The Disappearance of Mental Disturbance

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No person, event or circumstance can MAKE you feel a certain way.

It is only your relationship to it and perception of it that dictates your view.

A consistent yoga practice allows you to slow down, pause, quiet the mind and discover that how you feel in every moment is completely up to you–independent and free from anything outside of yourself.

Imagine that your mind’s natural state is a perfectly still lake. Your thoughts are small pebbles that are constantly being tossed into the lake, creating ripples, or vrittis. Vritti is the sanskrit word for vibration, disturbance, or shallow interruption that occurs in the midst of your natural stillness. Underneath the surface ripples, the water is still perfectly clear, calm, present and undisturbed. If we want to reamin centered regardless of what's happening in the outer world, then we have to stop reacting to the ripples created from the pebbles, and instead, tread in the deepest currents of the lake.

Circumstances are shallow ripples–appearances that are coming and going. When a mental disturbance arises, and something indicates that action is required, how do you typically respond? If you are acting from the energy of the disturbance you are not remaining centered in your natural state. 

Next time you experience a disturbance, try to completely stop, relax, and slow down your thoughts without coming to any conclusions or judgements. Can you cultivate space between YOU and the mind-body? It takes both discipline and practice to remain centered in the midst of the raging mind.

In The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, sutra 1:2 reads: Yogas citta vritti nirodhah

yogas=yoga

citta=chatter of the mind (the unreliable aspect of human beings) 

vritti=ripples, disturbances or misconceptions of the mind

nirodhah=to find equanimity, peacefulness, stillness and quietness

Yogas citta vritti nirodhah: When you are in a state of yoga, all disturbances that exist in the mind disappear. 

Yoga does not bother with changing the outside world. Yoga is mastery over vrittis, the shallow ripples of the lake, the disruptions, the disturbances, the chatter of the mind. If you have true mastery over your thought forms, and can change them as you please, then you are not bound by an outside world. 

There’s nothing wrong with the world. You can make it a heaven or hell according to your approach. That is why the entire yoga is based on citta vritti nirodhah. If you control your mind, you have controlled everything. Then there is nothing in this world to bind you.
— Sri Swami Satchidananda

Try implementing a practice that helps you restrain the mind. Whether it be yoga, meditation or another discipline, you will discover that consistent practice over time will cause the disturbances  of the mind to naturally settle down, and you will experience your true nature, your natural state–the peace, ease and stability that is always already been here. You will no longer have the urge to fight or flight, to defend yourself, to protect yourself. You will be able to lean away from your thoughts and allow them to appear and disappear–just as clouds floating through the sky. You will experience yourself as the background of awareness of thoughts, not the thoughts themselves. You will become a channel for life to flow through. You will become an instrument for source.

When you make a commitment to hold the space for your conditioned mind, you become the container and not the substance within it. Make this commitment, to yourself, to root down into the deepest currents of what you are, despite what is happening on the surface. Circumstances belong to the changing, the coming and the going. Taking your direction or basing your course of action on disturbed thoughts will typically result in lack and limitation, because you will be experiencing the most shallow shallow part of the lake.

Take time to stop, pause, relax, center yourself, and connect to what lies below the surface. The peace and freedom that you seek is within you–you just have to see beyond the ripples.

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Ayla Sarnoff