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Exploring Inner Space

     Billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos are racing to outer space as if that is the final frontier. Actually, since humans have already landed on the moon, and the Hubble telescope has brought us images deep beyond our galaxy, the race appears to be a way to explore a new commercial frontier.  I like to say that the exploration of individual inner space will always be the final frontier. The fruits of such a pursuit go beyond earthly rewards.

     Yoga is the vehicle and the breath is the booster rocket that propels the mind to enter this subtle inner space of consciousness which the body occupies. This inner space can be explored in postures, as well as in meditation.  The movement through postures awakens us to the presence of prana shakti. Prana is often defined as  life force. This life force is the impulse of cosmic, absolute consciousness to create life. Given this primordial source, prana is infused with omniscient intelligence. This is the intelligence that allows our cells to replicate and grow from an infant into an adult.  This intelligence of prana switches on and off genes according to our environment.  This intelligence of prana allows nerves to send impulses and blood to flow.  This intelligence of prana is the force behind the breath.  When we are present with the breath we begin to become present to prana. 

     Meditation on the breath draws the mind to prana. The ultimate experience of meditation is when the mind is fully absorbed in the pulsation of the creative life force such that  the boundary of the body (and the attached self-identity) dissolves and nothing else exists but the awareness of the space of consciousness. Yoga is to explore this cosmic impulse and intelligence to uncover the depth of who we truly are.  Entering into this space we are embraced with nurturance, and benevolence. From this experience we re-enter the mundane world of stocks and bonds and poverty, wars and protests, fires, droughts, and floods, with a new intelligence and clarity of how to coexist in the world. 

     Without exploring this inner space how is it truly possible to appreciate the spaces outside of us? Going to the reaches of outer space, and even to our immediate surroundings, without the knowing of this inner space becomes an ego-centric, and often reckless activity of the mind. 


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