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    Comprehensive Introduction to Yoga

    Vidya Moksha
    Vidya Moksha

    Posts : 834
    Join date : 2010-04-17
    Location : on the road again :)

    Comprehensive Introduction to Yoga Empty Comprehensive Introduction to Yoga

    Post  Vidya Moksha on Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:11 pm

    Nice to see my Hatha notes (below) pass 9999 hits ...

    so those hatha notes, written in a tropical cabana 15 years ago eventually became  'A Comprehensive Introduction to Yoga'. I have finished editing the revised edition, if anyone has any book formatting skills, do get in touch, I hope to self publish...

    I am going to release the pdf of my book for free and maybe sell a few hard copies?

    So here's a few sections of my book.. These are the final 'words'.. any feedback / corrections welcome before I commit to print Wink

    Part I – Yoga theory

    The vedas
    One of the earliest known Indian scriptures is the rig veda, which perhaps dates to 3000 BC. Rig is usually translated as ‘ritual’ and this sanskrit document contains hymns and prayers (mantras) for the worship of universal forces known as ‘demigods’.

    By 1200 BC, three more vedas had been produced: vajur veda describes how to perform rituals and ceremonies, sama veda contains mantras and strict rules on how to chant them and atharva veda describes mantras for worship and healing.

    The upanishads
    The Brahmins created the caste system ca. 3000 years ago, setting themselves on top of it as the brahmana caste (scholar-priests). The brahmana wrote a series of religious scriptures called the upanishads. Initially, 108 volumes were produced and later additions took this total to over 200.  
    The upanishads introduced the concept of brahman as the ‘unchanging and eternal everything’ and created six philosophies known collectively as the shad darshanas.  Yoga is one of the six shad darshanas, credited to Patanjali.

    The shad darshanas
    The shad darshanas are esoteric forms of Hinduism. All the major religions have ‘esoteric’ forms that claim there is no middle-man to god, i.e. there is no need for clergy, priests and the like. The only way to ‘god’, or ‘higher awareness,’ is by personal effort and merit.
    The shad darshanas are divided into two schools: sagunavad (divine spirit) and nirgunavad (nature).  The sagunavad philosophies describe ‘the highest/absolute’ as having some form or attributes whereas the nirgunavad scriptures say ‘the highest/absolute’ is without any form, it is nothing.  
    In the sagunavad (divine spirit) school, the orthodox minimosa system describes mantras, chants and rituals to be offered to deities who will return favours and grant boons. The non-orthodox tarkic systems (vaisheshik and nyaya) are logical philosophies that claim deduction and inference are valid methods of attaining knowledge. The tarkic systems classify everything in the universe according to seven main principles including elemental make-up, motion (karma) and the state of existence.

    In the nirgunavad (nature) school, the orthodox vedanta system recognises brahman as the indivisible ultimate reality without form and teaches advaita (non-dualism). The non-orthodox samyoga systems (sankhya and yoga) teach that union with the highest can be achieved through practical effort and experience (karma). They recognise the concept of brahman as the ‘unknowable and ultimate’ but in order to analyse the ‘unknowable’ it is sub-divided it into 25 categories or attributes that are knowable and may be analysed. Purusha (soul) and prakriti (nature) are the two primary classifications in samyoga teachings; these being equal and opposite principles (c.f. yinyang). The phenomenal universe is then further divided into 23 other physical and non-physical categories. Yoga differs from sankhya in recognising an additional principle, ishvara (god), who is supreme ruler of the universe. In the upanishads, yoga is sometimes referred to as serhvara sankhya - ‘theistic’ serhvara.

    The Bhagavad Gita
    The Bhagavad gita is part of a longer poem called the Mahabharata, perhaps written around 500 BC. The gita is widely and cheaply available in Hindu society as a stand-alone book comprising 701 sanskrit verses in 18 chapters (usually accompanied by modern interpretations and commentaries).
    The gita summarises the vedas and the upanishads as a conversation between Lord Krishna and Prince Arjuna as a great battle is about to commence.
    Arjuna is upset at having to lead an army against his own relatives and Krishna tells Arjuna not to worry about people dying because their souls will be reborn: “That which pervades the entire body you should know to be indestructible. No one is able to destroy that imperishable soul.”
    To realise their true nature, Krishna continues, people should cultivate an attitude of non-attachment to their actions, “He who does actions, offering them to Brahman and abandoning attachment, is not tainted by sin as a lotus leaf is not tainted by water. Perform your duty equipoised, O Arjuna, abandoning all attachment to success or failure. Such equanimity is called yoga”

    Arjuna still does not want to fight.  He tells Krishna that he wants to renounce all, to become a sanyassin and achieve liberation (moksha).
    Krishna explains that sannyassa is a difficult path to take as it requires a deep understanding to be true sanyassin, it is not for beginners. Karma yoga, he says, is better preparation for sannyassa.
    Arjuna is still confused about the difference between sannyassa and karma yoga. He still thinks sannyassa is superior as a means of self-knowledge.
    Krishna explains that it is not what you do that is important, but how you do it. “All actions should be without ego and dedicated towards Ishvara. This attitude of devotion is bhakti yoga. The false notion that there is a separate self is the source of all suffering in the world. Cultivate an attitude of non-attachment; remove desires, likes and dislikes. To be truly free is to realise that you are always free from action, unbound from time, both of which are merely mental construct.”

    Krishna then expounds yoga, which originated with ishvara (god) and has been handed down from teacher to student over the millennia, with an avatar appearing when the teachings are required.  
    Krishna introduces the gunas (specifically in relation to human mind types), all eight branches of ashtanga yoga and different forms of mediation. He reminds Arjuna that death does not grant moksha, only knowledge of the self can do that.

    The yoga sutras of Patanjali
    Patanjali is widely cited as the author of the ‘yoga sutras’, a series of sanskrit verses that summarise the yoga shad darshana, believed to have been written around 2000 years ago.  A sutra is an aphorism; a short, terse line or two of text that summarises the subject beautifully.
    It is not thought that Patanjali created yoga, which is much older, but his sutras expounded and popularized it, in much the same way that the Tao Te Ching did for Taosim.

    The sutras can, and should, be read in full elsewhere; they are widely available with a number of different commentaries.
    The yoga sutras comprise four padas or ‘books’, the first of which (samadhi pada) defines yoga as ‘the restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff.’ The five mental modifications [pramana (right knowledge), viparyaya (misconception), vikalpa (verbal delusion), nidra (sleep) and smriti (memory)] must be restrained by developing non-attachment.

    Other forms of samadhi are introduced. Savikalpa samadhi results when the mind is withdrawn and totally absorbed in inner awareness. It is a "partial dissolution of the world" because, when you return to ordinary consciousness your mental delusions return. Nirvikalpa samadhi is a higher state of being in which attachments and desires have been overcome. When purusha (true self) is realised then samprajnata samadhi results.
    The second book, sadhana pada, states that kriya yoga (yoga in practice/action) helps to eliminate ignorance, egotism, attachment, hatred and clinging to life, which are the obstacles to samadhi. Ashtanga yoga, also called the ‘Eight fold path’, or the ‘eight limbs of yoga’ is introduced and the first five limbs are described as ‘eternal practices’.
    The third book, vibhuti pada, introduces samyama, the practice of dharana, dhyana and samadhi, the ‘internal practices’. Continued practice of samyoga at increasingly subtle levels leads to the supra-normal powers called siddhis. Non attachment to siddhis destroys the seed of bondage, which can be developed (and must be controlled).
    The fourth book kaivalya pada is shorter than the previous three, containing sutras that summarise yoga.


    Last edited by Vidya Moksha on Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:15 pm; edited 3 times in total
    Vidya Moksha
    Vidya Moksha

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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:17 pm

     The purpose and basic doctrine of yoga

    Brahman is literally everything. It is unchangeable and eternal. Atman is one's inner being, akin to the ‘soul’.  Atman is identical with brahman, but its true nature is obscured by the physical and subtle bodies that surround it (as the air inside a balloon is the same as the air outside it, separated by a membrane).  These bodies create physical, mental, chemical and other barriers to moksha (liberation). The atman empowers these bodies to perceive external objects in order to create the phenomenal world, but this world is, in fact, illusionary and non-existent (maya).

    Awareness of the self (vidya), derived from personal insight and self-attainment leads towards this brahman-atman realisation.  
    Yoga includes several paths towards (and beyond) the process of self-realisation and provides a framework to the universe which is consistent in all states of awareness.

    However, the mind is incapable of comprehending the higher awarenesses, the self-realisations are beyond logic, being experiential and not logical or explainable from the position of duality (dvaita). They are also beyond learning (it is more a question of ‘unlearning’), being innate in all of us, available instantly when we simply (!) switch off our mental and emotional biases and conditioning and realise advaita.

    Yoga practices are designed to lead through the process of self-awareness and provide the discipline needed when advaita is achieved. The often overlooked preliminary steps of ashtanga yoga (yama and niyama) are seen in a different light from the position of advaita.

    Once advaita and lower forms of samadhi have been realised, samyoga practices lead further towards the brahman-atman realisation.  The three bodies surrounding the atman must be purified one at a time and, finally, the transcendence of the causal body brings discriminative knowledge (viveka-khyati).

    There are seven levels of discriminate knowledge, the final one being ‘the knowledge of one reality’ (kaivalya jnana) which results in the final state of super-consciousness (nirvikalpa samadhi). At this stage of self-awareness the liberated person can step out of samsara forever or chose to remain on earth, fully liberated, and continue to work towards becoming a perfect being (siddha) and attaining a divine body (divya deha).

    As embodied souls (jivatman) we continue to die and be reborn on the wheel of conditioned existence (samsara) until we realise our true nature and attain liberation (moksha). These cycles of birth and death (avagamana) are controlled by various karmas. When the subtle and causal bodies that surround the atman are reborn (they survive the death process) they retain their karma but have no memories of their previous lifetimes and existences. The bound soul receives more false dualistic concepts which create further delusions, desires, avoidances etc., and create further karma.
    These concepts are expounded below.

    Yoga and the universe
    Brahman
    Brahman is the eternal everything, it is indescribable and unknowable. To describe ‘the unknowable,’ brahman is broken down into three lower states of consciousness which are knowable: ishvara, hiranyagarbha and virat.

    Ishvara
    Ishvara is the highest of the three lower states of consciousness. Often translated as ‘god’ it is the ‘Great Cause of the Universe’. This state creates and destroys everything with its own illusionary power (maya). Maya is the phenomenal world, illusionary and in reality non–existent, appearing real only because the mind perceives external objects.

    Hiranyagarbha
    Hiranyagarbha, the ‘Luminous Totality of Creation’, binds the universe and all of creation together – akin to some universal non-physical glue.

    Virat
    Virat is the lowest state of universal consciousness and is referred to as the ‘Universal or Cosmic Form’. This is the universe at the gross level, which we perceive as real, visible and coherent.

    Yoga and time
    Yoga recognises three systems for measuring time: yugas, periods of manu and saptarshi.

    Yuga
    A yuga (age) measures time in aeons. There are four yugas of unequal length.
    The first is satya yuga, the ‘Golden Age’, which lasts for 1,728,000 years. It is followed by treta yuga, the ‘Silver Age’ of 1,296,000 years. Next is dvapara yuga the ‘Copper Age’, of 864,000 years and finally kali yuga the ‘Iron Age’ has a duration of 432,000 years.
    These four yugas together make up one mahayuga, which lasts for 4,320,000 years. There are 1,000 mahayugas in one day or one night of brahman. According to the yoga scripts all life is destroyed during a night of brahman, to be recreated during the next day of brahman. There is no agreement on which yuga we are presently in, the most popular theory (but not necessarily correct) is that we entered kali yuga 3000 years ago.

    Periods of manu
    Manu was the first man, and apparently he blinked his eye in 0.088 seconds, which is the value of one nimesha. One shvasa (breath) is about four seconds.
    One day comprises of 30 muhurtas each of 48 minutes duration. Six masas (months) make up one ayana (solstice) and two ayanas make one varsha (year).
    A day (or night) of brahman is one kalpa (4,320,000,000 years).
    There are several other periods of manu not listed here.

    Saptarshi
    The saptarshi is a time keeping system that measures the movement of the Great Bear constellation, which rotates once every 24 hour hours.

    Yoga and the human states of consciousness

    The waking state
    The waking state (vishva) is the normal state of human consciousness, which perceives the ‘real world’ via the five senses and other subtle perceptions.

    The dream state
    In the dream state (taijasa) the senses are ‘switched off’ and ‘dreams’ occur within the body, based on previous experiences and mental constructs.

    The dreamless-sleep state
    In the dreamless-sleep state (prajna) consciousness withdraws into itself and neither the senses nor the subconscious mind operate. There is no concept of ego in this state.  


    Last edited by Vidya Moksha on Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Vidya Moksha
    Vidya Moksha

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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:26 pm

    Yoga and the human experience

    Atman
    A human being is an eternal soul (atman) encased by three bodies: the ‘causal’, ‘subtle’ and ‘gross’ bodies. Ultimately atman is one with brahman but before this is realised atman is identified with a body and mind and, for emphasis, it is called the jiva or jivatman.  
    In order to transcend their limitations these bodies must be purified and most yoga practices (especially pranayama) are directed towards this purpose.

    Devas only have subtle bodies and do not need to be liberated.

    The atman is often called the microcosm and brahman the macrocosm.

    The Causal Body
    The sheath that surrounds the atman is called the causal body (karana sharira). It is chitta in a constant state of bliss due to its close proximity to brahman – atman and it is also known as ‘The Sheath of Bliss’ (anandamaya kosha). The causal body is eternal, surviving the death process that the gross body continues to experience while subject to reincarnation (avagamana).

    The Gross Body
    The gross body (sthula sharira) is the outer, physical body of flesh, bones, nerves and bodily fluid, also called ‘The Sheath of Food’ (annamaya kosha).   It is subject to death and is not reborn. It decays or disintegrates according to the environment after the death process.

    The Subtle Body
    The subtle body (sukshma sharira) is a luminous body that operates in the dream state of consciousness. It is composed of three sheaths: the mental body (manamaya kosha), the psychic and higher mental body (intellect) (vijnanamaya kosha) and the vital energy body (pranamaya kosha). These three sheaths give rise to knowledge, intellect, the mind, the senses, the subtle elements (tanmatras) and the five pranic airs. The intermingling of these subtle elements, thoughts, intelligence, emotions and sensations create the egotism (asmita) that keeps us locked into samsara.    

    The Pranic Body
    Prana is the energy that powers everything in the universe. Cosmic prana (mahaprana) is the vital energy of the universe. How mahaprana manifests depends on the entity that is receiving it, prana will match the vibratory rate of the recipient.

    The prana of the human entity is divided into two main types: vital energy (prana shakti) and mental energy (manas shakti). The pranic body (pranamaya kosha) comprises prana particles and the network of fine tubes (nadi) that carry them. The pranic body permeates all five sheaths surrounding the atman and both prana and nadi must become increasingly fine and more subtle as they approach the atman.  

    The pranic body comprises five different pranas: Vyana covers the whole body and acts as a control and energy reserve for the other four pranas and muscular movements. Udana, located in the arms, legs and head, is responsible for all nervous and sensory systems. Prana, in the chest cavity above the diaphragm, controls the lungs, heart, breathing, swallowing and blood circulation. Samana, located between the naval and the diaphragm, controls digestion and the digestive juices and balances prana and apana. Apana is located in the pelvic region and controls the bladder, kidneys, intestine, excretion, the reproductive organs and childbirth.

    In ayurveda there are three regulating systems (doshas) in the body that control seven essential ingredients (dhatus: blood, bone, muscle, fat, marrow, semen and digestive juices).

    The wind dosha (vata) controls motor-neurone activity, the five senses, digestion, food–nutrient circulation and excretion. The sun dosha (pitta) controls food digestion. The moon dosha (kapha) lubricates the body, producing and controlling saliva, mucous, spinal fluids and other bodily fluids.

    Nadi
    There are 72,000 nadis, of which 14 are considered principle.

    The main nadi (sushumna) runs the entire length of the spinal cord between mooladhara and ajna chakras.  

    Ida nadi runs from the left side of mooladhara chakra in a spiral path through each chakra and terminates on the left side of ajna. Pingala nadi runs from the right side of mooladhara in a spiral path mirroring ida and terminates on the right side of ajna. These two nadi represent the opposite flows of energy in the body. The feminine, passive, introverted ida nadi is also called the moon (chandra) nadi. It governs mental energy and sleep and is cooling and constructive. The masculine, active, extroverted pingala nadi is also called the sun (surya) nadi. Pingala governs the body’s energy and digestive systems and is warming and destructive.

    Energy flow in these major nadi corresponds to the air flow in the nostrils. When the left nostril is used ida is active and when the right nostril is being used then pingala is active. When there is the same air flow through each nostril then sushumna is active.
    Most people breathe through one nostril at a time, usually switching every 90 minutes or so. You can alter the flow of air in your nostrils, and therefore in the nadi, by raising one nostril above the other, with the uppermost becoming open. If you lie on your right side, with left nostril uppermost, then the body is cooled and mental energy is available. If you lie on your left side with your right nostril uppermost, then body is warmed and energy is available to aid digestion.

    Breathing through both nostrils produces a calm mind and there is the possibility for sushumna to be opened. Pranayama techniques work with the three main nadi by altering the air flow through the nostrils.

    Where two nadi cross there is an increase in energy and locations where many nadi cross are termed chakras (wheels). There are hundreds of chakras in the body and usually seven are considered major. Those that can see chakras describe them as spinning vortices of energy, varying in shape and colour according to their current ‘health’. These spinning vortices are traditionally depicted as lotuses in yoga.

    Chakras
    Mooladhara
    Mooladhara is the root chakra, located in the perineum. It is the centre for primitive instincts and emotions and is partly responsible for energy levels in the body. Modern teachings emphasise rooting to the earth, or grounding through this chakra.
    This chakra houses brahma granthi (the knot of brahma) the first of three ‘psychic gates’ in the body. When Brahma granthi is open, kundalini shakti, which lies dormant in mooladhara, can rise.
    Traditionally mooladhara is depicted as a deep crimson, four-petaled lotus. Inside the lotus is a yellow square, reference to the Earth element, and inside this is an elephant carrying a downwardly pointing red triangle, a symbol of shakti. Inside the triangle is a shiva lingam, with the kundalini serpent coiled around it.
    Mooladhara is an important centre for yoga practices, as the three main nadi (sushumna, ida and pinga) have a terminal here (the other terminal is ajna chakra).

    Swadhisthana
    Swadhisthana chakra, located at the base of the spine, is the basis of human existence, controlling mooladhara chakra, basic animal behaviour and the reproductive and urinary systems.
    Traditionally it is depicted as an orange/red, six-petaled lotus. Inside the lotus is a crescent moon, representing the water element.

    Manipura
    Manipura chakra is the body’s energy centre, located on the spinal column behind the navel. Prana is taken in and redistributed by this centre, which also controls willpower.
    Traditionally this chakra is depicted as a bright yellow, ten-petaled lotus. Inside the lotus a red triangle symbolizes the fire element.

    Anahata
    Anahata chakra is located on the spinal column in the region of the heart.  
    Traditionally it is symbolised by a green, twelve-petaled lotus.
    This chakra is the location of the second psychic knot, vishnu granthi – the knot of vishnu.  It is said that if the kundalini shakti can reach anahata then it will not descend to the lower chakras.
    Heart energy is unconditional love in the truest sense, an energy emanating from the chakra that is without mental or other attachments. Heart energy is tangible, it can be felt by others.
    The minor chakras in the palm of each hand are linked directly to anahata.

    Vishuddhi
    Vishuddhi chakra is the purification centre based in the spine at throat level. This communication centre is depicted as a blue or purple-blue, sixteen-petaled lotus.
    It is an important centre for sound vibrations and mantras.

    Ajna
    Ajna chakra is the ‘third-eye chakra’, located in the medulla oblongata and associated with the pineal gland.
    Traditionally this chakra is depicted as a purple, two-petaled, lotus. Inside the lotus is depicted an ‘om’ symbol and a shiva lingam.
    This centre is a doorway to the astral and spirit dimensions and, when awakened, ajna chakra can acquire knowledge without the aid of the senses.
    The third psychic knot, rudra granthi – the knot of shiva is located in ajna.
    This chakra houses one terminal of the three main nadi (sushumna, pingala and ida), the other terminal being in mooladhara chakra.

    Sahasrara
    Sahasrara is the crown chakra, located at the top of the head. Traditional yoga teaches that this is not a chakra, but a connection with ‘totality’; a concept that is beyond thought and reason.

    This chakra is depicted as a white, thousand-petaled lotus, with the petals turned downwards, covering the top of the head.
    Head energies and processes

    The atman empowers the sheaths around it to create maya, the illusionary phenomenal world that we perceive as real.
    Our true identity is pure consciousness (purusha) but we attach our true selves to our mind (antakarana) and body, creating ego in the sense of ‘I-am’ (ahem), ‘I-exist’. This process of attachment is called ahankara.

    Memory is a function of chitta, which itself is a mixture of consciousness and emotional energy. Chitta also creates ignorance (avidya).

    Buddhi is the part of the mind responsible for discrimination, ‘intellect’.

    Manas is the mind acting as an intermediary between the senses and the intellect.

    Egotism (asmita) drives our desires and avoidances, the ‘I-want’ ego (or ‘I don’t want’, ‘I-need’).
    Whilst these processes are listed separately they can, and do, all work together. Most people have a ‘running commentary’ in their heads as they plan ways of achieving their wants/likes/desires/avoidances. I term this active mind ‘monkey-mind’ and it is a blend of many elements, but driven by egotism (asmita).

    There are two major chakras in the head. Sahasrara connects the body with all of ‘totality’. Ajna chakra is called the third eye, and it is an eye shaped gland. The third eye is the doorway to the spiritual realm, inhabited by beings without a gross body (spirits). It is also the gateway to the astral realms, which we visit in our dream states (though we can train ourselves to visit the astral while conscious). Our dreams are associated with ajna.

    Karma
    Karma is manifest in the causal body as the subtle leshya, which accumulates in the subconscious as impressions. Leshya is characterised by the three gunas: sattvic, rajasic and tamaric and the continual influx of these substances change the colour, smell, shape and size of the auric bodies. Karmas effect how the doshas function

    Every action will yield the corresponding good or bad, unless that action is desire-less or ‘non-karmic’. Non-karmic actions are completely devoid of all ego, personal interest, desire and attachments. All actions carried out in a dualistic mind-set on this phenomenal earth are subject to karma. A karmic debt is built up as subtle influences in the subtle body and is retained through the death and rebirth of the gross body. Karmas are classified according to when they ripen: some will only ripen in future lifetimes and some in the current lifetime may have been collected in previous ones.
    The karmic debt determines into which body the soul will reincarnate.

    The death process
    At the onset of the death process the flow of prana in the body is disrupted. The body’s earthly elements come apart, bodily fluids drain, the fire goes out and the body cools and with the last breath the air elements leave the body and the death process is complete.
    The causal and subtle bodies remain and gain a new gross body at their re-birth

    The cycle of death and rebirth (samsara)
    Reincarnation is called avagamana ('coming and going'). We are embodied souls (jivatma) on the revolving wheel of mundane existence (samsara). Karmas control these cycles of birth and death into the various realms.

    When the subtle and causal bodies are reborn they retain their karmic debt but have no memories of their previous lifetimes and existences. The bound soul receives more false dualistic concepts which create further delusions, desires, avoidances etc. and create further karma.


    Last edited by Vidya Moksha on Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Vidya Moksha
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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:30 pm

    Paths through yoga

    Yoga is a vast subject which offers several paths towards self-realisation. Identity with self and a dualistic mind-set are the main obstacles to advaita, both overcome by the loss of egotism. It doesn’t matter how advaita is achieved, as long as the mental delusions cease.

    Bhakti yoga is the path of devotion; it is the complete surrender (of the self) to a deity (or guru). It is the belief that everything happens according to god’s will and god will provide all. Bhakti yoga is a tool (to remove egotism) that will become redundant once advaita is realised. It is not a path for everyone, but it is generally considered to be one of the easiest ways to self-realisation.

    Karma yoga advocates cultivating a selfless attitude performing right action (ultimately, free from karma). It is good training towards having no egotism. It is possible to surrender to the moment, looking for nothing outside of yourself or the present moment.

    Jnana yoga is the path of knowledge, an intellectual attempt to achieve self-realisation. It is not a path for all and is considered to be the hardest approach to self-realisation. The yogis say that the mind is the great enemy and must be defeated in battle. Using the mind to achieve that which is not knowable or understandable by the mind is a difficult task.

    Kundalini yoga utilises a variety of pranayama and energy techniques to raise kundalini energy from mooladhara chakra to sahasrara chakra, which results in samadhi. It is not a path for all and can be dangerous if not undertaken correctly, or under expert guidance.

    Raja yoga is another term for ashtanga yoga. This path follows the teachings of Patanjali, as introduced in this manuscript.
    Vidya Moksha
    Vidya Moksha

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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:39 pm

    Part II yoga and other religions
    Yoga and Hinduism

    The Hindu gods are universal energies that create, sustain and destroy in a continual cycle.

    The rig veda introduced three gods: indra, the king of the gods (creator), surya, the sun god (sustainer) and agni, the fire god (destroyer).

    The Brahmin caste later created the concept of brahman, which manifests as a trinity of gods (trimurti). Brahma is the creator god, vishnu is the sustainer and shiva is the destroyer, replacing indra, surya and agni respectively.

    Devi is the great goddess, who appears as many different avatars (as do all the main gods and goddesses).

    Saraswati, the goddess of music and learning, was born from the side of brahma and together they produced manu - the first man.

    Vishnu is married to lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and good fortune.

    Shiva is married to parvati, and they are the parents of ganesh, the god of luck, good fortune and literature. Shiva cut off ganesh’s head and replaced it with an elephant’s head.

    Yoga and other esoteric philosophies

    Yoga is one of six esoteric forms of Hinduism.

    Esoteric philosophies (theosophies) claim there is no middle-man (clergy, priests) to god (or god as a metaphor for achieving higher awareness); self-realisation can only be attained through personal attainment and merit.

    The exoteric (mainstream) religions, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, Islamism, Theravada Buddhism, etc. usually have a ‘creator god’, who has chosen ‘special’ people (the priesthood or clergy) to enforce ‘his’ rules (they are all male gods). Salvation of the soul is only possible through the church, the middle-men to god. Failure to comply with the middle-men and their rules is usually punishable, often quite severely, and accompanied by a promise of a terrible after-life.  Exoteric religions are concerned with power, money, public coercion and control rather than the salvation of the soul.

    The Yogis of Hinduism, the Qabbalists of Christianity and Judaism, the Sufis of Islam, etc., have the same basic doctrine: ‘as above so below’, i.e. it is possible to know the ‘absolute or ultimate’ by looking inside yourself.  In yoga this is represented by the atman-brahman relationship or the notion that the macrocosm is represented in the microcosm.  Christian mystics claim that the kingdom of heaven is actually within every human being. Although their basic doctrine is essentially simple, all of these systems agree that the ‘absolute’ is unknowable, so how to proceed?

    This inward journey to realise the ultimate is sometimes described as starting with nothing and ending with nothing (though nothing with experience). Because ‘nothing’ or the ‘unknowable everything’ cannot be measured or described it is broken down into sections that can be knowable. Essentially something is created from nothing; mathematically this can be expressed as 0=2.

    More palatable is the equation 0 = (+1) + (-1) [still 0=2] which instantly introduces the notion of dualism, with two equal and opposite forces. Although we have artificially created something from nothing, we now have elements we can analyse. Traditional terminology calls (+1) male and (-1) female, (or yang and yin, positive and negative, sun and moon, shiva and parvati, purusha and prakriti etc.)

    To digress slightly, this notion of two equal and opposite forces is a gross oversimplification on many levels. If the two main driving forces of nature were equal and opposite, they would stagnate. Therefore, the Chinese describe yin as 2/5ths and yang as 3/5ths, and although they are not equal in size (the ratio is 1: 1.5) they are in perfect balance.  To help visualise this, imagine a see-saw with a 1kg weight 1m from the fulcrum opposite a 1.5 kg weight 0.67m from the fulcrum; the see-saw is in balance but the weights are unequal, and a slight push away from the centre will create a dynamic equilibrium. [To further digress, the actual ratio is likely to be 1: 1.618, as this is 1:phi, the golden mean or divine proportion popularised by Fibonacci and everywhere in nature.]

    Male and female energies in this context do not refer to gender; they are nothing to do with men and women. Rather, they represent the basic energies of the universe; we are all composed of a blend of male and female energies.

    With regard to gender it also understood that all modern religions are male dominated and this same bias runs throughout the esoteric works. It should be realised that these philosophical systems are just tools, equally valid to men and women, whatever terminology is used. God used to be a woman, who miraculously bled each month but did not die, and who gave life. When men realised they had a role in procreation the backlash was severe and the ‘sun god’, the ‘great fertilizing symbol’, the ‘ultimate male energy’ became dominant, replacing the goddess. Perhaps the next shift in human awareness will see the reintroduction of the goddess in correct harmonious balance with the god.  

    It goes without saying that concepts like ‘male’ and ‘female’ are gross oversimplifications in a theosophical sense, but they can be useful for condensing a lot of information under a general heading; the tip of an information iceberg.

    Images are the traditional (and powerful) method of summarising large amounts of information; available to all levels of understanding (at the level they can understand) in all languages. For example, this traditional image shows shiva, representing the male principal. The trident is both weapon and holy symbol, but can also be used to goad the cow, a ‘dumb’ animal that only responds to force. Parvati is the female principal, holding nature in her hand in the form of a flower. She controls the lion through her fearlessness and one-ness with nature; this is not a dumb animal that will respond to force. The male and female energies are in correct balance in the one figure made up of both components.

    Comprehensive Introduction to Yoga Shivak10

    This ‘strength in nature’ concept also occurs in the tarot. Although mostly known and used as a divinatory tool, the tarot cards are a pictorial representation of the esoteric philosophies, with their true nature perhaps hidden to avoid persecution from the church.

    The tarot is associated mostly with the qabbalah as it correlates well with ‘the tree of life’ - the qabbalistic attempt to map every force and factor in the universe into diagrammatic form.

    The qabbalah is sometimes referred to as ‘the yoga (dharma) of the West’ and there are many correspondences between the two systems. Both provide detailed and comprehensive analysis of esoteric concepts in the search for higher awareness.

    Yoga goes beyond the male and female archetypes with the three gunas (of which everything is comprised) and the twenty-five tattva categories (which include purusha and prakriti). Although essentially monotheistic, the qabbalah-tarot introduces the four elements (earth, air, fire and water), the zodiac, the planets, the Hebrew alphabet etc. Terminologies (labels) differ between the two systems, but the concepts are the same, the same ‘universal energies’ are involved. The yoga concepts of chakras have their equivalent on the tree of life, and a serpent is often depicted climbing from the base of the tree of life to its crown, crossing the abyss (achieving advaita) to reach the crown (kether), mirroring the kundalini energy in the base chakra that must travel to sahasrara, through three psychic gates until advaita is realised and samadhi is achieved.

    It is not only yoga and the qabbalah that share these concepts. The orthodox (exoteric) Theravada (Hinayana) Buddhists teach that four noble truths and an eight fold path (essentially meditation and introspection) lead to nirvana (moksha – liberation from samsara).

    The Mahayana Buddhists (with their rich images and symbology) introduced the six parmita practices and the concept of postponing nirvana (in a state of bodhisattva) to help liberate everyone else. Mahayana Buddhism moved away from the notion that liberation resulted from much meditative effort and gave more emphasis to achieving Tatatha - emptiness and non-duality (advaita).

    Vajrayana Buddhism adds to Mahayana concepts and introduces Bodhi nature, which is essentially the yoga concept of advaita. Furthermore, it was emphasised that Bodhi nature is our true nature, available immediately once the obscuring mental clutter is removed. A further concept is introduced: mahasukha (‘great bliss’; ananda, samadhi) is achieved when Bodhi nature is coupled with compassion (upaya).

    The concept that Bodhi nature is inherent in all people and available instantly reaches its fullest expression in Zen Buddhism, where practices are described to achieve satori, the sudden point of self-realisation.

    The study of these systems (and others, e.g. alchemy, shamanism) is recommended in order to realise that they are all the same teachings, using different languages and symbols. An additional benefit to this study is that difficult concepts in some systems are more easily understood or better explained in others.


    Last edited by Vidya Moksha on Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Vidya Moksha
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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:08 pm

    Part III - The practice of ashtanga yoga

    Ashtanga yoga as credited to Patanjali has eight ‘limbs’ in three parts:

    Yama and niyama are codes of conduct, the ‘rules’ that lead to purification of the mind.  They prepare the mind for advaita and samadhi.

    Asana and pranayama are methods for purifying the gross and subtle bodies. They also prepare the body for samyama practices.

    Samyama is the combined practice of dharana, dhyana and samadhi, practices which lead to the ‘higher states of mind’. Use of these practices when in samadhi is said to lead to the siddhis, the ‘super-powers’.


    Yama
     Patanjali described five yamas that represent a list of things you should not do. Essentially, be nice to other people.
    The yamas are listed briefly here and will be revisited in Part IV, where they become descriptors of advaita.

    Ahimsa is non-violence in its truest form. It is abstinence from any harm to any living creature; physically, mentally or verbally. Respect all living things (and remember that everything is alive).

    Satya is truth in word and thought and the absence of any falsehood.

    Asteya is non-stealing and non-coveting of anything.

    Brahmacharya is usually described as celibacy for unmarried people and faithful monogamy for married people. It is the first stage of the Hindu’s life, the celibate student.

    Aparigraha is non-greed, the absence of avarice.

    Niyama

    Patanjali described five niyama that represent a list of things you should do. Essentially, be nice to yourself (including your thoughts).
    In many yoga teachings there are ten of these (religious) observances. The niyama are also descriptors for advaita, as will be described in Part IV.

    Shaucha is the cleanliness (purity) of body and mind.

    Santosha is contentment, satisfaction with what one has, without desire.

    Tapas is the practice of austerity and the endurance of the opposites (hunger and thirst, heat and cold, standing and sitting etc.). It is accepting (but not causing) pain.

    Svadhyaya is the study of religious books, specifically the vedas in a yoga context.

    Ishvara pranidhana (a.k.a. atamivedana) is the surrender and worship to god (ishvara). It is also the cultivation of devotion through daily worship and meditation. 

    Asana
    Asana, the third limb of ashtanga yoga, is a series of body positions designed to purify the physical and causal bodies. Patanjali defined asana as ‘a position which is comfortable and steady.’
    Asana translates as ‘posture’ and the word is also used to denote a single pose (plural asanas).
    A basic function of asanas is to maintain good bodily health and the correct flow of energy. A number of titles in the bibliography prescribe specific asanas for various ailments and illnesses, inclusion of which is beyond the scope of this short introduction.
    Asana is also a beneficial pre-requisite to long hours of sitting in the same position, for example in meditation.
    The yogis realised that some asanas helped to open, purify and balance chakras and nadi.  ‘Hatha Yoga Pradipika’ described six cleansing processes (shatkarma) involving asana, pranayama and shatkarma techniques.
    In modern usage hatha yoga is often synonymous with asana; the shatkarma techniques being forgotten or ignored.

    Pranayama
    The purpose of pranayama is to produce correct energy flow within the body, to balance the energies of ida and pingala and to give sushumna a chance to open.
    The energy flow in ida and pingala nadi corresponds to the air flow in the nostrils and pranayama utilises breathing patterns to influence the nadi.
    Yogis claim that one minute of pranayama energizes the body for one hour. Therefore, a daily practice of twenty four minutes will keep the body fully energized. Suggested practice is twelve minutes in the morning and the same in the evening.

    Pratyahara
    Pratyahara is the withdrawal of sensory inputs from the five senses. This is achieved by bringing the entire focus to a single point or by reducing physical stimuli to concentrate on only one of the five senses.  

    To over-simplify, our senses produce sensory overload which hinders the mind. If we reduce our sensory inputs whilst eliminating thoughts then we become open to higher awareness and to our subconscious.

    The notion that we retrieve our best ideas whilst ‘switched off’ is a common one and well documented; the ‘eureka’ moment in the bath. Many celebrated minds practiced pratyahara in various forms. It is said that Thomas Edison often entered this subconscious space between sleep and being fully awake to retrieve his best ideas. He would sit in a chair with a hand full of ball bearings over a metal bucket and withdraw his senses. If he fell asleep (a common problem with this technique) then his hand would relax, the ball bearings would fall into the metal pot and the noise would wake him. Once awake, he would repeat the attempt to withdraw his senses.

    The exercises listed below are quite specific and take time to master. If you need to access your subconscious, perhaps to make a difficult choice or to retrieve direction or information, there is an easy and reliable method that is available to all, in the right environment. You will be on silent retreat, no phones, internet or conversation. You need a place where you will not be disturbed and have easy access to food and water for a week (this works well on an organised retreat where you are being catered for, but I have always managed at home). For one week, only do three things, with complete awareness of what you are doing. Think of nothing else; only be aware of what you are doing. I tend to choose painting and hatha yoga, as these can both be done easily for long periods of time. My third activity will depend on location; walking and swimming are good options if done mindfully. If you find your mind wandering then immediately bring it back to what you are doing.  Allow one week for the retreat, though I normally need three days. It really works; the answer you had been searching will pop into your mind from your sub-conscious once you have truly quietened your monkey-mind.

    #40. Japa yoga (rotation yoga)
    Perhaps the easiest pratyahara technique is japa yoga. A mantra is repeated constantly, with all focus on the repetition of the mantra. This technique is popularized by the Hare Krishnas, who ‘chant to be happy’. Japa yoga is a path to pratyahara and to samadhi. Practitioners may repeat their mantra as often as 10,000 times a day, with a mala often used to track progress.

    Various stages of japa are described. Initially the mantra should be chanted. After some practice the chant should become a whisper (upsanshu japa) and when this is mastered it becomes a purely mental process (manasik japa).  When these three forms of japa have been mastered written (likhit) japa can be started.  

    #41. Antar mouna (inner silence)
    In a comfortable sitting position close your eyes and calm the mind. Search for external stimuli, usually sounds. Listen for the sound that is furthest away, and be aware of it, but not disturbed by it. Find the next closest sound and become aware of it, but not disturbed by it. Keep repeating this process until you have recognised all external sounds. And now you are aware of them they can be ignored. Do not be disturbed by them.
    While sitting undisturbed by external stimuli, become aware of your spontaneous thoughts. The ultimate aim is to sit without any spontaneous thoughts, which is difficult to achieve. At first let the thoughts come, think about them briefly then stop thinking. As you progress, let the thoughts come but do not react to them and stop thinking as soon as you realise. Try to keep a clear mind. If you cannot keep a clear mind then you can try japa yoga, repeating ‘I will have no thoughts’. Alternatively, practice ana pani sati (#44) to try and still the mind. Eventually you will sit in silence, with a completely quiet mind.
    It can be useful to time how long you can sit without any spontaneous thoughts arising. Beginners will struggle to manage a few seconds, but with practice a minute or two can be achieved. With further practice there tends to be a sudden shift to twenty minutes or so without any thoughts arising. With dedicated practice an hour or more is achievable. Yoga describes advanced yogis being in this state for weeks, even suspending their breathing rates.

    #42. Trataka (steady gaze)
    Sit in a comfortable position and place a lit candle at eye level, at arm’s length away from you.
    Close your eyes and calm your mind. Open your eyes and stare at the wick of the candle without moving your eyes and without blinking (as much as possible). Try to hold your gaze for three minutes in the first instance, increasing to thirty minutes over time.
    At a more advanced stage the gaze can be internal, visualizing the flame in ajna chakra (antar trataka).

    #43. Yoga Nidra (psychic sleep yoga)
    Yoga nidra requires a narrator (usually a yoga teacher) but a voice recorder could be used. The full practice is too long to describe here and should be sought elsewhere.
    Yoga nidra is practiced in shavasana (#15) and pratyahara is achieved by withdrawing awareness into the body.  The narrator calls each body part in sequence and the practitioner rotates their consciousness to the named part.  Other visualization techniques are included in the practice of 40-60 minutes.

    Dharana
    Dharana is the practice of visualising a specific object without the consciousness wavering from it. It is a tool to develop the concentration required to become introverted during meditation.
    Any object can be chosen to visualize: deities, objects, sacred objects, everyday items, even colours. Do not strain and do not analyse or try to interpret what you see, just see it in your mind’s eye. This is a passive process, if you chase after the vision it will disappear.

    Dhyana
    Dhyana translates as meditation but encompasses a series of stages where consciousness is withdrawn until the act of meditation disappears.
    Just as many practitioners do not look beyond asana, there are many who think of meditation as the ultimate practice, rather than realising it is a tool; a means to an end rather than the end itself. However, it is a powerful technique with many benefits.
    Meditation is a good method of observing the constant chatter of our monkey-mind, with its desires and avoidances, and provides a tool for reducing some or all of this mental chatter. The act of meditation also serves to reduce mental, and therefore physical, stresses.
    Meditation often brings old, hidden, mental wounds to the surface as the subconscious has a chance to operate when the monkey-mind is quietened. These old wounds can be realised and released through meditation practice.

    #44. Ana pani sati
    The name ana pani sati is taken from Theravada Buddhism but the technique has parallels in yoga. Sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine. Observe your breath as you breathe out. Realise you have stopped breathing out (but don’t hesitate or halt your breathing), realise you are breathing in, realise that you have stopped breathing in, but again do not pause, go straight into the out-breath. Repeat these four stages constantly, always bringing your awareness back to the breath when other spontaneous thoughts occur.
    As the technique develops you can concentrate on the air flow on your upper lip, rather than your breathing.
    This simple technique can be employed whenever you wish to calm your mind and is easily incorporated into all asanas.

    #45. Soham meditation
    Soham translates as ‘I am that’ (ham-so is ‘that is me’), a reminder of the atman-brahman relationship.
    In a comfortable sitting position, with a straight spine, imagine or whisper ‘so’ on your in-breath and imagine or whisper ‘ham’ on your out-breath, the sounds being onomatopoeic.

    Samadhi

    There are no practices for samadhi, it is simply (!) realised when you lose the obscuring mental clutter, once you stop looking outside of yourself. All you need you already have.  Egotism is lost completely.
    There are many forms of samadhi, and the higher forms are beyond my experience and are impossible to describe.




    Last edited by Vidya Moksha on Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:41 am; edited 1 time in total
    Vidya Moksha
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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:10 pm

    Part IV – Experiencing advaita and samadhi

    Advaita and samadhi are ineffable and it is difficult to separate advaita from the lower forms of samadhi.  The following section is a blend of advaita and the lower forms of samadhi, but that is clumsy to repeat, so the term advaita will be used to encompass both states.

    Advaita is available to everyone in an instant, they simply have to realise it (which is why everyone laughs heartily when they first get the cosmic joke; it really is that simple!).
    However, if actively searched for, knowing what is involved, then that simple switch is a huge and scary jump into a different world. The state of advaita was once described to me as ‘deliciously alien’. Non-duality is alien, and it is accompanied by bliss (ananda), which really does make for a ‘delicious’ awareness. Swami Satyanada defines a yogi as a madman who can handle his experiences and not end up in a lunatic asylum

    Realising advaita is the first major jump in awareness, it is the ‘passing through a veil’, what the Zen Buddhists call satori.  You cannot mistake this sense of awareness. As one Zen author described: ‘satori is the release from one’s habitual state of tenseness, the clinging to the false ideas of possessions, a sense of boundless freedom and not the slightest doubt as to the completeness of one’s release’.
    The following are all facets of advaita. They all occur spontaneously and instantly once the state is realised, once you ‘pass through the veil, step into non-duality.

    (i) Advaita (non-duality)
    Non-duality is an automatic state of mind when advaita-samadhi is realised. There is no good or bad, or even any notion of good and bad. There is no judgement whatsoever; things are what they are, not what you want them to be or think they are. Your mind does not place any mental qualifiers on any situation, and it is impossible to be ‘offended’.

    Whilst non-duality usually refers to objects or situations it also applies to time. You are simply in the moment, not separated from the present moment by your monkey-mind imagining a past, future or imaginary scenario. You simply live without projecting any mental constructs.

    (ii) Asmita (egotism)
    In advaita there is the notion of ‘self’, the ‘I-am’ ego (ahem) is present. Although you connect differently to other people there is still the sense that you are a separate being. In advaita there is no sense of egotism (asmita) in the sense of ‘I want’, or ‘I need’. Things are the way they are, perfectly so. This sounds like utopian idealism, but in non-duality, with no ego, that is exactly how it feels, especially as the state is accompanied by bliss (ananda).
    There is no concept of ‘my’ anything. I might be wearing clothes but they are not mine, they are simply clothes. If they are not there in the morning, there is no sense of loss.

    This non-attachment extends to people; there is no ‘my son’, ‘my wife’ etc. They are simply human beings. You don’t lose your mind or become senile (in fact the opposite is true, mental acumen increases), you don’t forget your past, or your biological relationships, you simply don’t recognise ‘ownership’ of people or places.

    (iii) Ananda (bliss)
    Advaita is accompanied by bliss (ananda), it is an automatic reaction. Bliss is above anything experienced as happiness or sensual pleasure.
    Time as a mental construct simply disappears; you are present in the now, not in a mentally constructed future or past scenario. When this happens fear disappears immediately. Fear is always a mental projection. You are anxious about what might (or will) happen in the future or worried about events that happened in the past. Fear simply does not exist in the present moment.

    It is an incredible feeling to be free from fear, even though the fear is not normally a conscious feeling. The fear of death, for example, is carried by most people in their subconscious.

    The release from fear in itself may result in bliss, but the experience of ananda goes deeper than this. There is a connection to the planet, becoming part of it rather than just walking on top of it, in a way not felt in duality.  The ‘I-am’ ego (ahem) persists, but the notion of being separate from the earth is removed. There is also a heightened sense of wonder at the beauty of the planet. Maybe it is just seeing with eyes free of the usual mentally imposed impairments.  

    The loss of egotism is also part of ananda. The ‘I-want’, or ‘I don’t want’ egotism (asmita) is lost. There is no concept of what other people may think about you. There is no attachment to any particular outcome of your actions, things are simply perfect the way they are.

    (iv) Monkey-mind
    In advaita the monkey-mind is switched off, the constant mind chatter is absent. The mind becomes a tool, available when needed and at rest when not needed.

    It is possible to think deeply in advaita and it is easier to discern when egotism does not influence your thinking.
    There is no monkey-mind chatter about what you will do in an imaginary future, no craving or desire, no aversion; you are simply in the moment, experiencing life without a running commentary and the constant goading of monkey-mind.
    To use the horse and cart as a metaphor, in our normal dualistic mind-set the monkey-mind is the horse, driving the cart. In advaita the monkey-mind is the cart following your free will; it is a tool to be used when needed.

    (v) Attachment
    In advaita there is no attachment to places, people, thoughts, in fact to anything! This mind-set is instant and automatic and comprehensive once you achieve advaita.
    When you come down from advaita, back into duality, a strong sense of this non-attachment continues, especially with respect to material objects.
    For many ‘seekers of a higher awareness’ in their ‘normal’ dualistic mind-set, ‘losing’ attachment is something that can be worked on and is essentially a three stage process. The first and easiest step is to lose attachment to ‘material things’, possessions. The next stage is to lose attachment to people, especially family and loved ones. The hardest and final stage is to lose attachment to the self, ‘your’ ideas (monkey-mind), egotism and the sense / fear of death.

    (vi) Ahimsa (non-violence)
    There is respect all things animate and non-animate.
    In its highest sense, true lack of violence is love. Love in a yogic sense is a form of prana, emanating from a properly functioning heart (manipura) chakra. It is a real and tangible energy that is separate from head or sexual energies. It is not the love of romantic fiction, which is a mixture of love (not always), needs, desires and other mental constructs.
    Love energy can be felt and some folk have the ability to project it. Amma (the hugging mother), who has her ashram in Kerala, India, has the ability to project heart energy.
    Heart energy is part of a mother’s love for her offspring, with some still-born babies being revived when placed over their mother’s heart, sometimes hours after being proclaimed dead.
    Love energy has nothing to do with sexual energy; separate centres are involved, though obviously these centres do not work in isolation.

    (vii) Satya (truth)
    Truth is automatic in advaita, what reason is there to lie? There is no egotism and therefore no need to hide yourself or your actions or your thoughts from anyone.
    There is not the slightest concern about what people think about you, there is no judging, but equally there are no defences, you answer truthfully, why wouldn’t you?
    Imagine for a moment a world in which no lies are told, the implications are immense.

    (viii) Asteya (non-stealing)
    Non-stealing and non-coveting are automatic in advaita.  There is no egotism to want anything other than what you have and you don’t see material items as possessions.
    There is no notion of other folk ‘owning’ anything either, no-one ‘owns’ the planet, nature, etc.

    (ix) Brahmacharya
    It is common to associate brahmacharya with celibacy but it is clear that these instructions owe everything to social morality and nothing to the experience of advaita.
    In advaita you would not have inappropriate sex, you wouldn’t force yourself on anyone, but there is no reason why two consenting adults would not partake in sex.
    However, in advaita there is no concept of ownership either, so concepts of ‘my’ or ‘your’ wife do not apply either! Adultery is punishable by death in many societies on earth today and taboo in many others. Advaita and modern society are not compatible. You understand the concept of marriage, but the notions implied now seem ‘alien’.

    (x) Aparigraha (non-greed)
    In advaita there is no concept of ownership, everything you need you already have. Greed is not possible in advaita.

    (xi) Santosha (contentment satisfaction)
    In advaita contentment is automatic. You already have all you need; there is no desire.

    (xii) Svadhyaya (study of scripture)
    The state of advaita-samadhi is above and beyond books and scriptures. Even the vedas say that scriptures are a means to an end; they are a road map, and when you achieve the destination they are no longer required.
    The irony is, of course, a highly structured teaching like yoga is actually counter-productive to samadhi. You don’t need the teachings (everything you need you already have) and there are a lot of teachings! Discipline and routine are reinforced in yoga teachings, but these are not qualities of advaita.
    The yogis also recognise that ‘the mind is the great enemy and must be defeated in battle’ and that using the mind to defeat the mind is a difficult task.
    However there is merit in having a disciplined mind when you reach advaita and yoga practices and guidelines do provide good training in this regard. It is easy to be over-exuberant when you reach the blissful state of advaita.

    (xiii) Ishvara pranidhana or Atamivedana (surrender)
    In advaita-samadhi self-surrender is absolute; you surrender to the moment. Surrender to a deity becomes impossible, you would look to nothing outside of yourself.
    You can achieve advaita through surrender to a god or a guru (bhakti yoga) but ‘god’ is just a ‘tool’, a means to achieving the end (advaita). Once the end is realised then the non-dualistic mind operates under different ‘rules’. You don’t need anything outside of yourself and the surrender is now absolute, to the moment, not a deity or guru.

    (xiv) Dhyana (meditation)
    As Buddha said, “I point to the truth and you analyse my finger.” Meditation is a means to an end and not the end itself.
    If you are actively seeking a higher awareness then meditation can actually be a dangerous cul-de-sac. Metaphorically, imagine your mind as a book case full of books. The bookcase is the framework, the dualistic mind-set. The books represent thoughts.  Through meditation practice you can reduce the books (thoughts) and even empty the bookcase. This is quite an achievement, which takes dedicated practice. However, the bookcase remains, after your practice you go to your home and your family, you might even be pleased with your meditation ability (egotism). When you reach advaita the bookcase disappears instantly, taking all the books with it. Advaita is not analogous to an empty bookcase, but to no bookcase, and it doesn’t take practice to achieve, it is available in an instant.
    In advaita you are alert to every moment and constantly interacting with your immediate environment; you are aware. In sitting meditation you are removing yourself from ‘the real world’ while you focus on breathing (or another technique) to achieve a state of ‘no-mind’.
    In advaita you already have all you need, there is nothing outside of your current being that you desire or need. There is no search for a mentally constructed future where you have improved yourself through any practice.

    (xv) Mental capacity
    In advaita-samadhi my mental capacity was increased greatly, it would have been possible to have several conversations to a group of people about different subjects, at the same time and remain coherent to all. My mind worked very fast, often too fast to effectively communicate via the slow process of speech.
    My mind was capable of constructing huge theoretical models, which I am convinced were sound. As an analogy, imagine constructing the Eiffel tower piece by piece in your mind, out of ‘aether’ as it were. The structure would be sound and coherent, all the pieces would fit together and then could be translated to a real construction.
    This isn’t as far-fetched as it might appear; there are parallels with historical figures. Nikola Tesla is reported to have had a mind that worked like this all the time! He constructed all his instruments in his mind, saw how they would work and then constructed them out of real physical components.

    (xvi) Choice versus free will
    In advaita you are living in the present moment, your mind does not look to a mentally constructed future, you have no desire to be somewhere else or be something else. So, if the future doesn’t exist in your mind, how can you make a choice, make a decision? Well, you can’t! You always have free will, but no choice. This is a concept that many people struggle with for a number of reasons.
    Choice implies a mentally constructed future where you have a desire (or avoidance) of a certain outcome. In advaita the monkey-mind is not active, you are always in the present moment, free to do what you want, but with no choice. The future doesn’t exist.
    This concept is well described in Zen Buddhist writings, which say “you can’t make a decision without first making a decision to make a decision, and therefore without making a decision to make a decision to make a decision” etc. The notion of choice requires a dualistic mind-set.

    Summary
    Advaita-samadhi can be summarised thus: ‘everything you need you already have’. If you look outside of yourself for anything then you are outside of advaita-samadhi. You are perfectly ‘in the moment’, and continually so.

    There is no egotism whatsoever, no desire to be anywhere other than where you are and no desire to be anybody but who you are you. There is no projection into a mentally created future or remembered past. There are no teachings or practices you must learn. Everything you need you have in the ‘now’, you just need to switch off the monkey-mind and realise it. This state of mind has popularised by Ekhart Tolle’s writing, e.g. ‘The power of now’.
    This isn’t quieting the monkey-mind, as can be achieved in meditation, this is switching monkey-mind off completely. It’s a paradigm shift.

    The truth is you are permanently in a state of samadhi, except your mental constructs keep your mind too busy to realise it.  Achieving advaita-samadhi is not a process; it is the passing through an ‘invisible gate’ in an instant into the present moment, the so called ‘passing through the veil’.

    In this state every step in any direction is equally wonderful and equally valid, so where would you go? There is no concept of ‘my’ home or ‘my things’.  In actuality you find yourself following your free will, perhaps interacting with a person you have met or perhaps following a beautiful butterfly. You sleep when tired and eat when hungry. You do not lose your mind, or your mental faculties, you know how society works, even if their concepts now seem alien to you. You maintain respect for all things but you lose your society-imposed morality. You can only be true to yourself and your environment, you have nothing to hide and would not consider harming yourself or another or the environment around you.

    When describing this state to a friend she said it sounded like her mother who had senile dementia, and was always wandering off and getting lost. In advaita you are not lost because you are exactly where you should be all the time, there is no notion of some better place to be, choice requires a dualistic mind-set. You do retain all of your mental faculties, you just lose a sense of attachment to anything.

    You leave everything behind as you pass. You do not think of the past or the future; you are simply (and wonderfully) in the present moment. In non-duality you have complete free will and you would simply do what you want, with all the shackles removed, though with respect for everything around you.
    So how do you achieve advaita-samadhi?  Do you even want to reach this state of awareness? Chogyam Trungpa’s advice to those interested in following this mystical path is “don’t even start!” (“Once you are on this path you can’t step off so easily.”)

    I can only conceive of complete surrender and loss of all attachment as a means of entering this state of awareness. The first time I entered the state I wasn’t searching for it, I was simply walking away from a failed marriage with no possessions other than the clothes I was wearing.  Ekhart Tolle describes a suicidal state that brought his realisation, but mine was more a sense of overwhelming freedom from a number of stressful situations.

    The second time I entered advaita-samadhi was eight years later, and I was actively looking to return to the state. It was a scary experience until I actually managed to achieve it, and then all fear and worry simply disappeared, as I knew they would. On the second occasion I tried to re-enact my first experience, I simply ‘walked into the world’ leaving all ‘my’ possessions behind me. It was a huge leap of faith, it is quite scary to contemplate, but you are aware that if you can achieve this state you will be fine.

    Samadhi is not the end of the journey, but merely the start of the ‘next level’. From this state, with guidance, it also possible to work towards the states of supra-consciousness called siddhis, but this path is outside of my own experience.



    Last edited by Vidya Moksha on Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Post  mudra on Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:43 am

    Awesome Vidya 🙏💗
    I would love to get the pdf of your book
    And I'll gladly buy a hard cover copy of it once you publish it too 😊
    LionHawk is also speakink of writing a book. You may learn from one another on that level too.

    Love from me
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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:16 am

    mudra wrote:Awesome Vidya 🙏💗
    I would love to get the pdf of your book
    And I'll gladly buy a hard cover copy of it once you publish it too 😊
    LionHawk is also speakink of writing a book. You may learn from one another on that level too.

    Love from me
    mudra

    I am nowhere with formatting it and wont get round to it this year, I have not the time. Or the skills. I am writing a total of 3 books, and all 3 may be finished by the end of Jan next year. At that time I will consider the best way forward, either learning a desk top publishing package or get someone to help with layout / formatting. I did a bit of desk top publishing back in the day, but that was 20-30 years ago. My laptop isnt ideal for the work either, its quite a small screen to navigate..

    anyway.. it will happen in its own time, or it won't.. all good :)

    I can email you a copy of the entire document in its current state if you wish... its just in a word doc but I added photos for all asana / pranayama sections (which I wont be copying above.. there is too much, and the notes are essentially those that have sat here in the mists for a while now...)
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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:02 pm


    Just to say, I havent included the asana and pranayama sections above, there is too much to include. These 2 sections take up over a quarter of my book, as you can see:

    List of practices
    #1. Relaxed normal breathing 32
    #2. The full yogic breath 32
    #3. The energy releasing pose (supta pawanmuktasana) 32
    #4. Eye rotation 33
    #5. Eye focus 33
    #6. Hand - wrist rotations (manibandha chakra) 34
    #7. Foot rotation (goolf chakra) 34
    #8 Hip rotation 34
    #9 Neck bending and twisting I (greeva sanchalana) 34
    #9A Neck bending and twisting II (greeva sanchalana) 34
    #9B Neck bending and twisting III (greeva sanchalana) 35
    #10 Shoulders I 35
    #10A Shoulders II 35
    #10B Shoulders III 35
    #10C Shoulders IV 35
    #11. Arm raise (tadasana) 36
    #12. Whole body side bend (tiryaka tadasana) 36
    #13 Leg raise (utthanpadasana) 37
    #14. The sun salutation (surya namaskara) 37
    #14A. The prayer pose (pranamasana) 38
    #14B. The raised arm pose (hasta utthanasana) 39
    #14C The hand to foot pose (padhastasana) 39
    #14D. The equestrian pose (ashwa sanchalanasana) 39
    #14E The plank pose 40
    #14F Press up 40
    #14G The upward dog 40
    #14H Hare pose (shashankasana) 40
    #14I The salute with eight points (ashtanga namaskara) 41
    #14J The cobra (bhujangasana) 41
    #14K The mountain pose (parvatasana) 42
    #14D The equestrian pose. 42
    #14C The hand to foot pose 42
    #14B. The raised arm pose 42
    #14A The prayer pose 43
    #15. The corpse pose (shavasana) 43
    #16. The recovery position (shashankasana) 44
    #17. The fish pose (matsyasana) 44
    #18. The head to knee pose (janu sirshasana) 44
    #19. The back stretching pose (paschimottanasana) 45
    #20. The half moon pose (ardha chandrasana) 46
    #21. The shoulder stand (sarvangasana) 46
    #22. The plough (halasana) 46
    #23. Spine back-bending in shavasana 47
    #24. The locust (shalabhasana) 47
    #24A. The half locust (ardha shalabhasana) 48
    #25. The bow (dhanurasana) 48
    #26. The half spinal twist (ardha matsyendrasana) 48
    #27. The lotus pose (padmasana) 49
    #28. The auspicious pose (swastikasana) 50
    #29. The thunderbolt pose (vajrasana) 50
    #30. The butterfly pose (poorna titaliasana) 51
    #31. The warrior II pose (virabhadrasana) 51
    #32. The one legged prayer pose (eka pada pranamasana) 52
    #33. The crow pose (baka dhyanasana) 52
    #34. The wheel pose (chakrasana) 52
    #35. The headstand (sirshasana) 53
    #36. The candle pose 54
    #37. Nadi shodhanam I 56
    #37A. Nadi shodhanam II 56
    #37B. Nadi shodhanam III 56
    #38. Breathing with antar kumbhaka and bahir kumbhaka 57
    #39. Kapalbhati 57
    #40. Japa yoga (rotation yoga) 58
    #41. Antar mouna (inner silence) 59
    #42. Trataka (steady gaze) 59
    #43. Yoga Nidra (psychic sleep yoga) 59
    #44. Ana pani sati 60
    #45 Soham meditation 61

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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:35 pm

    Swami Rama makes the valid observation: “Indians are free thinkers in the bondage of social law; westerners are in bondage of fixed ideas, though have social freedoms.”

    In India where yoga developed you are not free to live in society in the state of advaita-samadhi, there are strict social laws, especially with respect to sexual activity.

    In the west there is no recognition of the state of advaita-samadhi, it would be classified as some form of mania. Indeed, the psychiatric profession has gone to some lengths to classify all ‘mystical realisations’ as various forms of mental disorder.

    In all societies independence from the state is not encouraged, in fact it is actively discouraged. Current society is not compatible with advaita, the two worlds work according to different rules.

    Can you imagine a society without ownership of property, thoughts/ideas or people? A society where people have the free will to do what they want and do not tell lies, do not cheat or steal? Well, I don’t have to imagine it, I have experienced it, and I can assure you that it is a beautiful place from which to realise this wondrous planet that we live on.

    (but for now, I have my head down, working like crazy for coins. to maybe realise some monkey-generated future possible..... what a world Wink   Nutbar  Earth  
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    Post  mudra on Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:19 pm

    Yes it would be lovely of you Vidya to sent me the pdf format of your book.
    I know you put the whole of your heart, long experience of yoga practice and wisdom into it.
    So it will remain with me to read somewhere when time is ripe.

    I recently met someone who has had a yoga practice in India where he spent several years back in the days.
    He is also a well experienced practioner and teacher of Castaneda's energy passes.
    You mentioned above corrections and advice regarding your book is welcome.
    So here's a few sections of my book.. These are the final 'words'.. any feedback / corrections welcome before I commit to print Wink wrote:
    He may well be a good person to review your writing and share views with you or not.
    I learned Castaneda's Seers Code online with him. I appreciate his humbleness, commitment and wisdom.
    Would you be interested I tell him about your book ? Maybe introduce you to him ?
    He lives in London at the moment. Him and his wife both seem to know something about web design as well.
    About publishing too maybe .. who knows.
    Anyways let me know what you think about this ?
    Do you still have your FB account ? I could share his page there with you.

    Love from me
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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:55 am

    Hey mudra
    Thanks for your support and interest.

    I have the yoga covered, I am happy with my account. I am interested in general feedback from people just encountering this, it is supposed to be a beginners guide, after all.  I tried to keep it simple and brief, but still a comprehensive introduction.  

    It would be really good to know someone with the formatting  /desk top publishing skills I need to finish my book. There is no rush, I dont have much free time at the moment. This book has been on the back burner for more than 10 years now.. but it would be nice to get the info out there.

    I havent yet met anyone who has studied this subject, most folk think asana is yoga and that's an end to it. So its always good to meet folk interested in the philosophy - they are out there for sure, but I dont get out much Wink ... I have met a few folk who have entered advaita and a couple of them have read my notes and concur it was also their experience.

    When I came back from India after almost a decade away I shipped around 300 books on yoga, buddhism, "spiritual" books. Some amazing texts, all for a few rupees each. I had  what I needed from the books in my notebooks and I wanted to find local yoga schools who might want the treasure, I just wanted a good home for the books... and no one was interested. They all practice "flexible-enough-to -put your-head-up-your-ass-yoga" (TM).. Pat who?
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    Post  mudra on Thu Nov 28, 2019 4:53 pm

    Fine Vidya I understand.
    All the best with the book study
    Hopefully you'll attract the right connections to you.
    May your dream come true and shared with many The Karen


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    Post  Sanicle on Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:31 am

    Vidya, you are very good at explaining things. All the books, who wrote what and what they actually contain, are finally making sense to me! cheers

    I do hope you continue with this thread!

    I love you Cheerful
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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:52 pm

    Thanks Mudra and Sanicle. This is the yoga book I wanted when I started out, and couldnt find.

    The above is the basis of my book, " A comprehensive Introduction to yoga", which was published, with ISBN, but I didnt like the format and there were too many typos.. So the text is what it is... I wont be expanding on it here.. Though I have a second book almost finished which goes into more depth and describes my journey....

    My favourite yoga book, written by Swami Satyananda Saraswati, runs to 1,000 pages.. The yogis will never take 10 steps when they can take 100..

    and i wanted to produce a brief guide. I have not included my asana and pranayama sections above as its too complicated with the diagrams, and too time consuming for me. I have an hour or so each day to catch up with a number of things.. otherwise I am working or sleeping..  The above was a hit and run as I have been editing the manuscript I thought I would post it here.. and I noticed a couple of typos already...

    I am more than happy to go into more detail on any aspect above... answering any questions..

    Oh, and mudra, you will have to wait for your pdf.. I realised I havent done the diagrams for my new edition.. and it's not on my list at the moment.
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    Post  mudra on Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:56 am

    Vidya Moksha wrote:

    Oh, and mudra, you will have to wait for your pdf.. I realised I havent done the diagrams for my new edition.. and it's not on my list at the moment.

    No hurry Vidya I have a few other books on my list to read by then.
    One of them may interest you who knows ?
    https://selfdefinition.org/tibetan/Tenzin-Wangyal-Rinpoche-The-Tibetan-Yogas-Of-Dream-And-Sleep.pdf

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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:23 pm


    I really dislike facebook but it does seem a lot of folk spend their lives in there.

    sooooo I did create a facebook page for my books (yoga, ayurvedic massage..) and there are some posts describing tarot and yoga (tarot is a pictorial representation of all esoteric theosophies).. and it's here:

    https://www.facebook.com/Mike-Rawson-Author-Page-965505583514393/

    Mike Rawson is my pen name.. cant make these things too real...

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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:06 pm

    somewhere in the missive above :


    me wrote:Yoga is one of six esoteric forms of Hinduism (one of the shad darshanas). Esoteric philosophies (theosophies) claim there is no middle-man (clergy, priests) to god (or god as a metaphor for achieving higher awareness); self-realisation can only be attained through personal attainment and merit.

    The Yogis of Hinduism, the Qabbalists of Christianity and Judaism, the Sufis of Islam, the Vajrayana and Mahayana Buddhists, have the same basic doctrine: ‘as above so below’, i.e. it is possible to know the ‘absolute or ultimate’ by looking inside yourself. In yoga this is represented by the atman-brahman relationship or the notion that the macrocosm is represented in the microcosm. Christian mystics claim that the kingdom of heaven is actually within every human being.


    One of my 'wow' moments was realising that all the world religions are the same teachings ! The realisation came while I was studying the Tarot, and alesiter crowley's equation 0=2.

    The Tarot is a pictorial representation of all these esoteric religions and was probably hidden in a standard deck of cards to hide its true purpose. The Major arcana of the tarot sit snugly on the Qabbalistic tree of life.  And thats complicated stuff, and a tad dark towards the higher reaches for my palate.. but necessary to know..

    somewhat simpler, and an interesting muse are the astrological correspondences attributed the minor arcana (the standard playing cards).. these have been given a divinatory correspondence by waite, who also introduced blinds and deliberate errors in his deck (and denigrating the female principle) .. so the tarot is now thought as a foretune telling tool (just as asana is "yoga" is similarly dumbing down)

    anyway.. during my studies i created the tarot wheel, my design and concept but the astrological correspondences are not mine.. oh, and thats my orginal, so spot the odd typo  Very Happy  my pen name should be mike typo rawson.. kinda catchy eh?

    Comprehensive Introduction to Yoga Wheel110

    The first ring shows whether the astrological sign is positive or negative in astrological terminology.
    The second ring shows the symbols of the astrological signs of the zodiac (same as the ninth ring).
    The third ring comprises the so called triplicities of astrology, the Elements.
    The fourth ring shows the so called quadruplicities of astrology: Mutable, Fixed and Cardinal.
    The fifth ring shows the Tarot suits that represent the elements shown in the third ring.
    The sixth ring shows the number of the Tarot card that relates the decans (10° intervals) of the zodiac.
    The seventh ring shows which planet is within the decans.
    The eighth ring shows the calendar dates of the 36 zodiacal decans, which are also the dates representing the individual tarot cards and also one of the personal cards of an individual, based on their date of birth.
    The ninth ring shows the astrological sign of the cards.
    The tenth ring shows the planet that rules each of the astrological signs of the zodiac.
    The eleventh ring shows the planet that is exalted in that zodiacal sign, i.e. a planet which has a stronger influence than usual because it shares certain characteristics with the astrological sign.
    The twelfth ring shows which Knight, Queen or Prince (using Crowley terminology) rules which of the minor arcana.
    The thirteenth and outermost ring shows which quarter of the zodiac is ruled by each of the Princesses in tandem with the Aces. These are referred to as Quadrants in astrology.

    the major arcana and tarot is a massive subject. I had a tarot manuscript that llewellyn publishers were interested in but they had copyright issues with crowley's cards, which are essential to any serious study, so i need to design my own cards.. which is a massive undertaking.. (any artists out there want to create a deck for my book to my guidelines / essential elements .. but with full artisitc licence - personal interpretation.. the correspondences  are generic after all... free tarot mastery tuition given - and required ! Wink )

    Comprehensive Introduction to Yoga Tol_mi10

    Comprehensive Introduction to Yoga Tree210

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    Post  Sanicle on Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:04 pm

    Vidya, your powers of assimilation and correlation are EPIC!!!!  Thank you for those charts.  Brilliant work!!  cheers

    I don't know how you are going to fit all of this wisdom you've attained into only one book.  But then that's what you do - combine, understand and simplify it all so unbelievably well.  I'm shaking my head in wonder.   drunken
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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:34 am

    Sanicle wrote:Vidya, your powers of assimilation and correlation are EPIC!!!!  Thank you for those charts.  Brilliant work!!  cheers

    I don't know how you are going to fit all of this wisdom you've attained into only one book.  But then that's what you do - combine, understand and simplify it all so unbelievably well.  I'm shaking my head in wonder.   drunken

    Thank you for your kind words... Embarassed

    There is way too much info for one book. I have 4 books.

    My first manuscript was a tarot book explaining how the cards are a pictorial representation of the esoteric religions. The charts formed the basis of my own tarot studies..

    to get the nature of a card, look first on the tarot wheel for the astrological correspondences and then put the card number on the tree of life for the qabbalistic correspondences. so for example, 5 of swords, why not.. a random guess.. here's an excerpt from my tarot book for the 5 of swords..

    me wrote: Swords represent the Air element and movement, intellect and thinking. Swords are also weapons, used for good (cutting through delusion,) and bad (war). In Tarot the Swords are associated with movement, thoughts, perceptions, ideas and decisions as well as pain, anger, destruction, conflict and struggles. Swords are also useful for cutting through illusion, delusion and resolving problems.
    Astrological Correspondence
    Venus in Aquarius (Jan 20 – Jan 29). Ruled by Saturn and Uranus, Neptune exalted These people need to break out of established relationships, they are outsiders and anarchists who cannot feel ‘fixed down’. They can be coolly affectionate, friendly, quiet, idealistic, touchy, uncompromising and have unconventional desires.
    Qabalah - Golden Dawn
    Lord of Defeat Resides in Geburah on the Tree of Yetzirah.
    Geburah – Strength, Severity – Sphere of Mars - strong but unbalanced. Motion, storm and stress Martial energy and destruction, not evil but a necessary purification – Geburah the Destroyer, the Lord of Fear and Severity, is as necessary to the equilibrium of the Tree as Chesed, the Lord of Love, and Netzach, the Lady of Beauty.

    Cruel and cowardly, unreliable, lying, failure, defeat. Hating to see peace between others. Mars in the formative astral world, Geburah is in its most disruptive aspect in the element of air. This is one of the most disruptive cards in the deck. The usual balance of mars and Venus has gone haywire. Venus is not well dignified in Aquarius and the swords of Geburah overwhelm it here, the result is complete failure.

    Bright scarlet is the colour of Geburah on the Prince scale, a mix of orange and red, the king and queen scale colours of Geburah.

    Crowley says this card Defeat (with the Nine and Ten of Swords) is among the most destructive in the deck. A relationship has already been noted between the Sword of Geburah and the Rose of Venus which is also the Rose of the Rose Cross. They are closely related energies, Mars being the consort of Venus in mythology. when the Sword of Geburah sweeps through the Air of Yetzirah, the growth energies of Venus are no match for it, and the petals of the Rose are scattered, literally, to the winds. Crowley's card shows this dispersion of forces behind the Swords in the shape of the inverted Pentagram. Crowley tells us the defeat is due to pacifism, Venus and Aquarius are not up for the fight, despite Mars ruling the fifth Sephirah.
    Defeat, loss, malice, spite, slander, the contest lost. Failure, anxiety, trouble, poverty, lying, hating to see love and peace between others, clever and quick in thought and speech.
     

    These are not my interpretations, i just assimilated them into my notebooks Very Happy

    This tarot book was written 10 years ago, i need to design a tarot card deck to finish it, and that is nowhere on my to do list at present ..i have butchered the original manuscript over the years but its pretty much finished.

    My second book is my introduction to yoga, above

    my third book is an account of my travels, into the spirit work I mentioned in morpheus' thread, and the higher yoga experiences.. Also written, around 100,000 words long. needs a couple of sections adding and editing..

    my fourth book, also written and awaiting diagrams, is a reproduction of my own training in Ayurvedic massage i received in India.. i have the body drawings now, i just need to annotate them...
    Comprehensive Introduction to Yoga M210
    Comprehensive Introduction to Yoga M110

    and presently, i have no time to work on any of the books...  Nope
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    Post  Sanicle on Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:05 am

    That explanation re the 5 of Swords is great.  I read Tarot, although I haven't picked them up for years.  Maybe I will again when I get your book when it comes out.  It really does look like a very worthwhile addition to the library.  At the risk of embarrassing you again, IMO you are a very clever man.

    Then I'll be standing in line for the other books too, haha.  The time factor, aaahhh.  Rolling Eyes  Yep.
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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:09 am

    Sanicle wrote:That explanation re the 5 of Swords is great.  I read Tarot, although I haven't picked them up for years.  Maybe I will again when I get your book when it comes out.  It really does look like a very worthwhile addition to the library.  At the risk of embarrassing you again, IMO you are a very clever man.

    Then I'll be standing in line for the other books too, haha.  The time factor, aaahhh.  Rolling Eyes  Yep.

    Hi Sanicle, just seen your sig for the first time Very Happy  we only have free will, there is no choice. Choice requires a monkey mind generated future possible, which is not real, just mental construct. There is only the ever present now, the changing now.. future and past are mental construct (and the carrier of fear) .. we are free to what we want, tarot again Crowley "do what thy will shall be the whole of the law" ..

    im not sure included this above? its from my intro book..


    me wrote: In advaita you are living in the present moment, your mind does not look to a mentally constructed future, you have no desire to be somewhere else or be something else. So, if the future doesn’t exist in your mind, how can you make a choice, make a decision? Well, you can’t! You always have free will, but no choice. This is a concept that many people struggle with for a number of reasons.
    Choice implies a mentally constructed future where you have a desire (or avoidance) of a certain outcome. In advaita the monkey-mind is not active, you are always in the present moment, free to do what you want, but with no choice. The future doesn’t exist.
    This concept is well described in Zen Buddhist writings, which say “you can’t make a decision without first making a decision to make a decision, and therefore without making a decision to make a decision to make a decision” etc. The notion of choice requires a dualistic mind-set.


    not to be pedantic re your sig, but it seemed relevant to the thread and I was just emailing a friend about this too! so a synchronicity for me ...

    anyway, back to tarot.. i am not sure the book will ever be published. I have all i need, in my notebooks and manuscript and its a lot of work for no return to publish /write books. ideally i need a deck of cards designing. I have had 3 people come to me asking to make a deck, sounded keen, understood what was needed, and did nothing. i did think about producing a tarot book on how to design your own cards.. i could include all the info on the tarot, and how the tarot is a pictorial representation of the esoteric religions.. and then just list the essential attributes for each card. So include all the card info, all the correspondences, how it fits in the qabbalah, divinatory attributes, what essential elements need to be in the picture and what colours to use.. and the rest is up to the artist / reader..

    that way i could publish my book and not have to design / produce my own deck. I dont think my art work is good enough, i would do a deck for myself perhaps, but i havent looked at the tarot for a decade or so.. it does keep biting me in the bum though, nagging at me.. but i am good at ignoring it.

    anyway.. i have no problem sending you my tarot notes, if you would use them, we could arrange an email or suchlike... The manuscript i produced are the core of my notes but they have been amended.. they are notes, but comprehensive.. i have 3 major sections, minor arcana, major arcana and court cards..
    Sanicle
    Sanicle

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    Post  Sanicle on Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:58 pm

    In advaita you are living in the present moment, your mind does not look to a mentally constructed future, you have no desire to be somewhere else or be something else. So, if the future doesn’t exist in your mind, how can you make a choice, make a decision? Well, you can’t! You always have free will, but no choice. This is a concept that many people struggle with for a number of reasons.

    Choice implies a mentally constructed future where you have a desire (or avoidance) of a certain outcome. In advaita the monkey-mind is not active, you are always in the present moment, free to do what you want, but with no choice. The future doesn’t exist.

    This concept is well described in Zen Buddhist writings, which say “you can’t make a decision without first making a decision to make a decision, and therefore without making a decision to make a decision to make a decision” etc. The notion of choice requires a dualistic mind-set.

    Aaaaaaahh Vidya!!!  See this is the sort of stuff that caused me to give up on the Indian teachings.  “…. free to do what you want, but with no choice.” ???  To me, that is an oxymoron.  

    To do what you want at any point often implies having to make a choice between the options available to you that you are feeling in the moment.  For instance I wanted to reply to your post but at the same time another part of me didn’t at the risk of offending you.  But I believe that you would know this is not saying I don’t believe in you and the brilliant way you’ve put all you’ve learned together; rather it’s a criticism of the teachings themselves.  Obviously I needed to make a choice between those two feelings and had to make a decision.  That I decided to make a decision so as to move on with my day is beside the point really.  So I decided to just be honest and tell you what I think with my monkey mind that is all too active at times.

    That’s another thing.  We’re always hearing about the stupid monkey mind and that we should shut it up via the gurus and yet you say now that “in advaita the monkey mind is not active”?  (So if it's not active and yet we are free to "do what we want" aka use our free will, are we only able to react emotionally?)  Shame that the present moment then leads into another one in which it becomes active, right now making choices, moment by moment on what word to use as I type.  The ‘moments’ advaita describes must be miniscule for the mind to be inactive but we don’t ‘stay’ there so what does it all matter anyway?!!

    You also reminded me of why I gave up on the Tarot. (And, btw, what are we ‘reading’ if there is no past and no future?)  As regards answers we are given by the Tarot, we are told that “in knowing the future we change it” so, again, no point in doing a reading in the first place.  It couldn’t be that the ‘cards’ are just wrong now, could it, and that we didn’t change it by knowing it at all?  We can all justify anything if we want to enough.  But then again, maybe I’m sure others would say I’m just too dumb to have interpreted them correctly, just as I’m too dumb to understand the Advaita.

    Either way, I really don’t care or need to complicate my life that way with either anymore.  I’m happy just as I am living in my type of moments as I experience them, ‘rightly’ or ‘wrongly’.

    But I do thank you, very sincerely, for your generous offer of sharing what you’ve written with me.  If I were younger and maybe not so jaded, I would have jumped at the opportunity. Hugs Flowers
    Vidya Moksha
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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:36 am

    hi Sanicle. I doubt you would offend me.. and certainly not by giving a point of view..

    I do realise that having no choice but free will sounds like an oxymoron, but it's not. In any moment the accumulation of what you are in the accumulated circumstance of the now decides the action. Many folk have a problem with this, and some of it is just semantics.. but at the core it is a true statement of reality.

    In advaita the monkey mind is a tool, available to be used. Like a spade can be used to dig. Once the digging is over the spade is put away. Same with monkey mind, the tool goes back into the shed. Normally monkey mind is driving what we do, the tool is running us, it is never switched off. In advaita the monkey mind follows free will. The cart is behind the horse. In duality monkey mind, the cart, is in front of the horse. You dont suddenly become stupid, in fact the opposite is true.

    I quite agree about the tarot, I have had enough. same with the yoga teachings. I learned much that was useful and now I just try to be more or less in the now, not really analyzing so much...

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