Yoga Sutra 1.5

1.5 The mind can exist in five states. These may either be pleasing or cause torment.

What strikes me about this sutra is the idea that our mind alone, without outside influence can cause torment. The definition of torment is severe physical or mental suffering. With that in mind, we realize that what we focus our mind on, and the work that we’re willing to put into our spiritual and mental growth, directly influences the nature of our mind. Thus, we’re free to choose pleasure or torment. The choice is within us, and our reactions.

Today when I feel powerless over my own emotions, I’ll pause, and chose my reaction carefully. I will think through whether I am causing torment, and if I am, I’ll simply make a different decision.


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