Archives for January 2024

Transforming Suffering the Yogic Way – The Klesha

A drunken monkey, bitten by a scorpion is the most memorable description of the mind I’ve heard. The mind is a great team player but runs amok when in the driving seat! When change happens, it feels threatened. Trying to regain control and understanding the mind creates a world view which maintains it’s supremacy. This is where the seeds of suffering are planted.

An understanding that the mind is all powerful skews, world view. To maintain this view the minds tactics result in challenges which the yogis call Klesha.

We have forgotten and view the mind as sovereign.  which means we are not seeing clearly. There is a lack of insight (Avidya).

The Ego rules (Asmita). Forgetting our true nature, we base our happiness on external factors. We confuse our uniqueness as superior and separate from the flow of life rather than interbeing with all life.

“He who sees all beings in the Self, and the Self in all beings, he never turns away from it [the Self]. For he who perceives all beings as the Self, how can there be delusion or grief when he sees this oneness everywhere?” “Isha Upanishad” Yogapedia

Giving our power to external objects is a great tactic of the mind.  The mind may tell us that if we have specific possessions, relationships etc. we will be happy (Raja). Perhaps we learn to avoid instead (Dvesha).

The Tree of Suffering – source: /

There is a force, flow, energy in the cosmos that continually changes. Although we are powerful spiritual beings with great potential, we have no control over this energy. Part of us is aware of this changing force even in our deepest separation. This may result in fear and anxiety. As the ultimate change is death with the resulting loss of all things physical it gives context to why we know from day 1 we will die and yet we (in the West) rarely mention or prepare for it.

Yoga brings together all aspects of the Self including mind, body, spirit, gross and subtle. We recognise our separateness and at the same time our interconnection – the wave and the ocean. The mind becomes a co-worker with the heart and gut brain. As we embrace all we are we can experience moments of bliss. (The Ananda Maya, the bliss body the final sheath/kosha of our subtle body).

It starts by becoming aware, in this moment, then this moment.