Friday, 20 October 2017

Yoga and Christianity

Yoga and Christianity
Yoga and Christianity are two pillars of light which when studied together mutually enrich each other. Many, who practise Yoga, stop short when it comes to any mystical or spiritual considerations. Yoga and Religion are two words which are synonyms as the former means Union, and Religion in the same sense, is to bind back to God or the source that is the creator of everything that exists.   What confuses many Christians who approach ancient Hindu based practices is the apparent confusion of Gods, which refer to the many functions of one reality, rather than many Gods?

Yoga is Union in the sense of not only discovering the link factors that make us tick, but also discovering those which aid our mutual understanding and development. This means waking up to the fact that there is a universal or cosmic intelligence that guides us all. Whether Yogi, Christian or both, it is a committal to a lifetime of hard work and ‘letting’ the techniques of heartfelt meditation speak to us, whether via the medium of Hermeneutics, Art, Religion, Philosophy or Science.

Self-recognition is an important first step in self-understanding, and the fact of our own sentience and the feeling that we exist, would not be possible if the ground of our existence were a non-sentient, a none knowing power. The potential that we have for life must have existed since the beginning of time, as it is not possible for something which is dead and inert, to produce something intelligent from itself.

The Self (Atman)’ is that intelligence in us which knows, and has been guiding our development since the beginning of time. Yoga is learning to be guided by the source of that development, by stilling the mind, and clearing away the many cobwebs that prevent us seeing clearly. Both Yoga and Christianity express this universal truth in their own ways; Yoga through the concept of Brahman, “that which expands greater than the greatest”, which is a reference to the Absolute which is without limits, yet complete in itself. The Christians express this concept with “Our father, which art in heaven”; Our Father being the generative power which has guided us from the apparently “NO Thing” of infinite space into life and Being.

Sanskrit is the ancient sacred and classical language of the Hindus and yoga, having its origins in the sonic geometry of the universe, not unlike the words of Jesus that resonate down the years and bring light and understanding to those who have ears to hear. The Yogi who is working to unite the teachings both East and West, will have at their disposal a good Yoga/Sanskrit dictionary and a Red Letter Testament, in which the words of Jesus are highlighted in red. Sanskrit is unique as the words act like windows between time and eternity and assist with the hermeneutic art of the interpretation of words at the initiating level of spirit; the words of Jesus, having the catalytic power to awaken and inspire.

The spiritual teachings of the world are more than intellectual propositions and awaken the light in our hearts. This light is the light of consciousness that has links with the creative and healing energies of the universe. The ability to heal has now been largely lost to the human race. Thus-Yoga is the art of re-awakening the Divinity within ourselves. The following exercises are meditative in nature and toward ‘Self’ discovery awakening the creative powers within ourselves.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Self Healing

Self Healing - There was a time when planet earth did not exist, yet, from space has arisen, the first movement that started the evolutionary process to where we are today. Not all has been plain sailing as evidenced by the suffering that we see around us, which can be largely attributed to our own making. From the mystical tradition of Yoga has come the concept of Shabda Brahman that is the Divine Word which gives shape and form to creation.

A similar declaration is made at the start of St, John’s Gospel; In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God, etc... This implies intelligence and an underlying blueprint that patterns life. Distortion of this pattern due to stress and being out of touch with the life force conducive to life, leads to suffering and eventual breakdown.

The art of the Yoga Teacher is to convert age old wisdom into practical exercises conducive to life and health. High on the list is the developing art of Yoga relaxation techniques, which are completely opposite to forms of escapism, and more akin to throwing open the curtains and accepting the light of a new dawn. The curtains are symbolic of the habitual habit patterns and the old framework through which we view the world. The new dawn is the intuitive light of consciousness which continually introduces new emergent’s and restructures the old; enabling the meditator to make profound changes to their lives.

At the beginning of time, before the mind was overloaded with data, it was possible to listen to the heart and attune to the Cosmic Purpose of the Creator. This early form of listening has guided evolution from the beginning. The Yogi recognises two birds that live in self same tree, one representing the ‘Lower Mind’, which is an accumulation of information from the five senses and the other the ’Higher Mind’, which structures the world and is glimpsed during meditation and the refining techniques of Yoga practice.

It is when the mind is still and the body is deeply relaxed, that we can attune to the pulse of life, and set a new pattern for the future that leads to health and well being.

The New Dawn

Each day, refresh and renew; by stepping into stillness
The All comprehending space from which all life evolves.
Let go the thoughts that darken the mind.
Open each curtain that obscures the light of ‘Self’,
Quieten the breath, until the surface of your mind is still.
Touched by the Lotus Blossoms of Peace.

Let each fragrant breath capture the light of Eternity,
That touches time with its healing presence.
Becoming one with the light of your true essence,
Healing Body, Mind and the space around.
Do not close the curtains of your mind,
Let consciousness be your timeless guide.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Healing Prana

Healing Prana
Prana has been defined by Vivekanada as the Infinite manifesting energy of the Universe, which implies that we are all modifications of power, designed and shaped by Cosmic Intelligence. Life is complex and we all distort the natural life flow with the stress patterns associated with day to day living, and when competing for space and resources, on an increasingly crowded planet.

The ‘Cosmic Wisdom’ that has designed and shaped each one of us is not separate and does not stand back at a distance, it is interwoven into the very fabric of our being; it is just that we have chosen to ignore it and replace it with our own desires and ambitions. Most of the suffering that we experience in life is of our own making. The way to re-fresh and re-align ourselves with the intelligence that has structured the body from the ground up is to practise ‘Healing Prana’.

The breath can be likened to the rhythmic rise and fall of waves on a deep ocean; the waves occurring in time, and with the deep ocean representing eternity. To restore harmony and relationship between Time and Eternity become conscious of each breath and aware of the fathomless Peace and Stillness underlying each breath. This is best achieved through a meditational approach, and letting go all distractions to breath awareness, this includes the counting of breaths and breathe retention. From the stillness that underlies the breath arises the initiative that still’s the breath so that the body can receive the maximum absorption of Prana.

With the conscious breath there is refinement of the breath, with a growing sense that the body is filled with light. It is important with these practices that life is lived beyond reproach, with no inner inconsistencies, as these energies are much finer than the earth bound, and without the pure life can cause neurosis and upset the nervous system. For self-healing adopt the pose of complete relaxation and allow the surface waves of the breath subside until the underlying stillness, sensed as light, illuminates the whole body.

Healing others can prove to be a little more difficult; as each body radiates energy according to its inner disposition and it may take a little time to become perfectly still. Sitting opposite to your partner, cup both of their hands within yours and commence the healing prana breath, endeavouring to keep a sense of detachment, while letting the breath calm to the point where it seems to merge with the underlying stillness. It is within this cosmic stillness that the potential for healing arises as it embraces all, can adjust to all situations without distortion from the world of time.