“Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Then, when you’re no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn’t just a means to an end but a unique event in itself… ” ~Robert M. Pirsig
This climbing quote is such a great analogy for the yogic journey! Staying in tune with yourself, staying in the moment, achieving what BKS Iyengar called “effortless effort”, removing desire and goals in favor of the journey and work for works sake 🙏🏻
Back to the book I’m reading, “Roots of Yoga” by James Mallinson and Mark Singleton. Here are some poignant extracts from the book, taken from various pages and sections:
“Yoga is not attained by he who eats too much or nothing at all, nor by he who sleeps too much, nor stays awake… For he who is disciplined in food and enjoyments, disciplined in carrying out activities, and disciplined in sleeping and waking, [suffering will be destroyed]. When his thoughts are restrained and he abides only in the self, without desire for any pleasures, he is said to be ‘yoked’ [unified to spirit].
… Qualities needed for success in yoga:
Enthusiasm, boldness, patience, knowledge of the levels of reality, resoluteness and renunciation of contact with people.
… Obstacles and Hindrances [afflictions] to Yoga Practice
The afflictions [klesas] are ignorance, egoism, passion, aversion and clinging to life.
… the ‘afflictions’ are five misapprehensions. By their activity they strengthen the authority of the gunas [the 3 qualities: darkness, action and ‘beingness’], render [unwanted] transformation fixed, swell the river of effect and cause and, with the actions and afflictions having become dependent on each other’s assistance, bring forth the fruition of actions…
… Of these [afflictions] ignorance is the field, i.e. soil of propagation, of egoism and the rest, whose variations are of four kinds, dormant, diminished, extinct or active.
… [dormancy] is the condition of being a seed found in those [things] in the mind which have only potentiality as their basis. Its awakening [occurs] when it is faced with a support [for the mind or sense organs].
… For a person in meditation in whom the seeds of affliction have been burnt up, that [awakening] does not happen again, even when faed with a support [for the mind and sense organs]…”
That’s all for now, hope you can follow along!
Photo by Steve Benjamin @animalocean