त्रयमेकत्र संयमः I
This triad (trayam) combined (ekatra) creates a complete and exclusive understanding of the object of meditation (saṁyama).
PRACTICAL LIVING The last three sūtras described the subtle processes of concentration, meditation and complete absorption. Here Patañjali explains that when we practice these three stages continuously, they become one (saṁyama). In neuroscience, it is explained that as we make neural connections over and over again, we create patterns or get ‘wired’ a certain way. The more concentration leads to meditation, and the more meditation leads to samādhi, the easier it becomes to experience the three of them as if they were one.
Most of us begin by choosing an object of meditation that is appealing to us – one that inspires us. Then, we commit to concentrating our minds on that object daily. Committing to 5 minutes of chanting a mantra, looking at a photograph of someone you love or focusing on soft and smooth breathing day after day, will gradually lead us to a state of meditation – one where we become one with breath, the mantra or our loved one.
IN THE YOGA WORLD Saṁyama takes time to achieve. Just like a child needs to repeat the act of walking, writing or riding a bicycle numerous times, so it is with the more subtle practices of concentration (dhāraṇā), meditation (dhyāna) and complete absorption (samādhi). The results of these practices ripen when we (the fruit) are ready. We cannot rush these processes. There are no shortcuts. We can only practice and surrender to the results.
INSPIRATIONAL PERSON How can I describe amazing Ruth? I really feel I don’t have enough vocabulary to share how I love her! Her laughter sends me to such a yummy place inside! Her ability to observe and reflect are beyond incredible. And the way she plays with words and, for example, talks about death as “the biggest orgasm” are beyond awesome. Ruth, I love being with you. Our time together is enriching, heart-warming, laughter-filled and simply delicious. I see you as a big sister, a teacher, a mother, a friend, a colleague and a great buddy. Thank you for playing all these roles in my life. Love from my heart to yours!
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 discuss the results of saṁyama!