Home' Australian Yoga Life : sample issue Contents Asato ma sat gamaya;
From illusion lead me to the Truth;
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya;
From darkness lead me to Light;
Mrityur ma amritam gamaya
From death lead me to Immortality.
BRYHAD ARANYAK UPANISHAD 1.3.28
Passion has Two Faces
traces or imprints (samskaras) left
behind by past patterns of thought
(vrittis) These thought patterns produce
latent tendencies or subliminal
activators (samskaras). Once developed,
they continue to grow, constantly
prompting our actions, manifesting in
emotional tendencies that 'afflict' our
Subliminal activators represent a
dynamic part of our emotional life. In
other words, your craving for that new
wardrobe of clothes (new car, new
computer, new phone...) isn't just about
wanting, it's about emotional
nourishment. At some point in the past,
you learned to comfort yourself through
'things'. This may well be the way you've
always dealt with issues such as failure,
loneliness, rejection, and criticism.
Unfortunately, the imprints that carve
their marks on our minds -- whether
conscious or unconscious -- are often
accompanied by self-soothing
mechanisms that can lead to over-eating,
drinking, over-spending, smoking,
gambling -- anything that distracts us. In
other words, all of our 'dark' emotions,
and the habits they create, encourage us
to avoid facing how we really feel.
Naturally, not all of our memories
create havoc. Some emotions take us out
of the darkness and lead us into the light.
Yet samskaras create a whole gamut of
emotional responses that keep us from the
light -- they can bury us in darkness.
Perhaps one of the greatest symbols of
yoga is this concept of moving from the
darkness to the light. We can refer to this
as enlightenment (self-realisation), an
insightful level of awareness, or the
Our feelings are sometimes lost in a maze
of reactive behaviour -- directed by our
own misunderstood responses to life.
experience of heightened consciousness.
Enlightenment is the seed of pure, or
Honest feelings are more easily
understood, as opposed to emotional
responses that are prompted by
irrational thoughts. Negative or
unhelpful emotions mask our real
feelings. In other words, anger might
mask fear. You feel angry with the person
accusing you of continually failing; but
secretly you fear that they are right -- that
you are destined to fail. These irrational
australian yoga life • december-february 2010 61
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