Intention can be felt within our energy field and with the intention to assist others we can experience lasting joy.
Who doesn’t want lasting joy? I know I do.
In the first edition of this series, I introduced the basic philosophical text for yoga which is The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. I will again reference this text with a book which has the Sanskrit, translations and commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda. I wish to discuss another sutra which I believe to be pertinent and beneficial to the daily life of all people, not just yogis. By adopting and adapting this sutra in a suitable fashion, it can assist and enrich life immeasurably.
1.15 drstanusravika visaya vitrsnasya vasikara samjna vairagyam
Translation- The consciousness of self-mastery is one who is free from craving for objects seen or heard about is non-attachment.
Yes, even when reading the direct translation, the meaning of this sutra seems a bit mystifying. Trust me, it will make sense in a few short minutes!
In the Portion on Contemplation or the Samadhi Pada- Book 1, I have ascertained that there is an emphasis on obtaining and preserving personal peace of mind. My last edition related how to maintain internal peace while interacting with people in our daily lives. This element of working to perpetuate peace is part of how we can continue to move towards a place of happiness and fulfillment with steadiness and ease.
What does non-attachment mean?
In a basic sense, it means to remove personal desire from your life. By serving others is how we can begin to shift our focus and feel more joyful. For example, when a friend needs your help because they are going through a tough time, when you help them, it feels good inside. It feels pure, kind and the relationship is strengthened by giving of yourself to your friend. Engaged in altruism, your state of internal peace is enhanced and personal desires are of lower priority at this time. The more we are able to transfer our thoughts to this place of giving, the more our feelings of happiness, value and tranquility will thrive.
Satchidananda says that it is not really possible for our mind to be completely devoid of desire. The secret is that by cultivating intention for our actions towards others, there is no expectation, there is just the pure joy of giving. It is incredible how bountiful our hearts feel by the reinforcement of our relationships with those we give of ourselves to.
Intention can be felt by others.
I was watching a video the other day about a man who suffered a brain injury and couldn’t remember anything for more than a few minutes. He began to focus on the feelings he would get from being around people rather than talking to them. It was very interesting because it is true that we can pick up feelings from other people, just by their presence. Think about when someone comes into a room with anxiety versus someone who is relaxed and open. We are drawn to the relaxed and open person and can feel the frenetic energy from someone filled with anxiety. In realizing this, you can see how shifting intention for the betterment of others will ultimately become food to our own souls.
This philosophy can be infused into your workplace too…
When we work with a purpose to assist others, more people will want to be around us. The overall outcome will overflow with positive reinforcement of the work at hand as well as our relationships with the people we are working with. Sounds like a win win to me! Makes me think about Marry Poppins when she tells the children that every task can be fun when you think of it as a game! The motivation drives the activity and the energetic direction it will move towards.
We spend much of our lives working and striving to make more money or get a better position so we can have more to enjoy our lives outside of work. We can bring the goal to serve into our daily lives to create more meaning to the activities and interactions we have. There are many hours we may spend outside of the home and away from our loved ones. This way our hearts and minds will be more equanimous and less attached to personal desire. Satchidananda says that if we must be “selfish” about something, let it be selfishness in the feeling of joy we capture by serving others so that we may be free. I can’t express the depth of emotion I feel when I envision people following this ancient wisdom around the world.
This is a possible reality, not just a concept. In baby steps, we can implement into our daily lives, the knowledge gathered by the sages, prophets and saints. By doing so we can reignite and return to the world the very thing that brought us forth: Love.