Truth can be likened to a pyramid from its pinnacle, the highest expression of truth radiates, while its broad base gives strength and stability.
In a society like that of India, which for thousands of years has had a broad-based acceptance of spirituality, atheists too know a great deal more about spiritual truth than most westerners. I've been amazed by the number of people in India who tell me they don't believe in God, and then go on to demonstrate that they do. They don't necessarily define God in terms of a flute-playing, blue Krishna. But the thought of an infinite consciousness is so ingrained in them that it's impossible for them to reject it.
Because the highest expression of spiritual teachings throughout the ages has usually been found only at the pinnacle of the pyramid, very few people reached it. Spiritual teachings were often esoteric, and the few who received them would seek solitude in the mountains or monasteries.
When Paramhansa Yogananda brought Kriya Yoga to the West, he understood the need to create a broad-based pyramid that was accessible to many. In fact, Kriya Yoga is the core of that pyramid because it helps magnetise the inner spiritual spine, and thus bring everything into alignment with a higher reality.
This universe seems solid but the truth is that it's just energy. Scientists are beginning to accept the truth that Indian sages taught thousands of years ago that all matter is energy and that energy is really consciousness. The Infinite Consciousness brought out of itself ideas and clothed them with will power and energy. Then it vibrated that energy more grossly to become this physical universe.
Today, our senses are so constantly stimulated that the average person has an attention span of only one or two seconds. The deeper aspect is that we are always dissatisfied with that kind of restlessness. We think that by skating on the surface of life we'll have more experiences, and therefore more wisdom. We simply become more and more superficial. The more you live at the surface, the further and faster you may be able to skate, but the less you will absorb and understand.
The way to experience that expansion of awareness that all human beings seek is to rise above body consciousness. This is only done through deep meditation. The more you meditate, the more your senses become refined. Everything becomes a part of you. When you can really rise out of body consciousness, suddenly you discover that all is you. You are not this little ego you are in all.
When Yogananda came to America, his purpose was to help all sincere seekers understand that if we approach life with this philosophy, and with the practice of Kriya Yoga, we will find God. When we do this, and bring all our energy into our inner Self, everything falls into place.
Usually sages tell you, ''The world is all delusion. Meditate and leave it all behind.'' Yogananda took the approach of the Vedas. He showed that by using Kriya Yoga, you can change yourself, and from your spiritual centre you can help transform this world.
Kriya Yoga has value beyond measure because it helps you become centred, so that everything you do improves. It takes your awareness from your own centre into attunement with that Divine Consciousness which is ''centre everywhere, circumference nowhere''.
Ananda Sangha will hold Kriya Yoga workshops based on Paramhansa Yogananda's teachings on November 8 in Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida. Contact 9899014209 or (0124) 4059550.
Retrieved November 14, 2009 from: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/edit-page/All-Energy-Is-Consciousness/articleshow/5204121.cms
08-31-2008 11:07:42 PM CST
Breathing is an ally in the healing process of our bodies. It involves the exchange of matter and energy. With each breath we take exchange carbon dioxide molecules from inside our bodies with oxygen from the surrounding air; an exchange of waste material when we breathe out with renewal when we breath in.
Breathing is extremely important in the support of our daily lives, and also plays an important role in meditation and healing. I use breathing techniques to focus, to calm down when I get anxious, to maintain stamina when I exercise, and frankly, it has helped me in a myriad of other ways. Breathing technique is at the core of yoga and meditation, and ultimately becomes the path for practicing mindfulness and wellness as a way of living.
While living in Los Angeles, the driving daily in traffic gridlock to and from work caused me so much anxiety. I would get extremely irritated when the freeway traffic would practically sitting in one place for long periods at a time while driving home from work. One evening, I started feeling very impatient and agitated as I sat in the usual traffic; I felt a knot in my chest, which moved slowly up towards my throat and just remained there. I wanted to scream, but realized that would not help the situation. Then, I remembered that I had read a book on Hatha Yoga, which stated that breathing is effective in alleviating any kind of anxiety experience.
I straightened my shoulders and sat upright in my car seat and started breathing - in though my nose...mentally counting, "one, two, three, four," then I breathe out through my mouth slowly, counting, "five, six, seven, eight." I did this repetitively, and before long, I realized that the feeling of anxiety had dissipated and the lump was gone from my throat. Although I was still sitting on the 110 Freeway, inching my way home in bumper to bumper traffic, I felt a sense of peace. Since this type of condition on the freeway was common during rush hour in LA, I started using breathing to avoid becoming stressed from the traffic. Soon after that, I realized that it was no longer a problem or a stressful ordeal when I got caught in rush hour traffic. I also realized that breathing really works to bring a sense of peace in any type of stressful situation, and incorporated it into my life as a coping mechanism.
Most people who decide to learn and practice meditation usually desire to attain peace of mind. In order to meditate, you first need to learn to quiet your thoughts. This does not happen overnight, but comes gradually from diligently practicing the art of meditation frequently. The successfully go into transcendental meditation one is required to exercise perseverance and continuity, which means that you must dedicate to the practice once you get started.
Meditation practice is an effective way to reduce stress. During this process, you can focus on one thing at a time. The practice of meditation increases attention span and improves living in the present moment.
Preparing to meditate: 1) Select a comfortable sitting position on the floor or in a chair with your feet on the floor and your hands in your lap. Make sure that your back is straight by centering your head over the spinal columm; 2) Breathe through your note and place your tongue on the roof of your mouth; 3) Get grounded by by closing your eyes and focusing on your body position, paying attention to your space and the space around you; 3) Take several deep breaths, using techniques mentioned in this space; 4) maintain a passive attitude to help you to relax. During meditation, your thoughts may begin to stray and you may feel sensations in your body. If and when this occurs, note what you are feeling and release them, then return to your meditation exercise. As you continue to practice meditating, you will notice that you are building on the time you meditate. Dedicate yourself to practice meditating for at least 15 to 30 minutes daily for excellent results.
To term "yoga" literally means union, and it aims at integration and harmonization of all the various human faculties. This form of exercise is an ancient teaching on how to achieve physical health, psychological well-being, and spiritual peace. One can engage in yoga on many different levels. One level is a relaxing interlude from a hectic life, another is to strenghten and invigorate the body, for physical therapy for particular ailments or physical difficulties, or as a path to a higher state of consciousness. Whatever your reason may be, yoga offers profound benefits that will affect all aspects of your life, including: work, recreatin, eating habits, family life, and relationships with others.
When yoga is developed over time, it becomes integrated the person, who develops lifelong mindfulness, which encompasses awareness and understanding.
The Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar)
The Sun Saluttion is a 12-part warm-up exercise that limpers up the body and mind in preparation for an ensuing yoga session. Each of the twelve postitions brings a different vertebral movement to the spinal column and is tuned to the inhalation or exhalation of the breath, thereby, instilling a feeling of balance and harmony. The positions follow one after the other, making the Sun Salutation graceful to perform and to behold by any on-looker. One should make an attempt to do at least six sequences at the start of every session. Different styles of yoga perform this series of poses with their own variations. The flow of poses in the next paragraph covers basic steps used in most styles.
The Sun Salutation is started from an upright standing position, with your toes together and your heels about a half inch apart with arms extended down at your side. This moves into, 1) the Prayer pose, then goes into 2) Arch back, followed by 3) Bend over; 4) Leg back, moves into 5) Push up, after which you 6) Lower chest to the floor, then, 7) Arch your chest, 8) Inverted V, 9) Lunge forward, 10) Forehead pressed to knee, 11) Stretch back, and finally, 12) Return to start position.