Welcome to this week’s edition of The Source!
We’ve discussed this topic many times over the years, but I believe these turbulent times are the perfect opportunity to remind ourselves that there is hope, that there is a light at the end of the seemingly dark tunnel. There are common threads of suffering in life first identified thousands of years ago in the most ancient teachings of the Vedas.
When we stumble, feel pain, or find ourselves in suffering, there are commonalities that co-create those events as well. Those common threads that run through our non-nourishing choices, our emotional pain and our reactive thinking have been woven through you for many years. They are part of our conditioning and self-domestication. But they are also universal – and run through all of us.
In Sanskrit they are referred to as the pancha kleshas – or the five obstacles – translated literally – they are the five poisons. In fact, Vedanta says that it is our un-enlightened or illusionary thinking that brings us to decisions that we regret, interpretations that limit us, and ongoing emotional pain and suffering.
The five kleshas are:
1. Ignorance (in the form of a misunderstanding reality) known in Sanskrit as ávidyā,
2. Egoism (in the form of an mistaken identification of the Self with the intellect) known in Sanskrit as asmitā,
3. Attachment known in Sanskrit as rāga,
4. Aversion known in Sanskrit as dveṣa, and
5. Fear of death known in Sanskrit as abhiniveśāḥ.
These are mental states that cloud the mind and manifest in unwholesome actions. Kleshas include states of mind such as anxiety, fear, anger, jealousy, desire, regret, and depression, essentially non-nourishing emotions. You may want to look at each klesha and see how they are blocking you from happiness, success, fulfillment, or love.
In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali teaches that: “The goal of Yoga is not to obtain something that is lacking: it is the realization of an already present reality. Yoga practice removes the obstacles that obstruct the experience of Samadhi, or the state of complete absorption.”
As humans, we all struggle with these five mind poisons. But a daily meditation practice can help you navigate through the sometimes, treacherous waters of the kleshas. So this week commit to meditating at least once in the morning and once in the afternoon – you determine what style of meditation and the length of your practice. But by simply committing to connecting to the stillness and silence within, you WILL SUFFER LESS this week.
In the meantime, stay strong, stay positive, and stay home. I’ll see you in the gap! Peace. -d