the standstill state

photo-water-drop3

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We we use the term “standstill” we usually think of stagnation and the need to move forward. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras the term “standstill state” has another meaning. The Yoga Sutras’ objective is to lead us to an understanding of the dynamic of conditioned consciousness so as to then allow this dynamic to subside of its own accord.

The key technical term around which all of the Sutras circle is the term >>vrtti<<, and it basically means the form which conditioned consciousness takes as it acts itself out through the individual small self (ego). Continue reading

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upeksha

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017 !!!

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Upeksha is Sanskrit word. It is a seminal term in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. English words that give us a sense of what this term signifies are: equanimity, non-attachment, non-discrimination, even-mindedness or letting go. In the Yoga Sutras it is mentioned as the state of being ‘close to the Seer with great patience’.

Thich Nhat Hanh in his new book “At Home in the World” mentions this term in the following passage that I feel is a great way to set an intention for the coming solar cycle,  the New Year 2017. Continue reading

yoga sutras – seventh exploration: explosion of existential authenticity

 

Beach Cave Where I Spent Time in Contemplation

Beach Cave Where I Spend Time in Contemplation

When the objects of the mind no longer hold attraction one explodes from the center into existential authenticity. This authenticity is new and fresh moment to moment. It is spontaneous seeing and doing without separation or lag.

One is drawn to the emptiness in the break between thoughts, between breaths. As one remains there longer and longer the emptiness increases. It becomes the only thing that one desires and it holds one’s attention, like a beloved, even in the midst of all other movements. Continue reading

yoga sutras – sixth exploration: steady state of mind

“(The mind in the yogic state of Samapatti) is like a pure crystal which reflects the colors of an object brought into its proximity, but which neither receives not retains any stain on its body such as can be seen when the object is moved away from it. And even while reflecting the colors of an adjacent object, it absorbs no stain and remains wholly uninvolved in the colors it reflects.” Continue reading

yoga sutras – fifth exploration: a movement of discontinuity

Calm

Yoga Sutras

I.2 yogas chitta-vrtti-nirodhah

My comment:

All that we perceive in the phenomenal world appears to be in a movement of continuity. One thing begets another as also one thought begets another. All phenomena appear to be part of a net of occurrences that are intricately conjoined and co-dependent. As small children when we reach the age where we are able to be self-conscious and look at our situation, we appear to be embedded within this net as an integral part of it. It is as if we are born onto a fast-turning merry-go-round that is not always so merry. When on the merry-go-round it is very difficult to see what is happening because we ourselves, as our center of phenomenal perception, are moving just as fast as the phenomena around us. Thus everything seems to be a spinning blur. Continue reading

how to study the yoga sutras of patanjali

Contemplation_by_Lizzie_Bitty

It is so ingrained in our education and training that to ‘study’ a text means to discuss it, which means intellectually. It took me years to realize that there is something besides thoughts. Now I find I am often at a loss how to convey to someone that the words of the ancient texts are not to be taken in only  intellectually, and there is a subtle energy transmission that happens when we ‘tune in’ to the frequency of the ancient transmission. Intellectual understanding if an important part of that tuning in, but if one does not go further and venture into the unknown (beyond the intellect) the yeast is missing in the cake mixture and the cake will be flat. Continue reading

yoga sutras – introduction

This ongoing path from here to Here has centered around my first formal introduction to an investigation of consciousness: the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. I began yoga in 1978 for physical fitness but soon discovered that it was more deeply about consciousness. Sri Rajagopalan, my teacher, was a man from Madras (now Chennai) who started each yoga session with some reflections on how our consciousness affects our lives, and often he would base these reflections on one of the Yoga Sutras. These reflections began to change the way I viewed the world and my own life: I began to sense how essentially I was responsible for my every experience. From then on over the years I delved more and more deeply into this study with the Yoga Sutras as my guide.

This is a short introduction to tell you a bit about the Yoga Sutras and Patanjali.

“In (the) basic literature of Yoga, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali stand out as the most authoritative and useful book. In its 196 Sutras the author has condensed the essential philosophy and technique of Yoga in a manner which is a marvel of condensed and systematic exposition.” I.K. Taimni, The Science of Yoga viii Continue reading

yoga sutras – fourth exploration: ahimsa – life free of violence

ahimsa cali NS

Ahimsa denotes an attitude and a mode of behavior towards all living creatures based on the recognition of the underlying unity of life.” (1)

This says it all: Can I viscerally feel that the person, plant or animal (and even a supposedly inanimate object) in front of me is really part of the One Being which I am? Continue reading

yoga sutras – second exploration – accessing witness consciousness

In order to investigate the movement of the vrttis, the patterning of consciousness, it was necessary to access witnessing consciousness.

For me Krishnamurti’s books and recordings were very helpful in this. With practice I became proficient in following his stream of thought and went with him as he took the mind through the exercise of becoming completely aware of the mechanics of its own movement. Continue reading

yoga – explosion of existential authenticity – seventh exploration

 

Beach Cave Where I Spend Time in Contemplation

Beach Cave Where I Spend Time in Contemplation

When the objects of the mind no longer hold attraction one explodes from the center into existential authenticity. This authenticity is new and fresh moment to moment. It is spontaneous seeing and doing without separation or lag.

One is drawn to the emptiness in the break between thoughts, between breaths. As one remains there longer and longer the emptiness increases. It becomes the only thing that one desires and it holds one’s attention, like a beloved, even in the midst of all other movements. Continue reading