30 Days of Yogi Wisdom – Day 2 featuring Jnanadeva
“Fickleness is the very nature of the mind. But if it is endowed with indifference to worldly things and guided toward yogic discipline, it can be steadied in due course.”
The Yoga Sutras (written by Patanjali reportedly 2500 years ago) state, ‘Yogas Chitta Vritti Nirodha’ which is often translated as ‘yoga calms the fluctuations of the mind’. As ancient as this wisdom is, it is still so relevant today. Perhaps, even more so as we live in a world driven by so much over-stimulation. Jnanadeva’s quote points to one of the greatest benefits of yoga – the fact that when used with discipline, it helps to tame the wild mind.
I love this quote because it normalizes the fickleness of the mind. I find that so many yoga students get frustrated with meditation because they find their minds challenging to control. What they don’t realize is that this is totally normal and EVERYONE experiences it. Jnanadeva tells us that there is freedom from the fickleness but it requires work, it requires tapas or discipline and time but it is possible. There’s hope!
Our task as yogis is to go beyond the distractions, beyond the over-stimulation, and beyond the stories we create. Our job is to pause and recognize that our world-view is, in fact, a perspective and not actual reality. Past events, situations, and even people, have shaped the way we view reality. We react to circumstances based on this unique and individual perspective. The moment we realize this is the moment we truly realize how fickle the mind is. Once we recognize this fickleness, we can begin to move closer to enlightenment through discipline and focus. Jnanadeva reminds us that we have the power to control the mind. We just need to learn how to use it!
This is my interpretation of today’s yogi wisdom – what’s yours? Let’s have a conversation in our Facebook Group! (if you’re not a member yet, just click join)