a poetic exploration of patanjali’s yoga sutra 1.20
I was on a roll writing about the sutras for several months and then the world took a very interesting turn and I just had to stop writing. I began to get very quiet, deeply listening and observing the behaviors and conversations that were happening around and that I was engaged in as well. Often I learn the most, through observing my own interactions more than observing what others are doing.
I have been watching radicalism on every level from those who want to fight against vaccinations to those who want to fight for the right to have their own land. Ultimately it is about the struggle over oppression..… Who is the oppressor…who is the oppressed.
I have found in my short time on this planet, albeit I have been here many many times before, that if I focus on who is the oppressor and the oppressed I actually will just continue to spin in the cycle that is currently out of control (my own very subjective opinion). What is another perspective to this? This struggle is founded on a very innate desire to survive. Human beings have entered this world with the capacity to feel, it is not ONLY to Survive but to the THRIVE. The difference between Surviving and Thriving lays in our emotional landscape and our capacity to utilize and experience the full range of our emotions.
What I have observed after a decade of working with individuals and in group settings, is that we really do not want to only survive but we we want to feel aliveand to be perfectly honest…we all desire to be LOVED and have a connection to the frequency of what I call formless love. Now, the issue with language is that we all come with so many different experiences and LOVE is one of the most charged words we have.
I feel the Yogis knew this and Patanjali’s profound wisdom to present the collection of Yoga Sutra’s in the most accessible way with precise language that allows the greatest accessibility. So instead of having the word love in the Sutra there are words like…..Samadhi, Prajna, Viveka, Kaivalya.
In my opinion, the world is seeking Freedom. The experience of Freedom and formless love are very similar. So here is where I paused and turned towards the Yoga Sutras to see if there is some insight for what are the qualities of the being in pursuit of Freedom/Love…. So now we arrive at the doorway of Sutra 1.20.
Sutra 1.20 Sraddha-Virya-Smrti-Samadhi-Prajna-Purvakah Itaresam
For some, these 5 stages are the process naturally pursued for Freedom by a Yogi.
Faith, Vigor, Memory, Complete Absorption and Discernment.
The order is important and a reflection of the natural progression of the process of attaining Freedom/Ecstasy.
I will offer a poetic reflection of this Sutra and may it inspire you to pursue freedom /formless love/ecstasy NOT by focusing of who is in the way of your Freedom externally and fighting it but from experiencing Freedom internally first and then naturally embodying it. Therefore, creating a shift in consciousness.
Poetic Reflection on Yoga Sutra 1.20
Door to Freedom
The Door has no other keeper
Other than the one knocking
Who has always had the key within
Yet never trusted that they knew how to use it
There are some who arrive to this door
With a sense of profound Faith
Trusting the magic to this life
Trusting the spaces that exists in between… inside… out
Through the allowance to be absorbed into this infinite dwelling
Trusting the learning that each experience cultivates inner wisdom is built from memory on the foundation of discernment
So many Desire this Door
For others they find their way
Through fierce action and discerning intellect
The Desire for the Door to Freedom compels
Us to continue our walk
Listen my friends,
The days of knocking are done
You will no longer need to knock
The door will always be open
You just need to walk through
Believe in this creation
Journey with Vigor
Utilize your wisdom to guide others
Become absorbed into the now
And naturally embody Freedom
The experience of freedom will only be enslaved
If I continue to describe it
Enjoy your journeys and
Be inspired to find another to travel in this life
*note: I deeply thank Rod Stryker who shed light on this Sutra for me 3 years ago