Sunday, January 31, 2010

whats your practice?

Sutra 2.28 “Practice and enquiry into different components of yoga gradually reduce obstacles such as misapprehension (kap.2.3) Then, the lamp of perception brightens and the distinction between what perceives and what is perceived becomes increasingly evident. Now everything can be understood without error.” This is the “what can be done” sutra. At first I think that I am clear on “what perceives what the means of perception is and what is perceived”. But than statements like “you are not your feelings (I am in love/I am angry)” or “you are not a human doing, but a human being (I am a writer/I am an actor)” and “you are not your opinions (I am a conservative/I am right-haha)” well these statements started rocking my boat. And when I see that they are bound to the changing human condition it becomes apparent I am not… so many different things I thought I was. And my need to distinguish between the perceiver in me and my tools of perception and what is perceived becomes apparent! Then this sutra answers what to do. Practice! Enquiry! Into yoga.
Thanks. I will.
This is what I do: I write to you, one sutra a week, I enquiry into what yoga can clarify for me. I apply this into my everyday and I share it with others. I have a practice physically, even though it has been tiny in January, it is mostly an everyday practice of asanas, pranayama and meditation and contemplation. In my everyday I also have a practice of self examination it is pure yoga it brings perspective, proportions and continuous awareness. And I recognize my truth in this sutra – practice and enquiry works. How pertinent that I should read this sutra just today when I get moved into new lands of daily practice. This is it for now!
Love Namasté
Happy “world yoga day” who ever came up with that idea :-)
Jenni Saunte

Saturday, January 23, 2010

giving time to the gradual process

Sutra 2.27 “The attainment of clarity is a gradual process.” Desikachar translation, and he unfolds the understanding; the first step is to recognize that certain tendencies of the mind are responsible for producing painful effects. Well, I recognize this, when I’m in some sort of pain, a voice in me tells a very seducing story about “why I’m in pain” and there is always someone or something’s to blame, there is a reason outside of me :-) this sutra and Desikachars expansion on the subject, directs my attention towards my mind. Maybe the pain isn’t caused by the situation, but rather by my attitude towards it. When I start my computer at work, I need to have other things to do the first 5-10 minutes because it is… immensely slow and utterly lazy, and I go crazy if I position me as “the waiting jenni”. But if I go and get my hot water and put my things in their places, me and my computer are just “on time” to start practicing my daily morning routine. (I just love that the word “practice” is so connected to yoga, that I can see the yoga, in every practice I have in my every day.)

But that is not just my mind, that can also be called being effective, but what stops me from getting irritated is not, that I do something else; it is that I don’t have my mind set on a fixed time. I don’t expect the computer to be faster, I just comply with the circumstances – in my mind. And that is what dissolves the waiting time.

It’s a relief to read that it is a gradual process, it is my experience, for me it has not been one big bang, but several big bangs (sorry science peeps). And I really do experience clarity to arrive more and more, for every year, every day.

Focus on clarity and keep on keeping on, giving time to the gradual process.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

to seek the serene seer in me

Sutra 2.26 tells us how we attain freedom from the fluctuating and perishable (not sure this is the right word – but the ever dying and ending opponent to eternity).
“Essentially the means must be directed towards developing clarity so that the distinction between the changing qualities of what is perceived and the unchanging qualities of what perceives becomes evident.” (Desikachar translation) This is not something I can do once a week, or once a week is a good beginning, but seeking into the serene purity of the seer, the personified awareness demands consistent effort. For me this means every year, every day, every hour, activity, every asana, every breath is a new opportunity to get more clarity, more awareness.

Iyengar defines the essence of true knowledge to me as the unfluctuating, sound judgement with uninterrupted awareness. To me unfluctuating is a key word, if I get a great idea, lets give it some days, if it still is great after some days (not just a fickle) let’s give it a try, stillness of keep on keeping on, to just do and just observe the change in positions towards the activity, the blessed, the inspired, the resistant, the victim, the victorious, the doer, the receiver and neutral (ash).

Sound is another key word, stable, firm, healthy, valid something that is given. Like working with a balance pose, my body does a muscular work to get the weight of the body into a harmony, but the harmony always seem to have been there before and I just arrive in something pre-existing.
Sound judgement becomes a judgement that is pre-existing and set free from the changing or ego based judgement. I really can’t think of an example right now – please write to me if it is obvious to you?! To my class this inspires to keep on seeking for freedom and exploring the position of neutrality and stillness. In my personal life this relates to my experiences of endings, the perishable or mortality of relations, situations and feelings. It inspires to seek the serene seer in me and explore what sound judgement looks like. A friend gave me the words “how do I honour the spiritual relation with this person/situation?” Right now it seems to be connected.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

freedom kaivalya * *

In the previous sutras I’ve found that the only purpose for me to perceive is; to perceive (2.21). And to perceive has but one purpose to clarify the distinction between my inner seer and the nature/world/objects, all the ever changing.
Now, sutra 2.25 gives me the ultimate goal of yoga practice; “As misapprehension is reduced there is a corresponding increase in clarity. This is the path to freedom.” (Desikachar translation)
Freedom, emancipation (Iyengar) or “Kaivalya”.
Desikachar gives me a starting definition of freedom. “Freedom is the absence of the consequences of obstacles and the avoidance of actions which has distracting and disturbing effects.” I try to remember a time or situation where I’ve felt free - - -

Ok, I’m back, a friend called and we talked about freedom, and both of us have the exact same experiences of being free:
- In flow experiences, these can for me happen when I do yoga, experience art (literature, pictures, movies, music, theatre, dance all the arts all!) or in nature, walking up a mountain and suddenly I am free – an experience of enormous lungs :-) unity, purpose, no thoughts or few – almost unconscious and contentment.
- In playing, when I get to arrive at a playful position in a situation I am free. This is clear especially in situations where I used to be serious like exams… my academic life turned out to last for 16 years (different kind of studies) and the last two years my exams turned from anxiety to a playground. Freedom.
- In gratitude. When I find what I am grateful for I get to arrive in freedom.
- In admitting. I was wrong or I am an ass – there is huge freedom, not that I don’t have to care, since I’m sooo bad, but in honesty and sharing it with you, I can be authentic and free.
- In release from human solution, for example “if I had a partner/if I didn’t have a partner” I would feel free. When the story of what should set me free lets go, I get set free :-)

Oh this was nice. I think I will bring this into my yoga teaching today, to connect to our experience of freedom and aim for it in the asanas.
Namasté love and light