August 08, 2020

Sutra 1.35: Oar of the Senses


Samadhi Pada: Yoga of Being in the Now

    1.35 Visayavati va pravrttir utpanna manasah sthiti nibandhani
    • visayavati = subtle sense impressions
    • va = or
    • pravrttir = concentration / controlled thought
    • utpanna = generate / brought about by
    • manasah = mind / understanding
    • sthiti = steadiness / undisturbed calmness
    • nibandhani = causes / establishes

Continuing our "mini-series" of Sutras 1.32-1.39, we come to sutra 1.35. But first, a recap/outline:
Sutra 1.32 introduces the idea of single pointed focus which is the theme for this miniseries.
Sutra 1.33 provides four locks and four keys to work towards peace in relationships and internal calm.
Sutra 1.34-1.39 provides oars to help row towards the path of peace
- Sutra 1.34 the oar of breath
Sutra 1.35 the oar of the senses 

This week's sutra focuses on using the oar (or anchor) of the senses. Because these oars are all techniques for meditation, the work throughout the next few weeks will be practicing to sit in meditation. Yoga, as Patanjali stresses, is meant to be experienced. YOU are your own best teacher and only YOU can determine how you will best row to peace and what oar will benefit you the most. So instead of reading about these techniques, how about we practice them? Included in the next few posts will be an audio recording of an introduction to the technique of the week along with a short practice (no longer than 10 minutes). These short practices give you a feel for the specific technique and once you've done them a few times, give you the freedom to practice longer on your own should this be a technique that clicks for you. Last week we worked with the breath. This week we're using the doors of the five senses as an entry into our internal world. We'll be using what appears to be external (where we are used to living) to help move us to a more subtle field of awareness. It's a technique that asks you to get out of your head, so if you're an over thinker like I am, this may be the practice for you!    

If you are a visual learner and would prefer instead to see/read what this technique is about on your own, look for help from Google by typing in "5 senses meditation." Otherwise, I would be honoured to lead you through an example of this specific practice. Grab some headphones, find a comfortable spot to sit and simply press play (to download a copy of this meditation, on your desktop click the arrow in the square on the right). 

Happy practicing! 

Sutra 1.35 Or concentration generated by the focus on subtle 
sense impressions causes steadiness of mind.

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