21. Perception is Reality: Intro to the Kleshas
Often when we practice yoga, meditation, or study astrology, it is our goal to increase our self-awareness, whether that be of our body sensations and emotions or how we fit into the natural cycles of life. These are excellent goals, because they can help dispel the kleshas, or afflictions of the mind/blocks to yoga. In ancient yoga philosophy, the kleshas are the root causes of suffering.
I give a brief introduction to the five kleshas, which are avidya (ignorance), asmita (over-identifying with your ego or "little s" self), raga (desire, or attachment to pleasure), dvesha (avoidance), and abhinivesha (fear, especially of dying, that may prevent one from fully living). We discuss how avidya is the "trunk of the suffering tree" from which all other afflictions grow. Avidya can be oversimplified as ignorance or misperception. Listen to learn nuances related to what avidya is, how it causes suffering, and some ways to ease that suffering.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali more specifically define Avidya in verse 2.5: “Avidya is to mistake the impermanent for the eternal, the impure for the pure, sorrow for happiness, and the not-Self for the true Self.”
Listen to hear several examples of how avidya shows up and how to navigate those circumstances with more ease: from impermanence of all things good and bad, being dogmatic about things like spiritual beliefs or food, feeling the emotion vs becoming the emotion, and defining Atman and Brahman, "little s" self vs "big S" Self.
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