He insulted me, he cheated me, he beat me, he robbed me – those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.
Resentment is nothing more than compulsive attachment to a set of memories. If you could peek through the window of the mind when you feel resentful, you would see a production line turning out the same emotion-charged memory over and over: “He did that to me in 1993, he did that to me in 1993 . . .” You are dwelling on something that took place in the past – or, more likely, on how you misunderstood that event and reacted to your misunderstanding. When you keep pumping attention into an event in this way, a limp little memory gets blown up into a big balloon of hostility. When you withdraw your attention by repeating the mantram, the balloon is deflated. It’s as simple as that.
Words to Live By: Inspiration for Every Day – Eknath Easwaran
The homework is to consider the fifth stage of Yoga, Pratyahara, or the withdrawal and emancipation from the senses. Pratyahara is the transition from the external world to the internal world, to turn the senses inward toward the soul. In the words of BKS Iyengar, “Here lies the true role of Pratyahara… It is the friend who releases you from the snares of the external world, and leads you towards happiness in the delight of the soul. Observe how the practice of Pratyahara can direct you away from dwelling all of the time and help encourage a focused state of being – in the now.
Light on Yoga and Light on the Yoga Sutras, by BKS Iyengar, Yoga: A Gem for Women, by Geeta Iyengar
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