Welcome to Yoga Talk, Jackson Hole Yoga Therapy's blog. Twice monthly we produce a short clip that addresses one simple yogic concept. Today's topic: 'The Witness'. The concept of developing an ability to witness the mind in order to create space from our habits and patterns is intrinsic to the sacred yogic text Patanjali's Yoga Sutras (1.1-1.16)
I.16 tat param purusa-khyâter guña-vaitrsñyam
tat = this
param = ultimate, highest, purest
purusa = pure awareness
khyâter = clear seeing
guña = fundamental qualities of nature
vaitrsñyam = without wanting or attachment
We would like you to develop your own interpretation of this Sutra based on the translations above! Please take a moment to write your own unique understanding of this phrase!
There are five types of interfering activities of the mind (1.4) which block the realization of the true Self (1.3): knowing correctly or understanding, incorrect knowing or misunderstanding, imagination, deep sleep or dreamless sleep, and memory (1.5, 1.6). The Yogi learns to witness these five kinds of thoughts with non-attachment (1.15-1.16), discriminate between these five, and to choose or cultivate the first type of thought, which is correct understanding (1.7).
We hope you enjoy this simple explanation and the meditation.
Today's take away: It's imperative to cultivate an awareness without attachment to our imperfections.
Yoga Talk! Talk Yoga!
Cameron and Molly