2.2 Yogic actions minimize afflictions (klesha) and bring about integration (samadhi).
The path of action suggested in the previous sutra focuses on removing obstacles to integration. This verse provides a way to assess the effects of your actions. The underlying idea is that your natural state is one of integration and that your system orients towards balance and dynamic harmony. In other words, the calmness, harmony and peace that you rest in while you are in dreamless deep sleep are always potentially available to you. In fact, that is the ground of your being, awareness. However, notice how, as soon as you wake up, your usual ways of being become active.
In some cases, you may start your day with ways of being conducive to feeling centered, such as gratitude and kindness. In other cases, you may allow ways of being such as planning, worrying and regretting to resurface. These ways of being may have the opposite effect, so that instead of supporting and enhancing your ability to be present, they may end up obscuring your deep inner peace.
When you are awake and have the firm intention to be fully present, you are able to notice the distractions that keep pulling you away from having your mind and heart open and unencumbered. These distractions often take the form of patterns of tension, holding and contraction in your body, breath, mind and emotions. Feeling these tensions is already showing you the areas where there are inefficiencies and obstructions. Acting with enthusiasm, intelligence and humility helps you remove these tensions that disrupt the integrated harmony between body, mind and emotion. Consistent practice of yogic actions develops helpful new habits, new ways of inhabiting yourself, gradually fostering inner harmony between being and doing. As you reduce tension, discomfort and pain you are better able to be present, creating a positive feedback loop – helping you feel empowered to have more agency in your life. It will also happen that some tensions and pain you have learned to ignore or sedate, become more evident. Often this can be misinterpreted as an unwanted side effect of yogic practice. The opposite is true. Growing in sensitivity empowers you to notice clearly the irritants that distract you. Only if you notice them will you be able to address and release them.
Learn to clarify the significant difference between uncovering existing afflictions and creating new ones. With fewer tensions and distractions, your presence grows; and when distractions happen, you can face them with less agitation, less complaining and less drama. Attend to this process to ensure you are moving towards feeling greater calmness and evenness in your body, breath, mind, heart and interactions. What tensions do you experience regularly? How do you deal with them? Is there a growing feeling of peace and calmness within you? What disrupts your inner peace? Are there patterns in those disruptions?
As usual, one more way of exploring the meaning of this sutra is by chanting it.
You can choose to chant it in its traditional form with some of the words coming together:
2.2 samādhibhāvanārthaḥ kleśa tanūkaraṇārthaśca
समाधिभावनार्थः क्लेश तनूकरणार्थश्च ॥२॥
Another option is to chant each word in the sutra individually:
If you prefer to listen to the podcast: