मैत्रीकरुणामुदितोपेक्षणां सुखदुःखपुण्यापुण्यविषयाणां भावनातश्चित्तप्रसादनम्॥३३॥
maitrī-karuṇā-mudita-upekṣa, sukha-duḥkha-puṇya-a-puṇya-viṣaya, bhāvanātas, citta-prasādana
- Clarification of the heart mind field of consciousness, comes by realizing friendship with pleasure, compassion with pain, elation with the virtuous, and indifference to the non-virtuous.- CT
- By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous and disregard toward the wicked, the mind-stuff retains its undisturbed calmness. -SS
- By cultivating an attitude of friendship toward those who are happy, compassion toward those in distress, joy toward those who are virtuous, and equanimity toward those who are non-virtuous, lucidity arises in the mind. -EFB
Even though the translations seem to be speaking about “people”, you can understand it in regards to your experiences.
This sutra teaches us to develop our intellectual discernment. To be able to cultivate friendliness, compassion, elation, and indifference in appropriate ways, we must first be able to determine what is happening; happiness, suffering, virtue, or non-virtue, and what is not. This requires that we see clearly our experiences. That we do not veil them, with our own constructions of identification. Whoa! Is that even possible?
What is happiness? Suffering? Virtuous? Non-Virtuous? Do experiences actually hold these qualities by themselves? Or are these qualities projected onto these experiences by us?
This question has been debated for centuries, globally. There are many schools of thought. Buddhist views suggest nothing has its own character, you project the character onto your experience. The tantrik view would suggest that everything does have its own essence and that the meeting of two, (such as you with the object of your experience) the merging of two essences determines the character of the experience.
Patanjali is suggesting that we do come into contact with experiences that have their own inherent qualities.
I think that it is important to see things clearly and give them an appropriate response. This requires that we evaluate our lens ( our device for looking and making clear observations) regularly and critically. We must also be willing to change our “minds” when we don’t find that our cognitions are accurate.
Patanjali says there are four types of locks in the world, distractions or disturbances. He says there are four keys, friendliness, compassion, delight, and disregard. Knowing how to apply these appropriately keep a peaceful mind in this world of experience.
You can look at this another way. There are four types of people, those who are happy or sad, those who are virtuous or not virtuous.
Meet others, who are happy, with happiness. You say of course. But this needs to be said because it goes beyond our own nature, our survival skills. When we see someone who is succeeding, sometimes we feel jealousy instead of friendliness.
Meet others, who are in pain, with compassion. When we see someone suffering, we should treat them with compassion. Being rude, or mean, acting out through one’s speech or actions, may seem nonvirtuous. However, they may just be the symptoms of someone who is suffering. Have compassion for those, not disdain. Try to help those who suffer, be merciful always.
Meet the virtuous with elation. Be delighted in their virtue, take them as your inspiration, take them as your mentor. Never try to bring them down, never envy them, imitate them.
There are wicked people out there, we can not deny it. Patanjali suggests we meet them with indifference. You could say, “Yes they are like that today, maybe they will be different tomorrow.” I like this line of thought. It is not your responsibility to teach them or change them. You should not waste your time or energy. You should not hate them, or define them, you leave them the space to recreate themselves when the time is right. You actually honor them by being confident in their ability to respond in a virtuous way.
Remember we are trying to keep a peaceful mind. These are the tools.
2. Prayer Ritual
Practice 10X Rounds
- Use your mantra.
- Say your mantra to yourself 5 times out loud.
- Say your mantra in a whisper 5 times.
- Say your mantra silently in your mind 5 times.
*When you catch your mind engaged in an activity that you find harmful, use your mantra to reset your mind.
Dirga Pranayam is the full Yogic Breath.
- Start ujjayi, create a nice long breath, balancing the inhalation and exhalation.
- Visualize in the space between the bottom of your ribs and your navel as the central point of your being.
- As you inhale feel the energetic body expanding out, spherically, in all directions. (3-Dimensionally)
- Pause-Kumbhaka- spontaneously
- Let the exhale come naturally, feel the energetic body contracting back into the body at the central point of your being.
- Kumbhaka -spontaneous pause.
- Reapeat for 5 minutes noticing the feeling of continual expanding and contracting of your being in a rhythmic way.
- Draw your attention into yourself. Removing your awareness of the objects of your senses.
- Focus your minds eye on your object of meditation or on OM.
- Practice for 10 minutes.
- When you feel your mind wander be so gentle in bringing it back. *Remember we are like infants in this journey. Treat yourself as you would your own child.
- End by touching your heart and repeating your name 3 times.
- Can you think of a time when you saw someone doing good, and you did not feel happy for them?
- Can you think of a time when you saw a person suffering and you held it against them or defined them by it?
- Have you ever mistaken someone for virtuous when they actually were not?
- Have you ever tried to teach the non virtuous a lesson or change them?
- Do you feel you see people and experiences clearly?
- Do you define experiences and people in the present by old experiences or identifications, or do you look with fresh eyes?