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Posts Tagged ‘True Self’

Yogi Bhajan, Summer Solstice, New Mexico.

Yogi Bhajan, Summer Solstice, 1985, New Mexico.

Yogi Bhajan gave thousands of different meditations for people to use. Whichever meditations you choose to work with there are two strategies for building momentum in your Kundalini Yoga practice: meditate more often, and deepen the quality of that meditation. Meditating more can involve formal sits, yoga sets, and using various techniques to extend your concentration and awareness throughout the day. Deepening the quality of your meditation is written about in Patanjali’s classic Yogic Sutra’s, particularly in the Eight Limbs of Yoga. The limbs five through eight Patanjali calls pratyahar, dharana, dhyana and samadhi.

Our attention is constantly being pulled here and there when engaged in the outer world. When we withdraw our attention from the outside world, with the eyes closed and the listening directed inwards – unless you’re listening to the activity of chanting – there are less distractions. This enables us to direct attention inwards, which helps us engage in pratyahar. As we’re persistent in applying concentration at deeper levels, we begin to synchronize and merge with the Source first in formal meditation, and eventually throughout daily activities. This synchronization and merger throughout formal meditation and in daily life is the deeper meaning of pratyahar in Kundalini Yoga.

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Shinzen Young & Har-Prakash Khalsa, Jan. 2009, Santa Barbara

Shinzen Young & Har-Prakash Khalsa, Jan. 2009, Santa Barbara

Har-Prakash Khalsa – Given that, in your own words,  “enlightenment is a multi-faceted jewel”, is there a description of enlightenment that you like?

Shinzen Young – In this regard I tend to go towards my Buddhist background.  Scholastic Theravada Buddhism says that three things go away at the initial experience of enlightenment. It’s very significant that it’s put in terms of an elimination process; something goes away, rather than an attainment, a “getting” of something. So enlightenment is not yet another thing that you have to get.  And meditation as a path to enlightenment could be described as merely setting the stage for Nature/Grace to eliminate from you what needs to be eliminated.

The technical terms in Pali for the three things that go away are “sakkaya-ditthi”, “vicikiccha”, and “silabbata-paramasa”. Sakkaya-ditthi is the most important. Sakkaya-ditthi is the perception that there is an entity, a thing inside us called a self. That goes away.

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