In Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy, yogi and master, Sadhguru, recounts his personal experience on the spiritual path and his journey into living with greater awareness and mindfulness. As he shares his belief in the transformative power of yoga geared to the Western practitioner, he does so in a way that is both eye opening and mystical. Sadhguru describes this self-transformation as “a dimensional shift in the way you perceive and achieve life. Knowing this is yoga. One who embodies this is a yogi.” How clear it becomes to the reader as to the aim of our time on the mat, which is one of greater union with self and a more aware state of living. As we progress deeper into the practice we heighten our consciousness, which serves to make our life more vibrant. Sadhguru reminds us that this shift is inside of us, as “all human experience is 100% self created… we see the world within ourself.” Therefore if we are constantly angered or frustrated about life, that emotion is simply a reflection of our inner state of being. Once we realize this fact, we can begin to detach from those extreme people, places and things by receiving vs. reacting, and remembering to refocus our lens inward vs. outward. This process is summed up as follows:
“If you go outward, it is an endless journey. If you turn inward it is just one moment. In that one moment, everything changes. In that one moment, you are in pursuit of joy anymore. Instead your life becomes an expression of your joyfulness.”
Sadhguru continues to lead the path forward by imparting his wisdom on the shifts that one can further experience with the acceptance of true yoga in one’s life. In a rather humorous account he tells of his experience with stress management in the US. As he asks himself the question why there would be a need to manage stress, he remarks that “once yoga take charge of your inner life, there is no such thing as stress.” In essence, we begin to relinquish our ability or assumption that we can control what happens to us, and we take a more lighthearted approach recognizing simply our ability to react. Another aspect of our lives that we start to transform is our attachment to the material world. Slowly we also let go of the desire for material things to fill our inner void and the need to use things to determine our self-worth. These freedoms bring unimaginable joy and as we release the chains that bind us, we begin to move beyond the physical world into the heart space. We break free of the mental mind, and as Sadhguru relates, the mind essentially is much of the time really “capable of thinking of that which has been accumulated by the mind. It is only recycling ad data.” So, when we leave this behind we begin to transition into a “being state” to a “heart state”; our perceptions peak and awareness heightens we just know we are who we are and we were meant to be here in this moment.
Sadhguru leaves us with one last thought on this new found state of joy: “If joy is not the ambience of your life, even life’s most pleasurable activities become burdensome… But once joy is your constant companion, you are no more an issue in your life. After that, life is a journey of endlessly unfolding celebration and discovery.”