Astanga Yoga London

21st of July 2020
21st July 2020

Only a few more days till we open again, so put that pizza down! I’ve been using the last few days to reflect on what I’ve learnt and what I intend to do with that. Be more friendly to everyone. Get rid of a load of crap that I don’t need/never use/attached to for no apparent reason. Try and live now. (With emphasis on try).

The last part of chapter 1 of the Yoga Sutras follows the general theme of Samadhi, after all that is the title of the chapter. Patanjali talks about a variety of things that you can concentrate on/meditate on/gain insight from. The choices end with ‘you can mediate on what ever you like’. I like this freedom, this non prescriptive view.

Of course we may wonder ‘but what should I mediate on’? or ‘which chant should I use’? Which all condenses down to ‘which way should I go’? The simple answer is it doesn’t matter, just start. Sit and see what comes to you. Our endless search for happiness is always constrained by sadness. We will always have good days and bad days until we can let go of own desire. That is why Patanjali says meditate on anything. Because if he said mediate on an oak tree and it didn’t work you’d blame either the oak tree or Patanjali.

Of course we then ask ‘do I have free will’? Which has a rather complicate answer. We live in a world of free will where our sense of self exists. Our sense of self is for the most part there because of other people and our free will ¬†or belief in it happens because our brain is not fast enough to see that our brain acts before we are aware of it. You can look up the Libet test. Not having free will is about as big an attack on the ego as possible. And because it would fuck up pretty much the whole world ‘wasn’t my fault’ we generally live in our little utopia of self.

The only option is to smile

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