Sutra II.11 – Chapter II, Sutra 11

ध्यानहेयास्तद्वृत्तयः I

dhyāna-heyāḥ tad-vṛttayaḥ

When these (tad) mental processes (vṛttayaḥ) are active one can eliminate (heyāḥ) them by practicing deep contemplation (dhyāna).

PRACTICAL LIVING     In the last sutra we discussed how important it is to be mindful when the mental processes derived from the kleśa-s (misperception, attachment, avoidance, ego and fear) are subtle. In this sutra, on the other hand, Patanjali says that when the kleśa-s are in full swing, they are palpable, providing us with a great opportunity to understand them. When the kleśa-s are active, we are usually in pain, which manifests as duḥkha (emotional suffering). This means that suffering has the potential to be one of the greatest teachers we have in life. How do we use anxiety, fear, stress and anger to learn more about ourselves?

1. Look for a teacher: when our old and recurring seeds activate, we can look for someone who has the ability to perceive behaviors and patterns that we cannot.

2. Make a list of what triggers your kleśa-s. If you’re not sure, begin to notice when you feel irritated, angry or insecure. These feelings are great indicators and when noticed, can become wonderful teachers.

3. Carve out time in your day to be alone and reflect. What does reflection time look like for you? Some ideas are: lying down and reflecting on your day, writing on your journal, going for a walk in nature, reading self-reflective literature, an individualized yoga practice, prayer…

4. Review Sutras I.30-39, when we discussed some tools such as: Sutra I.30 (understand the obstacles we encounter); Sutra I.31 (knowledge of the symptoms of suffering); Sutra I.32 (commitment to one thing at a time); Sutra I.33 (friendliness, compassion, enthusiasm and detachment); Sutra I.34 (focusing on the breath); Sutra I.35 (understanding the power of our senses); Sutra I.36 (connect with the heart center); Sutra I.37 (connect with an inspirational person); Sutra I.38 (reflect on our dreams); and Sutra I.39 (choose your own meditative object – anything that brings you to a lighter place).

IN THE YOGA WORLD     The word “dhyāna”, or meditation, can be practiced in various ways depending on where we are in our paths. We have described several ways above. As we move along the yogic path, our meditative practice is second to second, moment to moment. Life becomes our practice as opposed to just 60 minutes per day moving in a rectangular mat. Sutra II.1 tells us about Kriya Yoga – practicing action, reflection and letting go in every action and thought that we have. The Bhagavad Gita, another important ancient text describes how we can practice Yoga in life: make every action devotional – acting only to get closer to our puruṣa, our soul.


Aahhhh, Kadita, what a beautiful woman! Her internal strength inspires me. The SUTRA II.11-KADIpillar of her family, she loves unconditionally. She gives like a waterfall gives to a river. She warms those around her like the sun warms those whom it touches. She is committed to expressing herself to the world. She is devoted to her magnificent children and husband. Her courage allows her to go places and live experiences the bravest warriors. Kadita, I learn so much from you! You are light, generous and so loving! Te amo cunhadinha!

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 discuss the concept of action and consequence!

3 thoughts on “Sutra II.11 – Chapter II, Sutra 11

  1. Ah klesa’s. How can I recognize my own? It’s so easy to see someone else’s. So my latest practice is to ask myself “how am I feeling right now? What is important?” I even have this written out on my desk and in my phone! What are some other ways ?

    • Dearest Carol, I just saw this comment. Duhkha, or emotional discomfort, is a true teacher. Our practices help us develop awareness. The more aware we are, the easier it is to be present (not avoid) when discomfort hits us. Can we stay with this discomfort and feel it? This presence shines light on our kleshas…

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