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Know Your Self, Control Your Self

April 21, 2010

Bullet Hole by my friend Nate Lowman.

“Yogash chitta-vritti-nirodah.  Restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff is yoga.”                                                                                                                                        -Yoga Sutras I:2

In the textbook of Yoga Psychology, by Ramamurti S. Mishra, M.D., this sutra is defined as, “Yoga or union is the cessation of the thinking mind: Who am I?”  To know one’s Self, to be firm in that belief, to never wonder again who you are, this is yoga.  Can you imagine?

To understand who you are, you have to release the ego and you have to discern between what is real and what is illusion.  What creates real, lasting happiness in your life, and what is the illusion of happiness, always only lasting temporarily, and coming from the outside.  Letting go of things like clothing, validation, and all of these external things which make us happy for a little, never provide us with a lasting sense of joy.  They make us want, need, crave more and bog us down in this desire for more validation.  Real happiness comes from within.  From knowing yourself and being the cause of joy and happiness in the lives of others.  To do something selflessly for someone else is to create joy in the world.  To have the power to keep your mind steady and to no longer wonder “Who am I?” is yoga.

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