The 6th Stage of Yoga is – Self Transcendence
To be or go beyond the range or limits of, to surpass…not bypass this human experience, but embrace our humanity and reclaim our power to go beyond, to rise above our stuff, to cut across karmic ties, to excel and share our unique insight, gifts, talents and skills, to leave behind that which doesn’t serve us and outshine our core false beliefs of ourselves. This is the essence of transcendence.
All of the light of our intelligence, Prajna, and the innate wisdom, Buddhi, go through the first 5 stages of Yoga (1.) Self-Awareness, (2.) Understanding, (3.) Acceptance, (4.) Discipline and (5.) Actualisation, to go beyond the limited Self, beliefs and karma.
This suggested method of working through these stages gives a clear path to liberation.
First we become self-aware, awake, mindful.
Second we identify and understand what triggers us, how we habitually react and delay the gratification and pause checking in with a set intention to practice and even a greater intention aligned to our dharma and commit to reinforce this intention as we move forward into our lives. This understanding of what you need forms a relationship to the Self as you connect with your inner intelligence, Prajna and innate wisdom, Buddhi. This connection will motivate you to approach what is arising in any given moment with a clearer path to find lasting fulfilment, contentment and even liberation from that which is causing you suffering
Third from a calmer place that is less reactive, we expand our viewpoint, empower ourselves to take responsibility for our part in what is arising and recognise our choices With awareness and understanding we can recognise what is motivating us, is it our shadow self or our light? Is it negativity or positivity? With this there is an admission of acceptance of what is as we practice cultivating loving awareness, friendliness, joy and compassion in practice YS 1.33, we embrace our humanity, forgive ourselves as we are perfectly imperfect as we see that our mistakes are our greatest teachers and emphasise self-love as we accept ourselves, our lives and what is just as it is. This establishes a sacred space where we can contently abide.
Fourth, this then empowers us to re-engage with our intention, access the unlimited resource of energy to fuel us to take wise actions to show up in our lives and to live to our fullest potential as we are connected to our unique purpose of embodiment.
We then enter the 6th stage of Yoga, Self-Transcendence, that we go beyond our limiting beliefs of ourselves, others and the life around us. We heal, transform old ways and surpass lessons we brought with us into this lifetime and even the ones we acquired as a result of being embodied as a human. Entering this stage where we outshine the past and receive an evolutionary upgrade so our causal body can move closer to its true desire: to be liberated from re-birth.
This philosophy believes in reincarnation of the causal body and it’s desire to be free from the suffering of life. Physical body dies at death, Subtle body dies at re-birth and Causal Body continues it’s journey carrying it’s Karma with it, in hopes to resolve some in each lifetime lightening the baggage it holds, so that in one lifetime it will be freed from Karmic attachment and be liberated from the bondages of re-birth. FREEDOM!
This sounds like life is just horrible, painful and filled with suffering, it’s not. There are gifts to life as we experience unsurpassed joys and blessings of being a conscious being like worldly delights, beauty and deep love. We as seekers and students have a yearning to celebrate life to the fullest, to learn as much as we can, to refine the tools to navigate this life with skillful wise action and to move, breathe, feel, love, and live with more meaning and purpose for this lifetime. What this teaching is pointing us to, is that we have come into this embodiment with a handful of issues we seem to be working with over and over again.
Whether it is how to have healthier relationships.
How to face what we are afraid of
How to be more intimate
How to believe in ourselves and act accordantly
How to let go and trust
We are a sum total of all our choices. Our current life circumstances are the result of past karma. Karma carries the notion we that we can’t escape the consequence to our actions. Every action has a re-action, every choice has consequence whether negative or positive, it doesn’t matter to the Yogi. We see it all as a learning experience gaining more insight into the Self, gaining more knowledge and energy to powerfully affect the next choices aligned to our intention.
Prarabdha Karma – Active karma. This is Karma that has travelled into this lifetime that our Causal body has brought. It also brought this embodiment which shapes your fate and destiny. We can alter the path as we have free will and we as Yogis delight as refining the tools we use to alter the course of Karma to create more meaning as we learn, grow and truly thrive in this lifetime, connected to a desire to fulfil our purpose.
Sancita Karma – Dormant karma. This Karma is our accumulation of the many different experiences in our past that shape our view point and our actions. These impressions, memories or what Yogis call Samsaras, influence the choices we take. We also accumulate many habits, these are call Vasanas. There is a hindu saying that the first 35 years of our lives we make our habits and the last 35 years of your life your habits make you. Acknowledging that we are creatures of habit, are the habits serving you or harming you? Are they aligned to your intention to have a well lived life or are they creating more Karma for the Causal body to carry?
You as the Yogi drop into Self-Awareness, Understanding, Acceptance and Practice to reshape your actions by creating a sacred pause. Example: Think about the family member that triggers you the most. They know how to push those buttons as they probably installed them. When they trigger you, there is a predictable way you react to them that is very familiar. Anger, intolerance, arrogance, impatience, self-pity, hurt…you name it…your actions are usually motivated by your shadow side. You pull out of your dormant karma a reaction motivated by these feelings. At one time these actions serve you to keep you safe and to learn how to deal with that family member, however, is it serving you now? Is it aligned to your intention? Is it Loving? Is it Kind?
The Yogi delays the gratification to react, fuelled by this shadow side, and breathe, pause and take inventory. This is how we evolve and consciously shape our karma.
Kriyamana Karma – Potential karma. We as students actively take the role of facing our karma and taking responsibility and accountability for our thoughts, emotions and actions in any given opportunity to practice. Acknowledging our current circumstances and owning our past karma are the first steps to practice and to empower with intelligence (Prajna) and wisdom (Buddhi) of our duty or dharma to see what it is trying to teach us. Becoming more skilful using the tools we have acquired so we can
learn to resolve, address and mend what is, and
realign to what matters to us most, what would be the best outcome for all involved and what would support us on this path to liberation from that which causes us pain and suffering.
In this practice we use asana to force our bodies into triggering poses that get us to react in predictable ways, “I don’t like this, this hurts run away”, we get lost in habitual roaming tendencies of the mind leaving our practice and abandoning the Self. We realise what we are doing and recommit to the 6 Stages of Yoga and finally Transcending old ways and open new opportunities and possibilities to thrive in life in hopes we can enter Self-Transformation getting an evolutionary upgrade on our continued journey.