The ten-day programme on ‘Developing the the Inner Being’ laid the foundation for an insightful understanding of the sacred spaces and planes of being that resonate with the essence of our inmost being, the Psychic Being.
The ‘Inner Being’ is.... we understand, becomes a loving womb to thrive in light, nurtured by the touch of the inmost being and as we nestle in this space, we birth into a newness to resume a journey where matter is wedded to spirit.
The sessions…. a veritable repository of light, underlined the need to connect with our true purpose of life and offered a brilliant overview of the potential and possibilities of the inner being as a template in our spiritual seeking and journey.
While some of the sessions provided the fundamentals to enrich our understanding, they were interspersed with sessions that directed the seekers to move their gaze to an inwardness... to the heart centre and in silence, move to a poise where one can witness the unfurling of experiences, no matter how small …. that are true to Sri Aurobindo's words: " All learning is a revealing".
The common narrative of the surface personality and the toxic patterns and complexities that arise due to its configuration of the “me”, my aspect in the scheme of life, were highlighted by the facilitators and it were set in sharp contrast to a life anchored in truth…. a truth awaiting in the wings to unfold the promise of a life woven by the expansiveness of the spirit-consciousness of the inner being. Relating to the inner realms through aspiration that sprouts from the domain of the heart sows the seed for the growth of consciousness, viewed from an evolutionary standpoint of life.
The series of sessions essayed the richness and abundance of a life defined by purpose and anchored in the stability and stillness that characterise the inner being. They focused on a reorientation of our vision by turning inward, creating a baseline of peace and silence, embracing the witness-poise, experiencing the subtleties and purifying vibration of the Presence…. And, in a spirit of love and reverence to life, sanctify thoughts, emotions and acts and simply allow the Presence to preside over life…. a life woven by threads of harmony, light, joy, peace, simplicity, sincerity and compassion. The sessions advocated simple practices and guidelines to anchor oneself and move forward to invite the light of vastness in everyday life. The outer becomes a seamless stretch of the inner magnitudes. Simplicity and sincerity are hallmarks of the authentic self. Entry-points could be breath, symbols, words, a seeking for higher knowledge, nature…. anything that is infused with a sense of sacredness and purpose .
The opening session, ‘The Person behind the personality’, facilitated by Dr. Alok Pandey, underlined the importance of the role of will and faith.... essentials for all those who aspire to explore their spiritual journey, a journey that infuses life with the essence of the divinity. It’s of primary importance to understand the layers of existence and the truth that the core of one’s being is a seed of divinity. This fundamental truth has to be held in remembrance. ’Knowing’ transforms into ‘being and becoming‘, only when one deeply engages with the profound question as to who we really are and stay connected to the aspiration of discovering the authentic self. One needs to strengthen the will and develop the faith to inch through the journey of moving away from the outer instrumental personality, that is bound by the triple chords of mind, body and emotions. The sunlit path to self discovery reveals the beauty of a simple heart, that relishes the beauty and harmony that lies in nature and revels in the power of expansiveness, gratitude, benevolence, peace, etc. One realises that connection to the inner being is the link to purpose.
Manoj Pavithran’s elucidation of the topic ‘Inner Ranges of the Mind’ initiated a step to step unravelling of the entire gamut of consciousness, of the ranges of the mind starting from the outer, to the inner and inmost.
As he dealt with the innate nature of the thinking mind, the externalising mind and the dynamic mind with their potencies to receive ideas from higher regions, to create, to think through language and symbols, one understands the cognitive frailty of the mechanical and vital mind ,that are tethered to patterns of repetitiveness, in the presence of an unconscious will.
One is awe struck by the potential the inner ranges hold.
The links: one can focus on breath as a rope to enter the inner dimensions:
Peace and Stillness, as base-lines, not only provide a respite from the cacophony of the surface-mind…but helps one to stay anchored to purpose, go deeper within, acquire the witness-poise and results in the inner being becoming wider and wider.
The Psychic Presence: one becomes aware of the psychic presence ... a Guide and a Presence that nudges us gently and chisels our responses.
It nurtures the soil of the heart to birth-qualities such as purity, reverence, gentleness…. an ongoing flowering of beauty and harmony in thought, emotions and acts.
The Inner Will: One needs to be directed by the inner will, as it’s clearsighted and holds a vast space and not the outer will, that may lead one into a loop created by endless streams of thought about the revelatory knowledge.
The’ inner being ‘shows up as one remains calm and wide in the witness-poise.
Knowledge by Identity: as one grows in the stature of the inner being we know in the very being, the nature of the rising vibrations. We can choose to disconnect from the intermittent flow of thoughts and noises that orchestrate the outer being, when we identify our consciousness with the consciousness of the inner being. One becomes aware of the inner and outer landscapes simultaneously…. one embraces the wisdom of ‘this and that’.
Dr. Don Salmon’s session, ‘The Ever-Present Quiet Mind and Aspiration of the Soul’, focused on the question “Is Surrender Enough? “and the aspect of discernment that needs to be cultivated to recognise “the true Who behind the surrender”.
Aspiration and Will are essentials in this journey of inwardness.
The powers of concentration and the power of ‘allowing’ the influx of thoughts and emotions by being stationed in the witness-poise effectuate the opening to the ever-present quiet mind. He advocated a purpose-driven approach to meditation, with eyes open, so as to be fully present in the moment-to-moment flow … in awareness and this seemingly paradoxical approach of an effortless effort, introduces us to the poise of allowing all thoughts, sensations, emotions to flow past while one continues to remain anchored to the witness-poise….the Purusha aspect that watches the play of forces.
Thus this inner permission of ‘allowing’ and ‘witnessing’ opens the doorway to the ever-present quiet mind….that can come forward for the asking. It’s a sans- friction state, as there is no resistance ….no seeking for approval or justification …in the ‘allowing’ one is free from narratives.
In this spherical space, one cannot miss the unfolding of a gentle warmth and sweetness that emanates in this inwardness. These qualities birth a newness in form and texture to every movement and act. Thoughts, words, acts flow with the poise of a sculpted precision.
Breath can serve as a bridge to stay connected.
The mantra, ‘Do nothing’ becomes rich in meaning, as one delves into the fold of silence and stillness and experiences the Mother’s Presence.
It’s the state of flow. mind, body and emotions work in harmony around the psychic and the individual will aligns with the music of the soul. This is true surrender. It has to be willed in love.
The session by Dr. Monica Gulathi on ‘Developing Intimacy with Oneself’ births from the Mother’s words, “To know oneself“….
“Becoming conscious“, is the mantra here as it’s a synonym for being intimate….as in intimacy one knows things in their entirety…. knows the texture and origin of each thought and movement, that animates the being. It’s a sacred act of including oneself in one’s circle of consciousness….being compassionate to one’s own life…. an essential quality to fulfil one’s true purpose.
The inner gaze of consciousness which is heightened awareness and a force operates as a vigilant guard, taking charge…. every emotion is weighed and those that sing the soul’s presence are allowed to permeate the being, while all negative emotions and narratives of the mechanical mind are denied entry and dissolve in this state of sincerity, losing its potency to trap the being ….
The origin of every desire stands bare as one is rooted in consciousness. Our being’s destiny in wellness stands protected and nurtured as one makes conscious choices.
Nestle in the Divine Mother’s Light and Love was the message that rang through the session…. not to torment oneself in this journey of finding perfection was another meaningful insight. It’s all about embracing attitudes and poises that are possible for us. Being present to the moment in a loving awareness and tending to the journey of one’s soul is an act of intimacy …. one needs to leave behind the narratives of the mind and its connotations. The art of letting go the ‘clinginess’, to the dictates of the biased ego, need the presence of a potent silence and an empowering relationship with the inner domains.
Arul Dev’s session, ‘Connecting to the subtle physical in the body and through flowers’ was an exploration into the subtle-physical. The inspirational fount for the exploratory practices was The Mother’s Agenda, an invaluable chronicle of Mother’s work on transforming the physical consciousness.
The practice that he advocated orients one to direct one’s inner gaze into the body and in silence and stillness connect to something that looks like matter… discover a density, inviting the loving participation of the cells to show what the subtle matter is.
As the inner gaze deepens, one experiences the consciousness of the parts on which the gaze is directed…lightness… heaviness, entanglements, joyous flow of energies show up in a kaleidoscopic vision.
One connects to the space above the head, to the core of the heart, or to the sacred spaces below the feet, as these spaces are all habitations of the higher or deeper consciousness and develops an intimacy with the silence pervading the sacred spaces.
Shifting attention to the top of the head, one slowly becomes aware of subtle movements…. a descent of peace entering the body. Receptivity to these qualities slowly ensures an absorption, leading to the being discovering a sweetness in the very substance. In this flow, peace heals, peace nurtures and peace fortifies life.
One gets to witness the rich mosaic of a movement vocabulary ….. one becomes aware of the vibrations, the energies, the points of light, the joyous silence of peace within the body.
The purpose of this journey is to free oneself from the entanglements and wing towards greater dawns ……I n the midst of our daily journey in life.
Dr. Yogesh Mohan's session that was experiential in nature was an invitation to seekers to understand the nature of everyday existence that is crowded with destabilising thoughts and emotions, bound to limitations, and defined by the complexities of the surface nature…. an existence that can be compared with life on the shores.
The seekers were directed to turn their gaze to the expansiveness of the ocean, that is home to the oceanic silence that prevails there.
The analogy underlined the need to connect to the inner ranges of consciousness, the space of the inner being and experience the nurturance of the psychic.
The experiential session focused on the art of conscious breathing .... as one breathes in the peace and breathes out the anxieties, one continues to use breath as an anchor to connect to the muladhara chakra, paving the way for breath to flow upwards.
The powerful session drew to a close with a prayer ….an expression of the being …. heart, soul and body…. pouring out its aspiration to turn towards the Mother and stay united with Her… ‘Be the Ocean’ is the calling of the soul.
James Anderson’s session on ‘Subtilising the Physical Consciousness’ was an immersive practice-based session, providing an understanding of the need to nurture and nourish the texture of the physical consciousness by opening it to the replenishing essence and purity of the inner being.
The subtle physical that surrounds and penetrates the gross body and the organs is invested with the power to impart a subtle richness to life. The subtle- physical has a greater freedom, plasticity, power and intensity, an openness, vastness than the physical body.
To experience the transformational power of this gift of Grace, one needs to deploy consciousness as a compassing power and establish a connection between the delicate, yet powerful attributes of the subtle consciousness and the gross material body. The gross body, characterised by a sense of rigidity, needs to be transformed into something flexible, free and light.
One deploys the gift of Consciousness to effectuate the transformation, as it’s a dynamic power. It can identify with the Supreme Consciousness, the Psychic Being.
The first practice based session had the participants directing their consciousness into every part and organ of the body and allowing it to saturate each part, nurturing and fortifying the part. The nature of this connection should bespeak a reverence, a sacredness. As the practice drew to a close, the participants were asked to become aware of any emergence of newness in the being…. a lightness, a joy, a descent of peace, a sense of merging of the two entities.
Yet another practice was an invitation to experience the power of the Descending Force. One needs to stay grounded in the knowledge that the divine force comes from the psychic centre. Here one directs one’s attention to the light above the head and feel its descent into every part and plane of the being.
Both the practices serve as links to stay connected to the gift of Consciousness, a soul-force and a constant companion and The Divine healing light of Mother’s Presence. They infuse life with a tenderness and purity, enriching the fabric of everyday life.
Aditi Kaul: moving away from our structured life pattern of connecting to forms and moving towards the subtle experience of connecting to the essence was the highlight of Aditi Kaul's talk. As an answer to the thought if it entails too arduous a journey, she advocated the importance of finding the entry-point....the mind, the vital or the physical and the potential they hold when they are channels of the inner dimensions of the being. A thirst for pure intellectual pursuit that seeks knowledge or the devotion of the heart or the sacred practice of making of our daily life a pilgrimage, as Sri Aurobindo suggests, could serve as entr- points to explore the inner dimensions of being, that are shadowless in their essence, being under the loving gaze of the psychic. Psychic discernment flowers as one stays immersed in this space.
The concept and practice of bringing home the mind and the vital to this sacred space was reiterated time and again, a practice that has to be undertaken for purification of the different aspects of the being, by acquiring the presence of the Witness-poise. We come to understand that a sense of ease in the being bespeaks the poignant presence of the inmost being.
Jishnu Guna’s session on ‘Communicating with the Inner Being’, focused on the progressive aspect of knowing ourselves in the light of the inmost being and establish the poise of this discovery to handhold us in life, rendering in the wake a marvellous understanding of how our acts sculpted in truth-consciousness by the inmost being can render our lives beautiful.
It should be considered as the primary aim of life. Hence this engagement of communicating with the inner being acquires utmost importance.
It calls for becoming conscious of our different parts of the being and their inherent nature when life is hinged to the surface consciousness.
Unifying the parts is the sadhana one undertakes with the supporting guidance of the psychic being. The result is a delicately nuanced relationship with the divinity within… the psychic. We must cultivate the awareness to keep the door of aspiration ajar, so as any incident in life comes to be considered a propelling factor to provide the auspicious start to this journey. The aspiration should be something wide and an expression of an inner calling.
Fostering this connection with the inner being paves the way for the emergence of psychic guidance which alone provides the light, an anchoring and a discernment to set the bar high in seeking inner progress, instead of being consumed by the tinsel-world’s perspective of success that’s ornamental in nature.
The session closed with the poignant, powerful words of the Mother:
“ Spirituality is supreme simplicity”.
Soumitra Basu’s session on the ‘Inner Being and Cosmic Consciousness’ captured the bandwidth of the Inner Being as the inner being is open not only to the depth of the inmost being , but to the Cosmic Consciousness around. It covers an entire sphere.
The session profiled the inherent characteristics of the surface personality that is a construct of the Atma and Nature and the ego-bound consciousness’ inability to provide a stable anchoring to life and its true purpose.
Sri Aurobindo defines ego in terms of consciousness. This consciousness, that’s constricted within the space-time dimension, is tethered to a narrowness in vision and belief. As knowledge and power to effectuate action are separated, this consciousness cannot wing towards an expansive newness or inner progress.
It becomes imperative for a potent power to replace the ego and this ‘being’ is termed as the ‘psychic being’ by Sri Aurobindo…. a being projected into the manifestation by the Jivatma.
The ‘inner being represents another level of personality…. that connects the psychic to the surface personality…. a bridge…. a being needed for the flowering of the psychic and the emanation of the psychic fragrance to touch life.
The inner being is constituted by the inner mind, inner vital and the subtle physical.
The inner mind is vested with the power to access knowledge that abounds in the cosmic consciousness. It has supra-rational means of acquiring knowledge… such as knowledge by inspiration, intuition, etc.; it can go up to the superconscious and scale higher planes of consciousness.
The inner vital is a plane free of impulses and desires, and is free from the constraints of time urgency. The result is mirrored through acts that flow in synch with purpose.
The “true physical” or the subtle-physical is the aura that surrounds the organs and the gross body. Developing the subtle-physical, helps in subtilising the nature of the gross body.
The session threw light on the nature of chakras… channels of communication between the outer and inner and the wisdom of Sri Aurobindo’s insight and revelatory knowledge that advocated a safe practice for the transformational power to descend down from the topmost chakra.
The session provided a key understanding of the truth that only an experiential contact with the psychic can aid the flow of the transformational force in the descent.
Tuning to the consciousness of the inner being opens the doorway to universalise our being. It takes one to new vistas of the soul; one graduates to becoming a universal personality. The session ended by unfolding the enormous dimension of the inner being…. its potency to unveil and unfurl a life that is nurtured by the soul and its ripple effect…..the state of Swastha, that leads to integral health.
In a nutshell:
Crossing the liminality and directing our vision to the subtle realms is to be the most cherished milestone in our lives, as in that moment and wisdom of recognising our inner being, we open yet another doorway to meet the godhead within us …. the Psychic.
The threshold has to be crossed, if our lives are meant to transition from the mundane to meaningful lived-in moments of life….the ten-day programme was a call that beckoned us to embrace simplicity, spaciousness and vastness that lie in the realms of the inner being and pave the way for the Inmost Being… the most beautiful aspect of ourselves to come forward and infuse our lives with its fragrance. Surrender to the soul-force of the inner realms, inviting It to chronicle its evolutionary journey. As Sri Aurobindo writes “One step and all is sky and God.”
About 25 people registered for this event.
“Enjoyed the opportunity to exchange views with fellow seekers. Enjoyed listening to senior and experienced sadhaks like Dr. Alok Pandey, Dr, Basu, James. Really liked the nicely prepared presentation by Jishnu Guha. He was very organised in his approach. Also liked Aditi Kaul''s session. She was very lucid and I connected with some of the aspects she touched upon. Dr. Monica speaks with lot of sincerity and clarity and force.”
“Vistas have opened up, yet the workshop also shone light on areas I need to be vigilant about and continue to work on with guidance. This workshop has been a key turning-point in my understanding/development of my Inner Being. I am very grateful to James and all the facilitators. Words are not enough!”
“Personally, I like the practical exercises for connecting with different layers/aspects of the inner being. I would ask to focus on this type of experiential learning, using consciousness as a practical and profound tool. I appreciated the knowledge-based approach as a supplement, and I realize this is many people's entry-point into the Inner Being.”