The power of awareness: The inner self, the witness of perception, the inner eye of the soul. Yoga: Control of the mind and senses. Gurudeva's tools for the aspirant on the path, living two thirds within and one third in the external world. "Be renewed by a change of your mind. Be renewed by releasing awareness from one area of the vast universe of the mind, drawing it back into its source...",
Master Course Trilogy: Merging with Siva. Lesson 5, 29,31, 32.
Patanjali's Yoga Sutra
Good morning everyone.
Looking this morning at Merging with Siva, Chapter 5 which we'll be starting in I think about two days. English title is: The Story of Awareness. Sanskrit title is sakshin katha. So katha is story and sakshin is awareness in Sanskrit. We use that in our lexicon.
Our lexicon defines awareness as sakshin or chit, individual consciousness, perception, knowing, the witness of perception, the inner eye of the soul.' The soul's ability to sense, see or know and to be conscious of this knowing. When awareness is indrawn (pratyak chetana), various states of samadhi may occur. Awareness is known in the Agamas as chitshakti, the 'power of awareness,' the inner self and eternal witness.
It's interesting that Patanjali in his last verse uses chit shakti for awareness.
So, we start out with Monday's lesson.
"The average person who is not a mystic lives two-thirds in the external area of the mind and one-third within himself. The within of himself can be and sometimes is very foreboding. He doesn't understand it. He is a little afraid of it, and prefers to involve himself with external things. Possibly he's had some inner experiences, some emotional unhappinesses, and he shuns anything that is inner. The mystic lives, and is taught to live, two-thirds within himself and only one-third in the external. In learning how to do this, the mystic is taught to become consciously conscious, or aware that he is aware. He learns to separate awareness from that which he is aware of. The person who is not a mystic, living two-thirds in the external mind, says, 'I am happy,' meaning, 'I am aware of a state of mind called happiness, and I am in that state, so that is me.' Or, 'I am unhappy. Unhappiness is me.' The mystic living two-thirds within says to himself, 'I am flowing through the area of the mind that's always unhappy.' He doesn't change; he is a pure state of awareness."
Looking at Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, the beginning, the common idea of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras is it starts out talking about: Yoga is the restraint of mental activity. But it's also talking about awareness and consciousness. As Gurudeva was in this paragraph here.
So we'll go through the first couple of verses. I'll read the verse in English and then there's a short commentary I wrote a number of years ago.
Now the exposition of Yoga.
Comments: In Hindu scriptures the earliest usage of the term yoga as applied to spiritual endeavor has the meaning of the control of the mind and senses. That is the sense in which the term yoga is used in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. Of course, today if you say yoga, everyone thinks you're talking about hatha yoga. It didn't start out that way. It started out "The control of the mind and senses."
So that's Patanjali's focus.
Verse two: Yoga is the restraint of mental activities.
Commentary: Our minds are generally busy in one type of mental activity or another. We are remembering events from the past, thinking about current tasks or theorizing about possible future events. The practices of yoga are designed to enable us to eliminate these mental activities all together.
Verse three: Then awareness abides in its essential form.
Commentary: When mental activity is restrained the soul's faculty that witnesses thoughts, naturally turns in on itself and it remains temporarily only of itself until thoughts again arise.
Verse four: At other times awareness takes on the form of the mental activities.
So that's the point Gurudeva made in his paragraph there.
Comments: It is the nature of the witness consciousness of the soul that it not only observes mental activities but also identifies with those activities.
So that's taking on the form of.
And I use the same example Gurudeva did. A simple example is the idea of experiencing happiness. We say: "I am happy." Awareness has taken on the form of happiness.
So I'm pointing out that what Gurudeva is saying and Patanjali is saying there are exactly the same idea.
Moving on to Wednesday's lesson.
"Have you ever had people come to you and tell you all of their problems? What did they do? As a pure state of awareness, they came to you as a pure state of awareness. They came to you as a pure state of awareness. You were not identified in the area of the mind that they are living in. So, they came to you because they wanted to get out of the area of the mind that they're living in. They've been living in it so long, they think they are that area of the mind, like somebody that has lived in a house so long and is so attached to it that they would rather die than move from the house. So then, they come to you and start telling all the problems. First they start with the little ones, and then they start with the big ones, and all their complaints, heartaches and everything that that area of the mind involves. Now, you can do one of two things. You can gently talk with them and bring them out of that area of the mind into your area of the mind, or they can move your awareness right into that area of the mind, too. And when they go away, you are feeling terrible. You're feeling just awful."
So Gurudeva's pointing out: In that situation we have a choice. If we're focusing on what's going we have a choice so that we don't have to end up in the same area of problems that they are in. They go away feeling better and we go away feeling worse. If we handled it right we can avoid moving into their area of the mind and help move them out of it. So that's what a good counselor does. Helps to move someone out of a negative area of the mind into a more positive one.
So in our current situation there's lots of individuals concerned about the corona virus issues and its easy to get in the area of the mind that they're in, when news is filled with concern and all and if we're not careful we end up in the somewhat negative area of the mind with concerns about the corona virus. So in this case, we're not talking to a person but we're experiencing news in various ways and we want to be careful that the news doesn't move us from a positive state of mind into a negative one. No reason for it to do so.
One last idea here, this is Thursday's lesson. And it points out one of the, it's an illustration rather of one the beauties of Gurudeva's teachings. Gives us a concept, in this case living two-thirds within rather than living two-thirds without. Explains it very clearly. And it gives us a technique, a tool so we can actually experience it. So it's not just theory or philosophy; there's something practical that we can do to experience what Gurudeva wants us to experience. So this paragraph is talking about how to experience living two thirds within one's self.
"Living two-thirds within oneself and one-third in the external world--how do we do it? As soon as we live within ourselves, we become conscious of all of our various secret thoughts, all of our various emotions, that we would just as soon be without. Therefore, we distract ourselves and endeavor to live two-thirds in the external world and only one-third within ourselves..."
Television is a very good distraction, I remember I told the story before but it came to mind again that one time when I was traveling I became so aware of how television is thrust upon you to keep you distracted. So, you go to the, you go, you check in, in the hotel, go to your hotel room and they have already turned on the television for you. Thank you very much. You go downstairs in the morning and you use the exercise room and it has two or three televisions going on the wall while you're exercising and you go into the breakfast room and it has three or four televisions in the breakfast room so it's just amazing how many people want to be distracted by watching what's going on on television. So, the mystic doesn't need that.
"... As aspirants on the path, you have to live your life two-thirds within yourself. When you are conscious of the thoughts that you don't want to think, the emotions that you don't want to feel, (What do you do?) go deep within where they don't exist. Take awareness to the central source of energy, right within the spine itself. (So we're, that's Gurudeva's tool. We can live two-thirds within by regularly experiencing the spiritual energy that's in the spine. ) Feel that energy flowing through the body, moving the muscles, enlivening the cells. Then you are two-thirds within yourself, and the world looks bright and cheery all the time; the sun is always shining. Immediately, when we begin to identify totally with our thoughts as being reality, then we begin to make mistakes. We're living two-thirds in the external world.
" How to strike the balance? Regulate the breath throughout the day. Keep the spine always straight. Always sit up straight. As soon as the spine is bent, awareness is externalized. We're living two-thirds in the external area of the mind and only one-third within. As soon as the spine is straight, our awareness is internalized. We're living two-thirds within and only one-third out.
"What's the biggest barrier? Fear. Afraid of our secret thoughts. Afraid of our secret feelings. What's the biggest escape from fear? (Same thing as before.) Go to the center, where energy exists, the energy that moves the life through the body. The simplest way is to move your spine back and forth. Feel the power that moves that spine. Feel the power that moves the spine back and forth. Feel that energy going out through the physical body. Open your eyes and look at the world again, and you will see it bright and shiny. You're two-thirds in and one-third out in awareness. You're balanced.
"Be renewed by a change of your mind." Be renewed by releasing awareness from one area of the vast universe of the mind, drawing it back into its source and, releasing it again, sending it to another area of the vast areas of the mind."
Thank you very much.
Aum Namah Sivaya