3.12 Single pointedness (ekagrata parinama) is the transformation when subsiding and arising perceptions are identical from one moment to the next. Then the illusion of fragmentation and separateness subsides.
In Chapter One, sutra 1.32, single-pointed focus (ekagrata) was offered as the way to eliminate distractions of all kinds. The transformation of oneness (ekagrata parinama) is the ability to direct attention to a single point without attention being scattered. Such single-pointedness facilitates the transition from nirodha parinama (3.9) to samadhi parinama (3.11). This single- pointedness is the foundation of all the yoga practices, and it is cultivated through sustained wholehearted practice (abhyasa) as well as by being disinterested in anything and everything that is not conducive to the experience of Truth (vairagya). One-pointedness changes your perspective so that, rather than seeing or thinking of yourself as made up of different fragments, you experience your own wholeness directly. Moreover, this level of internal integration makes it more evident that you have never been isolated and that there is a profound unity between everything that exists. You can no longer be your own enemy or be at conflict with yourself. At the same time, you are better able to relate to the world outside through kindness and compassion.
Is it possible for you to stop self-judgment altogether?
Can you indeed be your best friend?
Can you also let go of judgment of whatever you perceive?
Can you start seeing everybody as your brother or sister?
Can you relate to life as something you are deeply embedded in?
Can you recognize that you are an individual manifestation of awareness in life?
As the illusion of separateness dissolves and the feeling of oneness pervades, distractions are removed. Then your awareness remains focused, because the tendency to generate an opinion over everything you perceive becomes unnecessary. As a result, you are better able to direct your awareness with greater clarity to what is actually happening from one moment to the next instead of creating stories to entertain yourself. This single-pointed focus makes it possible for you to stay on the same focal point from one instant to another. Whatever you are meditating on remains, without being displaced by anything else. This is a reminder that in order to get to the level of practice when there are no distractions, the key skill is the capacity to keep returning to your focal point without strain, struggle, or self-judgement and with a gentle smile in your heart. Eventually your ability to remain focused grows. Applying the yamas and niyamas in your life contributes to removing sources of distraction. Notice if your ability to focus has increased not only in meditation but also in your personal activities and interactions. There are many sources of distractions in everyday life, and many of the technological tools prevalent in contemporary life seem to keep offering more sources of distractions. Notice what distractions get a hold of you. Pay attention also to where your distractions lead you.
What are these distractions offering you?
How are they contributing to your sense of wholeness and inner connectedness?
Is it possible that your inner connectedness is the path to grow in your inter-connectedness?
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:
3.12 tataḥ punaḥ śāntoditau tulyapratyayau cittasyaikāgratāpariṇāmaḥ
ततः पुनः शान्तोदितौ तुल्यप्रत्ययौ चित्तस्यैकाग्रतापरिणामः ॥१२॥
Another option is to chant each word in the sutra individually:
If you prefer, you may listen to the podcast: