Sutra I.8 – Chapter I, Sutra 8

विपर्ययो मिथ्याज्ञानमतद्रूपप्रतिष्ठम्॥८॥

viparyayo mithyājñānamatadrūpapratiṣṭham

Misperception (viparyayo) is information we believe is accurate until the actual nature (rupa) of the object/situation is revealed (if it is ever revealed to us). It is misperceiving or seeing incorrectly.

PRACTICAL LIVING     We are constantly receiving information and processing it. During this fast and often subconscious process, information/knowledge (jnanam) gets warped. This may happen due to: (1) poor sensory perception (I see a stick and think it’s a snake); (2) failed logic (I saw a snake on this path 2 years ago so there must be a snake today as well); and (3) information from an unreliable source (a friend who is not wearing his glasses tells me there is a snake). Misperception/viparyayo is considered to be the most frequent activity of the mind. When interpreting other people’s words and actions, we are continuously judging and frequently misperceiving or misunderstanding others’ intentions. The error may be recognized later or never at all. Viparyayo is intimately connected to two other activities of the mind: memory and imagination. The aim of Yoga practice is to recognize and control the causes of misapprehension.

A recent and vivid example I experienced of viparyayo happened yesterday while on a road trip. While driving, I heard on the local radio (somewhere in Tennessee) that the town had caught some people making and selling methamphetamines. However, two people were still on the run: one of them was a woman. Seven hours later and two states south I stop at a hotel at 10pm. After (what I perceived) was an awkward analysis of my person, the desk person informed me they were full (even though I had called 10 minutes before and was told they had rooms). The second hotel welcomed me, but in the middle of checking in, the desk person nervously excused herself and later returned to finish the check-in process. Once I was in my room, I received a phone call asking me if everything was okay. My memory went back to the drug dealers on the run. My imagination went wild: I looked at myself in the mirror to analyze whether I could look like a woman on the run…maybe…Reflecting back, I was tired after 12 hours of driving and likely misinterpreted many of the people I came in contact with. My fear of cops bursting into the room in the middle of the night did not happen! Misperception + Memory + Imagination = Wild & Crazy Thoughts.

IN THE YOGA WORLD     Viparyayo can lead to suffering. Sometimes, however, not knowing the truth or not perceiving reality can be a blessing. Ultimately though, the goal is to heighten our awareness, noticing the colored lense that prevents us from seeing things just as they are, and experience pramana (correct understanding). On a deeper level, we experience viparyayo when we over-identify with our bodies, thoughts, values and emotions. According to Samkhya (read description), the school of thought that Yoga is based on, it is crucial to understand that we are indeed bodies that think and feel, AND who have a true essence illuminating everything else. Viparyayo leads us to incorrectly identify only with our bodies and minds leading to conflict: racial, religious, political (i.e. my tribe believes in something “more correct” than yours). According to Samkhya, deep down, we are all exactly the same. If we could all see that (pramana), the world would be more joyful!

INSPIRATIONAL PERSON

Papu is a man who has always been there for me whenever I was in crisis (i.e. in a state of viparyayo). He has a powerful ability to listen and humbly offer his straightforward and simple perspective. Simplicity is key at those times since viparyayo is intimately connected to imagination and complication when he receives panicky phone calls. A man with a humongous heart and immense generosity, I am deeply thankful to life for this amazing human being! In this week of Thanksgiving, it is with huge amounts of love that I thank Papu for being there either personally or on skype whenever I’ve needed him! Love you PapaBear!

Do you have any experiences you would like to share? Please interact as much as you like – everyone will learn from your personal experiences!

Thanks and we will look at imagination/vikalpa next week!

50 thoughts on “Sutra I.8 – Chapter I, Sutra 8

  1. I have fairly poor vision and when I do not have contacts/glasses in, I misperceive so much of the world around me. I like to do this as a reminder sometimes as to how easy it can be to react to something just based on our imaginings and misperceptions. I often worry about how other people see me and use a lot of failed logic to “make sense” of misperceived actions. When staying at a hotel in San Luis Obispo back in April, my boyfriend and I turned off the lights to go to sleep only to find the room illuminated by eerie scribbling on the walls painted on with glow-in-the-dark paint. The paint was not at all detectable when the lights were on. We were both so unnerved that we called the front desk immediately to request a different room. There were no other rooms available so we had to stay in the room with the glow-in-the-dark paint. We both mentioned that we felt like we were being observed in this strange way and we left one of the nightstand lights on that night! In retrospect, it was really quite absurd and I laugh at how we let our imaginations run wild. So, yes, it is certainly easy to let our imaginations go crazy without our attending to the un-reality of those thoughts!

    • I love the idea of wearing glasses in order to be able to see. In that sense, yoga is the pursuit of finding the right pair, just like when we go to the optometrist and they switch lenses until the “right” one is found and we can see things clearly🙂 Thanks for the example of the glowing paint on the wall!

  2. Quite a few years ago I was out to lunch with my parents and my sister, and my Mom said that she had always tried to not show favoritism between me and my sister. My Sister said that my mom had always favored me (and I agreed) but she was fine with that because she always felt that my Dad favored her (which I had never even thought of). Now I can’t help but be bothered by it. It’s so silly but I wish that conversation never happened. Both my parents insisted that they did not favor one over the other but now I’m not as sure as I was before. And remember I was OK with my mom favoring me!

  3. Virparyayo=wild and crazy thoughts. Love the analogy. It speaks so much truth! I often find myself suffering due to these types of thoughts caused by misconception and judgement. Just recently I struggled with this and another samskara-trying to please everyone-within a group of friends while planning a party. I misunderstood communication via email (which is so easily misconstrued!!) and obsessed over thoughts trying to understand the intent. I started to go out of my way to make sure everyone was happy in the situation-over and above what was necessary. As time went on I realized I was the only one having these crazy thoughts!! The sad truth is that we all live in a world of judgement. We can’t control the thoughts of others nor should we concern ourselves over them. As yogis we understand pramana and that we are all the same within. We must focus on this truth and our good intentions to end our suffering.

    • A lot of what Yoga is about is improving the quality of our relationships. A HUGE part of this is communication. With time, reflecting on different aspects of our lives we begin to see our relationships as unique opportunities to see ourselves and change…yes, it takes work🙂

  4. The first thing that I thought of when reading this is in a social setting when you’re at a party with a friend where you don’t know anyone, but your friend supposedly knows everyone. But in this case you don’t know if your friend is a reliable source or not until you take action. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems that an example of this could be something like your friend saying, “oh, don’t go talk to that person because he’s a loser. Oh, yeah, that one over there is really sweet, you should meet.” So basically you allow your friend to guide you in what your perception should be. I normally try to be aware if I’m the friend that knows everyone and just say, “I’ll let you make your own judgement”. Am I completely off on this or is this correct? 🙂

    • I love the question Daniel! We love our friends so much! But sometimes even the best intended people can misperceive things. Memory of a negative experience in the past can cause us to label people as “jerks” or “lovely”. People have good days, bad days and they can change. The best type of perception is “pratyaksa” – direct experience. I suggest you try talking to the “loser” – you may “win” a friend😉

  5. After 911- I think everyone was on high alert and maybe stereotyping people. A couple weeks after 911- I was on a plane to visit family in Tennessee and there was a man who looked similar to the pictures of the guys who hijacked the planes and myself and people around me were all staring at him. He sat down next to me and I got very nervous. About 20 minutes into the flight- this man and I were in a deep conversation and laughing about stupid things. Looking back, I experienced a moment of viparyayo.looking back I am embarrassed , but I have learned from my misjudgement

  6. I think there are times when we are all judged by others and we judge others as well….sometimes w/o even knowing..which is awful, but becoming aware is the 1st step towards change…and then lead by example🙂

  7. It is so funny that I would read and respond to this sutra today! Yesterday, while talking to a friend, he casually told me “It is never what you think it is.” He and I have a joking friendship and we like to give each other a hard time so naturally I responded by saying “Sometimes it’s exactly what you think it is.” We went back and forth like so for a while, and had a pretty good laugh. This sutra makes me see that funny moment in such perspective, though! Not only were these words that my friend and I shared valuable pieces of wisdom, but both of us were right! Sometimes it is absolutely not what you think it is (Viparyayo) and sometimes it is exactly what you think it is (Pramana)! It’s just that viparyayo happens a little more naturally, which is why we must actively try to achieve pramana. My friend will be pleased to hear that neither of us were wrong! Hahah

  8. Furthermore, I find it so super interesting the way our abilities such as memory and imagination can cause us either great suffering or great joy, depending on how we choose to channel them!

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  10. Not unlike many I’d think, I had some trouble transitioning from high school to college. One thing that bothered me was that I felt there was no one like me. For example, it seemed that most people were more concerned with partying than studying. While for some this was true, I was too quick to judge and shut myself away from people, which lead to some sadness and a delay in developing deeper friendships. In this way, I see that my viparyayo of others lead to some suffering during the beginning of my college career.

  11. I have found that I experience the most ridiculous cases of viparyayo when I am sending and receiving text messages. I really dislike this form of communication because I think it is a confusing was to speak with someone and everything can be interpreted entirely different than you intended. At my weakest times, I find myself wondering things like “why didn’t they put an exclamation mark at the end of that?” or wondering when someone genuinley types something if they are being sarcastic. The worst is when someone takes a very long time to respond and for some reason I feel a sense of rejection, when in fact, not being glued to your cell phone is a great thing! With my close friends, I now prefer to email with them so there is more space for elaboration and less chance for misinterpretations.

  12. Jana – I hear you! Except my viparyayo is with emails, especially at work. I am generally very friendly and sometimes when I receive a less-than-friendly email, I start to question myself, “Did I miss something or word something incorrectly/offensively in an email?” “Did I forget a meeting?” “Did I not say hi/miss a birthday/etc.?” The list goes on… Through yoga, I’ve found that I have to not concern myself with what I may or may not have done; I have to let go of the results (and many times, I’ve found that people are just busy and any moodiness has nothing to do with me).

  13. Misperception/viparyayo is considered to be the most frequent activity of the mind – this statement is shocking but at the same time makes a lot of sense – It would be lovely if pramana was the most frequent activity of the mind, however I imagine this takes a lot of work to achieve… Lately when I am angry or upset I have been trying to ‘step back’ and remind myself “this anger is coming from avidya and viparyayo and I should let it go”. Through this practice I am realizing just how strongly the ego attaches to and feeds off of suffering. Even with taking deep breaths and reminding myself “this is only temporary, there’s no need to be tense and hurt myself”, I can still feel my heart beating fast and my mind trying to slip in thoughts like “you should be angry! They lied/ditched you/etc.!”. This sutra reminds me and reassures me that it’s all a work in progress and that the aim of Yoga practice is to recognize and control the causes of viparyayo.

  14. I experience viparyayo on a daily basis, but I have noticed it happens more often when I walk into a situation already feeling frustrated or upset about something else. It’s easy for me to project those negative feelings onto other people, places, or things. Now that I’m more aware of this behavior it’s a little easier to take a step back when I realize I’m doing it. However, I will continue to work on letting go of things before I begin something else in the hopes of approaching each new challenge with an open mind.

  15. This is a frequent situation I find myself in. Simplicity is a powerful means to release all illusions that I create with imagination and extrapolation. I catch myself in misunderstanding most frequently with the people I love the most, due to attaching them my interpretation of their actions of words. I find that exercising (even the simple physical activity) helps me clearing a lot of imagination and fear.

  16. Something that happened this morning reminded of the unfortunate state of our minds, and how we often find ourselves in viparyayo, misperception. I follow this yogi, a rather popular yogi who lives a seemingly wonderful and fun life in Aruba, on instagram and today she posted something I didn’t “agree” with. Before I had all the facts, I assumed (and incorrectly so) that she had fallen prey to the highly contagious illness of vanity (primary cause: fame) some yogis contract and never seem to recover from. She had posted she met with an “agent, ” I, erroneously and indignant, felt somehow betrayed this wonderful yogi I admired would take on a “yoga agent.” I left a message on her instagram page, assuming my not so anonymous note would go unnoticed, after all she has over 500k followers! I wished her the best on her new pursuits but that I did express disappointment on her acquiring an agent. About two hours went by and I then realized I had a new notification: she had actually responded to my message! Very nicely she clarified she is writing a book and she was meeting with a book agent. Not only did I feel utterly stupid, I was deeply humbled this wonderful and incredibly popular yogi had taken the time to respond to my little message but that she was gracious enough to clarify her agent situation. She owed me or anybody else zero explanations and yet her kind soul allowed her to show me rupa, the true nature.

    As always, I am trying (and at times, miserably failing) to un-fog my mind and not let mispercetion guide my mind or actions but instead see things/situations/people for their true nature.

  17. This sutra reminds me of my last position at my old job. I had so much viparyayo. My boss was not directly involved in my daily work, she slightly oversaw what I did, but mainly I was running the account on my own. However, although she gave me a ton of autonomy, I had a lot of doubt. I never received positive or negative reinforcement from my boss, so I just moved forward with how I thought things should be handled. However, I was never confident in any of my decisions. I always felt like my next move would get me fired. I had a constant fear of being fired. When it came time for my review, my boss said that I was doing a great job, but I needed to be more confident. My viparyayo was that I was not doing a good job, which in turn made me feel less confident. What I really should have been thinking was that I was doing a great job and feel confident in my decisions. It is only from yoga that I am able to look back at this moment in my life and reflect on it. At the time I felt so lost and confused. Now I look back and think, I was rocking it and I need to be more confident! If only I had a little less fear and a little more confidence! I am constantly working on this in my life and hope through the practice and focus of yoga I can attain more confidence in myself.

  18. This sutra resonates with me quite a bit. When I look into the future and plan my life and set goals I tend to freak out when things do not go perfectly to plan or one set is out of place. Thankfully through my yoga practice I have learned to just live everyday as it comes. I have this new saying I tell myself that really helps not be so controlling of my future. “its only____(insert what day it is” so for example if I start worrying about plans over the weekend and I am trying to plan every minute of a trip, I take a step back and say “it’s only Tuesday”. It reminds me that the weekend will come when it comes and to worry about it days in advance is silly. This ties into viparyayo because I can’t perceive what exactly will happen with my future weather it be weekend plans or my career, until it happens, so why stress about it now. Yes I still set goals and plans for myself but I just let it ride and go with the flow. I don’t want to have a misperception of my life and see unclearly because until the situation happens I will never know whats going to happen.

    • Great reflection Christine! Viparyayo also results in us having to know EVERYTHING that is going to happen, when this is profound misperception of reality. Working on letting go is a pretty advanced yoga practice.

  19. It’s funny how much our emotional state can play into our own misperception. When I allow myself to become really hungry (I call it hangry), when I am in a bad mood, or extremely tired my viparyayo most definitely increases. In these states I know that I tend to over dramatize situations in my head and I become hypersensitive of others actions and reactions. This happened to me today actually, the day started off with a spilled cup of coffee then grew from there. It was sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy actually. The morning continued with co-workers calling in sick, a caseload double the norm and by lunch I convinced myself it was a terrible day. My mind even went to the dark place thinking that my co-worker was faking being sick (I know, it’s terrible). I was feeling pretty bad for myself. I started to come back to reality after a hearty lunch, and later after a really wonderful yoga class, I was laying in Savasana and reflected on my emotional day. Instead of taking on the challenge of a busy schedule, I started feeling bad for myself. As soon as that happened, I created this misperception somehow that the world was against me today. It was only when I stepped away, that I realized how ridiculous I was being. It is quite fitting to read this sutra tonight.

  20. Over the years I have learned to try and see a situation from another person’s point of view to help me understand why they may have reacted in a certain way. I try not to necessarily make the situation about myself to get a the heart of the interaction whether positive or negative. I do this to help against misperception (viparyayo). Hopefully through my yoga practice I will be able to look deeper into reasons why I may be continuing to misperceive things in my life.

  21. I struggle a lot with viparyaya. I try to be aware as I can of other people’s perspectives or understandings of events or situations, but I think that somewhere along the way from them to me, the misunderstanding occurs. I have realized that is one thing to be empathetic, and quite another to assume that someone is thinking a certain way. While it’s important to be sensitive to others to get a fuller understanding of, just about everything, it’s also important to recognize that I cannot truly know another person, nor should I lean unnecessarily on their expertise (or my perception that they are experts) at the expense of my own experience or deduction.

  22. They don’t call it the “monkey mind” for nothing. The mind is designed to always be moving, judging, and thinking. That can sometimes be a good thing because the mind’s constant attention keeps us alert and aware of danger in our path (a car speeding towards me as I try to cross the street). The flip side is that the mind’s constant motion can lead to “wild & crazy thoughts” with no connection to reality. For example, if I see someone’s attention wandering during a conversation, instead of automatically assuming they don’t care about me or what I have to say, I should consider other possibilities. The person may have a personal problem that is weighing heavily on their mind, not had enough sleep the night before, or even heard someone calling their name in the moment I was talking to them. All of us are guilty of interpreting others’ actions the wrong way; sometimes we need to just take a breath, step back from the situation, and realize that things may not be what they seem after all.

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  24. We don’t always have the benefit of time, but I find that when I have time to assess a situation while taking a couple breaths, I can avoid some viparyayo. Sometimes anger or fear is inevitable… (for me at least). More moments of clarity lessen the chances to be angry or scared. I’ve also found recently in giving my best friend’s advice that rather than giving them reactionary advice, I’m inquiring about the cause of their dukah or avidya. Rather than reacting to a misperception, it’s more efficient to grab the windex, spray your mirror down, and figure out what is clouding the clear view.

  25. I traveled to New York last October with a friend who I had known for three years prior. We were close the first two years but life sort of separated us for the third. We bumped into eachother and began hanging out more in March of 2013. By August, we were planning a first time trip to New York. A friend who I had known didn’t think it was a good idea, but I payed no attention. First day in New York, on the train to Brooklyn – I started seeing a side of her I never saw back home. She was rude, disrespectful and inconsiderate. I ignored her behavior and saw it again the second day. I started to realize that her behavior was intolerable and could get me in trouble. I had a very large misperception of her that took me another two days to truely accept. It was hard since I’ve always been very good about choosing people who I keep around. I had to take into consideration that life may have torn us apart years ago for this very reason.

    Thankfully I had friends in New York, so what was a 7 day – 6 night stay with Julia turned into a 4 days and 3 nights. It’s unfortunate but glad I could part myself from it.

  26. I think when I was younger I always had misconceptions when it came to my own safety. I remember being in 6th grade and being at home by myself. I was not left alone for very long periods of time and I lived in a very safe neighborhood, and yet I let the stories I read in the news influence my thoughts on my safety. At this particular time I was positive that someone was trying to break into my house. I ran and locked myself in my parents’ room. I even called my grandparents to tell them that I saw the doorknob turning and someone was trying to get into the room. In reality, I was hearing the drying machine and I am not sure why I thought the doorknob was turning. This misperception not only terrified my grandparents who came rushing over but also sent me into a state of anxiety for a good 45 minutes.

    It actually took me years to feel safe in my surroundings. There are times I still wake up at night and I have to actually tell myself to stop and think about what is happening around me. I feel by taking this moment to step back I am able to clear some of the misperceptions I may encounter.

  27. I find that a ittle misconception or mischief here and there is okay as long as it doesnt hurt anyone or make anyone upset. What i mean is as long as it is under control and i am aware that i will have a better understanding of the matter after studying it, then i am alright. But when it comes to business or relationship, things could get ugly. I get burned so many times that i keep telling myself now to take it slow and easy, question your basis or assumptions and put yourself in other’s shoes. That is, to understand why and where they are coming from. At the end of the day, i always learn something new and that i know very little about everything else. Challenge yourself, be open and learn to listen; i keep following this yet forgetting from time to time🙂

  28. I have misperceptions often, and it usually has to do with people. I believe it’s also called jumping to conclusions. I do that too. I practice slowing my preconceived notions, based on past experiences and making wrong connections between past experiences and what is happening at the moment. Yoga practice helps me to slow down and not put things together in my mind that don’t match.

  29. I started a new job several years ago. My co-workers warned me of my new boss. They told me not to trust her, she was not someone who would help me if needed. To my surprise she came to my defense without being asked. After several years of working together I found the exact opposite to be true. She is an amazingly strong women who cares deeply. She encouraged me to be me and has been one of my greatest mentors. This is mispercetion’s/viparyaya!!
    CC

  30. oh my gosh…i do this DAILY! The mom guilt and the what ifs! I do have to chat myself down a path of “that is silly, stop wasting energy worrying or coming up with situations that are not real” BUT I also think that this mechanism exists to help us gauge and recognize that gut instinct of something not feeling “right” it is a balance for sure!

  31. I have a friend that is this rock to me. She simplifies everything. She is calm, clear, and happy. She listens to me and then smiles. I then stop and really listen to myself…..it’s powerful

  32. one thing i consciously try not to do is form an opinion of someone based on one meeting. someone may just be having a bad day and i don’t want to misperceive her/him as cranky and rude, or, on the other hand, overly upbeat.
    in today’s world i think a lot of misperception happens due to lack of face to face or voice to voice communication. we’re trying to interpret meaning, attitude and intent behind emails and text messages. we don’t have the benefit of hearing inflection and excitement or tone of voice to help with understanding. we can get carried away with those wild and crazy thoughts and what-ifs.

  33. The first personal experience of this that comes to mind for me is how both of my parents view ALL pit bulls as vicious, dangerous creatures- including the two that my best friend owns with her husband and 3 year old boy. Although they have never had one, nor experienced a negative situation with them, they have extreme personal biases against them based on other people’s opinions and experiences. I believe their jnanam warping comes from failed logic (A toddler from an unknown family got bit by a family pitbull), and information from unreliable sources (A biased report on the dangers of pit bulls on the news or from a distant friend source). Because of these beliefs, they are unable to see these negative experiences with pit bulls as isolated incidents, and that every single pit bull is their own creature; they all aren’t horrible dogs. In fact, they can be quite the contrary- my best friend has some of the best, most well-trained dogs I’ve ever seen, but my parents still refuse to go to inside their home because of these two dogs who have no history of bad behavior.

    I hope one day that they become more open to the idea that not all pitbulls are bad. There have been times in which this has affected their close relationship to my best friend- but she has learned to move past it somehow. Don’t get me wrong, I have an extremely close relationship with my parents- but like any parent/daughter relationship, there are these small things that are easily noticed and frustrating to deal with. Other than that, my parents are the most loving people I know! Further proof that this sutra can hold true to anyone in all different kinds of ways.

  34. Many times I have been nicely surprised learning that for example, a person that I just met was intelligent, sweet and thoughtful and due to previous viparyaya my judgment of that person was so incorrect. Or sometimes, I get stressed out before a test and after it is all done and over I see it clearly that it wasn’t a reason to be nervous or stressed out about. Less judgment more clarity will improve our well being and state of mind.

  35. Oh misperception – how well we know each other. I recently had an interaction with someone that hurt me deeply. I decided to confront the issue and talk with that person. After our conversation, it was clear she had a misperception of me. She jumped to conclusions and judgment and I felt so misunderstood. Each of us came into that initial interaction with baggage. She acted the way she did because of the experiences she had, and I reacted the way I did because of my past experiences. I still grapple with how I want to move past this. Is it someone’s fault? Even though most of my friends say my feelings were valid and she was in the wrong, what does Pantajali say about the other person? Is there always a victim and villian in misperception? Are both parties always at fault? Or is it a combination of the two?

  36. It is sad, but as a human person I know I have to live seeing everything through a lens of sorts. There is no getting around the sway of my memories, experiences, culture, and of course the occasional misunderstanding.Recognizing the bias has made this more liveable. In my early twenties I spent a lot of time soothing ahurt ego when I couldn’t please everyone or understand everyone or explain everything. This sutra reminds me that we all know only what we can see with our own eyes. (metaphorically, of course🙂

  37. I am learning not to respond to things with my knee-jerk reaction, as it us usually based on viparyayo. Taking time to step back from a situation or find some clarity before reacting is not always easy. But in the times I am able to slow down, I have found it greatly improves my chances of revealing the rupa. I just wish I did not have so many teachers of this lesson.

  38. I am enjoying reading the sutras’ emphasis on how Yoga can bring us into correct understanding. Yes, we all fall victim to our own misperceptions at times. Sometimes these misperceptions can be dangerous, and sometimes it can be comical as we read in the example above. I think that when we become so attached to any single perception, that is when we need Yoga to remind us of true understanding which removes our bias or judgment from whatever we are observing. I have a tendency to be very firm in my convictions, which at times can be a strength, but at other times I am becoming aware that perhaps I am putting too much truth in my own view and not seeing the object or situation truly for what it is.

  39. This sutra made me think of the power of communication. The imagination can be such a powerful part of why misperception exists and I think if we all began communicating a little bit more, it would help to eliminate the wild and crazy thoughts that can come along with memory+imagination. I try to communicate as clearly as possible, ask questions, and clarify often in my professional and personal relationships so that I experience misperception less often (at least with person to person interactions).

  40. In Psychobabble speak, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a similar approach to managing viparyuyu. The difference is yoga involved the breath and body to help remove misconnected thoughts. It reminds me of my now healing broken collar bone. When a collar bone breaks it most often is allowed to heal naturally, and will grow together fairly close to normal. In my case the bones would not grow together normally because of how they were broken, they would grow together but be malformed. It is like putting thoughts and circumstances together in a haphazard way and what is left is not what is a natural or rupa thought, but rather a misperception.

  41. As a student both within Yoga and within grad school, the similarities mentioned above between Yoga and Cognitive Behavior Therapy really stood out to me. I am pursuing a degree in counseling/art therapy, so CBT is quite familiar to myself and Yoga is becoming more familiar every day. Both hope to change the misperceptions held within a person, often through specific tasks. People are encouraged to work towards the truth in many ways, ranging from direct action, breath work to meditation. Both Yoga and CBT acknowledge the individual and the flaws that can develop throughout life. They strive to remove those flaws through the individual taking control over the self and finding ways to change those inaccurate thoughts and viewpoints. Yoga teachers and therapists often share similar goals: to open a person up to the truth and thus bettering that person with a clearer perception of the world, their own being, and their place within the world. I hope to one day instill the positive values of both a yoga teacher and a therapist to those that have been met with mispercetions/viparyayo, opening their eyes to the truth and shedding light on their inner selves.

  42. Some time before and during my yoga journey in teacher training, I was making several changes in my life. I left my corporate job, moved out of my brother’s house and was not hanging out with all of my acquaintances as much as before. I was busy with these changes I was excited about and focusing on myself. So, when I made time to spend with a couple of friends, one of them with a serious tone said he needed to tell me something about another mutual friend that I grew up with.
    He said that she was saying things to our other friends, like that I was in an evil cult with this yoga thing, questioned how must I do it to handle my new rent/expenses on my own after leaving my brother’s house and leaving the corporate job and also thought it was weird I cut my hair short.

    I went through a series of emotions, a bit heartbroken, disappointed and upset that people I considered close, that I thought knew me the best since we grew up together are talking about me this way. I never would have thought this friend would speak of me this way. I love her and never judged her in anyway. So I was mad at her, but why would I be? I didn’t even hear it directly from her and she may have not even said any of those things. If she did say them, they were all misperceptions of me anyway. I saw myself judging her and the person that told me negatively and interpreting things about them in my head with just that bit of gossip that may or not have been true. I’m glad I saw myself jumping on that vicious cycle of the minds and was able to laugh at the stories that played out in my mind.

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