Monday, May 7, 2012

Thoughts on Mindlessness

This weekend a teacher pointed me to Sutra 1.43 - which introduces Nivitarka Samapatti. This type of absorption exists without conceptualization. What this means is that the mind no longer registers sense objects, but instead focuses on the main object of meditation, the self.

It is hard to imagine life without registering sense objects. It seems impossible, like seeing without seeing or tasting without taste.

This sutra basically draws the line in the sand - everything else is just a clinging to ignorance. Absorbing yourself in tastes and sounds and sights is just a trick, pulling the mind away from the true object of meditation.

But what is life like without these tastes and feelings and smells and sights? Can it still be called life? Is that living?

Time is a sense object - so the yogi will not even know they have reached that state until they have come out of it. It almost sounds like a dreamless sleep.

It sounds peaceful, but without the feeling of peace.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Over the past few months I have been trying to memorize the Yoga Sutras in Sanskrit. It has been coming along VERY slowly.

I started working on memorizing
Sutra 1.14 - the longest one so far. I was working hard on it and then almost gave up. It was then that I realized the irony of the situation - I was about to give up on the sutra that translates as:

"Practice becomes firmly established when it has been cultivated uninterruptedly and with devotion over a prolonged period of time."

This sutra really hits home for me. It speaks to the importance of patience with out practice - whether that practice be our asana practice, meditation, or learning to chant the Yoga Sutras. Your practice cannot be perfected in a night, a few weeks, or even years. Commentators actually agree that it can take multiple lifetimes of perfection to reach the goal of yoga.

A practice needs to be cultivated - not found or experimented with. It takes time and devotion.