Sutra 2.26: The means of attaining cessation is the unceasing vision of discernment.
Translation by Georg Feuerstein
* “cessation” here refers to meditation (stilling the mind)
What happens when the mind quiets completely in meditation?
What’s one way to get there?
Practice Yoga in Action
You can practice kriya yoga or “yoga in action”:
- a ruthless study of yourself, your “goods” and “bads” and totally unique bits
- practice self-discipline as needed to persevere through tough spots
- surrender to that which is beyond the intellect
I can imagine doing this practice of self study, perseverance, and surrender. I can comprehend it because in these actions of yoga, you can always do something that puts you in the process of yoga.
The “cessation” or “unbroken awareness of this truth alone” in sutra 2.26 appears at first a little less “do-able” at will.
And if you read all the other sutras (there are 250+ of them!), you’ll discover that it’s in all the other stuff that you can do that you will one day lead yourself to this “unceasing vision of discernment.” It might happen after a long, studious effort, or it might happen in line at the grocery store. But when discernment arises, it will bubble up as if without effort. And in that effortlessness, you will watch it rise and pass through without a need to hang on. Because this discernment, which the yogis call viveka, will always be there for you to uncover — once or again and again.
But if you try to hold on, that grasping will pull you right back out. That’s because the effort you exert to maintain control over the moment will prevent the brain from letting go, which (!) we need to do in order to experience viveka (discernment).
When you hold on to tight, you tumble back into your own personal chaos of questions, doubt, and mental chatter.
In the physical world where we operate, some doubt and questioning are good and essential. But in the space of oneself — the experience of self that yoga can help you uncover — doubt and chatter make it impossible to experience viveka, and cloud your clear sense of self.
Which is why we don’t just leave yoga to the nearly impossible space of “let it happen”! It’s why we practice, and try, and let ourselves be vulnerable in the face of all that is, that we can learn, that we can discover inside ourselves.
Practice yoga in action, to keep discovering viveka
In order to learn how to know your Self, and be true to your Self, practice kriya yoga, and allow the discernment of viveka to arise where it will, when it does.
Practice, experience, live. Repeat.
You got this, yogi!