Saturday, December 24, 2016

Yoga Sutra 1.4: The Mind's Heavy Price Tag

Yoga Sutra 1.4 - Vritti sarupyam itaratra

Here are some translations/interpretations I have found inspiring for Yoga Sutra 1.4.

Joseph Le Page: When not resting in our own true nature, we identify with our thoughts and emotions as if they were our real self.

Nischala Devi: At other times, we identify with the rays of consciousness, which fluctuate and encourage are perceived suffering.

Melissa Townsend: At other times, we identify with the movements of the mind.

Arya: At other times (when the is seer is not his own true nature because the mental waves have not ceased), the seer (falsely experiences himself) as having assimilated and identified with the mental acitvity (or with the objects of the mental activity).

Shearer: Our essential nature is usually overshadowed by the activity of the mind.

Jnaneshvara: At other times, hen one is not Self-realization, the Seer appears to take on the form of the modifications of the mind field, taking on the identity of those thought patterns.

Today I am off from work. I meditated. I did some yoga. I went to LACMA museum with my husband and saw the Rivera/Picasso show with my husband and then we had a beautiful India dinner. The day was good. The day was perfect. It is December 24th, Christmas Eve and all is well.  I am so relaxed.  I am at peace.

Last week the same Rivera/Picasso exhibit was at LACMA, the Indian restaurant was there too, my yoga and meditation practice was there, everything was there just like today.  Last week, I was busy, so busy, preoccupied doing things . . . making sets for TV shows, teaching yoga, driving all over the place.  Many times when I am working, perhaps even last week, I get so caught up in getting to work on time, decorating the sets to please the actors/producers/directors/production designer that I lose myself. I have so many things to do it's like I am trying to run for a train that I never can catch.  I have so many things to juggle like yoga teaching, running the studio, and working in TV I feel like a vaudeville performer. I lose myself.  I am just trying to get through the day. I am exhausted most of the time.  My eating is out of control.  I often am dehydrated. Sometimes I want to scream. Sometimes I want to cry.  Sometimes I feel like I need to tell everyone I am a person not a mule.  It's too much this job.  It's so overwhelming.

I identify with this chaos with the movements of the mind.  I don't know my true nature, I know I need to be at work at 5am. I know I need to comb the script to I understand all the nuances and details to get the set right. I know I need to go to this meeting, or that tech scout, I know, in addition, I need to be a supportive yoga teacher, do my yoga therapy homework, and a be loving and interested wife.  I also need to figure out how to get more people in the yoga classes at the studio. How to make the studio a success. So post of facebook. Post on meetup. Be courteous. Teach a good class. Come up with workshops and teacher trainings. Check check check off the to do list right before the list is written again. And the cycle repeats and continues. I cram more things into the day, as much as I can, then on Saturday afternoon I fall out from complete exhaustion.  Then I get up, teach my 5pm Saturday class and the cycle begins again.

So who is the real self, what is my real nature, is it the one that feels content today, a day with no real responsibilities - the Nya on vacation from work, or the one that is running for the illusory train, performing in vaudeville show. Or is my true nature someone who I have not quite met yet, or I have we met but I haven't spent enough time with her.  Maybe my true essential nature is not a persona but a moment, the moment when I am drawing or holding a yoga pose. Maybe that is my real self.

Am I afraid of my true nature. Is that why I keep myself so busy?  Is there some kind of child conditioning that keeps me on the move. Joseph le Page writes:

Today the dunes are white, and sprays of
sand blow off their tops like breaking waves.
The sea is a vast deep blue showing subtle
shades of its personality all the way to the horizon.

The trail along the dunes is sprinkled with tiny
violet and yellow wild flowers that I hadn’t
noticed before, but now they are calling my name.

Because I have walked this same trail before,
but the dunes were filled with my own
thoughts and desires, projections, fantasies,
past remorse and hopes for the future.
Sometimes, I still find myself identifying with
my thoughts and emotions as “me” and “mine,”

But then I come back to the present moment
and the white dunes, and realize that the
price tag for living in the mind is just too high!

I feel a high price tag for my life over the last two decades.  This fast fast life.  I have chosen to make a career change to yoga therapy because I want something different for myself.  I started working in entertainment at 21 years old and now I am approaching 47.  26 years of being a circus person seems like enough.  I want to slow down. I want to notice the trail along the dunes sprinkled with tiny violet and yellow wild flowers. I hear my name being called. I hear a voice telling me it's time to make a change.  That voice, I believe, is my true nature asking to take control of the wheel of life.  I feel the price tag for living this crazy life is just too high!

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