It is the obstacles of the mind that prevent or delay Yogis from reaching their goal of Samadhi.
No other person, entity, or thing, can prevent you from succeeding at your goal of Self-Realization since your goal is internal, unless you, yourself, have not built up the internal fortitude to overcome the internal obstacles that are necessary to overcome to move forward on your path before you ultimately leave planet Earth through death at the end of your life.
So, though others can assist you with working through any mental blockages that may prevent you from moving forward, it is important to note that only you alone can walk your path and you alone will have to do the work that is necessary to overcome any distractions that may be holding you back or threatening to hold you back as you journey onward. Only your internal compass and internal state determines your “success” or “failure” at any point on your journey to Samadhi and ultimate Self-Realization.
In my second business, I have worked on a number of different programs and have, therefore, been fortunate to speak to a large number of different people from all walks of life where I have learned more about human beings and their lives than I could in any other context. I have learned about the human psyche and its accompanying behaviors at it’s best and at its worst more clearly than I did from any books, and I have observed the cycle of life from firsthand interactions and reports from thousands of people. In the process of learning about others, I have also learned quite a bit about myself as well.
One of the most important lessons that I have learned from interacting with so many people in so many different contexts, and observing myself through these interactions (not from reading or hearing about it but from seeing it myself), is that a person’s state of mind and consciousness sets the foundation for the quality of every experience that they have in life.
State of mind/being sets the stage for how humans respond during unexpected emergencies, during times of material inconvenience, during illness, while facing the realities of their existence, and even just while going about their day. A person’s state of mind sets the tone for every interaction that unfolds in his or her experience, so it is no wonder that Patanjali emphasizes so clearly how “mind-stuff,” and the distortions and distractions like the 9 discussed in this week’s prompt, can grow into obstacles that get in the way of the Self-Realization that Yogis seek.
When I taught grammar to Kindergarten to Middle School children, ran a Girls’ Leadership Academy program where I organized and facilitated activities and events to empower young women to become active agents in their lives and communities through positive enrichment experiences and growth-centered learning, and later taught an empowerment workshop for adult female survivors of abuse, one of the main things that I always emphasized for my students was the idea and power of focus in one way or another, and the same applies for my Yoga students.
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