Week 8: Gaining Control Of The Mind Through Practice And Non-Attachment

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

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Sutra (Thread) or Lesson12: 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.

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Week 5: Discovering Our True Self Identity

“[W]ithout any identifications [with your body, mind, culture, history, accomplishments, bank account, etc], who are you? Have you ever thought about it? When you really understand that, you will see we are all the same.”

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Sutra (Thread) or Lesson 4: Vrtti Sarupyam Itaratra

Vrtti: modification/distortion | Sarupyam: assumes form, identification | Itaratra: at other times

It is now a proven fact that everything that ever existed and will ever exist, came from the singular event of the Big Bang.

Every atom, element, rock, molecule, lifeform (including us), and so forth, was literally created from the same explosion of potential that brought everything into existence, and it is for this reason that we can say without a shadow of a doubt that we are all one and the same, made up from the same basic elements that continue to be recycled into new forms and expand forward through space and time.

“[But B]ehind the different forms of energy is one unchanging consciousness or spirit or self.”

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Yoga’s aim is to come to a personal awareness of this truth so that we can live our lives in honor of it. Science has provided us with the confirmation that we needed to verify this statement, but our work in Yoga still asks us to look beyond our different sub/smaller identities of body, mind, culture, history, accomplishments, bank account, etc to connect with our core truth so that we can then choose to live “happy and harmonious lives” (The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali) that fully recognize this reality. And the teachings of this integrated way of life, further recognizes that it is only when we connect to this understanding of our reality that we can truly “love our neighbors as ourself” and work to create lives and worlds in honor of all creation.

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