3/21/2023 0 Comments
Practicing yoga and meditation while being busy with a job and family life. How to combine it?
Yoga is nothing separate from one’s daily life and job. This is the path of karma sannyasa; renunciation through karma; work. As karma sannyasa, one lives in the external world from total harmony, making a sadhana from daily life. One does not need to escape what he is doing, but increase his awareness and develop one’s state of being while he is performing his duties. A karma sannyasa may have a family, regular job, but is not attached to either of them. In all situations, he remains in balance.
The path of karma sannyasa is explained in the fifth chapter of the Bagavad Gita, in which Krishna explains the renunciation through action. There is no harm in action, the danger lies in attachment and dependence on the fruits of the actions performed. This is essentially the concept of karma sannyasa; live life fully, participate in all events externally, but internally maintain an attitude of non-doership.
Thus, one should not think that yoga and meditation are practiced outside the office hours. Rather, they are incorporated into each activity. To at all times feel present, with remembrance of the higher essence in the background and non-affected by what happens in the foreground.
To have the mind on the higher consciousness, serve and love is one of the highest sadhanas. For those who are established on this, no other austerities are needed.
Even with a busy lifestyle, there is always time to do something. Yoga and meditation do not have to last for two hours, but ten minutes of conscious breathing is enough if there is no more time. One can find what one feels most connected with and perform at least a few mantras, asanas or pranayama. Similarly, before bed one can take ten minutes for nadi sodhana pranayama or tratak to calm the mind.
3/21/2023 0 Comments
What is sadhana?
The term sadhana comes from the Sanskrit root, sadhu, meaning “go straight to a goal”. The term ‘sadhana’ refers to a disciplined and dedicated practice or learning. In this context, it refers to dedicated (daily) spiritual practice, in which the practitioner uses tools like asana, pranayama, meditation and mantra to purify oneself and reach the goal of life.
Sadhana can be practiced in a group as well as individual. When developing one’s own sadhana, it is important to choose practices that work for oneself, with which one feels most connected. Sadhana is a discipline which must be continued over a long time for its effect to deepen, and thus one must find the connected tools to accomplish this.
Anything that is practiced with awareness, discipline and the intention of spiritual growth can be considered as sadhana. Thus, even daily activities, when the mind is fixed on the higher consciousness in the background, can be considered as a sadhana. All tools that help to establish meditation, harmony and union at all times are part of it. It is all about the result rather than the practice itself.
Practitioners of sadhana are called sadhakas.
3/20/2023 0 Comments
What is renunciation?
If a yogi is the one who lives in a cottage at the bank of a river, then why cannot a turtle be a great yogi, who always lives at the bank of a river? If a yogi is the one who only eats plants and very little quantity, then why cannot a deer be a great yogi? These are not the things that make one a yogi.
Yoga is related to renunciation and non-attachment. What is understood as renunciation is to leave one’s house, give away all possessions and continue life with just a few amount of things. Renunciation means that one has no attachment. However, non-attachment is not measured in the more or less one has, but rather about one’s state of being. One can have a house, car and possessions while at the same time being totally non-attached. One does not have to escape the external world. Real renunciation is when one uses and enjoys material, but simultaneously accept their impermanence. There is no intense liking or disliking, and one remains non-attached.
Escaping the world and being in the most quiet environment, one will still fluctuate between joy and sorrow, because it is all within oneself. However, finding the state of yoga, one participates in the world from a state of liberation.
“I am in the world but not concerned with the world. I am going through the marketplace, but not as a purchaser." - Kabir
The yogi is the one who is always in harmony. The yogi is always non-affected by anything that happens around. There is no excessive enthousiasm, neither disappointed, the state of being always remains in balance.
One lives in the world but is not of the world, rather one is internally always connected with the higher consciousness.
3/5/2023 0 Comments
Hanuman is the son of Vayu, the wind. He is an incarnation of Rudra, the transformative form of Shiva and is the greatest devotee of Rama. He has a big chin as he had mastered jalandhara bandha, which gives master over vayu tattva, air. This is why he can fly and take big leaps. He is one of the ashta cheeranjevees, meaning that he is one of the eight Gods that are alive in all four yugas.
He is brahmacharya as he conquered all his senses. All energy and input that come through his senses transfer into spiritual light. He is very brave, honest, truthful and established on his duty. He performs his duty without any distraction. All his energy is in service of the higher consciousness, without ever being worried about Himself.
Through japa and meditation of Hanuman, any disease can be cured and any obstacle can be overcome. All that matters is one’s bhakti, devotion. Devotion can destroy any external effect. Any obstacle can be overcome by the remembrance of Hanuman. Hanuman is still alive as one of the cheeranjevees. Whenever his chants are recited, He is always present to listen to His stories and adventures.
The existence of Hanuman is an abidance to the divine will. He has complete acceptance and surrender to the higher consciousness.
Hanuman is the true tantrik as he remains in his inner bhava of surrender without any bias for anyone and anything except the self ( Shree Ram) He is the yogi of a great order as he remains seated in the atma alone, never waivering from this location. Hanumana is also the greatest jnani as he sees everything in the Advaita bhava (Shivoham, I am shiva). Everywhere He looks, he sees only Rama. And indeed he is the greatest Bhakta too as his devotion is selfless and pure to Shree Ram.
Through meditation on Hanuman, we may become even a fraction of Hanuman consciousness and not stop short at worshipping him only as a deity, but rather become the tantrik, Yogi, jnani and bhakta that he embodies.
“Lord Ram gave Hanuman a quizzical look and said, "What are you, a monkey or a man?" Hanuman bowed his head reverently, folded his hands and said, "When I do not know who I am, I serve You and when I do know who I am, You and I are One.” - Tulsidas
"To whom shall I speak about it? For there is no one who will understand. The reality about the chord of love that binds you and me, is known to my soul alone; and my soul ever abides with you. Know this to be the essence of my love." - Hanuman, Sunderkand, Ramayana
Kirtan is part of mantra yoga as well as bhakti yoga. Kirtan is joyful chanting in which the name of God is repeated. Kirtan is most powerful when it is done in a group. Together, a powerful vibration is generated in which the separation between individuals disappears. One turns towards God through dance, music and chants. Kirtan is a practice of devotion.
Kirtan is the first step of mantra as it is a tool of pratyahara (sense withdrawal), introverting the mind through external practice. When the mind and senses are still externalized, it is difficult to concentrate during mantra japa, and thus at the beginning kirtan is the most powerful practice.
However, it does not matter how far one is on the path of yoga, kirtan remains powerful as it is a tool to open the heart and connect with the higher consciousness. In kirtan, it does not matter whether one is a great singer or not. All what matters is the devotion to the Supreme. Bhakti is by itself a complete practice that can lead one to higher experience.
"Kumbhak ( Retention of breath) can be attained through Bhakti also. When the emotion reaches climax, the breath stops and the mind becomes fixed" – Neem Karoli Baba
2/8/2023 0 Comments
Yoga as lifestyle!
Yoga is a lifestyle, in which should establish one’s yoga experience in daily life. Yoga does not only happen in the moments of asana, pranayama and meditation. One must not only feel oneness with the higher consciousness in one’s sadhana, but rather carry the same feeling with oneself in every daily activity. To do what you do in the foreground, whereas the mind is fixed on the higher consciousness in the background. In this way, one establishes purity in mind, speech and action, in which everything is dedicated towards the higher consciousness.
Yoga happens in every activity. It is how one deals with the outside world and difficult situations. Humanity does not suffer because they don’t have asana, pranayama and meditation. Humanity suffers because of the outside world and relationships. Thus, yoga is to be in balance with the outside world.
There is yoga as a practice and yoga as a result. Some are in the state of yoga without ever having practiced yoga, whereas others have practiced yoga their whole lives without ever attaining the state of yoga. When the state of yoga is established, the world and situations are experienced beyond the dualities of good and bad, right or wrong, but rather situations simply ‘are’. One is completely non-affected and the outside world is experienced as nothing more than ripples on the surface of the ocean, in which one always resides in the stillness of the ocean.
Wisdom is the result of iccha shakti, willpower and kriya shakti, action power. One needs the will, the action without distraction) and its result will lead to wisdom.
In the tantric scriptures, five ways are mentioned to get this jnana shakti. The five methods that obtain jnana are as follows:
There is not one specific tradition that one should follow to obtain this wisdom. Not even the practice of yoga. There are two different types of yoga: yoga as practice and yoga as result. There are those in the state of yoga who have never practiced. And those who have practiced their whole life but never reach the state of yoga. It is nothing external, but all internal. Some have obtained the same wisdom through a different way.
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