18 April 2009


Today my longtime teacher Hugo Cory came to Virayoga to offer a talk about attention and its role in Self Mastery.

It begins with the simple acts of observation and endeavoring to strengthen the attention so the "observer" in us is always present, aware of the aspects of ourselves that are constantly running the show as they do battle for our attention: the intellectual, the instinctive/physical aspect, the emotional aspect, the sexual aspect. All day long we can begin to watch our VOLATILITY as one takes over, then the other, "I'm hungry, oh now i want to watch the news, now I'd like to read, now I really should go running, I like him, I don't like her. And on.

The work at hand is to begin seeing this volatility. Not CHANGING this, but seeing this. HOLDING this. This volatility, Hugo suggests, is the source of our great strength, for in working with it, we can begin the process of mastering ourselves from within.

As we begin to observe in earnest, to "hold" more of the complaints, speculations, the little ways in which we lie to suit any situation, we cease gossiping and arguing; and start to see the ways in which we've been draining ourselves and our precious resources for far too long.

Hugo was clear: this is not about "repression" as our society has so clearly labeled such "holding;" this is about actually observing and verifying whether something we're about to share needs to be shared, whether it will be truly helpful to even get the "advice" we think we're seeking. It is about noticing that, more often than we might like to think, our attention will best serve us if it is trained on our inner volatility and not on directing our negativity outward, toward those around us.

It's about empowering ourselves to see our own situation and handle it with the inherent power we already possess to navigate the situation quietly, elegantly. It's learning how to MAGNETIZE what we need by offering that energetically; if we want to surround ourselves with creative, vibrant energy, we best deliver that, and only that, to the world around us.
And there is literally no other way to do it.

Among other resonant examples, Hugo spoke about each of the cells in our bodies, and their particular functions. Liver cells, brain cells, muscle cells, all have a specific role, just as each of us serve particular functions in the world. Perhaps the current economic and societal conditions are giving you a moment to really ascertain what your function is, finally. He used the example of white blood cells in the body; they go to the most challenging places and give of themselves to heal those places, to rebalance physical health. Hugo talked about those who choose to be those types of cells in the world, those who serve and heal. A hush fell over the room in that moment.

When you first deliver what you expect from the world, your heart is leading the way. In those moments, all the other "voices" have been quieted, what you "hear" is simply the clear aim, what needs to happen next in order to further your vision for your future.

This is the voice of your heart, the Intelligence of your heart, your intuition.
It arrives in the form of your very next breath.

Recommended reading:


maura mcevoy said...

Endurance was something else that Hugo Cory spoke about on Saturday. "So you have the carpet pulled out from beneath you..." he said. And then we experience some pain, some suffering in life. It's not easy. There is no magic, quick way out. No book....no surf/yoga trip to Costa Rica...no drug...will be THE cure. Only ENDURANCE. and this time spent, can be extremely enlightening...perhaps sad too...but worth living.

Elena said...

am also remembering what hugo said about FEAR, regarding kids, per colombe's reminder today:
when your kid is afraid of something, have him/her notice the feeling, how it's manifesting, and see if they can have the fear in the forefront of their experience just a LITTLE BIT LONGER, just to see if they can do it...
that builds endurance for life.

this seems to be very real for us as adults too.

julia said...

There were a number of points that particularly resonated with me during that memorable session with Hugo, which I would like to share.
We should accept everything, observe everything and train our attention to endure without JUDGEMENT. Just be there in a situation, don't control it, just listen, be still and focus.
"Have the patience and competence and world will come to you," Hugo said.
Hugo suggests to look at fear as a learning tool for our self-mastery. That's why he recommends to embrace it. (A revelation to me.)
Learn to activate our intuition. Intuition=energy=experience of certainty with a sense of direction.
Suffering is imminent, but it might promt us to change a habit/behaviour/pattern, which creates a grow.
Break limitations we put on ourselves by means of noticing and accepting our insecurities. "Come yourself down from yourself and master the beast."
Universe is a particular being: you put your creativity and positivity and it will smile back at you.

Elena said...

and julia brings up another point,
how fear can and should be used:

fear is simply a strong potency
available to us in other forms
if we take the time to be with it
for longer than is "comfortable."

a student sent me quotes about doubt
which also meshes...

"we've got to learn to live with a full measure
of uncertainty. there is no last word.
that's the silence under the chatter of our time."
-john patrick shanley

nix said...

Just wanted to write a quick thank you regarding hosting Hugo's lecture.

I wasn't sure what to think at first, but I respect your opinion enough that I tried to keep my mind very open.
In the end I found his lecture to be wonderful and very direct - which i love!

I thought I would share that - I used his answer to my question about how to work with children to help them on their own paths to self mastery with my nephew this past weekend. It was great. My nephew, Nathan, is such a special soul. I felt very happy to share this technique with him. Basically, I totally saw how helping children 'sit' in fearful situations a little bit longer....a little bit longer...a little bit longer is the key. As Hugo said, this will expand what they "know" to be possible.

as the saying goes "at any and every moment all things are possible"

thanks for sharing your teacher Elena!