The practice of yoga postures is an attempt to establish the body in comfortable stability. This stability is undermined by, and challenges physical tension. Tension and tightness in the body are inevitable, immediate and inescapable foci of attention during yogapractice. The body is dramatically made conscious as areas of inertia and action. The areas of inertia are expressions of solidity. This solidity transforms the body into an ongoing object of perception.
The body is usually experienced as a means of action rather than as a solid object. It is experienced in relation to its functioning rather than in and of itself. As the means of our functioning it is experienced simply as an element in our functioning: as a process rather than an object. Its objectness is thereby overlooked.
This immediately changes within yogapostures. The requirements of comfortable stability are such that attentionmust eventually be extended into the whole of the functioning of the body relative to the posture. The solidity and objectness of the body are inferred through the experience of solidity in its active parts. Each different action reveals an aspect of the body's solidity. The separateness of the parts of the body are experienced. This is known as the realisation of functional separateness.
As a yogaposture stabilises, and the inevitable internalisation
of attention deepens, the relationship between these functional parts changes.
It becomes clear, in action rather than analysis, that an action taking place
in one part can be felt in another. What is done in the hands is felt in the
lungs. What is happening in the pelvic floor is experienced in the cranium.
Grounding the feet releases tension in the face. This is known as the realisation
of operational connectedness.
The connectedness of the different parts one to another soon deepens into a more subtle elucidation. The connections between one part of the body and another begin to extend in awareness. This extension reveals direct operational connection between each individual part and every other part. This is known as the realisation of inherent interconnectedness.
As the body relaxes and a deeper stability becomes possible the relationship between the parts of the body undergoes a further change. Within the awareness of interconnectedness the sense of the separateness of individual parts of the body, their actions and impacts, dissolves. It is no longer possible to make a distinction between the experience of one part of the body and the experience of other parts. They are felt and eventually understood to be simultaneously occurring aspects of the same process or activity. This is known as the realisation of essential nonseparateness.
These realisations occur through the penetration
of action by attention. The internalisation of attention in the body reveals,
in this way, the nature of objectness. Because attention is internalised through
the agency of action the nature of action is also revealed. These realisations
are therefore not only a clarification of the nature of objectness, but also
Initially the many actions required of comfortable stability are activated individually. This activation occurs as a linear sequence or flow in time. As the actions themselves, and the requisite operative context of internalised attention, become more familiar this changes. More and more actions, and of course their impacts, occur together. Activation of individual actions, and their impacts, becomes more simultaneous. Rather than action and attention following a linear, temporal sequence, they flower in a spontaneous, nonlinear awareness of activity. Separate actions manifest as indivisible aspects of a single process of activity.
Each action, and its impacts, arises simultaneously with all other actions and their impacts. All actions and all impacts function together as a mandala. Actions and objects that are usually experienced separately and in linear sequence are experienced simultaneously as a single field or mandala. This mandala represents a transformation in perception. It is a perceptual rather than a functional or actual transformation. The actual relationship between the parts of the body is always the same. Its inherent nonseparateness, is always expressing through interconnectedness, via operative connectedness to functional separateness. This same relationship and process manifests in the breath awareness of pranayama and the mind awareness of meditation.
This transformation is a transformation within awareness. The separateness of objects and of actions has been transcended. It still exists within its own field of reference: the field of duality. But the context within which that field arises has been elucidated. That context is pure, unqualified awareness. In pure awareness there is no consciousness of specific objects related by particular actions. There is simply a continuum of objectless awareness within which activity happens spontaneously without reference to subjects, objects and actions.
In this way the nature of experience is elucidated. When objects and actions no longer impinge on awareness there is no observer, no experiencer. There is no experience. Experience, it turns out, is a dualistic construction imposed upon the actionless field of awareness. It is predicated upon the separation of subject and obect, self and other within the field of action. It is a function of a specific perceptual perspective. The limited nature of this perspective is elucidated by the emergence of awareness, into which the experiencer dissolves.
This occurs not as a result of effort, but in its absence. Actions and objects arise within the narrowing of attention upon them. This requires effort. An effort that is occurring so continuosly it is imperceptible. Nevertheless it is ocurring. When yoga practice is undertaken as an enquiry into that which is actually happening this effort dissolves into a deep, nourishing and inherent relaxation. Within this relaxation subject, object, action and experience lose their significance. This is known as the realisation of emptiness (shunyata). This is the gift of yoga, within which the imposed sense of self dissolves into consciousnessenergy (citisakti).