This is the Samadhi Pada (Chapter or Book 1), sutra #2 of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It appropriately follows the first, "Atha Yoganushasanam" - which basically means "And now, the science of yoga..."
This sutra (#1;2 - Yogash Chita Vritti Nirodha) has taken on numerous meanings for me. It has many different levels of understanding - as does ALL of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. These aren't straightforward lessons, oh no, these are the multicolored, multilayered gems that grow with us as we grow. Never standing still. Never one dimensional.
"Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuation of the mind" is one interpretation. And as I get older and my practice(s) deepen, I am always brought back to this sutra.
My mind betrays me at every turn, at every opportunity. I am either living in the delusion of the past or in the fantasy of the future. I am ALWAYS it seems, living in some construct of my mind's own making. Living in a story of my own creation. And these never-ending stories have become a prison of which I am becoming more-and-more aware.
As within, so it is without.
I've been listening to Rage Against the Machine at work these last couple of days. This puts me in the 'fighting mood' as it were. Not to be taken literally of course. More so, it makes me look at the world we live in and feel the incredible frustration, disappointment and anger that this EXTREMELY powerful band was able to capture and convey through their music. I wish they were still around. We as a society need the kind of 'kick in our complacency' that these guys were able to deliver. Where have their like gone?
Then I read an interview article this morning with Tias Little about how he has completely embodied the teachings of yoga and expresses them throughout every aspect of his life. He is a brilliant teacher and has a simple, but powerful message. Don't do yoga, allow yoga to do you. Of course I speak of the yogic lifestyle - not just the asana/Hatha Yoga practice. The life of mindful contemplation of the present moment is the freedom we seek from the prison of our own frenetic minds. When we embody the lessons of yoga - we connect not only on the level of the micro - but also on that of the macro. I will admit that my own meditation practice (and I use that word rather loosely), is haphazard at best. The practice of asana comes much more easily to me. I am learning to 'quiet' myself a little more each year. The Mysore Ashtanga practice has helped me with this to a great degree. If it weren't for this 'quiet time', on an almost daily basis, I would have to say that I probably wouldn't be in the 'place' where I could even conceive of writing this blog - much less attempt its subject matter - namely myself under a microscope. Public therapy.
Quiet down. Get out of your own mind - out of your own way. You are NOT your thoughts. Associate with 'higher vibratory energies' - activities, friends, work, food, media, etc.
"Does this path have a heart?" and "To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life" (Carlos Casteneda).
You (Barry) MUST lead a disciplined life. If I don't, I am lost.
Much love and peace to you all - everyone - everywhere.