Day 17 of #yogasutrachallenge: YS 1.17 Vitarka vicarandandasmita rupanugamat samprajnatah

Day 17 of #yogasutrachallenge: YS 1.16 Vitarka vicarandandasmita rupanugamat samprajnatah My interpretation: Reasoning, reflecting, bliss and a pure sense of ‘I-am’ support meditation towards enlightenment The term Samadhi is often thought of as enlightenment, a single state you reach one day through practice and non-attachment toward stilling the mind. But it’s better translated as a state of ‘meditative absorption’, of which there are actually seven stages – with only the final stage being best thought of as enlightenment. Basically, Patanjali is providing us with step by step guide to meditation, like a reference map to help us conquer the far reaching corners of the mind. This sutra covers the first four stages, all states of Samprajnata Samadhi, which ease us in gently by allowing us to use of an object to help us meditate. Stage 1: We meditate on a physical object. This could be anything but statues are often used, or maybe a flower or a tree. It’s recommended to use the same or similar objects though to help you build up the ability to concentrate without the additional complication of having something new each time. Maintaining single-pointed concentration on a single object is hard and will take practice. Start by looking at the most obvious aspects of the object – e.g. the overall shape and colour, and then work towards the more subtle. The choice of words here also implies reasoning, analysis. Be like a scientist, considering its elements and atoms, or an artist, really examining your subject from all angles, it’s proportions and how the light falls across its form. Stage 2: We reflect. In much the same was as before except we remove the physical object and start to consider the intangible e.g. love, or God, or a colour, or beauty...

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Natalie MorrisonComment