Week 8: Gaining Control Of The Mind Through Practice And Non-Attachment (Sutra 12)

“[M]ental modifications (vrittis/distortions) are restrained by practice and non-attachment.”

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Sutra (Thread) or Lesson 12: Abhyasa Vairagyabhyam Tannirodhah

Abyasa: practice | Vairagya: non-attachment (abhyam: by both) | Tad (tan): they | Nirodhah: restrained

The two key things that are required in order to gain control of our mind, and achieve results on our Eightfold Path, are practice and non-attachment.

Everyday, we must make it our goal to practice our Yamas, Niyamas, Asanas, Pranayamas, Pratyaharas, Dharanas, and Dhyanas as we strive to reach Samadhi. And everyday, as we practice, we may experience slip ups as we work towards perfection.

It is, therefore, vital that we not only make it our habit to continue to practice each day in order to move forward with consistent effort toward our goal of self-mastery, but that we also make it our goal to remain unattached to any outcome of our practice within any given day or moment in time as well.

Read More

Week 4: Looking Into The Mirror Of Your Projected Mind (Sutra 3)

“[T]he Seer, or true you, reflects in the mind which is your mirror. Normally, you can’t see the true Self because your mind is colored [or distorted]. [So, instead of seeing the truth,] if the the mind is dirty, you say “I am dirty”…[and] if it is all polished and shining, [you falsely state] “I am beautiful.”

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Regardless of what you see when you peer into it, however, if the mirror of your mind is distorted, you are not seeing clearly or correctly and whatever you perceive is simply an illusion that does not accurately reflect the true form or nature of what you are attempting to observe.

Sutra (Thread) or Lesson 3: Tada Drastuh Svarupe’vasthanam

Tada: then | Drastuh: the Seer | Sva: own | rupe: in (itself) color/nature | Avasthanam (Vasthanam): abides

Yoga’s aim is to help humans clear up the delusions and distortions that keep them from seeing, knowing, understanding, and expressing their true self in the world. The practice is designed to reveal the true expression that exists underneath all of the distortions that have been accumulated throughout life and history.

Delusions, illusions, distortions, or impurities of the mind and consciousness (vritti) make it so that the lens through which we peer out into the world and at ourselves (and therefore interact with, and create within, our Reality), is shrouded in falsehoods.

Lesson 3 of our Yoga Sutras does not simply remind us that we cannot see our true face/self if the mirror of our mind is distorted; it goes a bit further in this to also help us to recognize that if we can manage to do the work that is required to correct this distortion within ourselves, we can even drop the mirror all together, and simply shine our true face out into the world as we live as the fully enlightened beings that we really are.

Read More