With each round of vAstu introductory course, we get the opportunity to unravel a new, deeper layer of learning through the experiential framework.
In our last workshop, we explored the following fundamental questions – ‘What are the different ways in which we receive knowledge? And where does the knowledge get stored to be retrieved again? While we are taught in school that knowledge is often linked to the brain and the intellect, which other parts of us get activated in the process? Yoga and vAstu seem to be activating these other parts, can we explore this further?’
After 15 minutes of sketching, the fascinating discussion that followed made us all aware and appreciate the many different parts in us that are open to imbibing knowledge everyday. The eyes and hands, a few recognized, were primary ways in which they received knowledge. ‘Besides the mind, I find my hands also store knowledge’ one of them said. Especially through working with soil, materials of different textures and craft. Others shared that their ears and feet were also receivers, though the feet were less activated.
Do our lifestyles in cities allow us spaces to connect to the earth with bare feet?- one can wonder. ‘I work in front of the computer all day. I feel my eyes and head are activated continuously while I feel no connection to my feet or other parts of the body’ one participant reflected. ‘I have compartmentalized a lot of information in my brain- all the practical information on how to manage my home, my family, my work which takes up majority of the space. Perhaps connecting with nature (Prakriti), vAstu, Yoga & Jyotish, can help me restore my connection with my body and heart.‘
Another participant shared ‘There was a time when my head seemed to store everything but now I see the body has it’s own flow, intelligence and memory. It knows how to get in and out of different asanas on it’s own now! ’ He also noted that when he read or listened to music and chanting, it often got stored in his heart. I am able to recall the words or sounds from the heart, not the mind, he said.
A few women shared how they received and responded deeply from their heart space and wondered if they were ‘feeling too much’. This opened up a deeper discussion on society’s conditioning and expectations/ judgements thrust onto each gender. It became clear through the discussion that both men and women suffered from being discouraged from connecting to their emotions freely and openly, that often got internalised in different ways. How can we get through this? one may ask. And once again, the answer seems to be – continued awareness and reflection. A young mother in the group shared how she was connecting to a whole new side to herself and way of perceiving the world after her child was born. ‘A heightened sense of awareness after child birth is common’ the elder in the group resounded.
Another shared that he had experienced at moments that knowledge was also passed down from ancestors. ‘Sometimes you wonder how you already know something.’ ‘There seems to be a stream of knowledge from ancestors that is there if we are open to it.’ ‘Reading too much and becoming arrogant blocks this flow of knowledge’ he had observed, he said.
There were a few who touched upon integrating the knowledge, bringing in all that they receive through the senses and different channels to a focused center and strengthening areas that needed attention. After a fruitful, profound sharing of 30 minutes, we agreed that ‘experiential exploration is a way to strengthen our connection to our authentic selves and to practice embodying it.’
Sashikala Ananth concluded the session with a profound statement by J. Krishnamurti ‘ Your mind knows it’s way back home. It has traced that path a hundred times. So trust that it will find its way and focus on the Higher mind.’
We hope to continue such enquiries in the space we co-create with participants in our upcoming vAstu workshops.