Advanced Yoga Practices
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Lesson 395 - The Power of the Pen, and the Keyboard  (Audio)

AYP Plus Additions:
395.1 - On Writing: Sobbing While Journaling

From: Yogani
Date: April 27, 2010

New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"

We all come to spiritual practices through an inner dialogue. No doubt we heard or read somewhere about the possibilities for improving the quality of our life though deep meditation and other practical techniques. But before we did anything about it, an inner conversation occurred. A conversation with our self. Or, more accurately, a conversation with our Self (big "S"), meaning an interaction within the stillness of our inner realm, the guru in us, which is always drawing us toward more fullness and happiness in life. Once we made this connection, even a little, we sensed it was time to act, and did. And through an ongoing inner dialogue we have continued with our practices over the weeks, months and years, moving steadily closer to the freedom of enlightenment.

Writing can be a great aid on our spiritual path. When we put words on a page, we are seeing a version of our inner dialogue. We call it a "version," because, depending on the duration of our experience in writing, what we see may be a clear or distorted view of our inner-most vibrations. Writing is like a mirror of our inner life. The more developed the mirror, the clearer the view. Of course, if our inner life is in shambles, we will see that in our writing too, and there we may find opportunities to help ourselves work things out, much the way we might in an inner dialogue. The advantage of writing is that we can generally see it better than the constantly shifting multitude of our thoughts, feelings and sensations. Once we have written it down, there it is, staring us back in the face. Writing can greatly simplify things. Now what will we do with that?

This down to earth "in your face" characteristic of writing makes it good for problem solving at any level of perception, and especially for self-inquiry, no matter what style we may be drawn to. But writing is about more than problem solving. As our writing becomes more reflective of our inner nature through practice, and as we advance with internal purification and opening through daily spiritual practices, then writing can take us much deeper into perceiving our inner dialogue. It can become a reflection of the most subtle vibrations within us, a reflection of our most subtle stirrings in stillness. In this, there can be levels of perception and creativity that were not available to us before, a pipeline from that place in all of us us where great power and genius live. Through writing, we can become a channel for that. And who knows what good may come from it? It is the place in us that is eternal and knows no fear. It is the divine wellspring. Writing can put us directly in touch with That. There is a progression going from external, relatively random and internally uninformed writing, to an internal, highly illuminated kind of writing. If we keep up our spiritual practices, and keep writing, these two areas of development can merge in a divine outpouring.

All of this is for our growth, and ultimately for the growth of everyone. When we take our internal dialogue, by whatever literary device (prose, poetry, fiction, etc.), and express it in writing, it forms a path that we can follow. Whether we are asking ourselves questions, or stating principles of truth, right or wrong, we will be duly affected, and grow. We will be changed.

Private journaling has long been known to be a useful self-improvement method. When combined with daily spiritual practices such as deep meditation, spinal breathing pranayama and related methods, our writing can take us into new dimensions that can both inspire and inform us. As a minimum, regular writing can encourage us to continue our daily practices, because we can see more clearly the changes that are occurring in us, in the mirror of our steadily refining written words. That alone makes writing highly valuable.

Besides being a tool for self communication and an aid to our individual spiritual development, writing can be a tool for sharing our inner dialogue with others, and for communicating with others on any subject imaginable. If we write to other individuals or to the public, we will usually be doing both at the same time sharing our inner life, even as we may attempt to help others come in closer contact with their own inner life. Or perhaps we are inclined to convince others to join in our point of view. As in all human relations, it may not always come off the way we would like, or the way our reader might like. As long as we are true to ourselves, while being mindful of our responsibility to others (to aid without injuring), much good can come from written communications.

In centuries past, it has been said that the pen is mightier than the sword. In modern times, it could be said that the keyboard is mightier than the missile. Meaning, the power of ideas has always been and will always be greater than physical force. Writing is a fluid medium that springs from our shared inner source. Because of this underlying inner connection, sooner or later our writing will purify and become a reflection of the inner silence that we are. The same is true for all of life. Our source cannot remain hidden from us forever. The deeper we go with writing, the deeper we go into ourselves. With spiritual practices in play, our writing will eventually become a pure reflection of the expanding inner life resulting from the natural process of human spiritual transformation. And this can be shared with many. As it goes around, the power of truth can be amplified in those who are reading, resonating and writing along these same lines. There is great transforming power in this.

As we have discussed in the previous lesson (#394), the rise of the internet has created many opportunities for spiritual practitioners to join in communities. This is a written joining that reaches far beyond words on a screen, and thus represents a highly advanced form of communication, with the potential to change lives and illuminate all human endeavor around the world. Anyone who doubts this only need observe how the internet has transformed communications and facilitated tangible progress in many fields of activity. In the field of human spiritual transformation, these changes are occurring also. It is happening through writing, and through the transcendent effects of interactive writing. Much good is coming from it.

Is there a downside in this? Where there is duality, there are pros and cons. We will explore that in the next lesson.

In the meantime, individual journaling on a regular basis can be a boon to our spiritual practice. So often we might like to have someone to talk with about our practices and experiences. The truth is we always have that available to us. We can express our inner dialogue, our longings, and our insights in writing no matter where we are. And we can share with others in writing as we may be inclined.  This can help us on our path. It is always good to keep in touch with the divine within us.

The guru is in you.

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Note: For detailed discussion on building a self-directed routine of practices, and how this illuminates our relationship in stillness and our relationship with others, see the Eight Limbs of Yoga Book, and AYP Plus.

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