- Right-knowledge, misunderstanding, imagination, sleep, and memory are the five mental activities. -CT
- They are right knowledge,misconception, verbal delusion, sleep and memory. – SS
- These five Vrtti-s are right-knowledge, error, imagination, sleep, and memory. – EBF
pramāṇa—knowledge, epistemology, view, source of right knowledge
viparyaya—error, misunderstanding, incorrect knowledge
Studying texts and philosophies outside of our own time, culture, and belief systems is important for gaining a broader understanding of oneself. This can be challenging though and a true study requires us to investigate through many different lenses.
First, when studying a text we should try to understand the text from the perspective of the author. This means that we have to consider the theologies, metaphysics or cosmology, and the social and political structure of the time that the text was written. This allows us to truly understand what the message of the text was. That does not mean that you have to agree or adopt any new values or beliefs. The next step is to then analyze the material, digesting it in a way that is meaningful.
Yoga has a rich history and there are many different lineages in its evolution that have lead to our current understanding of Yoga. These lineages don’t all have the same goals or even the same means. We can find as many differences as similarities in these traditions. I think that is a good thing, especially for us as western practitioners and modern practitioners. We have the opportunity to study these ancient texts and because of that, we have a broader understanding of Yoga than ever before. We also have the freedom to practice, no matter our social or religious identities, we are able to cultivate our own spiritual practice based on our personal understanding of the metaphysical structure of reality. We have the privilege of being able to take a sampling of many religious and spiritual philosophies, cosmologies, and practices. For those rooted in a tradition, this may be hard to understand, but we are at an exciting new time in the development of spirituality and consciousness, one where we have the space to combine the study of sacred text, the teachings of saints, the practices of ancient and modern traditions with our own inner wisdom.
On another note, as we study with diligence and openness we unlock a greater capacity for understanding. When we have that “AHHH HA” moment there is a death to how we understood something and a rebirth of a new more contemporary understanding. This is another way for we can contemplate the cycle of death and rebirth, Saṃsāra, as the death and rebirth of aspects of ourselves and therefore of aspects of the Divine.
Guide me to that which is in my highest good. Help me to distinguish what nourishes my soul and what deteriorates my being. Lead me down the path of wisdom so that I may show up fully in each moment. Let my study be enlightening and fruitful. Allow my practice to benefit all beings. – Namaste
- Take a comfortable seat, one that feels both regal and relaxed.
- Turn your attention to your breath, closing your mouth inhale and exhale through both nostrils.
- Start to restrict the throat so that you feel the breath from the throat to the heart, and it makes and oceanic sound.
- Start to lengthen both the inhale and exhale so that they are balanced.
- Feel the sensation of the body expanding in all directions during the inhalation and the contracting sensation during the exhalation.
- Continue for 5 minutes, then allow the breath to return to normal.
- Allowing the body to breath, sit for 5 more minutes focusing on the breath.
- How do I perceive the metaphysical construction of the universe?
- How does my belief make me feel? Safe, Loved, Empowered, Challenged, Afraid?
- What are the benefits of creating an atmosphere of inclusivity around people’s beliefs.
- What are the benefits of having multiply ways of perceiving and understanding our world?
What does this remind me of? Other stories, scriptures, or teachings.