A Sutra a Day: IV-18 – When Words are Not Enough

Jan 31, 2013 | Community, Philosophy, Wisdom, XSutras, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali | 0 comments

Do you get into intimate conversations where you want to communicate something significant or personal and find yourself frustrated that your words seem inadequate to what you want to communicate? I don’t mean you lack vocabulary or that you can’t find the right words. I mean that your words don’t communicate in a way that the other person can get you.
I got myself into this sort of dilemma today trying to clear up a grievance with a friend.
I’m a persistent person and I’ll usually keep trying to get my feelings or my thoughts across to my listener, rather than walking away in frustration. But sometimes I should learn to keep my words to myself.
Sometimes¬†no words are a good thing. In a sticky sharing situation, where the talk is going nowhere, it’s really helpful to stop and acknowledge the obvious – some version of: ‘I can see you aren’t getting my meaning.’ ‘This isn’t working.’ ‘I can see that what I’m saying isn’t making sense to you.’
In silence, it’s possible to drop down and discover the place where two hearts might meet; it may be as simple as being quietly in eye contact and taking a few breaths together. With enough space, the witness, the ‘spiritual entity’, Purusha, the wisest part of ourselves – whatever we want to call it – can resolve and create connection beyond words and ideas.

Sada jnatascittavrttayastatprabhoh purusasyaparinamitvat

The spiritual entity is unchanging and always knows and is master of the ever-changing mind.*
*The Essence of Yoga – Reflections on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, translation and commentary by Bernard Bouanchaud.

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