A Sutra a Day: II-3 – The Field of Good Deeds

Jul 17, 2012 | Philosophy, Wisdom, XSutras, Yoga practices, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Yoga teaching  | 4 comments

If you’re a yoga teacher, have your yoga classes been suffering the winter blahs. It’s common during the Australian winter that class sizes can decrease and even become minuscule.
In one of the sessions I teach, the numbers attending have dropped right off for a variety of reasons: school holidays, winter flues and colds, sprained ankles or broken arms, work conflicts – all the usual stuff.
I think I’m way beyond taking this lack of students personally. It doesn’t even hurt me financially when students stay away because the Yoga Shed is on our property, so overheads are minimal – not at all the case for city yoga teachers.
But today, in anticipation (or dread?) of low numbers in tomorrow’s session, I’ve been flirting with the idea of taking the class off the timetable for the winter.
So, maybe I have been a little hurt that the students haven’t been prioritising their attendance. Maybe I’m even at the mercy of one of the kleshas  – those thoughts that throw you off balance, upset your peace of mind, and mess with your composure.
Before cancelling the class, I decided not to be reactive and give some thought to this quotation which I ran across today:

They say… that you and I already possess a field which is more fertile than any other field in all the world.
If we plant the right seeds in it, a certain thing will grow. And if that one thing grows, then all the other good things that we could ever wish for grow too, all on their own.
This field is the field of our own mind. It is extraordinary beyond all other things. Every goodness of this life, and everything beyond this life, grows from it.
This is not a field like other fields: not a field that you can only farm in the summer, and must leave fallow in the winter. It is a field for all four seasons of the year: a field of good deeds toward others, where you can plant the seeds for everything you ever wished for, using the plow of understanding.

- a sutra a day: ii-3 - the field of good deeds

Mitchells Island

Avidya-asmita-raga-dvesa-abhinivesah klesha

The afflictions are lack of insight, self-image, desire, aversion and the survival instinct.*
*Patanjali’s Meditation Yoga, translation and commentary by Vyn Bailey


  1. Eve, I am a seed once sown in your field and I am still growing. Even though my shoot might not appear in front of you, know that I am still reaching for the (yogic & other) light.

  2. I seem to always be pulling lantana out of my gardens.

  3. Eve, Namaste, I needed your email today it is amazing how when i think or feel something is not sitting right within me and i need help, your wise words come as always :))
    Love & Light to you Beth 🙂

    • You are kind, Beth. Sometimes I need a boost – that’s what writing can do, I think.
      BTW, it’s a good thing I didn’t cancel the class because the students came back today 🙂


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