When I was a teenager, I’m sure my parents would tell you that I took rebellious to a whole new level. I was the classic youngest of three children and I bucked the system every chance I got. I thought a lot about freedom and in those days I felt my freedom in pushing against. In my teens, I had the privilege to meet a man who was to become my Guru, Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati. He took me under his wing and taught me about the energy that was underneath my thirst for freedom. Then he showed me how to work with this energy through Sanskrit and yogic teachings. Under his loving guidance, he literally flipped the model. I learned how to face my fears, which included inner confusion and defensiveness. I also learned to understand my fiery nature and remain conscious where I had otherwise been unconscious. He taught me to work with all of it. Facing my fears, confusion and subsequent clarity became the new rebellious action. Honesty, kindness, compassion, and softness: these were my new tools.
The more time I spent studying with my dear teacher, the more I dedicated myself to what I call the new rebellion, which was the light within me.
Discovering Your Own Luminous Rebel Within
The ability to be honest with yourself about where you are confused is a critical skill to develop in your yogic and Luminous Soul practice. Being honest with yourself doesn’t mean being brutally honest. Honesty in Luminous Soul means the ability to face what is true with openness and without judgment. The skill you want to develop is honesty coupled with compassion, it’s a kind of being present to what you discover. Facing where you have confusion will actually free up more and more of your prana.
Being honest with yourself in your practice and in your life will allow you access the full extent of your energy.
Sticky Ties Up Your Energy
Maybe you don’t realize it, but when you are avoidant around your confusion in your practice or life, you inadvertently support what I call inner stickiness. The thing is that that stickiness needs energy to continue. In effect, the stickiness ties up your ability to access the full extent of your prana. What’s the solution, you may ask? Ahhh, the solution is to recognize the places you feel confused. To tag them, so to speak. To recognize them doesn’t mean judge yourself. It means be aware of the confusion and do the real work of staying present with it until you gently draw the next clear step toward you.
Shri Krishna Guides Arjuna
This is precisely what Krishna tells his student, Arjuna, to do. In Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita, verse 3.
Shri Krishna responds to Arjuna’s fear and confusion. Krishna knows Arjuna has the strength to admit his confusion and is therefore on the precipice of a breakthrough. Krishna guides him further by saying, OK Arjuna, so you have confusion, wake up to it, face up to it. This it is your duty in this life to be brave and to see deeply. It is your destiny to know your Self. To slay your inner confusion. This is the way of those who seek true freedom. This is the way of the yogis. What Shri Krsna says is what I call the new rebellion.