In observing how the eight limbs of yoga interact and build upon each other, pratyahara, or sense control, occurs almost automatically when we meditate because we become absorbed in the object of meditation.
Precisely because the mind is so focused, the senses follow; it is not happening the other way around.
Author Oriah Mountain Dreamer offers us the following opportunity in her book The Invitation:
"It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for,
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.
It doesn't interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me
and not shrink back.
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself...
and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments."
To me, this is the essence of pratyahara, the limb of yoga highlighting sense control.
Todays Simple Step
Notice your relationship to sound distractions.
Is there an area of your life where you need to close the door, lower the radio, turn off the TV?
Do you always need to be surrounded with chatter, people, events, happenings?
If so, can you agree, just for today, to enjoy the sounds of silence?
This is today's simple step.
Till next time...