ABOUT MEDITATION PRACTICES
You will find in the next following articles, words about Meditation practices as taught and practiced in the Satyananda yoga tradition.
Whatever is said about meditation, we should however keep in mind that TRUE meditation is far beyond what can be expressed by words.
So techniques are here to guide us, to lead us on the path of self knowledge, and ultimately we may experience true meditation state ..
Hari Om Tat Sat
Par isayunusemre le 30 December 2012 à 13:46
what is it ? -
why practice meditation ?
1. MEDITATION - what is it ?
If we have a look at a normal dictionnary, we might find as definition for the term « meditation » approximately this :
“action of reflecting upon a specific subject, thinking about a chosen theme”
Surprisingly according to yoga meditation is exactely the contrary:
Firstly the term “meditation” does not mean an action, but a STATE.
Second, the state of meditation is precisely a state where the mind is EMPTY of thoughts.
So we can see that our modern definition of meditation is very far away from the real concept of meditation according to yoga.
And of course this is under that very concept that we shall talk about meditation here.
A state of mind where there are NO THOUGHTS.
But then how can we reach that state ?
Yoga answers :
By learning how the mind functions
Do you know how your mind funtions ?
Have you been taught where you were a kid, how the mind functions ? just like you have been taught how to read and write ?
Probably not, unless you grew up in a yogic environment ?
So for 99% of us we live with a mind and use this mind everyday but we do not know how it works...
That is maybe why we cannot find the answer to the question ... “how could i stop this mind thinking and thinking again and again and again ... ???? “
And if you have ever tried to « stop » the mind... you might have seen that actually it is almost impossible ... actually the more we try to stop it the more it .. thinks .. and more and more thoughts come from a mysterious plane !!!!
Isn’t it ?
So how can we reach meditation with such an uncontrolled tool ???
Precisely, by learning how to control it.
And before that of course, by learning how it works.
This will be the aim of some of the most important practices in the Satyananda yoga like :
PRATYAHARA - ANTAR MOUNA - AJAPA JAPA - YOGA NIDRA -
All these practices will teach us how our entire being functions, entire being meaning our whole being made of different layers called kosha in yoga :
Physical (annamaya kosha) Energetical (pranamaya kosha) Mental(manomaya kosha) Knowledge (vijnamaya kosha) and Spirit (anandamaya kosha).
In short :
Pratyahara :« to let the mind work more and more”
Pratyahara is an introductory practice which consists in activating the mind and senses more and more so as to teach us how they work and to awaken in us the awareness.
It then leads to the withdrawal of the senses, allowing us to be undisturbed by the senses.
This practice will always be present in all other meditation practices for only when pratyahara is mastered can we go further into mind exploration.
Antar Mouna : « inner silence »
This extraordinary practice allow us to see and understand the functionning of the mind in all details, it allows ultimately to reach the inner silence, source of inner peace.
Additionnaly Antar mouna is also a very powerful tool for self study, self discovery, self healing... Having a powerful effect of purification, it allows to clean most of our problems, be it at physical or psychological, emotional, or psychic level...
Ajapa japa : « spontaneous repetition of a sound »
In ajapa japa a mantra (sanscrit sound) is repeated, using also visualisation tools from the energetic body (prana)
Ajapa japa is a very subtle practice which cleans gently our whole being allowing spontaneous transformation and peace...
Yoga nidra : « psychic sleep »
Yoga nidra is now worldly known,
Yoga nidra is a very ancient tantric meditation technique which is practice while lying down. Thats why it is also often called relaxation; however it is far deeper than a simple relaxation..
In yoga nidra, not only our physical body will be relaxed but also our mind and psyche.
Thats why yoga nidra may also be considered as a powerful tool for self healing.
So this is a very short overview of the main meditation practices of the Satyananda yoga.
I wont write more details about them for what happens during the meditation practices can only be understood once experienced.
That is why i can only invite you to come and try !
see yoga class and meditation programs in Yoga studyo Antalya Here
2. WHY TO PRACTICE MEDITATION ?
The outcomes of meditation practices are huge, and far far beyond what can be written by words ...
Additionnaly each individual will experiment his- her own inner journey according to his-her own sensitivity and knowledges..
So in this way each experience is unique.
However there are some general benefits which can be seen under two aspects:
First at individual level :
Generally speaking we grow in life experiencing lots of events, some being pleasant, some being unpleasant, even painful.
To face these times, specially the difficult ones, our mind has established a kind of program of reaction, and the older we get, the harder our reactions become.
We cannot change them. Our program becomes more and more rigid.
Have you ever noticed how similar situations, similar events come into our lives?
And to each of these similar situation we can only have similar response.
We do not know how to change our responses.
Is it satisfactory ? according to yoga : no.
Because this is only a self defens system that ego has created so as to protect himself, so as to survive in life
So that is fine because at least ego allowed you to be alive until now and to read these words..
But are you satisfied of your functionning when you face difficult situations in life?
Do you know how to handle emotional stresses ? professionnal conflicts ? relationship situations ?
If yes ... then congratulations ! you might not really need meditation practices to help you dealing with your life ! but you might be interested in using them to explore the mind and discover the mind potentiel ?
If no .. well maybe you will be happy to learn that yoga may help you and precisely meditation practices.
Because by learning how the mind functions we become able to understand why and how we function, why we behave like this or like that in this or that situtation...
And ultimately, with practice and determination, we might become able to change those programs which limit and bind us for more harmonious and appropriate behaviours...
In short we cease to re-act, and we start to simply act.
The re-action turns into action...
Even into spontaneous creation,
Because the behavious is not any more guided by a limited formated conditionned mind but by the heart, the soul, which simply guides in silence towards right thinking, right behaviour, right talking.
The dormant true being in us is allowed to wake up and blossom.
The meditative practices allow us to realise our full potential or human being.
We can then become what we really are.
Second aspect of the effects of the meditative practices : the collective aspect.
The practice of meditation might be considered as a true ecology.
Are you surprised ?
One of the consequences of the self-study is that by learning how we function, we understand thus how the others function, because we all function in the same manner, for we ALL have the SAME mind.
Becoming aware of our own limitations, we may become aware of other’s limitations, and thus more TOLERANT towards others, for we are ALL limited beings.
My first yoga teacher use to tell me:
“learn how you function and you will understand how the world function”
How true this is !!
The meditative practices allow us to learn how the world functions !
Bothyogis and sufis considere that the manifested world, this world in which we live, that we touch and smell, this world in which we interact with all kind of creatures, this world that in yoga we call “prakriti”, is a projection of our collective mind.
What is in our mind takes shape and manifests itself in form and matter that we see in the everyday life.
And this is also true in the other direction :
That what we see outside is also inside.
The world is our mirror.
So then thinking of meditation as ecology become clear and obvious :
The chaotic and egotic world in which we live is exactly the reflection of the chaotic and egotic mind that renders us nervous or irritated or jalous or be it day or night ..
Because all these emotions are still in us, even if we do not like this idea, even if we are not conscious of these emotions
The mind is huge, and just as the most important part of an iceberg is not the visible small part but the invisible huge immense part, the most important part of the mind is not the conscious mind but the unconscious and subconscious and even more than that.
These unknown and invisible parts of the mind act without our knowledge and drive us into our behaviours and thoughts.
So .. let us imagine... let us imagine that instead of these violent emotions generated by the egos, like hate, anger, jalousy... let us imagine that there is only the emotions generate by the heart, the soul: compassion, love, brotherhood, help...
Then these very emotions - attitude would be projected into the world...
And the world would take this shape of love and compassion.
And this is not utopia or illusion...
This is what yogis, buddhists, sufis, spiritual masters experience and live
These beings live in pure love, pure compassion for all without any distinction or preference because they are pure.
« Change yourself and the world will change » said Platon.
This is what allows the meditation practices of the Satyananda yoga.
The state of meditation allows us to find inner peace.
This inner peace reflects then outside.
Hari om tat sat.
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