I heard something beautiful from Swami Kriyananda the other day - he says that the best thing we can do in our practice is to open our hearts to love and devotion. So I have decided to look to the Yoga Sutras for inspiration to build love and devotion in my heart.
This week, I have been working with Yoga Sutra I.36 - Inner stability is gained by contemplating a luminous, sorrowless, effulgent light. I feel that this sutra is particularly helpful as it can help us to take our minds away from what is not important and instead draw focus to our true selves. This sutra is guiding us to a focus of the atman (or individual soul), using imagery of light and lack of sorrow to provide a taste of what the atman is and provides.
This imagery not only helps us to pull focus to the atman, but can also help us to see that same effulgent light in others. Behind all of our sorrow, deep down in every person is that same light. Stability in our reactions and interactions with others can also be attained, I feel, by seeing that same light in others. Seeing this same light in others can only help us to open our hearts to love and devotion, just like Swami Kriyananda said.
If you have a few moments, try chanting this simple sutra - with contemplation on its meaning:
visoka va jyotis-mati
Inner stability is gained by contemplating a luminous, sorrowless, effulgent light.