The Yoga of Non-Attachment: Aversion and Prefrences

10:14 AM

“Ego is [to consider] the nature of the seer and the nature of the instrument power of seeing to be the same thing.


Attachment stems from [experiences] of happiness.


Aversion stems from [experiences] of pain” Yoga Sutra of Patanjali II.6-8 (Translation by Edwin Bryant)


One of the ‘side effects’ of a yoga practice, is the loosing of preferences, attachments and aversions. We begin to just see everything as it is without judgement and without a feeling one way or another. This does not void us from happiness, because we should be on a consistent stream of bliss, or at least contentment. However there is this sense that everything just is and we accept it as such.


According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, this is because of our meditative practice of yoga. As the mind meditates it begins to ‘reprogram itself’ by becoming increasingly aware of the Divine nature hidden inside. It begins to remove old thought processes and clear the way for truth to shine through, and the Divine nature to be brought fourth. Any object is then regarded as an equal.


This concept is not exclusive to the Yoga Sutras either. Regarding the practice of Yoga Krishna also brings this to light while talking to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita. “To whom pleasure and pain are alike, who abides in the Self, to whom a lump of clay, a rock, and gold are the same, to whom the pleasant and unpleasant are equal, who is firm, to whom blame and praise of himself are the same:” (Gita 14.24 Translated by Eliot Deutsch).


Although it is true that this happens naturally with a meditative practice, there is also a great amount of work involved off our yoga matts and meditation pillows. There is also a vigilance that has to happen in our thoughts and hearts, to be always on guard for what we may find ourselves attached to; then by understanding the attachment go deeper and root out the pleasure or pain of why. Digging into the deeper parts of ourselves to see where this concepts comes from in order to understand.


For example, when you were very young and teething your parents may have given you some rum or whisky to help with the pain. If they did they most likely did it from their own stock which had their favorite drinks. Further the trick worked, calming your pain as a baby and allowing you to have a good nights rest. Fast forward to when you are at a bar and someone asks you to ‘pick your poison’. You could never explain why, but you always had a taste for a particular brand of either whisky or rum. It gave you a sense of peace and happiness, and you were always able to have a good night’s rest when you went home. It may sound far fetched, however when you were a baby you attached yourself to the feelings that came after having a particular taste. That attachment stayed with you. Until you notice it and find the cause, it always might.


Though in yoga we teach about trying to undo attachments though noticing aversions and preferences. There is still a large part that seems to get lost on even the most dedicated yogi. Without falling into a tangent, there is the idea of discrimination regarding those that are evil and good. However, what happens when the smallest things tend to be avoided or preferred? Is there a deeper hidden meaning or is it something that we are naturally for or against based on its vibrations? These are questions only we can delve into for ourselves and hope to find an answer.


In our modern world, there is much to be said regarding this practice of attachment. So much of our culture is surrounded by the idea of more, newer, better; and the more we fall prey to this and consume the more miserable we are. Furthermore if we dare to venture outside of the boundaries of culture or whichever social circle we find ourselves based on preferences, or ideals, we may find ourselves once again at a loss. Even when breaking out of the consumer cycle, if we do not do it in the ways other view it, we could find ourselves victim to their misunderstandings and judgments. It is then our duty to our practice, to not allow the reactions of other to create new attachments or thought processes


Practice in Peace and Love ❤


About 8petallotus

Here are the thoughts that hit me after everything is done and quiet, capturing the few moments of enlightenment between the grind and giving it a place to inspire. A place for yoga and divine inspiration.
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