JOURNEY TO LOVE
Yoga Sutra 1.2- Yoga is the uniting of consciousness in the heart.
How interesting to be faced with the limitations of your own heart. When you for the first time awaken to the truth that you actually do not know, because you did not learn, how to Love yourself.
Astonishing isn’t it? Or is it just me? Am I out on this limb alone? No, I didn’t think so. We are all in this together…Reflections of one another… So what is the big deal? I begin to ask myself; Why is it so challenging for us to admit that not only do we not know how to love others, but that even still we have yet to feel love for ourselves?
I sometimes begin by asking my students the question at the beginning of class, “Do you love others? and Do you love yourself? Everybody raises his or her hand, obviously. I continue to explain the different examples of love, how one may feel in love, how one may act towards another or respond towards another if they were in fact in a state of love. All of a sudden, eyes began to drift away, the body begins to shift uncomfortably and a different level of awareness begins to examine the actions of each individual; generally uncovering a truth that has been left unacknowledged. Do we actually know how to love others, or our Self?
Yoga Sutra 2.4- Innocence of our Divine Nature (Avidya) encourages identification with the ever-changing, rather than with the inner stillness of the heart.
I am just going to go ahead and say no to that one. For the most part, in general, this has been a huge part of our missing education. Until now anyway, now we can go to any bookstore, read various magazine articles, listen to podcasts, audiobooks, or Oprah and receive a list of things to do to cultivate some level of self love and love for others. Access to this information has become instantaneous; application on the other hand is of a different nature.
Yoga Sutra 1.3- United in the heart, consciousness is steadied, then we abide in our true nature-Joy (Love).
Patanjali, the great Yogic Sage, teaches us that we are love. The word love, in this context, is not the emotion of love which we can feel or not, but rather the state of love, something that is complete and whole. It does not need anything, nor does it take anything away. It is not limiting, or constricting, nor does it reject any part of the human existence. It is totality, the sum of everything.
Yoga Sutra 2.6- When undue trust is placed in the individual self (Asmita), it is confused with the Divine Self.
Patanjali suggested to us, thousands of years ago, that our true nature is love-that is all that we are, but we do not identify with this aspect of self, we instead identify with the contents of the mind and confuse them both as the same. The contents of the mind are in constant fluctuation, always changing from one thought or emotion to the next. We now continue to be swept into the false identification of each moment, having lost touch with the aspect of self that ceases to change, the true part of the Self, which is love. So how do we achieve this state of love, how do we connect with the most Divine aspect of Self, the truest Self?
Yoga Sutra 1.18- With continued awareness, we identify only with the pure consciousness residing in heart.
Patanjali does not leave us without any guidance in how to obtain a state of love, that which is our true nature. He prescribes us the very effective path of Ashtanga Yoga, the Eight-Limbed Path. In this complete system of yoga we learn about the nature of the mind through study of the Yoga Sutras, an ancient text complied by the sage himself, which includes the study of the self through personal and external observances (Yamas and Niyamas) He further prescribes the practices that we are to engage in when learning to differentiate between the mind and the self and teaches us about yoga postures, breathing practices and calming the mind by withdrawing the our senses (Asana, Pranayama, and Pratyahara). After a long and devoted time with these practices, we are able to flow into a new state of awareness within the body and we begin to experience a focusing of the mind in the present moment and peaceful and meditative state of awareness (Dharana and Dhyana). Having a continued awareness in the state of (Dhyana) over a long period of time we are able to experience the Union that Yoga is. The yoking of the Universal Self and the Individual Self. We can experience a state of being where we are complete and whole and the nature of the Self is revealed as a state of Being Love (Samadhi).
Yoga Sutra 2.28- By embracing Ashtanga Yoga, the Eight-Faceted Path, intuitive wisdom dawns and reveals our inner radiance.
Translation of the Yoga Sutras by:
Nischala Joy Devi The Secret Power of Yoga
Commentary by Anjili Russell