Yoga Sutra 1.12: Practice and Let Go

Windmill

ABHYĀSA VAIRĀGYĀBHYĀ TANNIRODHAH.
These mental modifications are restrained by practice and non-attachment.

There are two steps to enlightenment, but you have to repeat them an infinite number of times. First, practice being present and aware to develop mental continence. Second, do not be attached to the results of your practice. If you’re meditating and you notice your mind wandering, don’t berate yourself for being unable to focus — that only takes you further from your practice and ultimate goal. Instead, detach from your thoughts and expectations. Let it all go and resume your practice.

Sometimes the simplest concepts in the world are the hardest to carry through, and that’s why it takes years  of practice to get the hang of it. Even if you’ve been meditating for a very long time, you’ll struggle with all kinds of stupid human problems like troubling memories, and emotional attachments. That’s why the yogis say it takes lifetimes to reach total enlightenment, and that’s why I don’t touch the topic of enlightenment with a ten foot pole. It’s best for most of us to forget about becoming a saint or a sage and just focus on our two tasks: practice and let go.

Yoga Sutra 1.13: Define Practice
Yoga Sutra 1.11: Humans Have a Memory Virus

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