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Dear Jenni: YSP 1:42

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However, this [mind as clear as a diamond] does not happen spontaneously. It is gradual.

Yoga Sutra of Patanjali 1:42 – Desikachar translation

Well, Jenni, I’ve finally thrown in the towel with the Bouanchaud translation. I have no idea what the purpose of that translation was meant to be but I’m thinking elucidating the sutras to an English language speaking population wasn’t it. Perhaps it works better in French, the language it was originally written in. I suspect that whoever translated it into English either didn’t understand anything about yoga and didn’t care to because frankly, the translations too often make no damn sense at all. So, I’m switching over to the Desikachar translation at the back of The Heart of Yoga.

On to the sutra!!! Like you, Jenni, I find this a particularly encouraging bit of wisdom. I’m one of these people who want enlightenment and I want it now. Chop, chop..what are we waiting for?? Patience has never been my long suit. But here’s the good news for us impatient folk: it’s a process and it’s gradual.

This is something I can believe in. I’m still new enough to the serious yoga practice that I can remember what my mind was like in the past. I’m nowhere near having the mind as “clear as a diamond” stage but I have noted pretty profound movements in that general direction. A couple of months ago when I was in an interview with my boss, he commented that I’m “not nearly as reactive as I used to be”. No kidding – I haven’t filleted anyone with my tongue in ages. I don’t lose my temper nearly as often. I’m calmer. I’m more reflective. Frankly, I’m a hell of a lot easier to work with and I’m a million time easier to live with.

As I turn my focus inward, I’m starting to appreciate how our thoughts and our understanding is clouded by our prejudices, especially when we delude ourselves that we have none. Our perceptions are shaped by our memories and our past. I haven’t mastered any of this but I’m coming to this with a heightened sense of awareness as to what the issues are for me.

How often do we stop and analyze our assumptions to see if they’re still valid and relevant to the issue at hand? It’s not something I do a regular basis and I suspect that’s true for many of us. It’s food for thought. How many of our current short hand, formulaic “thinking” processes no longer serve their original purpose. Looking at that might give us all a fresh perspective on our own minds.

Thanks for reading and Namaste,



About Kate MacKay

I'm a certified Viniyoga teacher, in Fredericton, NB. I was a 9-1-1 operator and emergency services dispatcher for 22 years. Surprisingly, the two worked well together, or as I liked to put it, from the sublime to the ridiculous -- all in a day's work. I'm currently off work as a result of a stress-induced cardiac condition that's thrown a few crimps in my lifestyle. I'm not actively teaching yoga in the classroom right now and probably won't for several more months. That said, this blog is one of the forms of practice I can do and I thank you for joining me in this exploration of all things yoga.

2 responses »

  1. Honey! I’m with you!! 🙂 my words exactly..I don’t even have to specify this 🙂 since I can relate to all of it!
    Me too, is a lamb, to live with today-comparing to 5 or 10 years ago. I guess I’m still pretty intense to work with, but I’m not in “fight-flight-mode” anylonger, that makes it easier on my surroundings ;-)How true I find this to be: “Our perceptions are shaped by our memories and our past” and it really bugs me!!!!!!! I cannot get around it! I want to. “God, make me patient – but do it NOW!”
    One of my guides gave me this prayer(to univers, love, reality, whatever;)) that I love: “.. let me set aside, everything I think I know, that I may have an open mind and a new experience” love jenni

  2. I like that prayer.. I could use it on about 8 occasions a day.


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