December 05, 2020

Samadhi Pada Summary: BE HERE NOW!


I began this sutra journey at the beginning of the year simply because I was curious. It was a text that was required reading in my teacher training but barely discussed. Like many philosophy books/concepts, it can be difficult to grasp. Even now, having gone through the first chapter (pada) sutra by sutra, it would be foolish to believe I have anything close to a complete understanding of it. Yet, what this book and the individual sutras did give me over this year was some comfort.

Ultimately, this book and this practice is striving to help practitioners answer the ultimate age old question . . . . . . Who am I? And, what a year to be contemplating this! (I'll bet that I'm not the only one that has been going through a sort of identity crisis throughout this year) After years of teaching (and believing) that at our core we are shiny, bright, goodness that is so much more than what we are taught to identify as (eg. our profession, gender, marital status, bank account, etc.), being presented with situations where I was forced to actually KNOW this was at times freaking difficult! It still is! But this book and these sutras reminded me that I'm worthy simply because I exist, and that I can only come to know this from the silence and quiet within, not from the chatter, demands, expectations, division and comparisons in the outer world. I came to know, and have consistently been shown, that this innate intelligence happens in the here and now, moment by moment because HERE is the ONLY place that matters. It doesn't mean that here is always going to be pleasant, exciting or fun. As Joanna Macy says, 
"It's ok not to be optimistic. Buddhist teachings say, feeling that you have to maintain hope all the time can wear you out. So, just be present. The biggest gift you can give is to be absolutely present"

The main gist of the first pada is to focus on one thing, and as I navigated my way through the world this year, I came to realize that the one thing I needed to focus on is this biggest gift . . . here and now!

Below, I've compiled a summary of the sutras that I moved through this year put into categories. Maybe there's a sutra you'd like to look back at, maybe there is a category or title that is calling to you, maybe you want to choose one randomly to see if you can draw out some kind of message or inspiration. May these "simple" aphorisms give you comfort at a time when you may need them as they did for me. 

Samadhi Pada: Yoga of Being in the Now

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