I have been revisiting the YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI from a feminine view and continue to discover threads of tantric thought throughout the aphorisms. In my classes and workshops, I share with you a fresh new commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, drawing from my experience of being a woman, from the movement of life, from embryogenesis, from the womb-space. Be open and ready for something new!
Following is a short excerpt on Patanjali's sutra about AHIMSA.
II.35 ahimsa pratisthayam tat-sannidhau vaira-tyagah
Ahimsa is often translated into “non-violence” but is more appropriately understood and translated to “non-wounding.” The bio-system that is established in ahimsa does not introduce wounding substances, thoughts, environments to itself. It thrives in a state of regeneration and is able to adapt to various situations by being fluid and changeable. It’s ideas are not so fixed that an opposing idea will create a reaction. Non-wounding means rendering our systems (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually) so pliable that we are have little to defend and they are highly integrative and become fluid in interactions with the outside environment. This creates less hostility, less anger, more love, compassion and understanding.
This does not mean that boundaries do not exist, however a wider sense of self and connection with the world around one creates a new understanding and less "us and them" mentality.
Practicing Ahimsa begins with opening and enhancing our perception of life all around us. As we perceive life, we participate with life, and we become increasingly aware that our actions and choices affect all around us and return in resonance back to our own experience. Practicing AHIMSA is less about following a set of rules or regulations or codes or ethics, and more about opening widely to PERCEIVE what is the most appropriate action in each moment. It is born of an inner listening, not of an outside authority. Our world is in such a rapid state of change, that “rules” imposed today, may no longer be valid tomorrow. This is why fine tuning our perceptive faculties is essential. This way of “practicing” puts us in constant interaction with life and all it’s processes.
Practicing AHIMSA certainly takes practice! Cultivating an attitude and action of AHIMSA is intimately woven into all the other suggestions of Patanjali's finely tuned text. Various meditations and practices will help in opening this heart-based perception. Others will help in spreading the perception out into action. It requires slowing down and seeing "where we are at" in any given moment. Leaving our "opinions" and conditioning aside, if even for a second, to perceive a situation much wider than just ourselves and let the natural action rise from the flow of life.
Excerpt from THE YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI: A Feminine Commentary
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