Remember my last post? I was talking about the mental disturbances and their associated symptoms that come up in life. The next logical question is, okay, well, what can I do about it?
In the Yoga Sutras and it’s called the practice of eka tattva. This means that you, the yogi, should take one (eka) subject (tattva) to focus on it so that you are always ready to counter the distractions when they arise. Think about it this way: it is a constant meditation.
Patanjali offers several options to for this meditation practice and all of them help us to develop a pleasant, focused and steady state of mind. The first way is to develop certain attitudes, called bhavanas, which lead to a state of equanimity. We should be friendly towards all who are happy, have compassion for those who are unhappy, have joy for those who are virtuous and have a non-judgmental attitude toward the non-virtuous. Other options include breathing practices, meditation on the five senses, focusing on freedom, focusing on a person who has already attained freedom, or focusing on knowledge that comes from dreams.
If none of these works, and this is my favorite one, Patanjali says meditate according to our own inclination. This could be based on your religious upbringing or new teachings that you have learned. But the idea is, that back then, as now, people who come to this practice do so from all walks of life with all kinds of stories and all kinds of distractions and obstacles. The yoga philosophy is designed to work for everyone.
As someone who has been practicing for a while, I can say one thing for sure. When I am focused and aware and my mind is not all over the place, I am calm and clear. I am actually happy most of the time. It is a really nice way of being. I feel free from all of the stuff that has happened in my life and I am just able to be with what is happening now. I find myself waking up each day with a positive attitude. Of course, things do come up that distract me, but luckily I have proven to myself that these practices work. They really do work!
Try it for yourself and hopefully things will change for you too.
Lisa Dawn Angerame, for more of Lisa’s writings go to lisasprojectvegan.com