Sutra 1.36, solace in my time of grief

posted in: Life, Sutra | 3
Great Blue Heron at Croatan National Forest
Great Blue Heron at Croatan National Forest (ckg photo)

Today Mom moved into an assisted living facility. For several reasons, she couldn’t manage to live on her own anymore. Watching the family locus reshuffle has been a sad event.

Even though my brain knows it was necessary and inevitable, my heart grieves for what has past and will no longer be.

I’ve been spending time practicing, opening to the full panoply of emotions in an effort to create space for the light to shine through.

Yoga Sutra 1.36 says it so well:

1:36 Patanjali: visoka va jyotismati

Bouanchaud: Mental stability also stems from serenity linked to luminous lucidity.

Iyengar:Or, inner stability is gained by contemplating a luminous, sorrowless, effulgent light.

Feuerstein: Or restriction is achieved by mental activities that are sorrowless and illuminating.

Desikachar: One of the great mysteries of life is life itself. When we inquire into what life is and what keeps us alive, we may find some solace for our mental distractions. Consideration of things greater than our individual selves helps us put ourselves in perspective.

LaughingYogini: Do I allow the light of the universe to penetrate my life?  What do I do that blinds me from this light? Can I participate in a full and engaged life with  the same serenity this Blue Heron seems to embody?

Do I truly believe that there is a light in this universe? What do I learn from contemplating this light?  Can this light help me grow in a positive manner?

Do I see the light in others? In myself?  How can I cultivate this vision?

I’d love to hear your perspective.

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3 Responses

  1. Hmmm…this is a post I fear having to write at some point in the future…I mean the first part of it, about moving your mom into the assisted living facility. In fact, the general situation with my mother’s declining health, which fortunately hasn’t gotten to that point yet, and may not for a while, might be the single most difficult aspect of my life to wrap my head around…or to fully open to my emotions in order to let any light that might be there shine through…perhaps because it’s one major situation whose steady downhill course I really can’t do anything to change…which, I guess makes it exactly the kind of thing I most need to face….

    Anyway, I wish you the best in your own journey…
    .-= YogaforCynics´s last blog ..Timeless Wisdom du Jour =-.

  2. Caroline… the light can be hard to see amidst so much sadness. Death is the big issue – its what we all fear, despite or perhaps because of its inevitability. I look at my parents now, and I see their grey hair. They are both retired and have no real plans, beyond rennovating their house, travelling and spending time with their grandkids. They are not well people really, neither of them are particularly fit and they are both carrying too much weight.

    Eventually they will pass. And despite my lack of closeness to them, I know it will matter to me. Precisely because they are me, and I am them. To see them go is to lose a mirror. Or is it? I don’t think it has to be.

    The worst part about a nursing home is that it signals that death is on the way, however slowly. And it can be very slow. But it distresses us because it is clearly coming.

    The light in grief is the realisation that nobody ever really goes anywhere. That time really isn’t as sequential as it seems. And that someone’s passing indicates their journey back to Source.

    Sending you hugs!
    .-= Svasti´s last blog ..The passing of a great soul: Paramahamsa Satyananda Saraswati =-.

  3. I just went through the next transition the past two weeks–we moved my 90 year old Dad from assisted living to hospice care. He has inoperable cancer and we’re just trying to keep him comfortable with heavy pain medication and lot’s of loving attention.

    I love the way you quote from a variety of versions of the Yoga Sutra above. They are all good, but I usually find Desikachar to be the most enlightening because he takes a very broad view, and, as in the above example, a view that clearly tie the Yoga Sutra in with the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads. I certainly have a much more positive attitude toward death since I became immersed in Yoga.

    You have done a wonderful job with your WordPress site here. I look forward to reading more.

    Bob Weisenberg
    .-= Bob Weisenberg´s last blog ..Welcome Back to Yoga Journal Community’s 3rd Member! =-.

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