Saturday, December 25, 2010

ocean of communication

Merry Christmas
This sutra is about the samyama on communication. Words can mean so many things and can be interpreted in so many ways. Iyengar relates the samyama of words to the Christian wonder of the apostles breaking through the wall of language, communicating on a different level. I relate to this as “when words are not needed” – truth comes in many forms.

Desikachar translates sutra 3.17 to;
“Samyama on the interactions between language, ideas and objects is to examine the individual features of the objects, the means of describing them and the ideas and their cultural influences in the minds of the describers. Through this, one can find the most accurate and effective way of communication regardless of linguistic, cultural and other barriers.”
Desikachar writes “Our ability to see an object is based on our interests and potentials” This relates to a course I went through this week, where the leader explained about efficiency, how we have a space of interest; this space is bigger than our space of influence (potential space/possibilities). Her message was to put our effort and energy into the focus where we both had our interest and most potentiality. When I combine this with Desikachars comment on the sutra, I get that; my understanding of the world will be deepest where I have both interest and potential to connect, when one lack, my knowledge becomes more superficial and if both lack, well.. my understanding most certainly is close to nothing. (This doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion about the matter ;-)

Language has been part of my meditation for years, this posting in English and reading philosophy translated from the unspoken Sanskrit into English is part of this. I come to experience different truths through this. Right now I’m at a balancing-point where meaningful and meaningless surrounds me. Words sails around like little boats on the great ocean of communication. I have no idea what they are all about. Sometimes I take them very personally and they can hurt the role that interprets in me. Sometimes I think I see how they are expressions of another subject and I feel like I get some more insight of another being.
But right now – words have become anonymous. They don’t mean anything. They are not meant for me/against me or expressions of her/him. They are just little boats on the ocean of communication.

When I relate into this sutra, I start to look at communication in my life today today – and this is a big one for me. So I turn to the asana, to get grounded again. In the asana there is this effortless state – to me, this is a state beyond words. Maybe this is the samyama of communication? As a teacher I dictate or I show the student what to do. Some lineages of yoga looks down on not showing the asana and some others looks down on showing anything at all ;-) this is so amusing – the human nature in yoga – Anyway, my personal way is to see what arises in the situation. If I can teach using only a few words – marvellous! If I need to show something – wonderful.
If I’m hurting in my body, and need to not show – well I need to dictate better ;-) my experience is that different student get it differently – some gets it immediately if they see it, some gets it through the right choice of words. Personally I love both words and showing.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sutras on change

Desikachar interpret that the following sutras gives examples of how samyama can give us deep knowledge "the process of changing our mental potential from incomplete, or no comprehension at all, to total comprehension" (this I read as what Iyengar calls "transformation of consciousness"). I need to remember what samyama is, so no; “guessing wrong”, makes me take a detour here.. Samyama; "Sutra 3.4 “The three together – dharana, dhyana and Samadhi – constitute integration or samyama.” (Iyengar translation)" So, the experience of "moments of grace" where it all comes together, is tastes of samyama.

3.16 "Samyama on the process of change, how it can be affected by time and other factors, develops knowledge of the past and the future." (Desikachar translation)
Combining these glimpses of "coming together" on change… I guess I relate this to the feeling of; change making sense, or suddenly seeing the bigger picture, where change is the transformer and samyama is the state of graceful insight. When the experience of past and the movement towards future in the now feels like ... right/making sense/authentic/obvious..

I also relate this to the asana - where the past (why there for example is flexibility or pain somehow), the now (the experience in the body and mind in the asana)and the movement towards something (experienceing getting further or deeper), gets dissolved and just background that deepens the contact into the asana today.
Desikachar reminds us that Patanjali cautions us to misuse samayama to other focus than "true freedom" or "deep knowledge". This makes me think of Iyengars words on how easily we can get distracted by exhibitionism or the more enjoyable sensations we discover on the path of yoga :-)

Iyengar writes, on this sutra, that we develop knowledge of the past and the future, the present is felt. This knowledge unfolds in a good (correct) practice and we are encourage to "intensify [our practice] with sustained faith and enthusiasm and to be indifferent to our achievements, so as to avoid deteriorating into affliction, fluctuation and self-gratification"

My guiding words this week; to meet change with faith (for me trust) and enthusiasm in my daily practice and in the yoga lesson.
I love that the sutras I read now is all about change, the year is moving towards a fictive end :-) and the darkness of winter is turning towards more light of spring these days, so nature unfolds change and I most certainly experience change in my life- in my family structure. It's very real to live in and most giving to work the sutras on!! Grateful jenni! This Sunday I want to do all the letting go exercises, I know - to prepare and let go of what we are prepared to not carry into the story of a new year :-)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

trusting the process

Sutra 3.15 “By changing the order or sequence of change, characteristics that are of one pattern can be modified to a different pattern” (Desikachar translation)

“Change has a sequence” (Desikachar)
“this sequence can be altered” (Desikachar)
… like changing the flow of a river in a valley.

Iyengar tells me that consciousness partly exists beyond time but change of consciousness exists in time and therefore; can be altered.
I quote a lot this time, but well… that’s just it :-)
“There is a logic to the involuntary spiritual journey, just as there is in the growth of a plant from seed, to stem, to bud, to flower, to fruit. The original, pure consciousness which we trace through Patanjali’s method is the seed of transformation in oneself. Our own self is the maker of our own spiritual destiny.”(Iyengar)

This is why yoga teachers should be properly trained :-) and this is why a daily practice matters even more when it is lead by competent teachers and this is why it is so important to listen to the heart and the body while doing daily practice. It effects our spiritual path :-) or consciousness and our way of life. I’m bringing my inner teacher to my practice today!!

The second thing I relate to here is my experience with change – one little change a day; like starting my day in prayer or ending the day in gratitude may seem small, but it makes a bigger difference in the thought-sea. Brushing the teethes, with the left hand (standing on one foot) or walking a new way to work, can make a transformation in consciousness. I trust the effect of small changes. I fought with sukhasana (swastika asana) I cried and I tried :-) no progress what so ever. But I met up in the asana for three months in a row (yes the 90 days daily try-out) and suddenly this summer at the Glenn Ceresoli retreat in Orvieto, I bitched to my teacher (big giving up – I can make it on my own), the next day when he was going to check up what my problem was – it was gone –haha how stupid and happy I felt at the same time!
And the problem has been removed ever since. To me this means, I keep doing my daily practice, sometime the results come in small sudden experiences along the road, sometime the change comes big-time-suddenly. What I know is that this change had a huge impact on my consciousness. Mostly I felt it clearly as a relief of pain/problem and relief from some blockings in consciousness. But there was also a change in consciousness, from not giving up just because the effect is not immediate, but trusting the process.


Saturday, December 04, 2010

essence and forms

3.14 "A substance contains all its characteristics, and depending on the particular form it takes, those characteristics conforming to that form will be apparent. But whatever the form, whatever the characteristics. Some have appeared in the past, some are currently apparent and others may reveal themselves in the future"
(Desikachar) and he writes that the sutras tells us that; "everything we perceive is fact not fiction. But these facts are subject to change."
It took me such long time to see that if I'm sad today this might not be the case tomorrow, if I'm sick today this might not be my condition tomorrow. Being sad or sick are true experiences but they are changing states or conditions and maybe not the best basis for choice... For most my life I based my choices on trying to become more safe, happy and healthy - these are good motives. But if the facts I interpret as stable reliable static facts are in essence changing I will get screwed in my search for joy and health. Actually I don't have a clue.

Having a daily practice gives me a new relationship to changing facts like "feel like doing the practice" or "getting something out of my practice" and "doing it tomorrow"... I know I don't have the longest practice but I'm given something steady through meeting up on my mat (and these 90 days on my chair), perspective. This perspective shows me that my "kick of doing it" might not always be there, if I always should feel like doing it, I would have stopped years ago, and never gained a steady practice. And if I didn't get a steady practice I would never have seen how many things change. And I'm given a miraculous "trust the process" and patience that has nothing to do with me and what I recognized as my characteristics.

I'm given the following parables, for example is the substance the same in dust, clay and the formed vase. I guess that the substance is the same in water, ice and steam... So do we have something significant, something essential that is us through childhood, youth and old age.

I relates this to my asana work, something I might have been able to do in my childhood or youth and something I might be able to enjoy and do in my old age. And than there is the form I unfold today. Deep in the center is the essence or substance that don't change into forms, or is the same in all these forms.

Desikachar have written a longer translation than Iyengar, but with my language difficulties it was more understandable. When I read the surrounding commentary I read the same message to me. So it's easy :-)