विवेकख्यातिरविप्लवा हानोपायः I
The method (upāyaḥ) to ending (hāna) suffering and reaching a state of inner freedom is achieved when one has continuous (aviplavā) clear (khyātiḥ) discernment (viveka).
PRACTICAL LIVING Summarizing what we have been discussing in previous weeks, sūtra II.16 stated that suffering (duḥkham) is part of being human, but can be avoided. The cause of this suffering is misperception (avidyā), as sūtra II.24 explains. This current sūtra explains that in order to remove suffering and experience our deepest capacity for love and inner peace (see sūtra II.25), we need to cultivate ongoing discernment (viveka).
These teachings are essentially telling us to practice awareness every moment of the day. We are reminded that there is a part of us that is constantly changing (body, thoughts and emotions) and one that simply observes. Practice stepping back into the Observer’s role and detach from the emotional rollercoaster. Emotions pass. They come and go. The practice of awareness is one of connecting to that Observer within and disconnecting from the volcanic emotions that easily take over our lives.
The next time you are furious or super excited, take a moment to observe yourself. Your emotion will want to take control, it has done that for decades. So the practice is to give the reigns to the Witness and simply watch the “movie of me” as Krishna Das says.
IN THE YOGA WORLD In essence, when we are able to continuously remember that the body, thoughts and emotions are transitory, and that the soul is eternal, then we experience inner freedom. All the practices that we do in Yoga and many other spiritual philosophies are geared to being aware of how powerful the thoughts and emotions are. From that understanding, we gradually begin the journey to detach from our super-glue bond to them, and simply observe them. This leads to awareness, that non-judgmental part within.
The popular asatoma chant reminds us of this:
asatoma sad gamaya – Lead us from unreal to real
tamasoma jyotir gamaya – Lead us from darkness to light
mrtyorma amrtam gamaya – Lead us from death to immortality
INSPIRATIONAL PERSON Today I can only think of the graceful and elegant woman called Barb. What a human being! I recently have described her as having this beautiful balance of steadiness like the thick trunk of an old oak tree, and the softness and flexibility of that tree’s branches and trees. I am truly inspired by people who are willing to grow, and Barb is. I am so honored to be part of this woman’s life. She inspires me with every story she tells, every yoga class she teaches, every broken collarbone that life throws at her. Love you Barb! Thank you for being part of my life!
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 look at the seven steps to inner peace!