|Sent on:||Wednesday, July 25, 2012 5:09 PM|
Below is a summary of last night's commentary (by Sri sri Ravi Shankar) on Pantangeli's Yoga Sutras. This is video #2 of 10. Please join us next week from 6:30pm - 8:00pm as we meditate together and watch the next knowledge video. We meet at The New Orleans Healing Center (4th floor) located at 2732 St. Claude ave.
Honoring the Practice
The effort to be still, the effort to be steady, is practice. For just a second, you realize that this is this moment, the now, and then it vanishes. You feel you are not in the now. The now is not just linear. The present moment is not just a point. It is infinity in all dimensions, from all sides. That is now.
Practice is the stability in that moment. That is the purpose of practice. How is it accomplished? It is only accomplished by practicing regularly without a gap, by receiving it with honor and respect, and by practicing it with honor and respect. Then it becomes firmly established.
Anything of value takes some time to develop. Cooking, playing a guitar, learning to dance…they all take some time. To learn a sport requires a coach. Time and instruction are needed to learn new skills and games.
In bodybuilding, it takes time to develop muscles. And, if you have a trainer, he or she can tell you how to best exercise to build your muscles. But it doesn’t happen overnight. Similarly, the mind needs even more time for growth.
What usually happens with learning new things? In the beginning, we are full of enthusiasm and committed. Then, after a while, it loses its newness, its luster, and we become lazy and stop our practice. As time goes by, we lose that alertness, attention, attentiveness and honor.
The first day you sit for meditation, you feel wonderful because you are there taking it with honor. But later, you feel, “I have to meditate.” It becomes a chore. If your meditation, Kriya or anything is a little low on energy or not so charming, it is because you have lost respect for it. Not that you have disrespected it, but rather your attentiveness and alertness is reduced. That’s why you meditation on courses and in groups goes deeper. You are receiving it with honor and honoring the knowledge. In doing so, you are honoring your Self.
What is honor? Honor is total attentiveness to the present moment with a pinch of gratitude.
Respecting your own body is practice. Asanas are consciously respecting your own body. Pranayama is respecting and honoring your breath.
What is a practice? A practice is a practice when it is over a period of time without a gap. By respectfully honoring the practice every day, every moment, it becomes firmly established. This is vital. One day at a time without a gap.
Honoring the master is honoring the master’s word. Without honoring and respecting the master, your meditation will not work. Why? It is because honor and respect brings up the consciousness in you.
A good musician will honor the music and the one who taught him. An athlete will honor his coach and the lessons learned from him or her. Because of his attentiveness, he is able to move ahead in his sport. But some athletes say, “Oh, coach told me to do something, but I will just do what I want.”
Then what is the use of having a coach? Honoring and respecting the practice, the master and the knowledge is abhyasa.
There are two wheels on this cart: abhyasa and vairagya. What is vairagya?
The mind moves towards the world of the five senses. If you sit quietly, eyes open or closed, where do you go? Your mind goes towards the sense of sight. It wants to see something. Or it moves towards the sense of smell, taste sound or touch. Or it goes to something it has heard...possibly something it has never seen but it has read some thoughts. The craving for any of these experiences in the mind can stop you from being in the present moment.
For a few minutes, say, “No matter how beautiful the scenery, I am not interested is seeing. However great this food is, this is not the time. However melodious this music, I am not interested in listening now. However beautiful it is to touch, I am not interested in feeling it now.”
Retrieving our senses from the craving for objects is vairagya.
This is another basic requirement for meditation. Dispassion is necessary for meditation. Your mind is tired and burned down from galloping after desires. It is so tired. Whenever you want to sit for meditation, dispassion has to arise in your mind.
Think about all the desires you have achieved. Have they given you rest? No, they have only created more desires. Every desire achieved only gives rise to another desire. You are on a merry-go-round. Only it is not merry. It is just a go round. Your life has been a journey of galloping and galloping but not going anywhere. The mind is so obsessed with desires that it cannot meditate.
Craving for any of the sense objects is an obstruction. An expectation in meditation is an obstruction.
Your desire for happiness makes you unhappy. Whenever you are miserable, behind the misery is you wanting to be happy. Craving for happiness brings misery. When you don’t care for happiness, you are free. Happiness is just an idea in your mind. You think if you have this or if things were different you will be happy. This is an illusion. Vairagya is putting an end to this craving for happiness.
This does not mean you shouldn’t enjoy. But if you withdraw the mind from craving for joy, you can meditate. You still the five activities of the mind. Then yoga happens.
The senses have limited ability to enjoy. How much food can you eat before it does not taste good? How much sex can you have before you become dull? How many movies can you watch before you become tired? The senses are limited in their ability to enjoy. But the mind wants unlimited joy. The mind is not ready for limitations. But the senses cannot provide this joy.
The second sutra is this: Once you know the nature of your being is total bliss, total pleasure, even fear about the gunas and the world disappears. One who dwells in the sweetness of the Self does not mind if sweet is there or not. This is param vairagya, the supreme type of dispassion.