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Vrkasana

Tree Pose and the Self as a Sun in one’s Heart

     The Self in man and in the sun are one.
     Those who understand this see through the world
     And go beyond the various sheaths of being
     To realize the unity of life.
         From Verse 8.1 of Part II of Taittiriya Upanishad1

     The Self, small as the thumb, dwelling in the heart,
     Is like the sun shining in the sky.
           Verse 8 of V of Shvetashvatara Upanishad1

     The effulgent Self, who is beyond thought,
     Shines in the greatest, shines in the smallest,
     Shines in the farthest, shines in the nearest,
     Shines in the secret chamber of the heart.
           Verse 7 of [1] of Part III of Mundaka Upanishad1



THE PRACTICE



Vrkasana Sun II Image 1
Start
Move into your own version of the Tree Pose. That is, place your leg in a position that is comfortable for you – perhaps with your toes resting on the floor, with your foot resting against your ankle, inner lower leg or inner upper leg, or with your leg in the “half-lotus” position. Choose a version that will feel stable and comfortable. Bring your hands to rest on your chest, palms facing inwards, one hand covering the other and fingers pointing to the shoulder of the other hand. Either close your eyes (if your balance is good enough for this) or let your gaze rest on a convenient spot in your line of sight.

The Self, dwelling in the heart, shining like the sun
Bring your awareness to your heart space. Imagine in your heart space a golden radiant globe full of love and light and warmth and life. Feel (or imagine) this warmth and life and love and light in your heart space. Feel and enjoy. Feel (or imagine) this golden radiant globe of light and warmth and love and life, shining its golden radiance to all parts of your being. Feel (or imagine) the golden globe radiating love and light and warmth and life to all parts of your being. Feel and enjoy. Bring your awareness back to your heart space – feel the golden, radiant globe still full of love and light and warmth and life. Feel and enjoy.



Vrkasana Sun II Image 2
Shining like the sun for others
Become aware of the space around you and imagine others in the world. Straighten your arms forwards and then open your arms wide so that your arms are sideways at shoulder level – as though opening your heart space to share the radiance of the golden globe to all around in the world. Feel (or imagine) the warmth and life and love and light of the golden radiant globe in your heart space. Feel and enjoy. Feel (or imagine) this golden radiant globe of light and warmth and love and life, shining its golden radiance to all around in the world. Feel (or imagine) the golden globe radiating love and light and warmth and life to all around in the world. Bring your awareness back to your heart space – feel the golden, radiant globe still full of love and light and warmth and life. Feel and enjoy.

Others shining like a sun
Return your hands to resting over your heart – palms facing inwards and fingers pointing to the shoulders of the other arm. Imagine others around you, all with a golden radiant globe in their hearts. Feel (or imagine) the golden radiant globes in others shining light and warmth and love and life - filling the space all around. Feel (or imagine) the space all around you filled with life and love and warmth and light. Feel and enjoy.

Receiving radiance
Straighten your arms forwards and then open your arms wide so that your arms are sideways at shoulder level – as though opening your heart space to receive the radiance from the golden globes all around you in the world. Feel (or imagine) the warmth and life and love and light of the golden radiant globes all around you shining into you. Feel and enjoy.

Unity of radiance
Return your hands to rest over your heart – palms facing inwards and fingers pointing to the shoulders of the other arm. Feel (or imagine) the warmth and life and love and light of the golden radiant globes in all around you and the golden globe in your heart. Feel (or imagine) the radiance of these golden globes as warmth, light, love and life. Feel (or imagine) this shining as one radiance filling and connecting all things and all space – all is filled and an expression of love, warmth, light and life. Feel and enjoy. Feel (or imagine) one light, one love, one life in all and through all and between all – one unity of radiance. Feel and enjoy.

Peacefully
When you are ready, bring your awareness back to your physical body, your standing leg and the foot connecting you down into the ground. Return the foot of your bent leg back to the floor beside your other foot. Lower your arms. Pause and enjoy how you feel – then repeat the exercise with the other leg lifted into the tree pose position.


     The Self is one though it appears to be many.
           Verse 8 of V of Shvetashvatara Upanishad1
Reference
1 “The Upanishads” trans by Eknath Easwaran Pub: Arkana, Penguin Books.