You Are India
Tapasya (tápasya) – “essential energy”, referring to a focused effort leading towards bodily purification and spiritual enlightenment.
Discipline, austerity, internally generated heat all contribute to the goal of burning through the distractions of the mind, supporting the individual in the search for peace and enlightenment on the physical plane. So much is said and defined as tapas and I often find myself wondering if there is a see-saw where tapas meets attachment and aversion and they actually represent a shadow of one another depending on the light shone upon it. Can it be possible that the action taken to rid the self of suffering ultimately becomes the cause of it all together?
Ultimately nothing exists without an intention, and the perspective in which an action is being utilized can make all the difference in the ultimate transformative power of an experience. And to add to that, if consciousness is truly present in action no experience can offer the same opportunity twice.
Some feel that travel or drastically compromising one’s lifestyle is the most authentic way to experience tapas. Yes, this can and is a direct method in which to access this teaching, however there comes a point where the discomfort becomes comfortable and the new teacher can be found in humbly investigating the authenticity of the intention. The act of seeking out external experiences separate from our “regular lives” in which to cultivate silence can become the noise if care and consciousness is not applied. As a novice practitioner, where one is learning to differentiate between sensation and intuition, or a dedicated practiioner seeking a study intensive with a chosen guide, it can be nice to contrive an experience to allow for tapas to manifest. However, it is important to remember that the destination is not the source of the practice or the reward. It is the willingness to remain present in your truthful life experience, re-examine the relationship to the choices you make and the stories, expectations and identity attached to them which provides the most abundant opportunity for tapas, awakening and transformation.