Teaching Ashtanga,  Uncategorized,  Yoga Philosophy,  Yoga Sutras

Yoga Sutras For Modern Day Life: Can The One Who Sees Be Seen?

Yoga Sutra of Patanjali 1:17 -Types of objective samadhi are deliberative,reflective,bliss, and I -am-ness

Defining the Sutra

This week, we will conclude verse 1:17 by looking at the last type of objective Samadhi, I-am -ness.  I-am-ness is a line of questioning and meditation that takes you all the way down to the root of who you really are. When this is done fully and completely, a feeling of spaciousness arises. There is full absorption with that which witnesses everything.

The best teacher, I know of, that does this beautifully is Mooji. Mooji is a spiritual teacher that conducts satsangs, gatherings of like minded positive people,where people ask questions and his answers always come down to the ” I am” line of inquiry.  This line of inquiry is all about discovering what is really speaking, living, acting, thinking. Is it consciousness expressing itself through you as a human being or is it the ego? The ego is a collection of thoughts and ideas picked up upon entering this world that we have  identified with to the point that we believe it is us. The ” I am” line of inquiry is designed to cut through the ego and get back to pure consciousness.

There are so many Mooji videos on You Tube, that you could spend years watching them. I have just chosen a few below that illustrate the principle and give a starting point.



Two other teachers on You Tube, who do inquiry, are Adyashanti and Gangaji.


Modern Day Application:

If you want to get started on the path of inquiry, a great question to meditate on is “Can the one who sees, be seen?” Another way to ask this question is, “can the one who is perceiving, be perceived? When emotions and thoughts come up, something is perceiving them, viewing them experiencing them.  What is that? Through the use of this line of questioning, you start to see that the one who sees and perceives is the only absolute. Everything else  just comes and goes. Eventually you can remain as the stillness that watches everything.


Why Is It Important?

Inquiry shows you that you are not your body or your thoughts. Thoughts and emotions no longer have power because you discover that you can just watch them. This gives you freedom to live your life knowing that, the real you, can never be lost. You can can get out and experience everything the world has to offer. You can be totally absorbed with life because you know that is is impossible to lose the Self.

Shanna Small has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga and studying the Yoga Sutras since 2001. She has studied in Mysore with Sharath Jois and is the Director of AYS Charlotte, a school for traditional Ashtanga in Charlotte NC. She has written for Yoga International and the Ashtanga Dispatch. Go here for more information on AYS Charlotte. For information on workshops, please e-mail shanna@ashtangayogaproject.com.

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