What is a Unification Day with Isha Judd?
It is a day dedicated to expanding our experience of consciousness, through various activities that reaffirm the values that are developed with the practice of the Isha Judd System. These basically consist of learning to live appreciating and being grateful for the present moment, loving ourselves unconditionally and experiencing unity with all existence.
The day includes
We have to be consciousness in action, not in activity. But how can we tell which one we are choosing? When we are consciousness in action, our focus is on being present, on doing things from a place where we can observe the mind, where we can notice if we are truly here now, or if we are worrying about something in the future. Are we lost in time, chasing after something, consumed by our activities, or are we here, present in this moment, using everything that happens right now to expand our consciousness? This focus is the heart of the Isha system.
This choice for presence has to stay at the center of what we do, because its very essence is our awakening, the greatest thing any human being can experience – and it’s ludicrously simple, a constant coming back to yourself, to being and loving yourself.
Students of the Isha system often ask me about the facets, wondering if they are the same as the tools of other practices, like mantras. The facets are the experience of enlightenment, and thus they express the absolute truth of the perfection of each moment. But since people are asleep, they can’t perceive this perfection; instead, they look for it everywhere, trying to achieve it on the outside. What they don’t realize is that they already are this perfection, which is in constant evolution. They already are that which they seek, because consciousness is always becoming more, and the nature of creation is to move infinitely from perfection into even more perfection.
As a tantric system, the Isha system doesn’t involve any searching or questing; instead, it focuses on a release of all that isn’t real, of everything illusory: in a word, suffering. Our work isn’t goal orientated but focuses on expanding consciousness and an inner experience of silence.
We use the facets to elevate our vibration, and every time we think them, we leave a small space between. This space is the consciousness, and the experience of it grows and grows as we practice. Why? Because that space of peace is the truth of who we are, the limitless silence itself.
And yet we experience many forms of duality in spite of this; we experience intelligence, playfulness, conflict and suffering, all of it originating in the mind, which is like a sophisticated duality-generating computer that houses its back-up memory in the body. The body then reacts to the mind with the physical sensations of all of our traumas, sadnesses and experiences, each of which helped create our perception of reality in the first place, the window of perception that frames the duality of our human experience.
What we need to have perfectly clear is that our perception of reality isn’t reality. It’s not true. The truth is the facets, and they are quite different from a mantra. A mantra is used to protect the mind; it’s a kind of hypnosis that you create by thinking a thought over and over until it takes you into a sleepy space beyond worry, but being in that space doesn’t heal what’s happening internally with you or remove your inner traumas. It’s like a Band-Aid: it provides relief to a wound but doesn’t remove the deep roots of suffering to create a permanent experience. What it does provide is a wonderful beginning step in appeasing and soothing a frantic mind that barrels ahead at 60,000 thoughts a day. Using a mantra is a great first step toward that which we desire; we must walk before we can run.
Using the facets means taking another step. Because they vibrate in such a high frequency, everything that isn’t based in their vibration reveals itself to you so you can liberate it: “Oh, that’s not true; that’s not consciousness,” “This isn’t real; this is suffering,” “That’s not even me; that’s my grandmother talking,” “These are the events of my human experience; they’re not really who I am,” and then the discovery, “I am not that; I am the space between the facets; I am the silence.”
Being in that space is a process of letting go, and this is exactly what the facets help us to do. By elevating our vibration, they create an experience of silence, and that silence, which vibrates with the unconditional love of the facets, becomes your experience inside the human landscape. Ultimately, this energy of silence is what makes the facets so different from a mantra or an affirmation; how can you use an affirmation like everything is perfect, everything is perfect, everything is perfect, when deep inside everything is wrong?
This process of letting go is incarnated in the very specific steps of the Isha system, and it’s why each step is equally as important as the facets, because the combination of each of these components takes us to a place of emptiness, filled with the vibration of love-consciousness. To create this space, we need to practice the facets constantly, removing our filters and speaking our truth. We do all of this so we can attain enlightenment: the only truth that exists. Why is it the only truth? Because we already are that.
I’ve experienced so many amazing events in my lifetime and been witness to the vast and wild array of human phenomena. It’s lovely to have accomplishments and successes you can call your own, but if you define yourself solely by your achievements, what happens when the glory, success or excitement have passed? Suddenly, you find yourself without the sense of fulfillment they provoked, and you discover how empty it all was, how ultimately impermanent. When you reach the summit of the mountain and you do not love the person who arrives with you – yourself – the disillusionment arises once more and the feeling of loss.
Instead, we must learn to incorporate the incredible and simple power of being; we do this by being the joy in the consciousness, by discovering ourselves as the joy in the giving, by focusing on transmitting our consciousness, the only real thing of value. Playfully, innocently, dancing in carefree joy, we arrive at the top of the mountain, exhilarated and alive, bursting with the wonderment and innocence of a child.
The world is full of people who are helping: they combat illness, provide food for those who have none and support a multitude of people in need; everywhere you look, there are people saving people. It’s truly admirable how all of this support eases the suffering of the world and contributes to the overall sense of wellbeing, community and unity we experience on the planet, but we have to ask ourselves what value it all has if we have yet to experience real freedom. Without freedom, without knowing ourselves and helping others to do the same, nothing of true permanent worth is achieved. I don’t mean to sound skeptical or negative about these incredible acts of kindness, but ultimately, becoming the consciousness in action is of paramount importance, because without this, the freedom we so crave lies dormant within us.
We need to self-realize so when we go out and give, and once we do that, we see that there isn’t really that much that needs to be done; instead, our giving becomes the energy of our action, our consciousness expanding and elevating through our presence. This is my wish for each of you, that you give through the energy of your love, because beyond all the illusions, that giving is the only true thing of permanent value.
Many spiritual practices are focused on the struggle and process of healing—for example, we may take many lives to find freedom, or we might reach the kingdom of heaven after a lifetime of struggle and self-sacrifice —but the Isha system doesn’t work like this; it focuses on self-realization, on the perfection in each moment, on awakening right here, right now. We embrace everything, the good and the bad, and elevate our vibration by seeing each aspect beyond judgment, and greeting it with a ‘yes’. The system’s essence goes beyond gender, beyond all plights, because when we start to identify with a particular cause, we begin to regard others as victims to an outside experience and lose sight of the perfection of the moment.
Interestingly, I’m about to do an event focused on women, but I’m not doing the event because I see women as being in a place of victimhood. In fact, I don’t see women as victims at all. I simply see them as human beings whose unconscious judgments are reflected back to them from the outside. At the same time, it is essential that we continue to work toward equal opportunity for all, both by legally eradicating discrimination and repression throughout the world and by deepening education that supports unity and acceptance for all. No human is the property of another and no human should be discriminated against because of gender.
It reminds me of a story from the 1990s about a woman and her all-female sailing crew who came up against their internalized judgments during an attempt to win a male-dominated sailing competition. Never had a woman sailed around the world, but despite this prejudice, the women entered the race and not only tackled some of the most treacherous waters on the planet, but also defied all the odds and all the negativity of the British press – who claimed they would likely kill themselves in the first round of the race – and emerged, unexpectedly, in first place. Everyone was surprised – even the women! – and suddenly, the idea of winning took hold of them, and this pressure, a far cry from the lack of expectation they’d felt at the outset of the race, made them take an irrational risk which jeopardized the integrity of their boat and made them lose their lead. In the end, they came in second.
When they arrived at the finish line, the fanfare was phenomenal; thousands of people came out to cheer for them. They had done what had before seemed totally impossible: They had completed the race and almost won! Their story shows that we can go beyond our limitations and judgments; these women went beyond all their obstacles, and it was only in the end, when they hooked in their expectation of winning, that their focus faltered and they lost first place.
The illusion of impossible or improbable is something we need to heal internally. On a personal level I see this with my horse riders; they think I’m too old. “Grandmother,” they say, “that’s too hard for you; you can’t!” But I just ignore them. I have a much deeper experience of what is true. I’m not consumed with winning. I just want to be the best of myself because I am already self-realized. I’m not looking for anything. And inversely, I win!
This is why you need to make the facets your permanent experience and why being clear on their nature is so crucial. Until you unify with the facets, you won’t know that you are perfect; until then, there is still an aspect in you that is trying to be perfect, that is driven by a goal or by a need to prove something. You need to go beyond this desire to prove and achieve, and instead focus on giving the best of yourself in everything you do. Being present is the most important choice you can make, as it allows you to be in silence. If I am present, I can see clearly. If I am present, I can find a place of stillness. If I am present, I can witness my mindlessness, my racing ahead, my preoccupation, my judgements. And this is what’s important; everything else is just the need to be right, the need to have control—more aspects of the illusion.
The tantric path offers a yes to everything and surrenders. It doesn’t fight. It surrenders to the moment and lets go of ideas, recognizing that just like the stars, there are billions of ideas, and they are neither good nor bad – they just are – and they are contained by something much, much bigger: our divinity.
Love beyond prejudices
This path is important to you because something inside of you has called you to me, some part of you that is more awake and that recognizes that you want something more than what other humans do. On some level, you arrived with a consciousness that was more alert than most, and because of this, you are awakening. And just the fact that you are awakening is already a miracle.