Yogani has claimed that AYP is an open-source system. Yet, he once wrote to me that AYP RYTs should not be teaching modifications to the baseline. I'm confused.
Doesn't an open-source system allow for modifications to the baseline?
It's not really in line with the open-source paradigm if the Creator of the system is forbidding its users to make changes according to their own style and preference.
Now, if I am practicing and/or teaching a modification to the baseline, I understand the need to differentiate it as such, and to make sure a new student understands what is what. But to prohibit me from teaching any new technique whatsoever is problematic and more indicative of the old guru paradigm and hierarchical structure that AYP is claiming to have departed from.
On the note of modifications to the baseline, I want to talk about the flagship technique Deep Meditation.
In recent years, there has been quite a bit of discussion about what "easily favoring" the mantra means. I don't want to drag out the particulars, but to summarize: It is my strong experience and continued position that each practitioner must come to their own understanding of what easily favoring means.
To me, easily favoring is not simply a robotic return to the mantra as soon as your realize you're off it. It's much more fluid and dynamic. Furthermore, Christi has stated that you must not deliberately manipulate the mantra in any way. Again, that is way too robotic of a mandate and kills the active quality of surrender that occurs during Deep Meditation.
For me, easily favoring invites a playfulness which allows the mantra to mold to various layers of inner scenery, and to refine deeper into stillness. If I want to sing the mantra in my mind like a trumpet (deliberately), that is fantastic and falls under the umbrella of easily favoring. If I don't feel like going back to the mantra because it seems forceful and like banging my head against the wall, that is also fantastic, because it honors both the ease and the favoring of the technique.
Objects become our favorite (the result of favoring) because of our voluntary choice, not because of a strict parameter. So, when I inevitably return to the mantra, it is because I want to, and not because I feel like I'm supposed to. Do you see the difference?
Sometimes it's a very automatic, knee-jerk response. But sometimes it is more contemplative and whimsical. Under the umbrella of easily favoring, there is room for both maneuvers, in my experience.
I hope AYP can live up to its word of being open-source, and not fall into the trap of trying to micromanage its RYTs or its students. We have to trust in the principles of self-pacing and self-directed practice. Ultimately, these techniques are pretty simple, but with Deep Meditation especially, there is a lot of wiggle room and fundamental subjectivity involved in the process.
Also, let us remember that the purpose of practices is to cultivate a state of Being which is joyful, creative, innovative, and so forth. Practices are not the ends in themselves, but a means to an end. So when I write about my poetic insights of the physical world, and those words are imbued with joy as a result of my practices, that is the fruition of yoga. Yoga is meant for expressing joy, and not just in focusing on the practices. Why practice if we can't express our joy and articulate our enlightenment milestones?
Let's not elevate the practices over the condition they are helping to cultivate and sustain.
Or not. Do you what you like. But for me...I mostly practice to live, rather than live to practice.
Love. Radiance. Unity.