Home' Australian Yoga Life : sample issue Contents Passion has Two Faces
Balslev, AN. The Notion of Klesha and
its Bearing on the Yoga Analysis of Mind.
Philosophy East & West. Vol. 41,
Feuerstein, G. The Yoga Tradition.
Hohm Press, Arizona. 1998.
Wiesner, J. Freedom and Conditionality.
Deakin University, Melbourne. 2009.
resentment is borne). Over the years, as
we grow up, we learn to mask our real
emotions with pride, perhaps even a false
sense of dignity; or, we become aggressive
and grab what we want. We create a
smokescreen between our emotions and
the world so that we are not vulnerable or
exposed. In my mum's case, her emotions
were simply a constant unwitting
eruption of pain. Yoga philosophy
understands that our tendency towards
denial creates veils of illusion which, via
methods such as meditation, can
gradually be peeled away like the layers of
an onion. And, once healed, what lies
beneath can be most beautifully revealed
-- a spirit free of fear (free from feeling
rejected, free from feeling alienated, free
from feeling unlovable).
A wise guru always remembers that
they too, are an emotional being. Sure,
the higher ideals of yogic life are based
on a spiritual endeavour to merge with
the supreme. Yet, most of the time we
live in what we perceive to be reality and
as such we need to understand how our
emotive processes affect our day-to-day
existence. From a yogic point of view,
our more unhelpful emotional reactions
are tied to attachment, to the things we
think we need to have in order to
experience pleasure or avoid pain.
Western philosophy reflects a similar
viewpoint -- that the pleasure-pain
principle is pivotal to our emotional life.
Perhaps the answer to the emotional
rollercoaster of life is found in the
Buddhist practice of recognising our
emotions without trying to hold on to
them. In this way, we don't deny our
emotions, we just don't hold on to those
emotions that create conflict in our lives.
In a way, we become dispassionately
passionate. In other words, we aspire to
rise above our more base emotions and
become dispassionate about irrational
feelings (renounce craving). At the same
time, we acknowledge the beauty and the
honesty of our more exemplary emotions.
We become passionate about the feelings
that truly matter, such as empathy,
compassion, patience and kindness -- all
the essential qualities of love.
You and I are not so different. Our
experiences are unique; but our ability
to feel is fundamentally the same. So, my
advice to you is the advice I give to
myself -- that when it comes to the
passions, let us welcome those that take
us out of the darkness and bathe us in
Jane Wiesner has practised yoga for
36 years. Jane has a Diploma Health
(Yoga), Advanced Diploma Yoga
Teaching, Certificate Children's Yoga,
Graduate Certificate in Yoga Therapy
and is in the process of a PhD (Deakin
University). Jane is the author of two
yoga books. Contact Jane via:
australian yoga life • december-february 2010 63
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