Walking Slowly Through the Yoga Sutras
I had an interesting experience the other day: I was within the field of consciousness if only for a minute.
I had my feet up as it happened. I looked at my feet and said, “What nice feet.” I wasn’t actually just complimenting my feet. I was the self as it is upon waking and before cognition. I was the me that is still me in my few visits to past lives. I was the me that is still me in my one surprising preview of a future life. I was my eternal self, the “seer in my own nature” (I.3)
It may sound funny, me just looking at my feet, but I swear to you: it had the effect of a thousand storms.
Many if not most of you have been in this sort of being at least for a little while.
The Yoga Sutras say
yogaz citta vRtti nirodhaH
Yoga is the process of ending of the definitions/limitations of the field of consciousness. (I.2)
and the Yoga Sutras give 10 recipes for how to clarify the field of consciousness which is citta (and yes one basically is dreamwork).
I think I just stumbled upon the truth of one of them, from Chapter one, sUtra 35, that goes like this:
viSayavatI vA pravRttir utpannA manasaH sthiti-nibandhanI
Or, a cognition which has arisen, related to a sensory object, holding the steadiness of mind (clarifies citta). (I.35)
There are no accidents, but how to make this happen again? The ten ways, from Yoga Sutras I.33-I.39:
being in the realization of friendship with regard to the experiences of :
— compassion with pain
— elation with virtue
— neutrality with non-virtue
–holding in or out of breath
— [what I said above] holding cognition of a sensory object with a steadiness of mind
–cognition which is sorrowless or luminous
–cognition of an object which transcends attachment
–having as supporting object the knowledge of dreams or sleep
–whatever desired way of meditation
I love this series of passages. They are pretty succinct all in all, wouldn’t you say? And I really appreciate the thought of the last one: “whatever desired way of meditation”. It feels very welcoming and supportive.
I guess I am only in chapter one in my journey to realizing yoga, (pitta alert!) but it was a great experience.
Why not work with the advice of the ten ways to being in this state all the time? What’s the danger?
I’ll tell ya what it is for me: attachment.
Attachment is holding on to prior happiness. (II.7)
Dislike is attachment to prior pain. (II.8)
That’s all there is to it. Sigh.
He who is freed from attachment,
liberated, whose mind is established
in wisdom, who acts for the sake of
yagya, his action is entirely
dissolved. (BhagavAd GItA, 23)
[Dr. Lad seems to embody the above paragraph to me.]
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Renay Oshop - teacher, searcher, researcher, immerser, rejoicer, enjoying the interstices between Twitter, Facebook, and journals.