Incidental “mindfulness”

I was having a chat with a client last week about "mindfulness" in relation to yoga. And we established that it is not "Mind full " exactly that people talk about, but more like mind- less, or less-mind.
It tallys up so neatly (of course- not sure how that happens) with last weeks Yoga Sutra quote from the Hatha Yoga session on Friday..
"However clever we are, we can only keep the mind quiet for a little while. Therefore, our aim is not to keep the mind peaceful, but to rise above the mind and realise the ever peaceful self."

BK4,18 Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, commentary by Sri Swami Satyadananda.

Two questions..

"What is the 'ever peaceful Self'?"
&
"How do I rise above the mind?"

We are so often led by our mind's desires and thought processes that we muddle up instinct with whats expected of us, what we think we are and/or our conditioning, and that affects how we are in our bodies, therefore in our yoga practice.

There is no secret, however it seems like those people who understand the words "ever peaceful Self" are unable to translate it for everyone else in this limited language of speech. Which is why..

A little bit of picking appart might be helpful:

Self
as opposed to the
self.
What
What is the difference between the Self and the self?
Ok, so this is the relationship between matter and consciousness...
"Matter occupies space and time, cause and effect. [self]
Consciousness seems to be beyond them." [Self]

"The relationship between conscious energy, Purusha, and unconscious matter, Prakriti cannot be understood without analysing the nature of consciousness, for that purpose we have to separate from our self-made, narrow limitations."
The Textbook of Yoga philosophy. Ramamurti S. Mishra.

When
When we get up in the morning, we switch from unconscious to conscious as far as we understand it, but these are just two of the many levels of consciousness available to humans. In Samkaya Yoga (which is where I am getting this all from btw) consciousness envelops all stages and psychological levels of consciousness and unconsciousness and beyond...

Why
Why do I need to analyse and understand this concept of mind and everything else? Surely that identification with a subject just takes us back to what Jane was saying last week about spiritual materialism? and ultimately turn us into intellectual snobs!

You don't need to analyse any of this if that is not the way you understand the nature of reality.
Luckily none of us function in quite the same way so therefore none can be superior to another. Yippie!

One may be a wordsmith with seemingly endless facts & quotes at the tip of their tongue, and another closes their eyes and understands the witness aspect of being. Wow.
-Which do you identify with?
-Does it matter, ultimately?

What might simplify this whole discussion is that Purusha (energy) is the force behind Prakriti (unconscious matter)
Who
Who can do this?
This understanding is available to all of us, we just have to have the kind of self knowledge to find our own map to reveal it.

Awareness is a name for that map, much used.

Mind-full-ness is a practice which can be adopted by any action..
Mindfully walking, mindfully eating, mindfully doing yoga..etc

But to rise above the mind suggests that the mind is 'something' in itself which needs to be tempered, or tamed.
In the texts I have read the mind if often compared with a wild horse, a monkey or even a child, so maybe adopt that same "training" for the wild mind. This may be helpful for that inner discipline.

I think of the mind as a sense just like hearing or seeing, it is a sense through which we understand our environment and our responses to it based on our own filters, therefore is subjective and not 'Self' in this context. However remains a helpful source of information and not to be identified with - therefore just as helpful as other senses for understanding self.

Once you figure out what isn't Self, you are left with Self.

Our everyday opportunities to rise above the mind are everywhere;

Mind the gap...

Between thoughts. ahh peaceful!
Between thought and words
Between thought and action
Between action and reaction
And to know the difference between response and reaction.

"Mind out!"
To bring you back to your senses.
To "ground".
To bring your attention to one thing at a time;
"When you eat you just eat.
When you talk you just talk."
When you are doing your yoga practice, you are just
doing your practice.

These are our incidental mind-full-ness practices and they are with us all of the time!

Or even for the enlightened..
[mindfully]
"Chop wood, & carry water"

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