June 05, 2021

Sutra 2.21: Let's Play

Sadhana Pada: Yoga in Action (Experience the Now)

    2.21 Tadartha eva drsyasya atma 
    • tadartha = for that purpose / for that sake
    • eva = also / only / as it is
    • drsyasya = the seen / the knowable
    • atma = Self / the true self / soul / Seer

I tend to be serious. Sometimes a bit too serious. Subconsciously, sometimes I choose to forget that life is merely about experiences. Ultimately there is no right, wrong, good, bad, or any of those other dichotomies we make interpretations about in life. The experiences I have and the way I choose to see the world only has the meaning that I give it.

The practice of yoga isn't about the poses. But, it does use the asanas to help us get into the practice. Our world provides us with many experiences which give us an opportunity to react. If we think of yoga poses as our experiences, we can observe how we will most likely react in "real" life. Where does our mind go when we enjoy a pose? How do we react when we are uncomfortable in a posture? How often do we adopt a victim mentality in our practice and in life (you'd be surprised!)

This week's sutra is telling us that our experiences (in yoga postures and in life) are giving us the opportunity to see how we react. It's with these observations that we can then make choices. Do I want to continue to let this be my default reaction or do I want to choose a different way? Do I want to see life as serious or do I want to choose to instead see it as a sort of game?

Sutra 2.21 defines what life and the physical world is and continues with the theme started in sutra 2.18 which I interpreted as saying:

" . . the reason there is a physical in the first place is for . . . discovering our true nature. Think of it like a playground. We get to try out the various equipment, while at the same time enhancing, developing and discovering different skills. Sometimes it will be fun, sometimes we'll get thrown off the merry-go-round, but every time we'll learn something more about ourselves." 

So, your homework this week is to see your practice and life as a game. Sometimes it will be fun, sometimes it will be challenging, sometimes there will be tricky tasks, sometimes you'll know the answers right away, etc. But know that this life and your experiences are your playground and no matter what piece of equipment you choose to play on, if you allow it, this "play" can bring you closer to remembering who you really are!       

Sutra 2.20 The seen exists only for the purpose of the Seer.

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