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Parinama, hope and peaceful flow

I’ve chosen Parinama (change) and hope as the main subject this month since I’m going through big changes in my life. I’ve changed country, house, I’ve changed my daily routine, I’ve changed people that I associate with daily or not, in a different language, I’ve changed my eating and sleeping patterns, I’m living in different rules that even though I moved back home where I feel comfortable with and adore… everything is going through changes…and inevitably my inner and outer self either. All these are quite exciting and bring up loads of overwhelming emotions sometimes that need to be controlled in a way.

Parinama in Yoga sutras (Y.S.3.9-12) is a very complex subject and has mainly 2 meanings: of change and transformation through meditation. I don’t particularly want to expand in the different stages of Parinama because of the complexity of the subject and one might find this article incomplete but at this moment of time, I would like to bring this concept to real time and life and remember some very important ideas that can be supportive to the way we react to change.  Every time we practice meditation (through the 8 limbs of Yoga*) there is shift happening in the mind…everything that our mind perceives is subject to modification. But most importantly, through the 8 limbs, everything can be modified in a chosen way.  The Yoga Sutras remind us to learn to work with change and experience it every time we practice. How? In reality, distraction and attention interplay every moment and whichever prevails at a time influences the individual’s behaviour, attitude and expressions. When attention prevails, our pose is serene, our breathing is quiet and we are absorbed with our object of meditation (the object can be a word, a thought, a mantra anything that we choose to meditate upon). The opposite happens in the state of distraction where our pose and breath is irregular and unbalanced.

By sustained yoga practice, we extend the time of attention and focus, we acquire awareness of what we are capable of doing but also of the distractions and interruptions as reality (satvada~what’s happening is real~) and we accept the changes (parinamavada~change is real~) with a serene state of mind without wondering, without questions, therefore without fear. This all is happening in stages and the first stage is to recognise and understand our samskaras (habitual patterns). The environment that we live form our habitual patterns and our character from the time we are born. When we bring the attention inwards and we accept the reality of our true selves, we can easier get rid of the samskaras that we don’t need, cultivate the ones that we get benefit from, but most importantly be open for new ones to be revealed (hope).

Now here is a tricky part…  Samskaras as deep impressions in our daily life come out as words, thoughts, actions and they naturally arise sometimes smooth but sometimes harsh and loud. The more we let them arise the more agitated we feel. When we cultivate attention to the arising thoughts and impressions and we start to discriminate them intelligently through repeated practice, the mind becomes more still and quiet and the cultivated attention can be considered as a new habit pattern which is very beneficial for our lives.  Our reactions in our daily life have a peaceful flow because we can intentionally stay in deep tranquil state whenever we want. And once we delve deep into the stages of parinama (transformation), the sutras indicate that we can understand past characteristics and how they have evolved but also the future to which they are evolving.  Contemplating in this last sentence under my present circumstances…by repeated practice (of yoga and meditation), my mind becomes more attentive and calm, when the mind is calm it can discriminate and think about how I got here (the past) and then think about how to plan, face and evolve in the future with clarity, less fear, peace of mind, open heart! 🙂

Yours in yoga ❤


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