Thursday, December 22, 2011

continuous process

sutra 4.9
Desikachar translation: "Memory and latent impressions are strongly linked. This link remains even if there is an interval of time, place or context between similar actions."

Iyengar translation:
"Life is a continuous process, even though it is demarcated by race, place and time. Due to the uninterrupted close relationship between memory and subliminal impressions, the fruits of actions remain intact from one life to the next, as if there were no separation between births."

Iyengar tells that the theory of karma is explained to the sadhaka to inspire movement towards non-white and non-black actions. Since these desireless actions makes it possible to explore "the kingdom of the soul".
In my world this turns into; as Jenni is not driven by fears and/or wants, I get free to see what actually is and relate to reality more intensely and become.... more real :-) In asana words; when Jenni don't avoid an asana because I'm afraid what I might meet in me in this challenge and/or when Jenni don't do the asana to show off (to get your approval) -then I'm free to see what this asana really brings me. What really is there, and connect with this. NICE.

My master has told me to let go of this intense judgment, I have, of my lack of strength. I face it in some asanas (for example the virabhadrasanas). Instead he tells me to do less, either fewer of them or shorter time, so that I can experience ability (instead of failure) and work from this point. So the next time I go to these poses, my memory is not a failure, but a stable starting point. My possibility to start up new from where I'm really at.
Love and light - in the darkest day of the year..
Jenni Saunte

Monday, December 12, 2011

Iyengar translation of sutra 4.8:
"These three types of actions leave impressions which becomes manifest when conditions are favourable and ripe."
He writes that we have four types of actions, the first three leaves impression and memory, that builds a base for desires or disturbance (such as anger, lust, greed, infatuation, pride and envy). The desires and disturbances can rise right a way, but they can also become dormant.
But Patanjali describes a way out; even when in desire or in disturbance, if we turn our consciousness towards the inner seer, through the path of yoga, we can practice the fourth type of action that have no desire and no disturbance.

I relate to this through the instruction to recreate serenity in the inner environment by softening the face, throat and abdomen, and letting breath be smooth and even. To stabilize the mind and be able to see more clearly, more neutral again.
I also relate this to one of the good things by showing up and taking classes. Just follow the lead of a teacher, sometimes this brings me more neutrality from my disturbances about wants and don't wants. (sometimes not)
At least I do what I don't want in a class situation - at home I sometime just skip the annoying or provoking asanas:-) that might be good for me.

I know this in getting over grave challenges- it all (old crap)surfaces again (have tried so many therapeutic and self-help techniques), unless I give it to great reality (path of yoga).

So my guideline is to show up and go for neutrality, soften face abdomen and throat and smooth even breath.

Friday, December 09, 2011

A yogi's action are neither white nor black

"A yogi's action are neither white nor black. The actions of others are of three kinds, white, black and grey." (Iyengar translation of sutra 4.7)
Iyengar points out that "The unmixed action of the yogi are beyond sattva, rajas and tamas. They produce no positive or negative reactions in the consciousness and hence are free from duality". I get to be the one to see how duality expresses it self in yoga sometimes, and I'm Not attracted to it (this and this teacher say so and so,,, and this and that is right and wrong). It is really uncomfortable to sit in - so I move along. And feel release. I guess this is being safe and sound and not be part of the duality game (this time).

Desikachar points out that the "state of yoga" can lead us to "the highest state of clarity and detachment [we] can be beyond motivation" . I remember the first time I heard the stories of Mahabharata (11 years old) the meeting between Arjuna (my personal hero) and Krishna, made a lifelong impression on me. This is where Krishna tells Arjuna to be a warrior and go into battle, not to win, not to loose, not because of right or wrong, but just because this is what he is, and I think the word duty was used :-) and I could just return to this moment again and again. Today it connects to the thinking of "what's true will last" to me it's an encouragement to be what I am (it's a really smart shortcut to reality).

First thing I think, when I read the sutra is; this is an instrument to measure "what is and what is not"- yogic. If my action is neutral and undisturbed, it's probably part of living the yoga-state.
So in my asana work; if I'm undisturbed (this doesn't necessarily mean not shaking or not sweating), and not in judgment of my asana, just being and experiencing, well then it IS yoga. If I'm in judgment (comparing me to the others, or showing off or being ashamed) -then the yoga-state IS NOT.
My master just thought me that it's not about good or bad, or right or wrong, it just IS or it just IS NOT :-) so I'm complying to this suggestion.

My experience can only confirm this sutra is. And just as I wrote last week, I still long for more neutrality. Neutrality feels like heaven.

In my personal practice neutrality is often a part. I almost always feel more neutral and free when alone with asana than in a group setting. With my master the neutral yoga-state almost always is a part. When neutrality-blessing is there, I usually don't even think about it. I show up in my warm, tight woolen underwear, that really don't suit me :-) but it's easy, I live spiritual consent with my master to adjust whatever I do on my mat, so he better be able to see what's going on, and I need something warm, so... wool :-)
Last time I really could feel I lost the "state" was in Stavanger, where I just got so tired of being weak. All my expression, work and mind got unstable, by judging me as weak. It's non of my business and I get free by remaining neutral.

In the beginning (some ten years ago) I was very picky on who did what and how, but today this neutrality is more extended, sometimes things happens (body-adjustments), change appears over time, instead of trying to pull every little bit out this one class, I can see is this an expression for how this student shape is today or is it a part of a development, a change. It also works much better for me to welcome people that are late than to yell or ban them - I know most yoga-teachers do the opposite, it just is Not efficient in my experience.
In my personal practice my effort is neither black nor white but I get to be stable, by showing up on a daily basis, I get to have a daily practice by showing up every day. I get to be loving by loving my practice unfolding. I get to be amending and caring, by showing up in my practice. So, sure all three gunas are there at times, off course I'm sometime overly excited, sometime lazy (often) and sometime balanced and harmonious - but just by showing up - I'm blessed and grateful.


Friday, December 02, 2011

neutrality is given

"Of these activities of consciousness of perfected beings, only those which proceed from meditation are free from latent impressions and influences."
Sutra 4.6 Iyengar translation.
In Iyengars description; meditation set us free from the emotional wheel of obstacles like; lust, anger, greed, infatuation, pride and jealousy. Meditation leads us into the center of emotion to the consciousness of the heart so we can expand spiritually. Because this consciousness have "neither virtue, nor vice, fluctuations nor afflictions". This consciousness of heart is conducive to experience kaivalya (freedom/emancipation).

How do I relate to this?
I relate to this with my urge to become more neutral, more anonymous. To get to see things happen and not get disturbed, this sounds like heaven to me. I'm not there yet as you can tell, but in moments I have got to be identified with the observer instead of the "victim", or the "mother/ex-wife/lover/employee"... In yogaasana practice, this is "just do it" not because or to get or why or contingent on... bla bla bla but "just do it" and neutrality is given.

What is my experience?
My experience confirms this sutra. I felt absolutely free in the moments where I got to be neutral to the "stimuli" of the emotional wheel. Sometimes I have the opposite experience, to send or give something and then discover that I wasn't really free, wasn't neutral, because I want something from the other person, a certain response, or a certain action. I get to see I had a condition. The unconditional is, most of all; so easy , sometimes there is not even a thought of "having done something" and no judgments or wants or wills.

How can this inspire my personal daily practice my teaching?
I'm inspired to seek to develop the meditative state, in order to develop more and more of the neutral state - the observing position.
And I can seek to cultivate continuous awareness - by giving something to my students to focus on and to choose from the many suggestions of focal points in "light on life" that Iyengar suggests. I mean every sentence so far in this book could be a focal point for a class by it self!

Jenni Saunte