September 12, 2020

Sutra 1.39: You Choose

Samadhi Pada: Yoga of Being in the Now

    1.38 Yatha abhimata dhyanad va
    • yatha = any / as
    • abhimata = inspires / suitable / one's own predisposition
    • dhyanad = concentration / meditate on
    • va = or

"mini-series" of Sutras 1.32-1.39:
Sutra 1.32 introduces the idea of single pointed focus (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
Sutra 1.36 the oar of light 
Sutra 1.37 the oar of inspiration of another 
Sutra 1.38 the oar of sleep state 
Sutra 1.39 the oar of what works for you 
This week we come to the conclusion of a mini-series within the sutras which started with Sutra 1.32. The whole theme of the series is to work with developing a one-pointed focus of the mind. By training the mind to focus on one thing, distracting thoughts and obstacles fade to the background. It sounds so easy. Unfortunately, for many of us . . . it is not! Patanjali not only acknowledges this, but also recognizes that one path or direction of focus may not be best for everyone. We all have different personalities, backgrounds, ways of being, physical and energetic make ups, etc., and we are all wonderfully unique. So, from Sutras 1.34-1.38 he offers various focuses and methods of meditation to try to see what will work best for YOU. In this final sutra of the series he goes further to imply that the options and variations offered previously may not be for you, so this is your opportunity to seek and choose something else in order to direct your attention, awareness and energy to what IS uplifting for YOU. It doesn't matter if you're the only one that feels that way. The point is that it is special enough for YOU to direct your whole attention towards. As Osho said "(meditation) is not in the objects, it is in you. When you meditate on something, you give your inner being to it. Suddenly it becomes sacred, holy. Things are not holy; meditation makes them holy."

Your challenge for this week is to get an inkling of  your "thing" or your path of focus AND (most importantly) practice it! Maybe you've already found it in one of the previous sutras and meditations. Maybe there is something you've heard about, but haven't yet tried such as working with mandalas, malas, rosary beads, mantras, statues, etc. There is no one right way and no pressure to have to find your one and only thing. Know that you can experiment, know that you can pivot and change and know that the practice of directing focus to one thing (even if it changes) is helping to stabilize the mind. This work is valuable and will provide the foundation to go deeper and experience the more subtle meditation practices that will be introduced later in the sutras. Explore, have fun and happy focusing!!!     

Sutra 1.39 Or concentration on any that inspires or is suitable for you. 

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