Advaita means Non-Duality
Yoga means Unity
As humans we think we have the most enhanced form of self awareness, compared to other forms of life. An impactful side-effect of Self awareness is the sensation of I. We call that the ego. The ego gives us the feeling of separation. Separation of ourselves from the world and everything around us. It creates a feeling of a separate self and a social identity. Although the feeling is very real, it acts as a hallucination. We might find ourselves struggling with feelings like: 'Am I good enough, am I living life as expected?' Deeper questions may arise such as: 'What is God, what is reality?' And, 'Who is this I, which I believe to be?'
Most religious and philosophical traditions have these questions in common. How can we overcome or wake up from this misunderstanding of our separate Self and recognise our true Self again.
Non-Duality is one of the oldest schools of Hindu Philosophy. It's a very pragmatic tradition to conduct inquiry of the Self, and where the question 'Who am I?' is explored. The universe and You are not separate.
Another ancient Indian tradition where self inquiry is the main focus, is Yoga. Yoga means Unity. It has four main branches that form the path to the awareness of Unity or Non-Dual awareness.
Realising who or what you really are, is called self-realisation or enlightenment in all traditions.
In exploring this, we need an open mind because we will discover things we never thought about and we may discover the reality beyond our perception. At Ashram Curacao we practise self-inquiry in the Non-Dual tradition and we practice the 4 main yogas.
4 Main Yogas
we practice at the ashram
Karma yoga is the yoga of action. Action without expecting anything in return, selfless action. Action where the ego mind or the awareness of an I does not interfere. For example: 'I'm doing this or that', which may result in 'I'm doing this for myself or for you', again resulting in expecting something in return.
Bahkti yoga is devotional yoga. It is yoga which creates a relationship with the highest Self through practise. It's the process of surrendering to the true Self, which means that any concept of the divine, is the divine itself. Relaxing in this understanding will calm the mind. This can be done through chanting, rituals and ceremonies. It depends on each teacher's tradition. At Ashram Curacao you will get to know different teachers and approaches that were important to the shaping of our Advaita teacher Dolph.
Raja yoga is yoga that focuses on the mind. How do we still the mind? This is where we start understanding how the mind works. Our reality of the world is a reflection of our sensory experience.
At the ashram practise is done through Hatha Yoga, which includes postures, meditation, breathwork and mindfulness.
This is the path of knowledge, the philosophical part of yoga where realisation of Self is understood. Where the Self is constantly analysed through guided meditation, satsangs and reading the old scriptures.
At Ashram Curacao we read from the Bhagavad Gita amongst others, which holds one of the oldest teachings of the Hindu philosophy. You can attend a satsang. During the satsang we reflect on one's Self through conversation and teachings.