In the last blog post, I talked briefly about how self-realization cannot be achieved easily and as quickly without the use of yogic meditation.
You can use devotion or even silent prayer to reach the divine, but it takes infinitely longer and many lifetimes to achieve self-realization.
Yoga is the scientific practice for meditation – one which has been tested in the fires of time and sheer determination.
For at least four millennia, yoga and its associated meditative practices has been shown to create the greatest, most complete, and longest-lasting connection to the Divine.
It sounds like yogic meditation would be a no-brainer then, right?
It isn’t ALWAYS that simple….
Meditation takes time, period.
Does anyone have time these days? You, me, your mother – we are ALL rushing around like chickens with our heads cut off… seriously.
It is said in some Zen meditation circles, that the less time you have to meditate, the more time in meditation required.
Doesn’t make sense does it?
Well, the more time you have to relax, the less time meditation is needed, because it is like you are already meditating during your times of relaxation. This is what mediation trains you to do – to relax.
The more time you fuss and stress about every little thing, the less time you have to relax. Less relaxation = more time in meditation
Make sense now?
So where does yoga fit into this whole meditation-self-realization-thing?
Yoga is a broad term describing various types of physical exercises – body positions called asanas and mudras, breath-control techniques, and basic life principles that when followed accurately and completely, help to evolve the body and brain to achieve the highest state of consciousness known as enlightenment or self-realization.
Meditation based in yoga is the vehicle that takes your spiritual evolution to the highest level possible! It is actually one of eight aspects described by a Hindu sage, Patanjali, in his Yoga Sutras (yogic writings). Since Patanjali is considered the father of modern yoga, we will assume that his work is like the bible for yogis and yoginis alike.
These eight aspects (limbs) are as follows:
- Yama (moral conduct)
- Niyama (personal observances)
- Asana (physical body postures)
- Pranayama (breath-control techniques)
- Pratyahara (withdrawal/control of the senses)
- Dharana (concentration)
- Dhyana (meditation)
- Samadhi (ecstatic union with the Divine)
Yoga is mostly practiced as a physical exercise in North America, but it is so much more!
Yoga was originally designed to bring you closer to God, closer to bliss consciousness, closer to true perfection.
As stated by most masters, the ultimate goal of yoga is liberation or kaivalya. This is enlightenment or self-realization.
So why doesn’t the world see the fullest value of yoga?
It is because often yoga is looked at as a religion or a part of Hinduism. But in fact, it is just a philosophical school of Hinduism and has generally been incorporated into all belief systems of the religion.
See, Hinduism really is not one strict set of beliefs or dogmas, but a collection of many belief systems. Yoga is a school of philosophy or spiritual practice that has been integrated into belief systems of Hinduism. This is similar to the “call and response” worship of the Christian religion.
Call and response is classically a part of both Catholicism and Protestantism, but isn’t necessarily a part of a Christian’s core belief system. One does not have to practice it to be a Christian, but still does because it is a part of the practice of the religion.
Yoga can be integrated into any religion. No exceptions.
This physical and spiritual practice is meant to bring you closer to the Divine and does so through a definitive, scientific process, tested over thousands of years.
So… what should you take from this post?
- Meditation is the quickest and easiest path to a connection with the Divine
- Meditation is the highest spiritual version of yoga
- Yoga is a philosophy
- Yoga is not a religion
- Yoga can be integrated with ANY religion
- Meditation can help you right now with any physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual problems that you may be experiencing
Questions to ponder upon:
- Does it disagree with your current belief system?
- Could you take your prayer and worship a step further with meditation?
- Could you integrate yoga into your current religious and spiritual practice?
Stay tuned next week for more info on this ascended age!