May 29, 2021

Sutra 2.20: The Spaces Between

Sadhana Pada: Yoga in Action (Experience the Now)

    2.20 Drashta drishimatrah suddah api pratyaya anupashyah 
    • drashta = the seer / one who sees
    • drishimatrah = awareness only / consciousness only / power of seeing
    • suddah = pure
    • api = also / too / likely / even though
    • pratyaya = insight / true perception / content of mind
    • anupashyah = appearing to see

From the moment we're born we are "gifted" with interpretations which ultimately guide and form our beliefs. We're handed a particular culture, societal outlook, family perceptions, possible religion, etc. among other things. How we view, interact and react to the world is further influenced by the perceptions and interpretations of all of those people we are surrounded by.

This sutra is telling us that these interpretations that we've adopted along the way aren't really us and aren't even really true. We interpret what we see in the world through our mind. But, the mind isn't where we obtain true wisdom. This sutra says that wisdom comes from awareness or consciousness.

Instead of trying to define awareness and consciousness in a certain way, let's just consider it for now as space. The mind is drawn to the concrete which it makes interpretations and judgements about, but wisdom and understanding is in the spaces in between. So, let's notice the spaces.

Your challenge this week is to take some time to become aware of space. For example, this time of year we are drawn to plants and flowers. Instead of keeping your attention on these things (after you've admired their beauty), notice the spaces surrounding them. Not in a mental kind of way (if that makes sense), but simply identifying their spaces. Can you see the spaces in a sunbeam? Can you become as curious about the space between body parts in a yoga pose as you are in trying to put your hands or feet in a specific spot? Can you feel the space between the exhale and inhale?

The physical is where we are prone to interpreting the world and ourselves. The space is where we have the opportunity to tap in and really know it. And that my friends . . . is my interpretation of this sutra!        

Sutra 2.20 The seer appears to see through the contents of the mind, 
even though it is nothing but pure awareness only.

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