Week 11: Freedom From, Not Denouncement of, Desire Brings Peace (Sutra 15)

“Meditation is possible only when the mind is free from attachment. In fact, you need not even practice meditation if your mind is completely free from all selfish desire. You will see that you are always at ease; you will never become restless and never dissapointed…you need the practice and the non-attachment; and, of these two, the non-attachment is the more important.”

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Sutra (Thread) or Lesson 15: Drstanusravika Visaya Vitrasnasya Vasikara Samjna Vairagyam

Drsta: seen, experienced | Anusravika: heard | Visaya: object | Vitrsnasya: of him who is free from cravings | Vasikara: mastery | Samjna: consciousness, clear knowledge | Vairagyam: non-attachment

Desire can be a beautiful thing when it is paired with non-attachment and comes with a foundation of discernment.

When desires are controlling a person instead of that person simply responding to their desires from a place of choice, however, then this lost control/corruption of the mind and senses will create a situation where that individual is perpetually trapped in a cycle of suffering. When everything that a person thinks about, does, and maybe even speaks of, is based on an uncontrollable urge as opposed to a controlled power over themselves or their urges, he/she can never be at peace. Instead, this person will be in a state of constant grasping for fleeting experiences of pleasure as opposed to peacefully receiving, and constantly enjoying, the blissful pleasure of simply being alive.

In order to achieve peace in the constantly-unfolding present moment so that one can eventually attain enlightenment, one needs to be free from desires; free in the sense that one is not attached to these desires, even though absolute renunciation of desire itself is not required for this freedom to be achieved.

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Week 10: Reflections on Practicing Continuously And With Commitment For As Long As It Takes (Sutra 14)

What is your “why” for practicing?

“When it comes to spiritual work, no one can ever define or understand it’s personal value except…[you], but the fact of the matter is that most people generally pursue self-development and spiritual work because they have a sense that it will somehow make them and their life better in some way…”

Week 10 Reflections

Releasing Toxic Stress, Trauma, And Adversity From The Mind And Body Through Yoga

The effect of toxic stress, traumatic events, and adversity on the mind and body varies from person to person, but it has been well documented, and studied, that if events and circumstances are so overwhelming that victims are unable to quickly recover by integrating these occurrences into their life and being, toxic stress, traumatic events, and adversity can all have long-lasting and devastating consequences for their victims’ mind, body, and life. And, ultimately, through the resulting karma (actions that have a cause and effect in the world) that comes from these occurrences, toxic stress, traumatic events, and adversity can also have devastating effects on one’s family, community, society, and the world as a whole as well.

Events/circumstances such as natural disasters, social and economic disenfranchisement, irreversible environmental pollution, devastating loss, forced migration, war, domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, vehicular accidents, child abuse, emotional abuse, oppressive/aggressive work places, living in dangerous neighborhoods, racial, sexual, or religious discrimination, witnessing the violation or trauma of others, or psychological shock of any kind, etc, can all have long-lasting and devastating impacts on a person’s life and psyche.

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