Weeding The Mind
Weeds have a very strong and persistent root system. You manage to weed them out one year, only to find them again the next. Just like thought formations, they just keep coming. I’ve been thinking about weeds as thought formations that keep us stuck in a cycle of unhelpful behaviors, otherwise known as samskara. Like weeds, these thoughts begin as a seed and then root themselves into our consciousness and cloud our experience: our actions, interactions, reactions…
The sanskrit word for these seeds is samskara. Samskara is ‘a mental conformation or latent karmic tendency shaping one's present life’. Samskaras can color our whole existence and keep us stuck in cyclical suffering. Yoga, as a practice of asana with controlled breathing, is like weeding. Through concentrated practice we are able to follow the mental formation to its origin and begin to uproot it by replacing it with conscious action. Each time it sprouts we guide it back to the breath, if rooted in the body as pain or a pattern of behavior, we become aware of the pattern, learn to catch ourselves and redirect the attention, intention, or behavior elsewhere. As we further our practice in the quality of concentration we continue to weed out the samskaras that are preventing us from finding ease and steadiness within. Until finally one day we are fully purified, free from them, and able to be here, now, with each breath, experiencing union within and without.
Join me on Retreat this summer in Ibiza, Spain!