flows out and in; everything has its tides; all things rise and fall; the pendulum swing manifests in everything; the measure of the swing to the right, is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compensates.” -Hermetic Axiom
Rhythm, then, can be used as a meditative tool within the sphere of mind. It can be very effective in adjusting one’s perspective in various ways. One way in which I have used this principle is by visualizing sets of pendulums that relate to various aspects of my being. For instance, you have the pendulum of the everyday consciousness (mentioned above as Ego) which swings rapidly, moving from one thing to the next. Time is related in minutes and hours. If one can tune in with the larger pendulum of the Soul, then the consciousness begins to shift very rapidly and gain momentum and perspective on a larger arc. Contemplate this. The Rhythm of the Soul has already reached its end point of involution and has now taken its turn back towards the divine, the root or oneness from which All stems. Meditating the Soul from this level then begins to put the perspective of our consciousness on a much larger arc of Time which is related to the Infinite motion of the Finite blending with the Immobile source. Motion is then swallowed in the vastness of the Sea; the perspective re-adjusts and sees from a much greater vantage point when it again looks out into the world.
-Chaos as a Means to Re-establish Rhythm
A second manner to use the principle of Rhythm is in relationship to Chaos. We have all heard it said from one tradition or another that Chaos preceded form; so let us figure ways to apply this practically within our life. There are actions by which one can use Chaos as a means of breaking the old moulds of habit. This is an energetic occurrence and can be used within the Mind in the process of re-establishing Rhythm. Think of those things within yourself that you wish to change and then begin to devise ways by which you can move them into Chaos. Here, the forms will be broken, thus freeing energy that can then be re-assembled through an application of the Will. Define your Intention with clarity and pursue the change. Chaos suspends Rhythm, and then the Conscious Will can reset the Rhythm toward a chosen path. In this way one can alter their patterns significantly by an act of embrace and re-alignment. Thus, the knowledge of Rhythm becomes a tool of transformation.
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