Compassionate Sharing Circles and other so-called “spiritual awakening” Rituals are often associated with Yoga in the West. Let’s throw some light on why they are not a part of Yoga, from an eastern perspective.
#1 Yoga is Meditation. Meditation is observing one’s thoughts without judging them. By Sharing we tend to let those thoughts and feelings manifest in us as Emotions – Emotions live in the past- which defeats the purpose of Meditation: Being in the Present.
#2 While recognizing problems can help us understand our psychological imprint – chewing the cud will only reinforce our mental processes . This does not mean that we should bottle up our struggles; we need to learn from our memories to achieve transformation and not dwell on them. It’s called development of intelligence.
#3 Eastern Traditions believe that by analysis of past experiences and traumas we cannot heal, just like a scab that we pick will not heal because we are not allowing it to heal. Instead we get caught up in our issues and start identifying ourselves with them. We need to go beyond and move on.
#4 Feelings are just visitors, they come and go. The Content of our mind is not our choice but the result of conditioning from society. Why then should we exert Energy to analyse something that isn’t even ours?
#5 “Yoga is the process of emptying our mind from all its content” according to the Yoga Sutras. We slowly decrease the traffic of the mind by witnessing our thoughts. Talking about our Issues only increases the constant chattering of our monkey-mind. It’s a skill we develop and Asana is the tool
Visualize your mind as a still, clear blue lake with the beauty of the world reflecting on its surface. Thoughts and feelings can create swells and the reflections of the surroundings (our perception) become blurred. Imagine sitting by this lake and just observing the waves and ripples as they come and go and you watch it become still again, witnessing the pure reflection of beauty of the sky, trees and birds. By digging deep into the ground to analyse what lies underneath we create muddy waters and we lose sight of this magnificent beautiful world.