April 04, 2020

Sutra 1.15: Let It Be

- Thich Nhat Hanh
Samadhi Pada: Yoga of Being in the Now

    1.15 Drshtanushravika visaya vitrshnasya vashikara samjna vairagyam
    • drshta = seen
    • anushravika= described
    • visaya = object
    • vitrshnasya = free from desire
    • vashikara = to conquer/mastery
    • samjna = clear understanding/awareness
    • vairagyam = non-attachment

As mentioned previously, yoga is a practice of finding and following the middle path. The previous two sutras illustrated the importance of practice or doing (abhyasa). Sutra 1.15 focuses on the importance of simply being with what is (vairagya). On the one hand, we are doing the practices of yoga, but on the other hand we're letting go of any attachments we may be holding of how we want our practice to look, to feel or to accomplish.

It feels a little strange to be writing about this sutra right now. To be advocating for accepting what is here now when there are many people who are struggling and experiencing losses at the moment. But maybe that is exactly the advice that we need. When there is nothing more for us to do but stay home and see how things unfold without expectation, without desire and without attachment. What if instead of suppressing our fear and anxiety or trying to imagine what we'll do when life returns to "normal," we just be with what is here now. Cry when we need to, scream if that feels needed and take some time to just sit and do nothing. What if this time of simply being is creating space for something we never imagined and maybe even better to come our way? What if by simply being with what is now, we recognize that things we thought we needed are things we no longer want? What if by simply being our whole perception of life and what is important shifts?

I challenge you this week to simply be with yourself, your life and your practice exactly as it is without expectation or striving or analyzing or wondering or censoring or omitting anything that comes to you. What a perfect opportunity we have now to shift for a moment from doing to have the experience of just being. Good luck and happy being!           

Sutra 1.15 When the mind is free from desire for objects seen or described, it indicates 
self-mastery of non-attachment (vairagya) which leads to freedom and awareness.

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