Yoga Sūtra Verse 1.14
July 2, 2012 § Leave a comment
sa – that [practice]
tu – but
dīrgha – long
kāla – time
nairantarya – without interruption
satkāra – with great attention
āsevitaḥ – practicing assiduously
dṛḍha – firmly
“But that practice only becomes firmly established when it has been executed with great attention and without interruption over a long period of time”
If practice is perfect, then the perfection of practice is patience. Yoga is about the journey. There is no destination. There is no perfection to attain. There is only the never-ending discovery of Consciousness. This is the journey of self discovery.
Different yoga practices take different routes but all paths share the idea of a journey and not a destination. All yoga is about the journey of discovering the nature of Consciousness. In Sanskrit philosophy the nature of Consciousness-aka the Spiritual realm, or the nature of the Absolute-is not some empty void or field of potential. That would be boring and illogical.
Consciousness is an unending realm of possibility filled with every possible experience. Sanskrit texts state that our world, our universe, is mere reflection. It is a pale imitation; much like the difference between the mango tree reflected in the water and the real mango tree that stands on the banks. The experiences of this world can never compare to the exquisitely intense experiences of the realm of Consciousness. So, how do you get some of that? The ability to taste the rich and variegated emotional joys of Consciousness begins with desire.
You simply develop a strong desire to experience what lies beyond the land of shadow and reflection. Then practice seeing and hearing Consciousness in everything and everyone. Your enemy in this task is your mind. So as Patañjali says, you must practice consistently and with all your attention. How long will it take? Well the answer is, it doesn’t matter. So long as you are desiring to experience Consciousness, you can know that you are in the act of arriving at your destination. You see, the very desire for Consciousness, is the seed of full Consciousness. Just like the oak tree is in the acorn, Consciousness is in the desire for Consciousness. You can feel content and appreciative knowing that what you are seeking is in your grasp.
In this sense modern yoga is the art of desiring. Channel your desires away from the temporary nature of matter and toward the unending experience of Consciousness. This is your practice.