Sutra I.40 – Chapter I, Sutra 40

परमाणु परममहत्त्वान्तोऽस्य वशीकारः॥४०॥

parama-anu-parama-mahattva-antah-asya vasikarah

As a result of practicing the meditations mentioned in the previous sutras, the mind becomes calmer and clearer (citta sthairyam), mastering (vasikarah) the art of meditation over any object, regardless of how great (parama) or miniscule (parama-anu) it may be.

PRACTICAL LIVING     The ideal scenario is that we are gradually experiencing more and more moments of calmness and clarity throughout our months, weeks and days. The previous sutras suggested various objects to meditate on in order to help us focus the crazy monkey-mind. These practices are hopefully being extended to our mundane activities. In other words, this sutra is saying that as we develop more self awareness and as a result, understand and accept the nature of the mind, we become calmer. It then becomes easier to focus during our meditation sessions on the mat (or not) using more abstract concepts such as the breath, love, kindness…as well as focusing on our mundane activities such as brushing our teeth, vacuuming, driving or making coffee. Gradually, our days are like a string of Christmas lights, connecting moment after moment of calmness and awareness.

IN THE YOGA WORLD     The practices that we do in yoga include many different layers. We can experience anything from the tip of our tongue to the most profound inner peace within. This sutra is telling us that the results of our practice can be seen in several parts of our lives:

– both our relationships with others and with ourselves.

– our attitude towards life itself: can we embrace both the “tiny” successes as well as the “big” ones?

– mastery of yoga poses on a mat goes from savasana (lying down on your back) to sukhasana (cross-legged seated) to sirsasana (headstand) – from the “easiest” to the “hardest” poses.

– from simply being aware of the natural rhythm of the breath to practicing complex breathing techniques.

– sitting down to savor a refreshing glass of orange juice to cooking a gourmet meal.

– or directing our attention and being devoted and deeply engaged with anything we decide to do, from saving someone else’s life to painting our living room wall.

Allow your daily meditation practice lead you to embrace life fully, from a great laugh with a friend to going for a walk on a cool winter day!

Sutra I.40-David

INSPIRATIONAL PERSON     Apart from being a loved and wonderful yoga teacher, Davidzinho is simply a decentand well-intentioned human being. His practice is reflected anywhere from his interaction with students and co-workers to his engaging group classes, to being a magnificent director to a yoga teacher training program. From “big” to “small”, his interactions glow with love, with energy, with commitment. Working with you is delightful! Your communication, even through email, is so kind, so thoughtful. Thank you for taking the reigns to the program with so much grace, so much love, so much devotion! Love you man🙂

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 next week we will look at how when the mind is calm, it is very similar to that of a clear crystal.

8 thoughts on “Sutra I.40 – Chapter I, Sutra 40

  1. As a new student to CSOY and someone who practices when I can, I have yet to master meditation however, since class has ended for a few days I find myself listening to my breath as I walk down the street. As I play with my daughter and as I interact with my husband. I must say that the attention I have been conscious of offering them has come back in a very rewarding way. I try my best however not always successful to put the smart phone down, engage my breath and just be present. It feels good. Later this week, I lost my breath somehow and when I went to read my book today – The Heart of Yoga, I somehow came back to the core of what it is to just breath, be in the moment and be engaged.

  2. I feel that when most people hear the word Meditation, they think of someone sitting in a quiet place on a mat on the floor, with their legs crossed and their hands placed palms up on their knees. This is definitely one form of meditation, And a great way to find a clearer mind. But I also feel that a big part of this Sutra is to carry out a clearer mind throughout everyday activities. The more we think about and act on doing this, concentrating on one thing at a time, and putting your heart and soul into that one thing, the more often and clearer your mind will be.
    Now that I look back on it, throughout my school years… from the time I was learning to read, until I dropped out of College, I feel like I did the exact opposite of what this Sutra encompasses. Everything was a struggle. I was juggling way to many things at once academically. Along with worrying about swim practice before and after school, and if I would drop my 50 free time from 28 to 27 seconds in the meet on Friday. Not to mention going through puberty in middle school, the pressure of being accepted into the popular group of girls, and not understanding why hair was growing in places it wasn’t before. I feel like life can get a hold of you. It sure got a hold of me. My parents got calls from teachers complaining about how I couldn’t concentrate in class. If I would have been taught this concept of “parama-anu-parama-mahattva-antah-asya vasikarah” Or Sutra 40. I feel like it would have benefitted me greatly growing up. Especially in school. So many parents are quick to medicate their kids. why not try teaching this concept first. To concentrate on one thing, shut the t.v or the music off, clear your mind, and just try to focus on that thing… and enjoy it! Take the best out of every situation. Even if it is Algebra Homework.

  3. Since becoming a new student at CSOY and spending the first yoga teacher training weekend learning, I have already seen a change in my practice as well as my life. In a busy, stressful and chaotic week I was able to just take a step back and took a breath. Sometimes it is hard to not get wrapped up in life and when I was able to just push it aside and focus on the present and the good things, every aspect of the week brightened up. Because my attitude changed for the better I found my shoulders not being so tense and me smiling more. Being able to remind myself to just breath has been positive and I hope to continue this everyday.

  4. Allowing myself tiny successes has proved very important for me recently, after having unexpectedly lost someone I loved. Making it through one asana, one sun salutation, one sequence – these have all been steps in my attempts to move forward and find peace in a painful moment. Directing attention toward one thing or breath has always been difficult for me, but for whatever reason, it seems more important than ever that I work through the process of finding awareness and clarity in my practice, both on and off the mat. Without that, I’m not sure I’ll be able to provide the world with the kind of love I’d like it to see after it’s lost such a big heart. The practice requires more work than often I’d like it to, but I think the tiny successes are what give us hope that there’s progress yet to be made.

  5. Since diving into my yoga teacher training journey, I have most definitely become more aware of my moments of clarity in my life and I am able to recognize the times when I am not as aware, even at times floating through my week and days. I enjoy the reminder this sutra brings in the importance of taking a moment to recognize and appreciate the “tiny” successes in life. I know that often times I label these small triumphs as chores, and these chores can and often do become stressors for me without a positive mindset. (i.e. “I HAVE to make it to a yoga class today”, “I have to cook dinner”, “I have to do my readings). In my moments, hours, or even dare I say days of clarity these chores become privileges and I am happy and present, (i.e. “Yes! I get to get up early and go to yoga”, “I get to cook a delicious homemade meal tonight”, “I get an hour to enjoy this reading”).

  6. DAVID!!! I love that this sutra is connected to him, because it’s so true! When I look at David, I see the person I wish to be in spirit. Cool, calm, and collected. What I admire most about David is his ability to stop, assess a situation, and then acts appropriately. I know from experience that by doing so, David avoids some conflict and other problems along his journey that are petty and unneeded. I’ve been working on this for sometime now and have made so much progress it’s unbelievable! I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve said the wrong phrase/sentences that have backfired on me. I continue to fix up this chunk of my life that causes me suffering in the long run, and I look to David as my role model<3 (:

  7. Seeing the object for what it is, no love, no hate, no judgement🙂. I think it’s important to focus on the details, but be able to detach from the emotions as well. Just be an observant with every bit of attention while breathing deep breaths. As a result, the mind would be calm, clear and even entertained with the observations and meticulous focus on the object. As i understand the sutra, whether the object is great or trivial, so be it. What can i learn from it, can i see joy/happiness with this object, or how does it resonate with me?

  8. rather than detaching myself from the world by observing it, i feel meditation allows me to more fully engage with being alive! how beautiful and poetic all things can be. From an unexpected snowful at the brink of spring, to challenging interactions with others, every moment and experience is one to be meditated on and to be “with”, no analyzing or strategy, no multitasking…My mind becoming more calm and clear makes space for wonder, awe and gratitude.

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