Ah – one more article for the series.
When we clear up the noise in the lower the koshas (the mental and emotional “bodies”), then the subtler ones and all their advantages come on line: a clear intellect and intuition, abiding happiness, Self Realization, and a recognition of the divine flow of life.
From the Yoga Sutra:
Yoga is the complete settling of the activity of the mind.
Then the observer is established in his own nature.
Through regular practise and non-attachment, these activities [of the mind] are stilled.
Note 2v47 Asana is perfected by relaxation of effort and the dawn of absorption in unboundedness. In other words, this is not a regular practice of effort or force.
1v30 – Obstacles
Those obstacles that distract the mind are disease, fatigue, doubt, carelessness, laziness, attachment, confused understanding, failure to achieve samadhi and failure to maintain samadhi.
These obstacles can be removed by repeated experience of the one reality.
(ironically, mainly with samadhi)
In other words, regular meditation is a primary way to Yoga. It helps settle the mind and clear the obstacles. The key to that is samadhi, what is commonly called presence or transcendental consciousness.
Through the repeated experience of settling, a continuum of calmness develops.
Vedic texts describe samadhi burning the seeds of old impressions: samskaras (strong mental impressions) and vasanas (desires) in chitta, the mental body. This does not burn our history, just the charges and our binding to it.
This clearing helps reveal our deeper presence and we shift over time into a deeper sense of self.
For some of the deep knots, the impressions are revived again in daily life. These and the sprouted seeds can require a more direct and specific healing. This where culturing other life habits can be useful.
The Yoga Sutra describes several means:
The mind becomes purified by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion toward the unhappy, delight in the virtuous and equanimity toward the unvirtuous.
(3v23 notes this as a samyama formula, how to make them very strong)
Or the mind becomes purified by inhalation and exhalation of the breath. (pranayama)
Or steadiness of the mind is established when the cognition of refined perception arises. (the direct experience of subtler values brings the resolute intellect online)
Or by the experience of inner light, which is free from sorrow.
(the celestial, finer still)
Or by attuning the mind to a person free from desire.
(darshan with an awake teacher)
Or by knowledge obtained in dreaming or deep sleep.
(witnessing, not dream interpretation)
Or from meditation on what is agreeable.
(meditation in this case is the continuous flow of awareness. In other words, favour the agreeable with your attention)
I’ll be writing more on our energy baggage and healing coming up.