The aspiration to offer seekers an introduction to the psychological insights in the light of Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga, led to this programme that started on the 3rd of July and concluded on the 21st of July. The programme was offered as a certificated online course by NAMAH, the Journal of Integral Health. The aim of the facilitator was primarily to hold an exploratory space for experiential activities, through dialogue-based enquiry, relatable reflections, connected expression aided by sharings and journaling, all these as aids to look within and to bring the inner potentiality to manifestation, also enriching the collective experience. Multiple possible approaches to address the complete human being and to prepare humanity for the next leap in evolution, by consciously collaborating and engaging with "The Yoga of the Future" were offered in the sacred space. The coursework included 10 sessions focused on understanding and experiencing the processes that unfold on the path of conscious self-work for the totality of the being and the main theme remained – ‘Working on the lower in the light of the Higher’, as a key feature of Integral Yoga Psychology.
The first session titled ‘Seeding the Aspiration: the Quest to Know’ began with a discussion on the basics of Integral Yoga Psychology and how self-work is a process-oriented approach, and becoming conscious of all our actions is the key to walk on the path of self-discovery. The speaker highlighted the fact that the ancient Indian wisdom focused on the subjectivity in the study of the self and that the object of the study was the process itself. It is always the quest to know that fuels one's aspiration and one should be fully conscious of the nature of the questions one engages with, and sincere seeking can lead to discovering one’s own hidden potentials. Participants were also introduced to the idea of bridge-building between their inner and outer self. A growing awareness of the actions, thoughts, interactions, aspirations, and energy exchanges with the world all contribute to the inner journey, and serve as the material to build that bridge. This bridge-building remained one of the central themes of the coursework and gave a sense of movement and greater potentiality to the process of self-work. The session ended with a reflection on "What am I seeking? What am I offering my seeking to? Recalling the first moment when I felt the birthing of aspiration within me and where in my being/ in the world am I holding the responsibility of ‘Seeking’ the Truth".
The second session titled ‘Knowing Ourselves: Taking the First Steps Together’ focused on the different aspects of the surface personality; Mental – Vital – Physical and their role in one’s everyday functioning. The speaker shared how these parts of the being can collaborate and work towards a common goal – oneness with the Divine and how one can learn to hold space for oneself to let these parts grow collectively in alignment with the inner being. The primary requirement for that is to examine the lens through which we look at our own self and the world around us which can help us explore our sense of Identity more in detail as that determines our experience of ‘who am I’. The more we seek action-oriented identity, the more we feel distant from the identity of our essence. There is an eternal identity we seek to discover and be guided by and not be governed by the identity that is under the influence of the surface being. The session proceeded with deepening participants' reflections on the nature of identity and what it means to them. What is the story of their being that they have carried so far and how in their own experience and expression, the different parts of their being come together.
The third session titled ‘Addressing the Vital: Aligning Idea with Force’ right at the start brought participants’ attention to the fact that there is a need for expression in human beings and how it can be refined under the guidance of the higher light and lead to expression of their experience of the inner truth. Also, as we grow more conscious of the intent behind the exchange, we can bridge the intention-action gap which often is the cause of misalignments in us. The speaker engaged all the participants in an active discussion on the nature of the vital and how the vital being is a seeker of expression in freedom and wants a sense of self-assertion. The role of mental discipline in the initial stages of addressing the vital also was discussed by the speaker and the importance of purification and giving oneself processing time was something that emerged as reflection points during the process. The session further explored the process of individualisation and the ways to address the multiplicity in one’s being and connect it to the unity behind the surface form. Participants were also given some time to reflect on questions like - What hooks me to the world? What in me seeks expression? What do I want to express in the world? The session concluded with a Guided Meditation on Light, Love, Warmth, and Peace.
The fourth session titled ‘Bridging Our Many Selves: Understanding Key Processes’ started with a reflection exercise on ‘A Zoom session with self’ with the intention to bring awareness to the interactions between the different parts of the being. As we examine the role that this inner interaction plays in our outer expression, identifying the parts that are overfed or undernourished becomes a key reflection activity. Examining the role of silence and the will to work on self was explored during the session through examples and reflective exercises. The speaker emphasised on becoming aware of one’s reference point in the world and how being receptive to the force enables one to move from preservation to progress mode on the path of self-exploration. Parallel processing was one of the methods discussed in order to understand how one operates in this world of multiplicity and contradictions, and how when one works on refining the instrument, the clarity of purpose emerges. Striving for an integral expression in the world, one begins to experience and understand that our yoga is about bringing in a sense of simultaneity in inner and outer experience. "It is not this or that, it is this and that".
The fifth session titled ‘Deepening Our Reflections: Bringing Our Instruments Home’ provided the space for collective contemplations on all the discussions during the week, and what are the do's and the don'ts on the path of self-exploration that can lead to a shift from ‘what-If to what-Is’. We begin to consciously experience more and more all that is happening to the various parts of the being, and begin to sense the energy source that is fuelling the being. The session progressed with a fine balance between self-reflection and sharing on some basic questions like – "Why do I want to connect with the Divine / Where in me is the duality / Where am I on the bridge between my inner and outer", and so on. The speaker re-emphasised on the need to develop the power of discernment and the art of holding questions. The contemplations in the subjective realm get refined as we deepen our aspiration, connect better to the quality of our experience, and not feel the rush to quantify every experience using mental processing. The session progressed with a discussion on the triple psychological labour of Aspiration, Rejection, and Surrender. As the first week of the course concluded, the participants were offered a journaling exercise on "Aspiration for/ Rejection of / Surrender to.." and encouraged to stay with the experience of the entire week.
This completed week one of the coursework and the participants had a gap of ten days in between to deepen their reflection and work on a topic of their choice as part of the project work. Two sharing circles were conducted during the gap between weeks 1 and 2 with the intention to hold space for the participants on their self-reflection journey.
The sixth session titled ‘Progressing Further: Qualities as Building Blocks’ continued to build on the frameworks shared in the previous week and focused on becoming aware of the mini-projects and the mini-aspirations while discovering and aligning with one’s core aspiration. The speaker offered the qualities given by The Mother as a lens to view our everyday experience, with a special focus on the quality of sincerity. When one looks deeper, every quality is by itself complete and its essence holds all the other qualities. When we connect to any core quality in all its completeness, it becomes both the goal and the process to reach the goal. The session progressed with a reflection on the four universal aspects of Knowledge – Power – Harmony - Perfection and their contribution to an individual’s journey in an evolving life. The poise of simultaneity in the multiplicity was reiterated by the speaker and "parallelly processing" all the experiences in the light of the Inner to guide the Outer was explored more in-depth through a series of reflective exercises. The participants were encouraged further to contemplate on qualities as the lamp-post to guide them on the journey, to step back, and to create sufficient distance to witness the revelations during the reflections guided by their inner voice.
The seventh session titled ‘Harmonising the Instruments: Ego and True Individuation’ started with the speaker encouraging a reflection on the nature of our participation in the collective. As we become more individualised on the path of Yoga, tuning in with the totality of the being, bringing our individuality as an offering becomes an unfolding process. The need and place of ego as a scaffolding for the formation of the surface nature was discussed in detail. On the Yogic journey, we strive to leave nothing unaddressed and bring the purifying Divine Light to all the dark parts of our being. The speaker offered a glimpse into the inner psychological map of an individual, and how one can "make the journey through the depths of the subliminal in the light of the Superconscient". This further led to the discussion on what harmony truly means and how it can be achieved. The errors on the path were discussed and how being vigilant is crucial for guarding the process and not letting the ego hijack the journey, or to mislead the energy towards its own narrow self-fulfilling. The session progressed with a reflection on ‘true rejection'. To grow into the poise of a conscious collaborator of the divine, the individuation process must unfold, wherein the true purpose of ego formation is fulfilled and it is ready to be replaced by the psychic being. The session ended with a silent contemplation on the ego as a device of nature that holds together its action in the mind and the body, in order to maintain the uniqueness, the assertiveness, and the distinctiveness of individuality for as long as it is required. And our aim in the process of becoming a conscious being is to witness with precision, the workings of the ego from the poise of the Psychic Being.
The eighth session titled ‘Expanding Our frontiers: Living More Consciously’ began with exploring further the role of the collective, and leading the participants towards a silent reflection on the state of bridge-building between their inner and the outer self. As we progress on the path, we seek guidance from within in our aspiration for being ready to express our inner experience in the world. The focus of the dialogue shifted to the conscious action-oriented approach while being rooted and connected to the inner poise. The speaker shared the possibilities of conscious expression and how one must make the journey from "an either-or to an inclusive and approach" if one truly aspires to live consciously on a daily basis. The session progressed further to visualisation exercises with the intention to make the experience more concrete and to create space for deeper reflections on the connection with the power within. The static and the dynamic aspects of Power were explored in greater details. The speaker also illustrated the experience of different aspects of power through certain examples. Equanimity as a poise required for conscious living was emphasised. The session ended with a collective contemplation on "living in the present moment consciously, staying connected to the Inner Guide while aspiring to live the process and trusting it to unfold progressively". Progressively growing comfortable with the eternal component of Timelessness is when ‘All Life is Yoga’ can come alive in our experience.
The ninth session titled ‘Integral Expression: Manifesting Our Inner Truth’ was all about building on the ability to put the possibilities into our living practice and to keep the totality of our being in perspective while engaging with the world. The speaker briefly touched upon the core of Integral Philosophy and the process of integral expression that contributes to "the fundamental shift in our orientation from what to solve to what enables the solving" as a deeper connection with the Divine gets established in our being. The reflection exercises during the session focused on ‘discovering the key knots of the ego’ and offering them to the highest within oneself. The role of balance, conceptual clarity, and the joy of walking the sunlit path was highlighted by the speaker as essentials on the path of true expression. The reflections deepened through a few visual exercises that took the participants on a treasure hunt to find their true being and to become conscious of the roadblocks that they encountered on the way in the revealing silence within. As we continue to bridge "the knowledge-practice gap", we also get the guidance for putting it all into practice. The more conscious we grow, the more we prepare the ground for the purification of the being and manifestation of the inner truth. The session ended with exploring the role and the experience of listening to the inner voice in silence. To nurture the unfolding process, growing conscious of the subtleties of the movements, and having the discernment to be actively on the guard to protect all that is valuable on the path.
The last session titled ‘The Journey ahead: My Toolbox (Presentations, Dialogue and Keywords)’ was aimed at bringing it all together in the collective space. As we build a road map for the future, to attain a poise where we can stay rooted in the inner light for conscious guided action in the world. The facilitator encouraged the participants to step back to create a space for collective reflections on all the discussions so far. The Dialogue progressed with participants sharing their experiences and engaging further with more reflective exercises, working intimately with the keywords that resonated throughout the coursework. The final session ended with a strong emphasis on growing into a conscious instrument for collaboration with the Divine to expedite conscious evolution and fulfil the Divine purpose in creation.
This immersion during the entire coursework offered the participants a glimpse into the basic processes on the path of Integral Yoga. A better understanding and experience of the inner psychological landscape aids our efforts to progress integrally in the world. The more we work towards reconciling the surface dualities in the light of the highest within us, the more we move closer to our true purpose, i.e., becoming a conscious instrument of the Divine. It is this that we must strive for in order to grow in the school of the Divine life, as we continue walking the path with certitude, courage, and faith in the Divine Will, firmly assured of being carried by The Mother.
“The reflections were insightful and they helped in the inner work.”
“The workshop provided with more material to reflect upon.”
“The stillness is an awareness that is more real now.”
“The course material was rich and techniques shared by Aditi were amazing. Experiencing workshop was coming back to our Home where we are at peace and in certitude.”
“Workshop helps me to understand and apply writings by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in day to day life. Balance between ideas in mind and awareness while interacting with outside world was the thought, I found really helpful. How to bring this balance in real life was well explained. Systems and process in integral yoga were well explained.”
“To be the Light. Integral expression through a Psychic Poise. Harmonising the being. Changes from the inner realm. Well researched, insightful, powerful and rich sharings of experience.”
“The two extra Saturday interactive sessions were very helpful. Aditi is thorough and brilliant in presentation of the tools and articulation. She emanates Divine Consciousness, living her name. Prompted rich sharings from the participants.”
“A great connection with the Source. You could feel a great energy of Force, especially in the small meditations or silences.”
“The Home is within and not in outside world.
The outside world offers material for purification.
The inside reactions, impulses, emotions, thoughts, emerging in space are also material offered to us for purification.
Remembering and offering to the divinity-The Mother this material of nature for purification and expressing ourselves in Her guidance.
So, we all are one at one level, and the process directly or indirectly we are following is one as per nature given to us in integral yoga.”
“To contemplate upon the inner lens and paradigms for changes towards a constant progress. Possible with Mother’s Grace and help, and Her working through a receptive instrument. Silence, faith and with Mother’s courage the nature can change.”
“To harmonise the sense of seeking and the sense of interacting.”