Last month teacher training students contemplated Sutra I.12, abhyasa vairagyabhyam tannirodhah: Practice and detachment are the means to still the movement of consciousness. They wrote responses to the following question: In consideration of Patanjali’s assertion that both practice and non-reaction are required to sustain stillness, how can I work toward a peaceful mind even when confronted with conflict or adversity? Students were also instructed to not confuse non-reaction with repression, indifference, lassitude, or slothfulness and to observe the tendencies of gripping, wanting, aversion, and/or clinging.
a long and unwieldy poem about cycles
I. What might
I might be unknown to the world,
a balloon cut loose and spinning upwards and alone
or I might be the punctured silk of a kite, unraveling in the chaos of the wind,
flailing like a broken wing that winces with each turn
II. The problem with words
cut the words. cut the shit.
III. The fears that eat us
Like if I softened I might sink
Like if I sank I might drown
Like if I drowned I might die
Like if I died, I would die.
IV. Scene: Kitchen, 8pm Tuesday night, after yoga class, girl and boy play cat and dog
I was so fucking pissed at you and I wasn’t going to let go,
No. I was gonna hang on and nurse that fire,
make it breath flames into the whole house.
and I knew it, all the while I knew I was clutching my anger
cradling it, giving it all of the space in my collapsed and breathless chest.
my mother says that anger is really sadness, concealed.
so I wrote a poem about cats and dogs.
you and me, I said, we’s like cats and dogs.
we chase each other’s tails in fury, we scratch and bite,
and then we’re back to bodies curled and shared sleep.
You never do your dishes. It’s a fact.
I feel hurt, my hurt becomes anger,
I shoot an arrow from my tongue,
it pierces your navel.
Now you feel hurt.
VI. Practice part 2
You don’t do your dishes
and I don’t care ?
That right there is the moment it bubbles out of me, the protest,
the nine-year-old that says but that’s not fair ! So what do I do ?
I swat at the fly that lands on my head, and then I’ve got blood
on my palm.
I let the fly do its thing,
buzz around my ear and then perch on some patch of hair.
surely the fly will move on, surely so will I.
VII. The morning after, the sky’s the limit
I’m the same person.
Unless I choose otherwise.
The roots of choice grow in the imagination,
we can only become what we dare to imagine.
Janan Scott, current student in Karuna’s 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training