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    Spinal bastrika pranayama – Pressure washing your karma away

    Tuesday, August 6, 2013, 10:17 AM [General]

    Now we will introduce a powerful new pranayama practice called spinal bastrika. "Bastrika" means "bellows." It is rapid breathing, like a dog panting, done with the diaphragm only (abdominal breathing), preferably through the nose. If it is too difficult through the nose, it can be done through the mouth, as necessary.

    Bastrika in these lessons is done tracing the spinal nerve quickly between the perineum (root) and the point between the eyebrows (third eye), just the same as during normal spinal breathing, only much faster. The spinal aspect brings greatly increased power to bastrika pranayama, and at the same time provides balance between the divine inner polarities in the body. Spinal bastrika charges the entire nervous system with huge amounts of cleansing prana in a balanced way. 

    This practice is excellent for clearing out stubborn karmic blockages throughout the nervous system by sending powerful pranic pulses up and down inside the spinal nerve, and surging out through every nerve in the body. 

    As with any practice, some prerequisites and cautions are in order, so let's consider them. 

    First, spinal bastrika is not a cure-all, not a very good stand-alone practice. It will only work well if sufficient prerequisite practices have been stable for some time. These include spinal breathing and deep meditation. Spinal bastrika is done in-between these two during sitting practices. Its greatest effects are found when it is used in conjunction with the core practices of spinal breathing and meditation. 

    Second, if you have any health condition that could be aggravated by this extended panting style of practice, then please do refrain. If in doubt, check with your doctor first. 

    Third, under certain circumstances spinal bastrika can aggravate an inner blockage, and should obviously be tempered then. More often, it will release blockages without aggravation, and can be used more aggressively then. You only will find out how your nervous system responds to spinal bastrika when you try, which is why it is good to start out slow and use careful self-pacing. Keep in mind that there can be a delayed reaction with spinal bastrika – you will not feel all of the effects immediately. 

    Spinal bastrika is most useful if the ground has already been cleared underneath and throughout the nervous system with deep meditation and spinal breathing. Then spinal bastrika can help finish off the job of getting lingering stubborn karmic blockages out. In that sense, it is like a pressure washer brought in to break loose and flush out those tough obstructions that have already been loosened up with meditation and spinal breathing.

    As mentioned, bastrika means "bellows." I call it "doggy panting," signifying a more gentle sustainable fast breathing approach than the huffing and puffing that bellows implies, though doggy panting can be made quite vigorous also. Sometimes it gets vigorous all by itself. It is a long series of shallow quick breaths, using the diaphragm only, and continued for the allotted time as attention goes with the breath up and down the spinal nerve between the root and third eye. It will take some getting used to. As with all practices, spinal bastrika will be a little "clunky" at first. You will find it takes some practice to have the attention going up and down quickly with the breath. Also, the lungs may tend to get gradually emptier or fuller during a long series of pants. This "drift" is normal, and it is okay to empty out or fill up the lungs as necessary several times during a spinal bastrika session to compensate for the drift. And if there is no drift, very good. Then just keep going with spinal bastrika for the allotted time. 

    It is recommended you start with two minutes of spinal bastrika right before meditation, after spinal breathing and whatever other pranayama you are doing then (yoni mudra kumbhaka or the chin pump). Continue with siddhasana, sambhavi, mulabandha, kechari, etc. Some uddiyana (slightly pulling in of the abdomen) can be done also during spinal bastrika. As you get the feel of the energy moving in spinal bastrika, your body will know instinctively what to do, and all of these maneuvers will refine by themselves. Once it settles in, spinal bastrika, with all of its related yogic components, is quite natural. It becomes a very pleasurable practice with long-lingering ecstatic results in activity, and makes a permanent contribution to enlightenment. When those karmic obstructions are gone, they are gone for good, and the light shines out brightly from inside. 

    With comfort established for two minutes of practice, after a week or two, spinal bastrika can be taken to three minutes, and eventually to five minutes, if desired. Spinal bastrika is very powerful in longer doses, so keep that (and the delayed effect) in mind as your experience advances. 

    You will find spinal bastrika to be helpful for deepening your meditation. With so much being loosened up during the several pranayamas before meditation, it makes the process of deep meditation to inner silence and global purification in the nervous system go much faster and smoother.

    Spinal bastrika puts the overall purification process in a higher gear, loosening the nerves and cultivating the entire nervous system tremendously. Be sure to exercise self-pacing with spinal bastrika, and all of your practices. Always pace your practices so as not to exceed your comfortable limit of resulting purification in your nervous system. Take your time and find your balance with spinal bastrika in your routine of daily practices. 

    In several weeks we will look at some variations of spinal bastrika that can be used for more targeted karmic cleansing. 

    The guru is in you. 

    Note: For detailed instructions on sequencing pranayama techniques in the daily practice routine, see the AYP Eight Limbs of Yoga book.

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    That’s kundalini?

    Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 10:40 AM [General]

    Q: After i meditate in yoga about 12 years i feel an energy in my chest, and i feel illuminated and in control. In the chest i think is the chakra, also when i feel fine odors and hear some music i feel energy in all my body. Very pleasurable. That's kundalini?

    A: Very nice. Yes, all such experiences are symptoms of kundalini/ecstatic conductivity. Try not to become overly attached to them, and continue your practices. Practices will bring you steadily to enlightenment. The experiences are the side effects along the way, sometimes distracting due to their pleasurable aspects. Enjoy them as appropriate, but be sure and favor your practices. Experiences do not produce enlightenment. Practices do. You are doing very well. It is an honor to have you here. 

    The guru is in you.

    Note: For detailed instructions on building a balanced practice routine with self-pacing, see the AYP Eight Limbs of Yoga book.

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    Is this ecstatic conductivity?

    Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 9:41 AM [General]

    Q: I started Yoni Mudra Kumbhaka two weeks ago and since then I have been feeling a strange new connection between my head and my perineum. I do Sambhavi and I feel it down there. I put my tongue on the roof of my mouth and I feel it down there. It's pretty nice and sexual, but also pretty strange. Is this the Ecstatic Conductivity you often mention? It seems to be so. Why is it happening, and where is it leading? Where did the term Ecstatic Conductivity come from? I have never seen it in a yoga book. 

    A: What a beautiful experience. Yes, it is the beginning of ecstatic conductivity, and once it has begun, it will be with you to stay. A level of purification has been reached in your nervous system where your previously learned practices, combined with the addition of yoni mudra kumbhaka, have given rise to that telltale inner sensuality between the brain and the root. It is an awakening of your spinal nerve, which has led to conscious sensations between the upper and lower extremities of it. This is an excellent way to begin a gentle and loving kundalini awakening, with balance of ecstatic energies between head and root right from the start. It means you have good inner silence available to blend in a progressive and healthy way with the rise of ecstatic energies in your nervous system. 

    How you conduct your practices from now on will determine the rate at which the awakening will continue. If you were to stop practices today, it would likely stay at about the current level of connectedness, or "ecstatic conductivity." As you continue with practices, which I'm sure you will, the ecstatic conductivity will increase over time. It should be a comfortable and smooth unfoldment as you continue to be attentive to self-pacing in practices according to your experiences. We can thank the purifying and stabilizing influences of deep meditation and spinal breathing for our continuing growth and stability.

    I confess that the term "ecstatic conductivity" is something I came up with many years ago to describe my own experiences with it, which were similar to the experiences you are beginning now. It is the awakening of kundalini, and we also use kundalini terminology to describe it. Every tradition has its own language for the experience. In these modern times, where we are able to understand such changes as an awakening of the latent capabilities in our nervous system, we can describe it as the rise of increased conductivity in the electrical circuits (nerves) in our body. That is what it is. And it is pleasurable, as you point out. The pleasure keeps increasing as the conductivity increases, eventually beyond all human comprehension, I might add. So it can be called "ecstatic" conductivity, which it certainly is. 

    Why is it happening to you now, and where is it leading? Well, it is your time, you know. You are doing powerful practices every day, and the time has come for your nervous system to open. It is like a second puberty that is happening in so many of us as we begin our journey into the internal divine lovemaking that leads to the unity enlightenment stage. When kundalini begins to awaken, the inner union, the marriage of our divine polarities, is in the offing. It could take only a few years, or many years, for the process to complete itself, depending on the remaining obstructions in our nervous system, and the degree of dedication we have in our daily practices. And where will it lead? Union is freedom in unending ecstatic bliss and divine love, of course. It is our destiny – it is the birthright of each and every one of us. We have explored this in discussions in the lessons on the milestones and stages we experience on the journey to enlightenment.

    The fruition of the journey was also discussed recently in the AdvancedYogaPractices Tantra group, from a slightly different perspective – the point of view of "Sri Vidya" and its "Sri Yantra" sacred diagram. You may wish to review that lesson. If you are not a member of the Tantra group yet, you can review a copy of the lesson that I've pasted below.

    I wish you all success as you continue on your journey to ecstatic 
    bliss and unending divine love. 

    The guru is in you. 


    Copy of a lesson posted in AdancedYogaPractices Tantra Group, 
    4/18/04, at: 

    Subject: Sri Vidya – The fruition of tantra

    New Members: It is recommended you read from the beginning of this tantra yoga archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "What is tantra yoga?"

    As was mentioned in the first lesson here, tantra has often been condemned as degenerate in the East and misunderstood (with great enthusiasm) as a sexual cult in the West. What we find as we travel our serious path of yoga is that tantra includes everything we are doing, and probably a lot we are not doing. Tantra is the most all-encompassing approach to yoga, leaving no stones unturned.

    But where does it all lead? What is the end of tantra? What is its fruition? In the main lessons, and here in the tantra group also, we have discussed the union of our inner polarities as being the end of all our yoga practice. There are many ways to describe this process – as many ways as there are spiritual traditions in the world. No matter how described, it is the same process of human spiritual transformation. 

    On the level of our personal experience in the body it is the union of our blissful inner silence, cultivated mainly in deep meditation, with our whole body ecstasy, cultivated in spinal breathing and other pranayamas, mudras, bandhas and tantric sexual methods. 

    On the level of tantric mythological metaphors it is the union of Shiva and Shakti, which correspond to the direct experiences of silence and ecstasy just mentioned.

    The rise of Shiva, Shakti and their final union everywhere within us make up the three stages of enlightenment – First, 24/7 inner silence. Second, 24/7 whole body ecstasy. And third, 24/7 ecstatic bliss, the joining of the divine polarities of silence and ecstasy, yielding an endless outpouring of divine love, which is unity.

    If you imagine the rise of a conscious ecstatic resonance vibrating in every atom of your body, occurring between every nucleus and its surrounding electrons, you will have an idea of the depth of the transformation. It is an unending cosmic orgasm within every cell and atom in us. 

    This fruition of divine transformation is recognized in a scriptural and experiential branch of tantra known as, "Sri Vidya," which means "glorious knowledge." It is the knowledge of ecstatic bliss, expressed with mathematical precision. If this seems like a paradox then it is surely divine, for divine truth is a paradox. If it seems to be wildly ecstatic, it will be heading toward spiritual precision. If it seems to be mathematically exact, then it will soon to be undoing us in an ecstatic reverie. Nowhere is this better expressed than in Sri Vidya's sacred diagram called "Sri Yantra," sometimes called "Sri Chakra." You can view it at the following links, which can also be found in the links section of this group: 

    If you do a web search on "Sri Yantra" you can find many versions of Sri Yantra, and endless discussions about it. Perhaps you are familiar with it already. 

    A version of interest for this discussion is the blue Sri Yantra in the link showing a white dot in every blue triangle in the yantra. This depicts the ongoing sexual union of Shiva (masculine white lingam bindu dots) and Shakti (feminine blue yoni triangles) in every atom of the cosmos. Sri Yantra in its entirety also represents the sushumna/spinal nerve/tunnel, the nervous system, and the divine union occurring everywhere up and down inside us. 

    Mathematically, Sri Yantra recreates the wave pattern formed by the vibration of "OM," the sacred sound that is found humming naturally within the human nervous system as purification and opening occurs. OM emanates up through the medulla oblongata, the brain stem, forward through the center of the head, and out the third eye. OM is no small, quaint thing that happens inside us. It is "roaring devastating ecstasy" breaking loose inside us, and is synonymous with the highest stages of tantric sexual cultivation. OM is kundalini is full ecstatic swing. So here you have the sexual connection between Sri Vidya, Sri Yantra and tantric sexual practices.

    How is one to use the Sri Yantra, if at all? Some traditions use it as an object of meditation. In these lessons we will not. When OM comes, Sri Yantra will be there in us. We become Sri Yantra when we manifest the ecstatic vibration of OM, which is the sound of kundalini/Shakti ravishing her Shiva within us. As this occurs throughout our whole body, we become the Sri Yantra itself. The Sri Yantra is a representation of our nervous system in its highest mode of spiritual reverie.

    When you look at the Sri Yantra from time to time, just be aware that this is a representation of your rising inner spiritual dynamic, as well as the ecstatic nature of the cosmos. It is both the microcosm and the macrocosm, and so are we. It is a confirmation and a reminder of what we are consciously becoming through our advanced yoga practices, including those we talk about here in the tantra group. Whole body union of ecstatic bliss is what we are cultivating ourselves toward, and this is what Sri Yantra is.

    Let there be no condemnation or misunderstanding about it. No apology is necessary for cultivating human spiritual transformation to its highest level. So cultivate away! 

    The guru is in you.

    Note: For detailed instructions on building a balanced practice routine with self-pacing, see the AYP Eight Limbs of Yoga book.

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    Is pain a prerequisite for inner peace?

    Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 10:29 AM [General]

    Q: I have been practising meditation for nearly a month now. It gives me tremendous energy and peace. However a friend of mine, a person who has a fair amount of yogic knowledge and a person whom I respect a lot, told me that If I pursue this course, I should be willing to experience pain, especially since my past is extremely painful. As a matter of fact I had started meditation to heal myself of this pain and face life, move on, live life with peace, harmony and respect for my fellow human beings. Is pain, a pre-requisite for finding peace?

    A: Thank you for writing and sharing. No, pain is not a prerequisite for finding peace. This does not mean we will not have any pain, or that we should assume the journey is not worth making if we encounter some along the way as our nervous system purifies and opens. 

    It all depends on the obstructions lodged in our nervous system, and how we manage our practices to release them. Peace and bliss are inherent inside us. There are many ways we can uncover our native state. Some are more radical (and uncomfortable) than others. 

    In the lessons, everything is designed for simplicity and maximum power, with minimum discomfort. In fact, advanced yoga practices are designed to be a path of enjoyment from start to finish. There is no requirement that anyone overdo with any practice -- in fact, it is strongly discouraged. If we enjoy the results of our daily practices, we will continue. If they are a painful drudgery, then who will want to do yoga? Only masochists. So everything is geared to balancing practices to maintain a positive experience of ongoing purification and growth. It can be done. 

    Advanced yoga practices are like a fine tuned automobile. You can push on the gas pedal and go as fast as you want. You can arrive at your destination smoothly and safely, or you can wrap yourself around a tree. It is all in the driving, you know. You are the driver with these practices. This is why we talk so much about "self-pacing" in the lessons. It is very important. It is the new approach in these modern times. Each person can drive themselves home to enlightenment at their own speed. Many are ready for this. 

    Even a good driver will hit a few bumps in the road from time to time. It is inevitable on any journey. It is part of life. So we compensate (slow down) when the going gets a little bumpy, and speed up again when the road smoothes out again, as it surely shall. 

    Do we have to go out of our way to drive through every pothole and ditch we see? No. This is why we say pain is not a prerequisite for peace. 

    It sounds like you are traveling smoothly so far, and it fills my heart with joy to hear of your rising energy and peace. You are a blessing to the entire world in your practices, for everyone is benefiting from your purification and opening. Continue with enthusiasm and prudent self-pacing, and you will arrive home to your divine Self straight away. Much is being accomplished with every sitting. Lifetimes of pain and suffering are painlessly melting away.

    The guru is in you.

    Note: For detailed instructions on building a balanced practice routine with self-pacing, see the AYP Eight Limbs of Yoga book.

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    Living on air and sunlight alone?

    Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 9:37 AM [General]

    New Members: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"

    Q: Have you heard of this practice or practice it yourself or know anyone do this practice that one sustains one's body only on the essence from space or sunlight? I read many biography of past MahaSiddha, almost all of them has undergone austerity (fasting) and develop the ability of sustaining the physical body NOT on food. By the way, I am doing the sungazing practice rediscovered by HRM and he says he now only lives on sunlight and water.

    A: I have no contact with those who exist on prana in the air or sunlight alone, and it is not an ability I am focused on developing at this time. However, the principle should be fairly clear from our yoga practices and experiences. 

    As we advance in yoga our nervous system purifies and opens to our inner pranic energies, fed by the kundalini/sexual energy rising from the pelvic region. As this process matures we are nourished by the active life force (prana) much more from within. So much so that breath can suspend spontaneously for long periods during pranayama and meditation, and eventually outside practices too. Even beginning meditators experience this automatic slow down and stoppage of breath. The same applies to food intake. If we are nourished from within, then we are less dependent on constant food intake also and can fast easily without discomfort, though this is a more delayed process than the immediate response of the breath. 

    It stands to reason that inner prana must be replenished from somewhere, normally by both air and food, and that may be where the methods of the "breatharians" and "sungazers" come in. Based on what I just said about inner nourishment, it would seem that these practices are not for direct nourishment, but for replenishing and storing prana in the body (probably in the lower centers) for inner sustenance. 

    It seems to me that all this would be best served by first engaging in yoga practices to bring about the purification and opening of the nervous system that is prerequisite to such refined inner nourishment, which then can be sustained, if desired, by harvesting prana from the air and/or the sunlight. So these practices would seem to be later stage things in the overall process of enlightenment. 

    The first question in the lessons is always, what does this contribute to the process of human spiritual transformation today? Is it leading to more purification and opening in the nervous system, or is it getting the cart in front of the horse? We'd all love to live as the siddha-saints do, but have we first done all the yoga they did to get to the stage we would like to emulate? Is developing the ability to live on air and sunlight so important? Or is it just a by-product ability (a siddhi) of something much more important -- our enlightenment, which is the joining of inner silence and the ecstatic energies within us. How we replenish our prana is a fairly mundane 
    subject compared to the divine union going on inside. 

    No doubt higher abilities will come when required by the opening of our nervous system, and the natural rise of ecstatic bliss and divine love. This is the best, and least distracting, attitude to have about the development of any kind of siddhis. 

    Just some food (pun!) for thought. I wish you all success on your chosen path to enlightenment. 

    The guru is in you.

    Note: For detailed discussion on yogic nutrition and purification, see theDiet, Shatkarmas and Amaroli book.

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    Pay It forward

    Thursday, June 20, 2013, 9:48 AM [General]

    Q: I am reading through your messages on your yahoo group and finding them very clear, informative and balanced. This is a very valuable inspiration for people taking up and maintaining their meditation practice. So thank you for the hard work you have put into this resource. I have forwarded the URL on your yahoo group to over 1800 people on my distribution list and I'm sure many of them will gain help from it.

    A: Thank you very much for passing the group link on to so many others. Posting the truest and most effective knowledge of practices in the lessons is the most important thing in my life at this stage. Next most important is spreading word of the existence of the lessons to as many as possible. It is at the point now where I want to encourage others to do the same as you have done.


    A few years ago a movie came out in America called "Pay It Forward." It is a story about a young boy who had a school assignment to come up with a way to change the world in a good way. His idea was to help three people in serious need, with the only condition being that if they felt helped they should do the same for three other people needing help, passing on the condition of helping three more people in serious need, and so on. He presented his project in class, showing the math on how many thousands, and eventually millions, would be helped by this system. Everyone, including his teacher, said, "Wow," and that was the end of it.

    But that wasn't the end of it. You see, this young boy actually went out and helped three people, each who had a serious problem, and gave them the condition of doing the same for three other people. It wasn't easy, and there were a lot of difficulties, but he did it. Later on, after he did the initial helping, everything seemed to be going wrong, and he got discouraged because nothing good seemed to be coming from the effort. But it was. Unknown to him, the web of help was spreading out fast, and by the end of the story... well, I won't tell you. Go see the movie. It is very inspiring.

    AdvancedYogaPractices is a "pay it forward" project. It is my way of saying thank you to all the great ones who have gone before. It is because of them that we have yoga practices today, enabling us to purify and open our nervous systems to the divine within us. Yoga works, especially if it is allowed the flexibility to be integrated and optimized to suit the needs of every individual. The guru is ever within us all. 

    Many have written with their thanks for the lessons. I am very happy that the lessons have been helpful to others. The helpfulness to others is my reward. Nothing else is needed, except one thing.

    If these lessons have been helpful to you in some way, if you think you have received some value, then please "pay it forward" in your own way.

    Maybe you have a wide network you can access, like the kind person above who sent the group link to 1,800 people. Or maybe you have just three friends you know who could benefit from the information here. Tell them about it. And tell them, if they feel helped, would they please "pay it forward" too. Like that. 

    Paying it forward is the only request here. It is the only prasad (divine offering). If you give that, you will receive blessings a thousand-fold in return from the rising light of the many you have helped with their yoga practices.

    If you don't think this is a good idea, that is okay. It is only an idea. All are always welcome here, regardless of opinions. 

    Do your daily yoga practices and enjoy the results. If you got help here, even if you don't wish to pass the word about the lessons, go out and help three people in need... help three people with a serious problem, share your good will. And then, if they are obliged, tell them to go help three others. "Pay It forward" works with or without these lessons in the loop. 

    It's a good idea for everyone. It is a natural behavior that comes from daily yoga practices, the rise of ecstatic bliss, and the endless outflow of divine love. "Pay It forward" is a yoga practice that promotes unity, the highest stage of enlightenment. 

    So try it. Share your light in a substantial way. See how good it feels. 

    The guru is in you.

    Note: For detailed discussion on the role of service on our spiritual path, see the AYP Bhakti and Karma Yoga book.

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    Desire and change

    Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 9:45 AM [General]

    Q: I have experienced desire very intensely to achieve my life's plan. What happens when the foundations of your past beliefs is shattered by new discoveries (yoga, meditation, reincarnation) and your desire and motivation for most things disappears?

    A: Our desire will carry us through to our destination. Sometimes our desire to achieve a particular thing can lead us to surprising revelations about what is true, and we find that we are compelled to change our orientation. Change can be confusing, but isn't discovery of the truth a good thing? It is a birth. And, as in all birth, it is change of the status quo. Yet, the world need not be turned upside down. It is a fulfillment we are witnessing today, not a destruction.

    There are many ways to go about handling it -- as many ways as there are people, it seems, for we all react differently to our changing understandings and circumstances.

    In the lessons, a gradual approach is recommended. It is actually quite fast in terms of how quickly one can take on powerful spiritual practices. But at the same time, everyday life goes on, and the lessons don't recommend throwing away our family, career, culture, or religious background. The truth is oozing out everywhere in life. We just have not been so aware of it until now. The light is coming up everywhere. If we are going to become enlightened (and we all will), then it can and will happen right where we are in our current life, family, activities, etc. Why not?

    The idea used to be that we have to run off to an ashram somewhere, "drop out" of society, and give up our worldly ambitions. Paradoxically, that is an old-way strategy based on external appearances. We don't have to go anywhere. Neither do we have to give up our worldly goals, for these are spun from God also. If we look deep into ourselves, we will find that our core beliefs have room for the light of truth in them, and so does the rest of our life, just as it is today. As a matter of fact, everyday life needs what yoga brings, and there is not nearly the incompatibility it might seem. Just go into your silence in deep meditation and see for yourself.

    Some would dissolve all the world's traditions to make way for the new. I am not for that. All the world's traditions will flower with the same great truth of God that spawned them in the first place. It is human desire and spiritual enterprise (daily practices) that are going to illuminate the old values, beliefs, and traditions from the inside. 

    So don't throw away your foundation beliefs. Let them bathe in the living light that flows from within as you move into your own experiment in human spiritual transformation with meditation, spinal breathing, and the rest of the advanced yoga practices. You will find that most of your foundation beliefs are good, only needing a natural tune up from within. What is not real will fade away, and the truth will shine forth from you ever brighter. 

    Call it a revival of who you are -- a homecoming.

    It is not a black or white world. Truth and untruth are mixed together in everything. Better to shine a bright light through it all with spiritual practices before deciding to make radical changes or throw anything away. After some time in daily spiritual practices, you will know what to do. There is nothing to fear... 

    The guru is in you.

    Note: For detailed instructions on employing desire and action on our spiritual path, see the AYP Bhakti and Karma Yoga book.

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    Human power

    Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 10:05 AM [General]

    Q: I am a new member of this group. I am a person always having faith in human power. I noted that yoga is the base for all techniques such as hypnotism, mesmerism, telepathy, etc, but I don't know the exact differences between these things, may I have an opportunity to know the answer?

    A: The greatest of all human power is the divine within. Yoga is for joining (union) with and becoming that. The first priority in yoga is union with God within us. 

    Jesus said, "Seek first the kingdom of God, and all things will be added to you." 

    The powers you mention are of the subconscious mind, not very significant in relation to the pure bliss consciousness of our divinity, which lies beyond the subconscious mind and is its source. If you are interested in powers as approached in the lessons, do a word search on "samyama." It is an integrated approach to powers, aimed first at expanding our deepest inner pure bliss consciousness, and then all the rest comes up as a byproduct of that expansion to enlightenment. This is the correct approach to human power – seeking the kingdom of God first, and then all else is added... 

    Once you have checked out samyama, start at the beginning of the lessons to begin to unfold your full divine power with deep meditation, spinal breathing, and many other means, assembled into powerful daily practice in building block fashion. 

    I wish you all success on your chosen path. 

    The guru is in you.

    Note: For detailed instructions on deep meditation, see the AYP Deep Meditation book.

    For detailed instructions on samyama practice, see the AYP Samyama book.

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    Sublime clarity

    Thursday, June 13, 2013, 10:03 AM [General]

    Q: Having read the question of the person who started to listen to the music in a different way, with more clarity, more depth, somehow I could relate to it. Today is my 10th day of meditation and in the evening as I was taking my walk I felt a different emotion. It wasn't joy or ecstasy or an impulse of pleasure. It was something deeper ...sublime... deep… like the memories of our childhood. Then for some time there was a lingering pain which gradually went away. Then the mind started to flow again with tremendous clarity and sharpness. I never had an experience like this and was extremely excited, and wanted to share this with someone. Are such reactions normal, should these be expected?

    A: Thank you for writing and sharing. 

    It is a clear experience of pure bliss consciousness you describe in the early days of your meditation. Very beautiful. It can happen to anyone at any time along the path. It is normal. Then there can be obstructions moving out and it is not so clear, and that is normal too. That is how it goes. The light is still in there. Meditation brings us to stillness and there we can have such experiences in practices or afterward. When they do happen, it stands as evidence that there is something wonderful inside we can unfold through our daily spiritual practices. 

    Maybe we have clarity at the start, and then the clouds move through on their way out. Or maybe we are cloudy from the start and then the light shines through later, all at once sometimes, or bit by bit a little more each month. It can happen so many ways according to how obstructions are lodged in our nervous system and released. One thing is for sure, it will happen if we keep up our practices. In time the inner reality becomes clear and blissful like that all the time, and we accept it as normal life. Then when people ask us how we feel about all the darkness in the world, we can only say, "Darkness? What darkness? I don't see any darkness. Only the divine light everywhere, with a passing shadow here and there." Then we are filled with huge compassion for everyone and do all we can to help the light shine through and dissolve the lingering darkness. That is how this new age is unfolding. Everyone is helping everyone else. No one meditates only for themself. All meditation is for everyone's enlightenment. 

    Of course it is very exciting when we have such a glimpse right at the beginning like you describe. Use it for motivation to stay regular in your practices. If you have some expectations in practices (normal at this stage), just continue to easily favor the mantra in meditation, your spinal breathing in pranayama, and so on. If we stick with the straight-forward procedures of practice we will continue to move ahead into more and more sublime feelings and clarity in our daily life. 

    We all have this destiny built into our nervous system. No one is an exception. It is just a matter of doing the house cleaning for as long as it takes to reveal the divine light of God always shining from inside. Our essential nature is pure bliss consciousness, beyond description. You have shown us today that it is true. 

    The guru is in you.

    Note: For detailed instructions on deep meditation, see the AYP Deep Meditation book.

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    Dark nights and the rise of inner silence

    Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 9:41 AM [General]

    Q: I'm still "on the wagon" and I guess I won't stop meditating regularly twice a day in this lifetime. 

    Nevertheless I have cut back my practice to "meditation only." I had progressed to meditation plus pranayama plus mulabandha plus sambhavi and things went really fine. I even made good progress in crossed leg sitting, something I found very difficult and distracting from meditation in the beginning. When things went fine the last time I was on holiday, first in the Austrian mountains, then on a tiny island in the German Northern Sea. It was a beautiful time and I was looking happily forward to returning back home, eager to start handling my life with more fun and on a higher energy level than ever before. 

    Then, when I arrived back home (two weeks ago) everything seemed to crash within the first 36 hours… I felt really, really bad and this lasted for several days (it´s not completely over right now but better). At that time I even stopped my practice completely for 1,5 days. Nothing dramatic had happened on the outside - it was just that I tried to resume my life where I had left it before I left for holiday and that didn't work any longer. 

    I'm completely sure now that this crash hasn't been caused by yoga, it must have been the positive development that had taken place while I was "off duty". Maybe I've simply outgrown my former way of living. 

    Somewhere in the lessons you mention the advantages of a busy life for the integration of the purification and expansion achieved during practices. I can relate very well to that - nevertheless I'm much more a "be-er" than a "do-er" - my life is certainly out of balance on the side of too much withdrawal from worldly affairs. All my lifetime it hasn't been too difficult for me to "reach high" and have sometimes quite intense spiritual experiences - but concerning "outside" day to day life I very often felt extremely overwhelmed, feeling that the world was way too rough and rude for me. A well developed sense of vulnerability… 

    This is why the concept of yoga you outline in the first few lessons seems to be so very attractive for me. The promise to reconcile the outer world with the inner… I'm really longing for that… 

    There is so much old pain coming up while I'm typing this - it seems to be something like the ruin of my lifetime (and the basic anatomy of the separation almost every human being experiences while being incarnated). This is PAINFUL. 

    So I'm working my way back up in practices. I really do believe you when you say this is a reliable way out - I felt so much of it already. 

    Probably experiencing the "dark night of the soul" 

    A: It is inevitable that highs lead to lows. It is in inner silence that we find the truth about it all. That is what meditation is for, gradually bringing up that silent bliss that is inherent in us within all the functioning of our body, mind, emotions, and the world. Then we see everything is going up and down while we, as silent pure bliss consciousness, stay put.

    As for activity, yes, it is good to stabilize our silence gained in meditation in daily activity. But who is to decide what that activity will be for you? Not me. It is for you to follow your heart and do the things that bring you joy. Some of us are naturally more introverted. Then "activity" may be something not constantly involved with people. Others need to be in the middle of the crush of human endeavor. Only you can know what is your right activity. 

    Sometimes it is facing our fears and doing things that we shy away from. Then we feel growth in having faced our fears. But neither should we drown ourselves (and our spiritual practices) in overindulgence in what is not natural to us. The important thing is that we find a way to serve life by creating something, or by helping others directly. It can be in business, charity, or doing art in a secluded studio somewhere. Whatever satisfies the inherent need we all have to flow out into the world with our hearts. You are wise to keep meditating. It will gradually bring you the inner steadiness to make the best choices for yourself. Don't rush. Just be purposeful about your life, and always try and honor the deepest longings in your heart. 

    As your practices advance, and with prudent self-pacing, you will find those old inner obstructions gradually dissolving. Give it time. It is the way in to permanent ecstatic bliss, and out of misery. 

    Q: Thank you for your response, all your responses and your wonderful lessons… All so very uplifting and enlivening… 

    I'm slowly moving out of the shit - I know I'll have to rearrange my general set-up in life and I'll do so. I'm starting to look at this rearrangement as a creative process, something I'm actively involved in, maybe even something infused with pleasure and joy… quite a new perspective for me… maybe I'm moving out of my default mode of feeling more or less overwhelmed most of the time without even knowing so… 

    Yesterday I had a very surprising experience while listening to one of my favorite CDs. I've always been touched deeply by beautiful music. But now with more and more silence accumulating in my mind something has changed. I had always wondered why I was unable to reproduce tunes I loved so very much by singing them myself. I always could feel the music inside but when I tried to sing it only something more or less similar to the original came out, if the tune was complicated, something less similar… 

    Yesterday I suddenly realized that I had always been trying to sing my emotions stirred up by the music which of course where not the tune itself. With a mind which is a little bit more silent now, I still can perceive all the emotions the artist expresses in the music as well as my reactions but besides all that I can listen on a more "analytical level". I'm hearing single notes instead of big clusters of emotional reactions, I also experienced an internal "visualization" of the parallel tunes - and, most surprising I discovered another tune in the tracks I had listened to so often before: The silence between the notes emerged like a very important new instrument I didn't perceive at all before. 

    All those pieces had become more "airy", somehow "thinner" with lots of empty silent spaces in them… very surprising and very interesting… 

    Mmmh… I wonder how the world will look like if this musical experience kind of generalizes, more detachment more huge empty silent spaces everywhere around and maybe more creative joy in a universe which is much easier to move around and handle? 

    Expecting change (and saying thank you for your continuous support) 

    A: A very nice observation of silence coming up in your experience of music. Yes, all of life will become more and more like that. It will become normal and not noticed as a contrast, because you will forget how dark it was. Then there will be continuing contrasts going forward from the silence, to more silence, and then ecstasy coming up mixed with silence. On it goes like a spiral. 

    It comes from practices. Keep that in mind. We all tend to get a little infatuated at times with our experiences. As I have said in the lessons, progress comes from practices, not experiences, which is not to say we can't revel a bit in the fruit of our yoga. 

    Change is in the air, for all of us. Here come dee-light. Enjoy! 

    The guru is in you.

    Note: For detailed instructions on deep meditation with self-pacing, see theAYP Deep Meditation book.

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