Scaling the depths

  “Go within and scale the depths of your being from which your very life springs forth.” —Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


“In his Yoga Sūtras, Patañjāli lists five classes of citta vrtti which create pleasure and pain. [Two of] these are:

Viparyaya (a mistaken view which is observed to be such after study)... and

Vikalpa (fancy or imagination, resting merely in verbal expression without any factual basis).” B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Yoga, 1966.

Freedom from confusion, from identification with clouded, mistaken judgements and misperception can be achieved through practice and detachment. In practice the yogi trains herself to directly perceive reality through exploring the physical body. For example, we can perceive if we are actually pressing our back outer heel in standing poses, however in order to witness this we must choose to pay attention and let go of distractions (detachment). “These beginner actions don’t go away. We have to keep doing them. Yoga is doing and not something someone has said.” (Manouso Manos)

From this skill of directly witnessing reality, if a person insists to us that a rope coiled on the ground  is a snake, and that we should fear it because they are terrified, we need not fear it if we can perceive it with our own eyes and trust our perception. That observer may be very shaken, very fearful and try to convince of us of the threat—and yet if it is only a rope there is no real danger. Don’t be misguided by the misperceptions and delusions of others. Look into the nature of reality for your self. The truth makes itself apparent. Keep looking and “Keep your focus” (Manouso Manos)