As part of my yoga philosophy class, we are studying Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, an ancient text that describes how to achieve samadhi, or enlightenment via yoga, ethical living, and the control of the mind. It’s all very interesting and has all the fixings of the universe and it’s silliness. It’s a dictionary, DYI, and self help book all in one and at $8 retail, it’s a significantly cheaper alternative to therapy.
I suppose simply stating that studying this text has helped me immensely in a weeks time is a gross understatement. In fact, creating another section of this blog to detail the transformation would be a much better representation of the impact it’s had on me. So, look for that. One particular sutra from today that has helped relieve some recent sources of tension for me described how the mind perceives information. When the mind observes an object, it observes three main things: the object, it’s meaning, and our knowledge of the object. For example, I throw on my headphones and hit play. The mind processes a song is playing. If the mind is not sound, that is, practicing non-attachment in relation to the sensory organs, then the mind will process that there is a song. It will then spiral out to the meaning of the song, that is processing the notes being played or hearing the lyrics. The mind further processes our personal knowledge or experience of the song, whether it is attached to a certain memory or person, painful or not. By this point, the mind is already being carried away with its thoughts.
A song is just a song; by observing it with non-attachment, the song is separated from its meaning and our knowledge of it. This allows a renewed enjoyment of the song upon each listen, as it is not attached to other non-reality based characteristics. It also frees the mind. So that song you can’t listen to because it reminds you of an ex and its sooooo painful? Practice non-attachment. Instant and lifelong relief.