by Michael Ketterhagen
“To be born as human and to live in the world…
is a blessing and a privilege,
for it offers an opportunity to [decrease] and
eventually eliminate the world of afflictions [kleshas],
which are our own creation.”
--Pandit Rajmani Tigunait
As humans, we have the incredible opportunity to get rid or at least diminish the power of the five afflictions (kleshas) that bind us to fear and burden our entire lives with pain and suffering. They are our ignorance (avidya) of the spiritual reality of our lives, our identification with our bodies and minds instead of with our divine nature (asmita), our intense likes (raga) and dislikes (dvesha), and our fear of death (abhinivesha).
Being a human being gives us the chance to undo those knots of horror because “all the forces, characteristics, attributes, qualities that we need to be healthy, happy, strong and determined [beings] is right here” at the entrance to our bodies, at the tip of our nose, according to yoga.
When we focus our breath on the flow of life within us for just three minutes, we will briefly experience freedom from each and everyone of those painful human afflictions.
It doesn’t take long to do this.
I know this because that is what I kept experiencing, though momentary at times, during my cancer recovery process. I briefly was able to experience the stillness, enthusiasm, joy and nourishment of life when I felt my breath as it flowed past the opening of my nostrils up to the corners of my eyes and the bridge of my nose to the center of my forehead, inside.
The only challenge was my effort. Sometimes I would want to just give up focusing on my breath. The difference, however, was dramatic when I let go of my focus. I felt sick, nauseous, overcome with fear. At those times, my mind was aware my pain and suffering. Staying focused on the life force flowing past my nostrils to the center of my forehead taught me that I had the ability to experience the freedom of the fire of the Divine within and not the bondage of my illness. I really was able to create my own human reality.
It is taking me a while to continue this learning because my mind keeps forgetting that the Divine Mother/Christ is the essence of my life. But I move more and more toward health and wholeness, the more I experience the divine life force of my breath moving past my nostrils and into the center of my head.
Now, just switching my awareness to the breath in my nostrils brings me back to the truth…being human is wonderful! Making a decision to live in peace and harmony is my human destiny!