Tuesday, July 12, 2005

YOGA: Frankie Says Relax (Part 1 of 2)

Image hosted by Photobucket.comYoga philosophy says that when the mind-stuff (thoughts, judgements and the like) become still, then one lives from the place of pure awareness and is free from suffering.

For example, if you are suffering because you have lost a prized-possession, one normally has massive inner dialogue: "Oh I miss that thing so much," "I wish I could find another one like it," etc. And you sit there and stew and wish and whine - if not externally, at least mentally. We all do it. It is a very common way to live and be in the world.

But it's suffering (is it not?). And yoga philosophy says that suffering and pain are not the same. Suffering is mental and doesn't have to be there. We simply witness life as it unfolds - being aware and awake - watching the drama unfold like a glorious and fascinating play - but not putting judgements and labels on things (such as that situation is bad, this one is good). It just is what it is.

But the damn "problem" is stopping that mind-stuff (chitta). Not sure if you've ever tried it, but the mind is quite the squirrely monkey. I've certainly had trouble with it. But most recently, there has been some hope. It seems to me a great, glorious secret has been unfolded...

(more tomorrow)


Sadiq M. Alam said...

Nice stuff brother... good job. keep it up.

isaiah said...

My favorite comparison to the mind is that it is like a tree full of drunken monkeys.

Be still and give up suffering! That is all some people have, their suffering, give this up and there is nothing! A thing of fear-stillness is. What is there to dare experience otherwise?

AND! we are patiently waiting on your next post for the unfolding secret....

Meredith said...

Following this advice of quieting my mind, my inner monkeys, and noticing the way my mental chatter leads to this kind of suffering has made a huge difference in my life, and in my contentment. It was a huge great glorious secret when I discovered it, just waiting for me on an ordinary day. This kind of suffering you speak of can be let go of - like opening your hand and loosening your grip...let it drop.

It's funny though, moving (even a little) beyond this kind of suffering puts you at a slight distance in normal conversations, wherein one is supposed to join in on the mental suffering of others, agreeing with eachother about how bad a situation is. For example, this is so common when the subject of politics comes up, which almost always entails negative ruminations and judgements.

Just some musings.

Trev Diesel said...

Isaiah - now THAT's an image to remember. Not just one drunken monkey, a whole tree full!

Meredith - thanks for sharing your experience. It IS like opening your hand and letting go.

And your other comment was interesting. Although I know exactly what you're talking about, I would hope that this would allow us to be MORE awake rather than distant. But I totally understand what you mean. That's an interesting topic that might need explored.

kathy said...

most of the time I love my squirrely monkeys. the things they say brighten my day. of course at times they remind me of some pain...but not feeling the pain, and feeling numb, is not exactly good either. I have no knowledge of yoga (maybe a little)...its interesting learning what you posted! (this is my first time in here) call me crazy but my little squirrely monkeys in my mind Entertain me. wierd huh? when I experience some paranoia at times...thats when I want to shut my monkeys off and stick bananas in thier crazy mouths!

Trev Diesel said...

Thanks for stopping by Katt!!

"of course at times they remind me of some pain...but not feeling the pain, and feeling numb, is not exactly good either."

Oh, for sure. Absolutely - It's not about supressing feeling. The point is to watch all of our emotions unfold, but realizing that who we are at our core is NOT our emotions. Therefore if we would so want to "opt out" of the suffering, that option is certainly available.

And the mind certainly is entertaining and fun at times. It's quite a riot to see what it comes up with occasionally!