Saturday, November 29, 2014
All thoughts fall into two major categories pleasure and pain.
The main goal of yoga is learning to control the mind. The mind and the soul are one. We use the yoga poses to help us control the mind. Thoughts exist in the mind. Thoughts are called vrittis. There are five main vrittis or fluctuations that affect our consciousness. The first three are:
1. Correct knowledge
2. Incorrect knowledge or misconception
3. Imagination(verbal delusion)
And the fourth is sleep. When we sleep we suspend all other thought processes such as knowledge, misconception and imagination. We sort of empty the mind and surrender to the world of dreams. However, dreams are not thoughts. That is because thoughts are voluntary. Dreams are involuntary. With knowledge and imagination we evaluate and conjure our own images. Thus we create thoughts and control what we think. With dreams we step outside the realm of reality and outside the control of the dreamer. That is because the images, sounds, ideas and feelings we experience in our dream states are involuntary and out of our control.
Upon a wakening we realize that all our thoughts were suspended as we slept accept this one thought; when we sleep we empty the mind, we let go and this leaves an impression upon us when we awake.
To empty the mind takes practice. But in kriya yoga the empty mind is considered undesirable insofar as it results in passive energy. Instead we focus on being still. It means to let go of tension without lowering your energy. “Nature abhors a vacuum”. When there is emptiness something always rushes in to fill the void. Therefore what we want to do is focus and let go. We control the mind by being quiet.
Nothing is achieved without practice.
The key to quietude is not to try and empty the mind, but to relax your mind so that it does not get involved in any thought or feeling. Thoughts and feelings come and go. If we don’t get attached to our thoughts they fade and the mind begins to empty or become quiet.
The easiest way for us to do this is to do the sitting Zen. That is because when we give the mind something to focus on, like the breath, it suspends thought and we experience moments of quietude.
What is the impression sleep leaves upon us? Why should we empty the mind when we sleep? When we sleep we rest the body. We also rest the mind. We let go, detach and experience emptiness insofar as it brings moments of peace and serenity. When we awake we are relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated. This is good for the body, the mind and the soul.