Beyond Yoga, Buddhism and Meditation

Either you have been on a path towards greater awareness for a long time, or more recent circumstances have initiated you onto a journey of discovery.

You may notice that some yoga masters and meditation gurus do not have the kind and complete presence you would expect. You are surprised by glaring gaps in their integrity. In fact, you can not help but notice that many people you meet whose lives revolve around yoga or meditation tend to have a kind of impenetrable shell. They say all the right things, but they seem less available, less fully present then some of your favorite people.

You know many Buddhists who believe all the right things, yet seem incapable of intimacy or grounded presence. You notice that the more anyone adopts a practice or doctrine and makes it their identity, the less open, fluid and transparent they actually seem.

Often, concepts adopted from Buddhism or yoga do not bring relief or release from limiting patterns of thought, feeling or action. Insights gained in meditation do not necessarily translate to a greater capacity for compassion and embodied experience. Unless there is a specific focus on identifying and releasing causal places of discomfort – all other practices are just being placed on top of an unstable structure.

Of course, when someone is uncomfortable they would rather go to India, or practice meditation or yoga then look inward at the uncomfortable place. Certainly, these practices can be helpful and many people find they gain great insight and relief with these tools. Yet, it is rare that reliance up on these practices alone provides the path to neutrality and available presence that is the place of peace and fulfillment that most people seek.

Our culture values the mind over embodied experience. This means that teachings and ideas of Buddhism, yoga and meditation can be eagerly and avidly absorbed and latched on to. However, the attachment to these concepts and “right ways of living” in no way offer the individual the transformative path through personal limitations to the embodiment of the ideals. This is why you may experience more and more people, articles and parts of the culture saying the “right” thing – yet something feels off to you.

At our time in evolution, in the culture where we live, we are called upon to heal from, and move beyond our personal stories and historic traumas. Our personal stories and places of injury are actually our unique and exquisitely defined path to wholeness. Yet, if we are tempted or misled by certain teachings into skipping the deep inner work and recovery, we remain with deep and dangerous shadow places. Without full integration of the themes and conflicts that haunt us – all other work becomes like a straight jacket or casing that seals in that which is called to be cleared.