I haven't been to my website in awhile. I think about going there often. Since I am not a computer geek, just thinking about maintaining the website makes my cortisol levels rise. I have everything written down in the exact order to get to the starting gate, but it still hasn't happened hassle free. Today, the log in wouldn't accept my password, then it wouldn't even take my customer name in full. So, I'm writing the blog first and will get to the homepage update later, when the stress hormones balance out again. One of the best quotes I've heard lately is from Robert Frost, "How often does something have to happen to us before something occurs to us". In this instance it could mean that I need to delegate the website maintenance to a paid professional, or it could mean yet another opportunity to apply the skillful actions that yogic wisdom and discipline call for, such as being Asana.
With concise clarity, Patanjali describes the nature, process and result of being the Asana in Book II, sutras 46-48.
II:46 Sthira sukham asanam
II:47 prayatna saithilya ananta samapattibhyam
II:48 tatah dvandvah anabhighatah
The word asana was mentioned by Patanjali long before the term became associated with the modern yoga practices of physical postures. Asana is a seat, situation or place. Asa implies a sense of reigning or royal. That royal seat or place is said to be "Sthira" or changeless, resolute, and firm and "Sukham", pleasant, happy, and easeful. To me this says that the royal seat of the soul is changeless and easeful. Patanjali gives even better news with the next sutra (II.47) that describes the process of coming to the seat by applying "Prayatna" correct or appropriate effort that is "Saithilya" relaxing or unwinding and through "Samapatti" total meditation on that which is "Ananta" or infinite. Often our efforts are frustrated simply because of trying too hard. That hardness blocks energy and intuition that could unfold naturally and simplify many seemingly complex situations were it not blocked and choked off by stress. Intuition by definition is the simple act of knowing without analysis or argument. It is not limited by the senses or the rational mind or the ego. It is the infinite wisdom available in the moment and sufficient for the situation at hand. It is an aspect of our True nature.
Finally in II.48 Patanjali says that when established in the seat, one is not disturbed by "Dvandva" dualities or opposites. The pull of opposites creates tension due to setting up preferences which lead to attachment and aversion. I know I'm locked into a duality conflict when my attitude or actions are disturbed by the following sentence; 'I would do (fill in the blank), but its too (fill in the blank). For example, I would do my yoga practice but its too (hot/cold, early/late, the floor is too hard/soft, I'm too busy/bored…blah, blah, etc). Sri Daya Mata, president of Self Realization Fellowship for decades prior to her passing in 2011, was known for her evenness of mind and equanimity with whatever task was before her. Her colleagues often remarked that, unlike most of us who sort tasks according to our mood or preference, Daya Mata would take up whatever task was before her with an equal sense of interest, focus and sense of purpose.
My translations from current understanding of these sutras are:
II:46 "The seat of the soul is changeless and easeful"
II:47 "The seat of the soul is realized through relaxed effort and total meditation on the infinite aspects of Self (peaceful, intuitive awareness)"
ii:48 "Then, one is invulnerable to the dualites"
I love the saying that we teach what we most need to learn. This blog has served as my own little pep talk. It occurs to me that the message has brought a sense of unwinding to the nerves and a reminder to get back in "the Seat". So now, with resolve and ease I can return to the task of updating the website.