"As a breeze ruffles the surface of a lake and distorts the images reflected therein, so also the chitta vrtti disturb the peace of mind. The still waters of a lake reflect the beauty around it. When the mind is still, the beauty of the Self is seen reflected in it. The yogi stills his mind by constant study and by freeing himself from desires. The eight stages of Yoga teach him the way."
-B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Yoga, 30th paragraph of the Introduction.
Mental noise (chitta vrtti) distracts us from seeing the beauty naturally inherent in the life situation. Merely turning away from the noise might not be adequate, denial or turning to a fantasy of peace can be counterproductive. I think peace is possible, even inevitable depending on your timeline... But doing "spiritual" things and imagining peace can lead someone away from reality instead of towards it. It depends on the person. I definitely benefit from meditation, but don't resonate with over-the-top spiritual language. One time, really early in the morning, a teacher asked a class I was taking to imagine blue light lifting the spine or something--it just didn't connect for me. A person can also get a bit lost in a spiritual high. I ask myself: do I want to make a nice life here? The answer is yes--and not only in my fantasy of myself but somehow registering in the content of what I do in my days. And certainly I have so much to be thankful for that is a real part of my life, right now.
Is peace connected with a person's earthly life, or is peace only existing in the imaginary realm? I think peace is something we can bring to the world. But, I am wondering if some people believe that peace is only a nice concept. If this is true--that peace is only an idea--then it makes sense that if we want to experience peace that we will have to get away from here, even escape. Ahhh, spiritual escapism...
I feel certain that in the long run this approach to peace will cause more disturbance in the mind--chitta vrtti.
Maybe a person's life, imperfect as it may be, can provide a little dock to walk out on and catch a glimpse (or more) of this reflective peace of mind. It can be a work in progress, and as a person's yoga practice and understanding grows stronger, so might the pathway get sturdier and the vision clarify.
Yours in yoga,
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone