Swadhyaya – स्वाध्याय – Self-Study
Does practicing Swadhyaya tell us to study the self, or to regularly practice studying? Yes. Both of course.
You immediately make a face, you don’t wanna study.
“You don’t want to learn, you’re done with school.”
“You don’t think you have the time for it.” Cough Netflix. Cough. These are excuses easily taken care of by Tapasya. Tapasya (Niyama #3.)
Swadhyaya is a path to freedom, as it is the practice of learning or un-learning all of the things that hold you back. Swadhyaya is a 2- Part agreement: first with yourself and secondly with your respect for learning.
Part 1: Swadhyaya actually means to study the self, or self-analysis.
This agreement is with you and your best friend: also you. As your best friend, you need to know you better than anyone else. You need to listen & talk to you, trust, encourage, and love you.
- forges a deep connection and sustained communication with the higher self. This is miraculous if you think about it! Without any help from Facebook, you can intuitively receive information from everything around you. A breeze, a song, something someone says, a serendipitous run in, etc.
- If you can see your life as one would read a book, or participate in any activity that cultivates a reflective consciousness you are practicing Swadhyaya.
- The soul tends to be lured by activities that lead to discovery and illumination. Note: This is not the same as taking a quiz to see what your spirit animal is, but in reality any challenge can become an opportunity to learn about yourself.
Part 2: Don’t go Full Zombie. The moment that you think you know everything or that you know more than everyone else is the moment you die.
It may not have presented itself as “giving up” but that’s what it is.
- Curiosity is your fuel signal lighting up on the dashboard: You need gas.
- You have to feed your imagination. Travel. Read. Create.
- Don’t know how or what? Start asking questions, or just start. You will learn in the process.
How you may have fallen into Full Zombie Mode:
- It made sense at the time, an admittedly low point in your life… Try asking, “Why am I still here?”
- Everyone else is doing it, so whatever… Ask yourself, “If someone drives down a one way street the wrong way, am I going to do it?
- Perhaps your cynicism is no longer manageable… But ask, “Why am I miserable?” “Why don’t I trust anything, Why don’t I want to know anything, or why don’t I care about my life?”
Whatever the reason: when you disengage from your life, you’re going full Zombie. It’s really f**** hard to come back from Full Zombie.
Be forewarned, the Swadhyaya classroom is a relentless one.
- In order to be a self-studier you become teacher and pupil. You are the only person who can design and adhere to the curriculum. You will instantly become aware of all of your negative tendencies, who you have turned into, and how terrible this may make you feel. Welcome and accept your limitations as this is where learning begins.
In this practice of self-study you must find the source of…
or Self-loathing.. You will also learn how cunning you are and will be tried by your own deception.
Combing through these knots is teaching yourself to accept what you learn about you. This leads to true compassion and transforms your energy with everything around you.
The more we do this, the more we are free.