Sutra 2.48: tatah dvandva anabhighata
Thence comes unassailability by the opposites [found in nature, such as hot and cold]. Translation by Georg Feuerstein
Summer in NYC has been mild this year. Some of you are even wondering if it’s arrived yet, even as we begin the movement into fall. I, however, have been quite thankful for our mild summer – it’s saved me from the routine melting and complaining that normally characterizes summer for me. When fall and even winter do arrive, you’ll find me content as a clam in the ocean, as many of colleagues begin to find the chill running through to their bones unbearable.
Why is that? Well, one reason is that we’re simply different from one another. How we’re different can be well explained from the purview of Ayurveda (check out Cynthia’s introduction to Ayurveda or join us for her INlife talk on Sept 2!). Once we operate through that understanding, there’s still work to be done to shape how we react to the energies of life.
Sutra 2.47 tells us that one of the results of a perfectly steady and comfortable posture is samadhi, and one of the results of that is imperviousness to the gunas, or dualities of nature (2.48, see above). Does this mean that I can escape the sizzling hot yuckiness of summer? And my summer-loving friends can avoid the chill they feel in winter? If so, sign me up!
Yes, my friends you heard right. Effortless concentration that leads to deep quiet within the internal workings of the brain can make summer bearable for me and winter bearable for others. Isn’t that marvelous?!
I’m being a little flippant about this, but from my experiences and observances and yoga education I believe 100% that we can cultivate a stillness inside that makes all the other stuff, the dualities and the disturbances, simply fall away (momentarily, at least). Even on purpose, we can train our minds to help us build this imperviousness: Several years ago at the Rubin Museum of Art (never been? Get thee over to 7th + 17th now! I highly recommend their Friday night happy hour and programming!), I witnessed a man submerged in ice for an hour step out completely comfortable, without damage to skin or internal organs. He used a specific meditation technique to adjust his body temperature such that he protected himself from the cold. It took intense focus and effort, and years of practice, I’m sure, but that’s the reach of self-control we have within us –simply by letting go into this meditative concentration.
Now, if that’s not a good enough reason to get comfy in your body, how about just feeling amazing while walking down the street? Or playing with your kids, or chasing your dog in the park, or getting to do all the amazing things you want to do in this life? The stillness of meditation comes out in those moments, too.
Hari om tat sat!
Experience your true self and bring it into every moment of your living!
The Yoga Sutras are a classical text on yoga–a guidebook of sorts.
Each week, 216 teacher Esther Palmer dives into one of the sutras and we let it take us where it takes us.