"The Kathopanishad describes Yoga thus: 'When the senses are stilled, when the mind is at rest, when the intellect wavers not--then, say the wise, is reached the highest stage. This steady control of the senses and mind has been defined as Yoga. He who has attains it is free from delusion'"
-B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Yoga, eighth paragraph of the Introduction.
I wrote a bit about it here, and I could probably write a post about it everyday for the rest of my life and still be learning. So here's more:
Yesterday, I saw it from the perspective of "Meaning Making Mischief" and talked about how we use our minds in everyday, ordinary consciousness. In worldly experience meanings change: If I'm feeling good I might love you so much, and if I'm in a bad mood I might not appreciate you as much.
Another thing that might affect how I experience you is past experience. Maybe my friend told me that you tried to sleep with her, and you're already in a committed relationship. I might have an aversion to you based on what I heard. And it might not be based on the truth. Maybe my friend was desperately lonely and egotistical and came on to you and had framed the story in the way it was told to impress me, and to protect her wounded heart. Well... You know, things get confused.
But if I was seeing with eyes coming from clarity, what would the world look like? What kind of decisions would I be making in my day-to-day life?
What if I could look at the world without story-clouds obscuring my view of life and the people in it? What would happen if I could really see how my heart is wounded, and how it affects what I do and say? I wonder if I might change, and start to act from a place of greater clarity.
A possible route to greater clarity could exist in a regular practice (yoga) that helps us transcend ordinary consciousness for a bit of time that would allow for a moment of insight on returning to everyday life. I think this IS what yoga offers. In taking time to step out of the storm of ordinary, everyday, getting-things-done-and-covering-your-ass type of mentality we might come back to our lives with a fresh perspective. And if we do this often enough, some of the insight may gain enough power to persist and enable the confidence it takes to make a positive change.
Let's practice and see!