Their Modifications Can Be Burnt by Meditation
I remember when I finished my yoga teacher training in 2014, I felt so good. I thought that my journey was complete, I found life’s balance, I’d be in a state of equanimity forever, etc etc etc.
I got into a great routine of teaching and practicing yoga daily during that year in Canada. But what I discovered one year later when I moved to Kuwait was that I would not be in a state of equanimity forever. Life’s stressors, combined with culture shock, combined with completely losing my wellbeing routine - these were all a recipe for disaster. These were all a recipe to trigger me into extreme states of emotions. And because I wasn’t regularly practicing meditation, and keeping myself in a state of balance, they could be re-triggered at any time.
This shows us that Pantanjali’s Kleshas - the five afflictions - lay dormant within each of us. Healing is not a destination, it’s a journey that we are ongoing each and every day. And if we aren’t practicing meditation & yoga daily, they can spiral up within us and manifest when the circumstances are there. If we aren’t regularly meditating, we can get into a state of negativity, gossip, drama, and judgment.
I see myself get triggered and re-enter this state over and over again - and sometimes I do have an emotional response. A few weeks ago, a comment I perceived to be judgmental was said to me, and unfortunately, I got triggered and emotionally lashed out. It was not a great moment. I then reflected on the circumstance, and realized it was because of what I ate that day (too many dates, containing sugar!) and that I wasn’t able to step back and see that the person’s comment had nothing to do with me. I just needed to keep my own side of the street clean. The next time I was triggered a few weeks later in a similar situation, I was able to manage my reaction, and not lash out. I actually was able to meditate on it, and realize that I had made a mistake of putting myself in this exact scenario by sharing something vulnerable in a setting I knew I wouldn’t get the support I was seeking. Unfortunately in life I’ve had to learn to put on this protective armor when the people around me haven’t been able to hear what I’ve been sharing.
We cannot control what’s happening outside of us - we can only control what’s happening inside of us.
To remove or destroy the kleshas, we have to regularly sit quietly and practice meditation - because that is the only thing that will reveal knowledge to us.
This is the practice of yoga.
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