Yog Sadhana

Purifying latent unresolved desires


To understand what is meant by a latent desire let me give an example of meat eating. Any person does something only when they have the desire to do it. If you eat a certain food you have a desire for it. If one eats meat, they have a desire for it. But if one were to say give up eating meat and say that they have overcome the desire to eat meat and yet if one were to eat something that is flavored like meat, then the latent desire for the flavor has remained within the mind which may have been controlled by various logic or controls but the taste has remained, so essentially deep within, the mind still accepts the flavor and in essence accepts meat. So neither has the mind become truly pure and free from the desire for meat, nor will it be able to attain deep compassion because deep within the lust for the flavor of animal flesh has remained. Now can such a mind truly be deeply compassionate? So despite one's best efforts the mind remains impure at the subtle level.

How can one overcome the impurities of the mind especially latent desires, or unresolved desires? This can only be done by regular deep spiritual practices. By introspection one can only overcome things on the surface level, but not in the depths of the mind. But to be rid of these impurities, unresolved desires or very subtle desires, one has to delve deep into the mind that is, to cleanse the mind of impurities to achieve a state of higher or pure consciousness.

To delve into the mind deeply means to have undergone rigorous spiritual practices that can make you see and remove these latent tendencies of the mind. In spiritual practices this is performed by observing the mind; however there are numerous practices when performed that automatically destroy these negative tendencies. It is said in studies on success and perfection that one needs at least 10,000 hours of practice in any discipline (field) to become a good specialist. If one has performed at least 10,000 hours of meditation, breathing techniques (Pranayam), Mantrayog, Yoga Nidra or other yogic/ spiritual techniques or any other authentic traditional practice under a well qualified spiritual teacher, then I would say that the individual is qualified to say that they have reached the bench mark.

Secondly, there is a great difference in running a mile and then a mile plus half, or two or three and so on. One needs stamina to survive the length. So the additional length of the run is always a greater effort. So, another point is, it is one thing to do a short intensity practice, say like 1 hour a day for 27 years and reach that 10,000 hours benchmark, but quite another to say do 4 plus hours every day to reach that 10,000 hours benchmark within about 7 years or to do say 6 hours of spiritual practice and to do this time within about 4 ½ years. The intensity of the practice has a tendency of exhausting the person, so the effort with the increase in time becomes enormous. In terms of spiritual practice, the spiritual energy is always kept active and that is the entire point of the practice to keep it always active and never to allow it to fade away so that one continues on a path of constant internal change and transformation.

Qualification plays a role in understanding because if one doesn't have the background, one doesn't understand. For example if someone asked me to understand the construct and design of a nuclear reactor I'd probably be at a loss not having that kind of background. However in spiritual philosophy the problem gets compounded because the issues are not about the mind being sharp enough to grasp the concept, but subtle instead. So often understanding spiritual concepts and practices can be a great challenge too.

Here essentially the talk is about how to clear these very subtle impurities, not just the ones that are evidently visible. In regular life when an individual undergoes any intense experience especially the negative ones, a certain strong impression from these remains and one refrains from repeating the same mistake over again, but sometimes these experiences start to dictate the individuals actions, and often they turn into fears or inhibitions. These influence the behavior of the individual, and in a certain sense impose a restriction. For example, a person goes through a heartbreak, which in turn may create a distrust of other possible partners, or various fears about the relationship. Even after the formation of a successful relationship, some of these fears remain that disturb the individual and the relationship. Hence one needs to work on the spiritual level to cleanse the mind of these impurities. Breathing practices are among the easiest and most effective to cleanse the mind of these impurities.

2|1 Breathing Technique:
A simple practice is called two is to one breathing where the Exhalation is twice the length of the Inhalation. Try to keep the time as accurate as possible. Do an Exhalation for 6 seconds, then an Inhalation for 3 seconds. Repeat this for 30 times and everyday keep adding 10 rounds till you reach 200 rounds. While you do this practice make sure that your breath is without any noise, without any jerks and that it is slow, long, easy flowing and always start with an Exhalation. One can also slowly increase the length of the time, that is, make it 8|4 seconds, then 10|5 seconds, then 12|6 seconds depending on one's comfort level. It is best to start with a low time like 4|2 or 6|3, and then keep adding more time after every 30-40 rounds. Make sure that before the practice you are on an empty stomach for at least 3 hours. Early morning is a good time for the practice. One can also and preferably should meditate after the practice. This practice will help in calming the mind, removing negative emotions, will give better focus, more life force, better decision making, overall improved relationships and better moods. Happy Practice.

Om Tat Sat

Purification, Yog, Yoga, Pranayam, Pranayama, Latent, desires, desire, Compassion, Spiritual, Practice,


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