From Suffering to Serenity – The Klesha

The mind is a wonderful tool, we couldn’t do without it, yet it can take us to some dark places.

‘A drunken monkey, bitten by a scorpion’ is my favourite description of the mind.

The mind is designed as a team player – working with the heart brain and gut brain – but it runs amok when in the driving seat!

The mind creates a world view to maintain it’s supremacy. When it feels threatened the mind will bring up every disaster scenario possible! Often in the middle of the night.

How many times have you looked back and thought I knew that was right/wrong and done it anyway? Our gut feeling and instincts are important and valuable yet mind supremacy is deeply embeded.

For thousands of years intuitive and 6th sense gifts have been dismissed, ignored and at times resulted in persecution. It is not surprising that we have lost the connection to our heart and gut knowings. This overreliance on the mind is where the seeds of suffering are planted. which The yogis identify 5 root causes of our suffering – The Klesha

When we view the mind as sovereign we 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 relentless need for new possessions, relationships etc. in pursuit of happiness – Raja – brings only fleeting results. 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. 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 provides many tools to unite all aspects of the Self including mind, body, spirit, gross and subtle. We have time to get to know all our parts in a way that is accessible to us – movement, breathing, mantra, meditation etc. Here we can truly get to know both our separateness and interconnection to all life – 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 on and off your mat, in a way that works for you.