1.1 Here, now, is the teaching of yoga
1.2 Yoga is the establishing of the mind in stillness
Yoga is 'an awareness from being present here and now, to this situation, at this time, and responding to it'.
Stillness is not an absence of motion, just as silence is not an absence of sound. They are both characteristics of being present here and now, a letting go of inner sound and motion, a increased sensitivity to subtler vibrations within and outside ourselves; nirodha parinama is 'transformation towards silence', towards anahata nada, the 'soundless sound that fills the universe' [Levinas' 'there is'?].
Joseph Campbell talks of the present being 'in the same dimension as eternity'. All distractions of the mind are rooted in a time displaced from the present: 'The Sufi is he whose thought keeps pace with his foot'.
1.12 Stillness develops through practice (abhyasa) and non-attachment (vairagya).
1.13 Abhyasa is the effort of remaining present.
1.14 Continuous care and attention establishes this practice.
Abhyasa and Vairagya are simultaneous attentiveness and receptivity. Mme de Salzmann: 'We need to stay in front of whatever is taking place'. Krishnamurti: 'be totally attentive, and do nothing'. William Blake:
Labour well the minute particulars, attend to the little ones... Labour well the teeming earth... he who would do good to another must do so in minute particulars.
Samadhi is attention not conditioned by objects, ideas, feelings. Dhyana is surrender, receptivity to finer energies.
Again, Mme de Salzmann:
Watch for the point in working when it is necessary to let go. Something has to be abandoned. Ego makes the effort, but one comes to the point where the ego has to be passive. The point of transition is subtle. There can be too much effort or too little.
Passivity (of ego) does not imply passivity of attention; quite the opposite: 'Make a demand upon yourself. There is a deep passivity, you must see this and struggle against it.'
Clarity comes from attention to prana, the range of energies and impressions we take in and give out, embodied in breathing. Our breathing changes quality according to the depth and quality of attention: 'Respiration is the act of receiving the spirit again and again with the air'.
All things are subject to higher (positive) and lower (negative) qualities, the three gunas - sattva, rajas, tamas. Sattva is contentment-passivity, rajas is activity-grasping, tamas is stability-inertia.
The yogas outline the kleshas, mental states that lead to lower qualities: ignorance, egoism, attachment to like and dislike, a tendency for inertia. As one is, so one acts; as one acts, so one becomes. Higher qualities arise from yamas, ways of being, including non-violation, truthfulness, non-grasping.
Ishvara pranidhana is a celebration of the mystery, an innocence free from the need to know. Rainer Maria Rilke:
Learn to love the questions themselves... do not seek answers that cannot be given to you, because you would not be able to live them... and the point is to live everything. Live the questions now, and perhaps you will then, gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answers.