सर्वार्थतैकाग्रतयोः क्षयोदयौ चित्तस्य समाधिपरिणामः I
sarva-arthatā-ekāgratayoḥ kṣaya-udayau cittasya samādhi-pariṇāmaḥ
The transformation (pariṇāmaḥ) to being completely absorbed (samādhi) occurs when the mind (citta) reduces (kṣaya) its dispersed (sarva-arthatā) condition and one-pointedess concentration (ekāgratā) arises (udayau).
PRACTICAL LIVING Last week we discussed the peaceful place we find ourselves in when we are able to change our mental habits from being distracted to being focused and oriented inwards. Here, Patañjali focuses on the changes (pariṇāma) that happen gradually for most of us. Like a dimmer switch, our self-reflection, our practices and our desire to change have small effects, which move us towards more clarity and wisdom.
It is important to celebrate those small changes because they are slowly adding up to make a big change. In Portuguese there is a saying, which roughly translates into “Grain by grain the hen fills her belly”. We tend to discard small changes because we want dramatic (magical) changes from one day to the next. Well, Patañjali is reminding us here that for most of us, spiritual transformation does not happen instantly when touched on the head by a magic wand. Spiritual metamorphosis is a lifelong experience. And that simple realization allows us to be grateful for the small changes that are happening in our actions, words and thoughts day by day.
IN THE YOGA WORLD From one workshop to the next, one teacher/guru to the next, from one training, book, online course and retreat to the next, it is easy to stay dispersed and agitated even in our spiritual quest. The moments when we experience change (from dispersion to focus or understanding), are moments to be celebrated and cherished. Every insight is transformation. Every time we are able to stay where we are without the mind having to run a million miles per hour, is change to be celebrated. As the external shiny objects attract us less, we are able to connect inwards more. This is transformation. And this change is often reflected in the small things.
On a deeper level, a spiritual experience’s pre-requisite is to move from a state of distraction towards a place of uni-focus. Every time there is a change towards one-pointed focus, we transform. In neuroscience they say that every change in the mind creates a physiological change in the brain’s chemistry. The more we can wire our brain towards awareness and one-pointed focus, the closer we get to absorbing ourselves completely in that moment (samādhi).
INSPIRATIONAL PERSON A sensitive, funny, soul-seeking woman, Moranguinho brings playfulness and light wherever she goes. Sitting and talking about life’s journey is not something I can do with anyone. She is one of those people who likes to explore the depths of the psyche and soul. And our connection lies deeply there. Our conversations enrich me. Her smile brings joy to my heart. Moranguinho, your quest for transformation is admirable! Thank you for an amazing friendship. Te amo amiga!
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 another level of transformation!