Patanjali Yoga Sutra 2.55
TATAḤ PARAMᾹ VASYATENDRIYᾹṆᾹṀ
“Pratyahara results in the absolute control of the sense organs. The effect of pratyahara is felt when the senses are mastered, and the mind is ripe and avid for its spiritual quest. When the senses have ceased to run after endless pleasures obtained from the phenomenal world, they can be yoked to serve the soul.” B.K. S. Iyengar
Pratyahara is shifting attention from the outer world to the inside. We try to shift counter productive habits from the outer world, the senses, rather than the inside. Unless it comes from the inside, the change won’t stick. Withdrawing the senses brings us to our peace, our Truth, and from there what isn’t beneficial falls away. There is a dissolving into ecstasy.
tatah = then, thereby, thence, from that
parama = highest, supreme, ultimate, perfected
vashyata = mastery, control, being willed
indriyanam = of the mental organs of actions and senses
Close your eyes and connect with your breath. Last week the sutra was on Pratyahara, withdrawal of the outgoing, insatiable senses. When you allow the senses to dissolve and bring your awareness inward, you connect with that peaceful place inside you. When you are aware of your center, the midline, the heart, the brain relaxing from all it’s activity, you settle into the Source of your True nature. This week’s sutra says when you turn the senses inward, you master the senses and you master the mind. Then you use your senses without any attachment and you dissolve into the inner energy, the inner sweetness.
Repeat the sutra 4x
When all the restless settles down something happens… a sweetness, an aliveness, a vitality, a space of ecstasy fills you.
Take a few nice long exhales to leg go. Smooth, slow inhales, long exhales. Find the peaceful sweetness. Dissolve into the sweetness of your peace today. Open up to inner sounds, smells, insight. Listen carefully. What’s going on inside? Listen for the vibration of Om. Let all the restlessness dissolve. Merge with the inner flow. No outer distractions. Flow with the internal river of Om.
Take a moment to sit and settle into the inner ecstasy. Feel the senses turned inward to your True nature. Here, the mind is mastered. You have that ecstasy and peace. You feel different, more connected. May this give you a different state of mind to live from.