A Transitional Phase of Work in the Integral Yoga

For the practitioner of the integral yoga, any form of work represents an opportunity to discard the normal, habitual mode of action and replace it with the direct action of the Divine Force. This transition, however, is neither immediate nor completed all at once, so there is inevitably a phase where the mind, vital being and physical body continue to respond and act as they have been doing, and where incremental changes in the way they respond can aid in the change that is required.

Sri Aurobindo identifies the transitional steps by emphasizing the need to focus the energy and attention on the work at hand, not to waste time or energy rehashing the past work or anticipating potential future efforts.

Sri Aurobindo notes: “Think of your work only when it is being done, not before and not after. Do not let your mind go back on a work that is finished. It belongs to the past and all re-handling of it is a waste of power. Do not let your mind labour in anticipation on a work that has to be done. The Power that acts in you will see to it at its own time. These two habits of the mind belong to a past functioning that the transforming Force is pressing to remove and the physical mind’s persistence in them is the cause of your strain and fatigue. If you can remember to let your mind work only when its action is needed, the strain will lessen and disappear. This is indeed the transitional movement before the supramental working takes possession of the physical mind and brings into it the spontaneous action of the Light.”

Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 6, Sadhana Through Work, Meditation and Love and Devotion, Work pp. 129-145

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