Thursday 6 August 2015

Temporary Visitors by Donna Farhi

     " Patanjali tells us that the failure to recognize our intrinsic goodness is cause by a momentary inability to perceive the silent and omnipresent life living itself through us. And why do we not perceive this silent and fundamentally benign backdrop? For the most part our primary modus operandi consist of identifying with and participating in the transitory movement of thoughts, feelings, memories, fantasies, and sensations and our ideas and judgements about ourselves and others. This veritable extravaganza of sensations is so compelling and so interesting, and so seemingly real, that we start to believe that this is who we really are. The dramatic enactment of these passing phenomena eclipses our view into our core self. We may believe that we are our anger, our pain, or our disappointment. We may be convinced that we are only our body, our wrinkles, or our successes or failures... Through practice we emphatically prove that the parading sensations and identities that we may have found so convincing are actually temporary visitors, and when we become quiet and focused enough we understand that in hosting these visitors, our house, the Self, remains unchanged. Or as Patanjali describes in the very first sutras that define Yoga:

' Yoga is the settling of the mind into silence. 
When the mind has settled, we are established in our essential nature, 
which is unbounded consciousness.'"

                                                                                                              ~ Donna Farhi    

       A few days ago, I came across this quote in Donna Farhi's brilliant book, Bringing Yoga to Life.  After typing her words and naming the post, everything started to feel too familiar; I realized I had heard this title before. I went through my blog history and discovered that I've shared this before and even entitled it the same. Obviously,  I'm in need of these lessons once again ;)
       Anyway, in the above paragraph Farhi elaborates on the wisdom of the great sage who wrote the sacred text (basically the yoga bible), The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.  As I read along, my head nodded in agreement and then it hung lower and lower; I was guilty as charged. We're all guilty. We just can't seem to live from, and settle into, our unwavering centre, that part of us that is constant and true. We are addicted to the drama of our minds, our beliefs, our ego, and labels. How would we exits without them? This excerpt left me feeling like a radical activist; I wanted to hit the streets with a megaphone to preach the importance of stillness practice and self study.  I wanted to yell out at our culture for making" busy busy" and "on the go"  trendy, desirable, and intoxicating.  
    Together,  Farhi and Patanjali eased my uneasiness when they both affirmed that without moments of silence, without an inward gaze, we'll continue to suffer at the hands of the mirage in the mind.  
 Give quiet time some credit.  Give meditation some importance. Give stillness a chance.  For if you're ever stripped of your roles, your job, relationships, finances, wardrobe, looks, intelligence, etc, would you still have that unfaltering foundation to help you survive?