Raga is one of the five Kleshas which are the mental-emotional afflictions that create persistent distress, pain and suffering in our lives. This Klesha is the addictive, craving, chasing, dwelling, feeling and a holding on to and attachment to previously experienced pleasures. Raga means colouring, likened to a stain on the lens of our perception which creates ignorance (Avidya). Raga seduces the ego (Asmita) through sensory and emotional worldly pleasures and identifies with the stain, reinforcing a progressive addiction to seek. It tends to pull consciousness out of the moment’s awareness and creates the illusion, that happiness will be attained if it is fulfilled. If the desire is not fulfilled then the experience of suffering arises – disappointment, let down of the expectation that it will FIX or SOLVE YOU. Desire is fine, just as long as we are not attached to the outcome. Raga gets triggered when we think we won’t be able to experience certain pleasures again, so begins the craving.
We will explore this complex dependency Kleshas with the Drishti technique of gazing and drawing our awareness to unconscious wandering and seeking Raga. The practice will create the desired heat for positive change as it provokes, triggers and awakens our attention to longing for more pleasurable experiences. We will combine mantra and point to point breathing to learn effective skills to self-regulate, sooth and create a pause to reflect, digest and release that which doesn’t serve.
Key questions to focus on during this practice are:
- What do you crave?
- Why do you crave it?
- What is going on in this moment that draws you to that which you are craving?
- How is your behaviour affected by what you crave?
- How is your attachment to what you crave colouring how you perceive the present moment, thoughts, choice of words you think, behaviour, your movement in class?
- Can you delay gratification?
- What is between you and being in the moment now?
- What do you really need?
- What would create lasting fulfilment, freeing us from the pain and suffering we experience?