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Yoga Sutra 1.11 for the modern world

“Recollection of experiences or words that are in the past are memory”

This Sutra explains that the fifth activity of the mind is the ability to store information. Patanjali places this activity last as it can be applied to the previous four activities too! Memories leave an imprint on the mind and they can surface sometimes when wanted and also when not wanted. Most of our memories are tainted by the mood that we are in at the time or where in at the time that we imprinted these memories, and therefore the mind can cloud and/or brighten our recollection. These five activities of the mind are constantly always in motion, they can be unstable and unclear and easily effected by the mood and energy we are experiencing at the time. Moors states “the mind can both be the source of imprisonment and the cause of liberation” This Sutra reminds us of how our memories can be affected and they are never truly correct to the moment, they will always have a layer of untruth across them, we know this when we look back and only remember the good times, equally so we can replay a conversation and only remember the negatives. Depending on how we feel we will tinge the memory with a positive or negative energy. But this also means we have a choice, if we choose to look back with positive eyes we can see the positive and that enables us to lift our mood, but if we sit with the negative, we see every memory with a negative tinge, and feel deflated and down. This Sutra reminds us that memories are just that memories they are not truth, truth is the present. What we are experiencing now, the most stable place to live is in the present where you can truly experience what is happening.

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