‘You have no idea what you are asking about!’
Guy Donahaye, author of the Guruji book, has a new blog post up that touches on the inner limbs of Ashtanga.
This is a part of the practice that sometimes seems to be lost; there’s Guruji’s famous “Practice, practice and all is coming,” statement, plus his “Ashtanga is 99% practice, 1% theory.” Both easily can drive a person toward asana — my understanding is that’s because, for most Westerners, we need to get this life in order before we even can try to go deeper in the next.
Donahaye dispels some myths — “Guruji did teach meditation and mantras on an individual basis to his students, so he was not of the opinion that meditation was a waste of time for Westerners,” he writes — but also notes the following:
Guruji spoke a great deal about practice, but much less often about vairagya. Patanjali says, these two, not just practice, but practice and moving the desire for the external towards an internal goal, will lead to chittavritti nirodhah.
He also suggests that many Ashtanga practitioners move toward a desire or need for a more meditative side to study. “Vipassana is very common amongst ashtanga practitioners and seems to make a very good partner in the connection through breath,” he writes.
As one who still is struggling mightily with meditation — just finding the time is often tough — Donahaye’s post is timely. His likening meditation to “mastery” over a musical instrument strikes a chord (boo ya, I can’t believe I fit that in!). I can certainly imagine that state of mind. Whether that will help me get any closer via meditation is a different story.
Even if it doesn’t, I still say Donahaye’s is a useful post. I encourage you to give it a look.
Posted by Steve