At the beginning of class I occasionally engage the students in a short yoga philosophy discussion. The discussions are usually inspired by my on-going reading and contemplation of yogic texts, such as the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. (A sutra is a short phrase. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a book of phrases, which are […]
Are you experiencing an obstacle that is keeping you from practicing? Is your obstacle physical, mental intellectual or spiritual? And how can you know which one it is? Over the years I have experienced a huge list of obstacles to practicing. Most of the time I wasn’t able to name the obstacle until it had […]
In the yoga sutras of Patanjali, yoga is defined as the cessation of the movements in the consciousness. There are five classifications of the movements in the consciousness, they are: correct knowledge, delusion, illusion, sleep and memory. At any time your consciousness can be fluctuating in one of these classes. We hope though to get […]
abhava: feeling of non-being, absence of awareness pratyaya: going toward conviction, trust alambana: support, abode, dependence on a prop vrttih: function, condition, thought-wave nidra: sleep without dreams Sleep is the non-deliberate absence of thought-waves or knowledge. In a dreamless sleep the consciousness is stilled without any effort.
sabdajnana: verbal knowledge anupati: followed in sequence, pursued vastusunyah: devoid of meaning vikalpah: imagination Verbal knowledge devoid of substance is fancy or imagination. Having an imagination is helpful (and fun) but we cannot live in this realm all the time. At some point the imaginary words or thoughts can become an untruth.
viparyayah: perverse, unreal mithyajnanam: illusory knowledge atadrupa: not in its own form pratistham: occupying, standing, seeing, beholding Illusory or erroneous knowledge is based on non-fact or the non-real. A false conception can generate wrong feelings. Our consciousness then responds to the wrong feelings by generating more thoughts, based on the original false impression. A vicious […]
pratyaksa: direct perception anumana: inference agamah: texts or scriptures, a person who is a scriptural authority and whose word can be relied on pramanani: kinds of proof Correct knowledge is direct, inferred or proven as factual. There are three ways to know something correctly: you can know from your own direct perception, from deduction, from […]
pramana: valid / correct knowledge viparyaya: inverted, perverse vikalpa: doubt, indecision, imagination or day-dreaming nidra: sleep smrtayah: memory They are caused by correct knowledge, illusion, delusion, sleep and memory. The five-fold fluctuations of consciousness.
vrttaya: movements pancatayyah: fivefold klista: painful aklista: non-painful The movements of consciousness are fivefold. They may be cognizable or non-cognizable, painful or non-painful. cognizable: perceptible, clearly identifiable. The movements of consciousness are either perceptible or not. They can either be painful or not painful.
vrtti: fluctuations, modifcation sarupyam: indetification itaratra: at other times At other times, the seer identifies with the fluctuation consciousness. When the consciousness is not stilled the seer gets caught up in the fluctuations. The fluctuations appear as a reverie which take one away from the present moment.