Should we try to be perfect? I always thought I should, so I tried to be good, and excelled in my schoolwork, and tried to be nice and kind to everyone. Lots of hurt, anger, disappointment and fear was tucked away out of sight, stored in my body because I was unable to process it. Through my life I found many helpful ways of working with the secret stored pain, but yoga nidra has proven the most effective for me. The answer is accepting things as they are.
What ever we do not accept about ourselves is repressed into the unconscious, and whatever lies in the unconscious is projected out into the world. Today at yoga a young mother told me she tries not to be angry, and then she sees her son being angry. Richard Miller says “When you reject anger you project anger into the world. You judge others because you judge your own actions. When you stop judging self you stop judging other.” he continues “When we stop trying to change and learn to be aware, magic happens. Awareness is like fire. Fire purifies. Fire doesn’t judge. It simply burns away the impurities of what is placed within its presence.” During yoga nidra we welcome whatever arises, rejecting nothing. Simply being aware of what is, without judging.
Repressed memories, thoughts and feelings are allowed or even invited to arise, and in awareness they complete their life cycle, birth, growth, decline and death. Welcoming leads to spontaneous transformation. “When we relinquish our attempts to change the world or ourselves according to some belief about how we think things “should” be, insight and right action spontaneously arise to the surface of awareness.”
Best of all, yoga nidra is so relaxing and enjoyable, the equivalent of three hours sleep. So stop trying to be perfect, just practice yoga nidra and awaken to the joy of your own radiant Presence, your own teacher and friend within. Already perfect!
Quotes are from Richard Miller’s book “Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart of Yoga” which is now available without the cd and by a different name. Swami Satyananda Saraswati, a student of Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh, brought yoga nidra to the modern world, developing it from ancient tantric practices. Swami Satyananda’s book “Yoga Nidra” is also an excellent resource.