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

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

“[L]et us not be like little children who sow a seed today and dig it up tomorrow to see how much the root went down. We need all these three qualities: patience, devotion and faith [to be successful in our goal of embodying our highest expression in our lifetime].”

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Sutra (Thread) or Lesson 14: Sa Tu Dirgha Kala Nairantarya Satkarasevito Drdhabhmih

Sah (sa): this | Tu: and | Dirgha: long | Kala: time | Nairantarya: without break | Satkara: earnestness | Asevito: well attended to | Drdha: firm | Bhumih: ground

Habits, routines, and muscle memory all take effort and time to develop (even the undesirable ones).

Some routines and practices are easier than others to internalize, and it may take very little time to build up the necessary habits that are required in order to successfully integrate these routines into your life, or into your being. This usually occurs when a new routine or practice is naturally supported, or strengthened, by something else that you already effortlessly or regularly do. For example, you may find that it is easy to integrate regular Asanas (body work) into your day as you focus on your already developed Pranayamas (breath work). This practice is complementary since effective breathing is useful for deepening muscle flexibility, strength, and functioning, and will also support you with becoming more present for that activity and, therefore, better equipped to use those same Asanas to further develop your Pratyaharas (control of the senses), Dharanas (concentration/focus), and Dhyanas (meditations) as well.

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