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Mar 24: Yoga/Samkya Wisdom 4

Yoga as "Embodied Awareness"

  • How do we put the physical practice of asanas and pranyama together with the other six limbs of yoga?
Fahri: the body as way of carrying the head around, something to exercise. In contrast, asanas encourage us to start with what we feel, move into stillness, locate where we are "stuck".
YS 3.46 "Bodily perfection includes beauty, grace, strength, and a diamond's hard glow." and in subsequent aphorisms we find a connection between discipline of sense organs and mastery over matter.
This connection is visualized in a variety of ways: energy in the body as released by practice, chakras, "subtle body".
How asanas and breathing affect human physiology.

Yoga Sutras Parts Three and Four

  • Cessation of thought and enlightenement. Cessation of thought is the overall process, though not the ultimate goal.
  • Stages of yogic development in the Sutras:
  • Tranquility
  • Contemplative Poise
  • Contemplation - seeded and seedless
  • Observer standpoint - using 3 gunas
  • Samyama - "perfect discipline" - product of realizing three limbs of concetnration, meditation, and pure contemplation.

"The light of wisdom comes from mastery of perfect discipline." (YS 3.5)

Part Four -- Absolute Freedom

  • The perspective in Part Four seems to one in which purusa, thought(in nature), and "objective" nature get resolved into their basic dualism.
  • Substance metaphysics in YS 4.14
  • Moving from thought to spirit as one's standpoint: YS 4.22 "Awareness of its own intelligence occurs when thought assumes the form of the spirit through consciousness that leaves no trace. Note metaphor of sun in Miller's commentary, p. 79
  • YS 4.25, "One who sees the distinction between the lucid quality of nature and the observer ceases to cultivate a personal reality."

Does the achievement of yogic calm and the Observer standpoint ultimately connect you to a social reality or isolate you? How so?