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Note: For the complete lessons,
with additions, see the AYP
Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living Books.
Lesson 269 - Leapfrogging to Samyama Practice
Moving Inner Silence Outward
Date: Sun Jul 3, 2005 11:44 am
New Members: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q: When last I wrote, I had awakened my kundalini and my meditation was a turbulent,
dramatic, passionate shakti affair. And I was complaining about the bliss, which struck me
as distraction. And I'd just recovered from a bit of overdoing.
You explained (in lesson #258) that I needed to work more on the
shiva half of the equation. So I put in months of meditation and pranayama, seeking
balance, but remaining much more on the shakti side of things. I'd get some stillness, but
the resultant sacred feeling would ignite my shakti, the aftermath of which would be
peaceful stillness ... which would re-ignite my shakti yet again. And so on. I felt like a
spiritual lava lamp.
Then I lapsed in my practice for a month. While the interlude was a real low for me, there
was a silver lining: when I resumed, kundalini had gone dormant, so I could work in
stillness without the fireworks. For the first time, I was able to get to a stillness so
deep that my metabolism slowed down; hardly breathing, heart beating quite slowly. During
one session, I really managed to penetrate samadhi, after I had the uncanny sensation of
someone very alive and close touching my forehead - not to give shaktipat, but to give yet
more stillness. I don't fully understand it, but I loved the outcome.
I've since reawakened my kundalini. And some meditation sessions are quite still (though
always with a sizzling undercurrent), though others are more Wagnerian (though always with
a still undercurrent). And the stillness is working into my life - I'm getting
unflappable. I walked soaked yesterday through a huge downpour with no umbrella and it
felt utterly unremarkable - the frantic dashing all around me couldn't touch me. Like
that. Everything's as good as anything else.
But this underlying stillness has retarded my bhakti. I do not care one iota if I get
enlightened or not. I've lost my spiritual thirst to move forward. Everything's as good as
everything else. I've turned into a yawningly complacent poppa bear.
1. Have I simply bounced too far the other way - too much shiva and too little shakti? My
feeling is not; kundalini and shakti are alive, I feel that shiva/shakti are starting to
reach equilibrium, and, if anything, shakti's still a bit stronger. So ... is my new blase
(though not apathetic) attitude toward further practice a natural plateau?
2. Because of my previous over-doing, I've been staying very simple in my practice: 10
minutes vanilla pranayama (with mulabandha and sambhavi) and 20 minutes vanilla mantra
meditation (in simple cross legs) all this time. I decided not to add siddhasana, thinking
it unwise to cultivate yet more energy from the root. And I'm guessing that what's
happening is that I'm flagging in my self pacing (I'll bet you don't see much of that!),
and need to add practices to soup things up. Does that sound right?
If so, what to add? I feel attracted to expanded mantra and samyama (separated by a few
weeks, of course), but that'd be skipping far ahead. Bastrika would be nice (I'd like to
refine a bit in the purification), but first I'd need yoni mudra kumbhaka and chin pump.
Should I indeed just take on siddhasana, which is, after all, the next step in AYP? I'm
reluctant to because I'm not sure more raw energy in practice is what's needed right now;
I'd like to work on broadening and refining, and add on siddhasana when the energy I'm
moving in pranayama starts feeling inadequate. If no definitive advice occurs to you, no
problem, I'll just do what comes naturally!
A: It sounds like you are doing just about right. Keep in mind that the basic integrated
routine you have now exceeds what most kriya, mantra or hatha yogis do. So, whatever
plateau you are on is still shoveling out eons of karma underneath. Even when we do not
seem to be moving, we are ... which is to say, the "blase" is just a temporary
phase. It is inner silence coming up and standing somewhat separate from external
activity, including thoughts and feelings. In time, inner silence (Self) is perceived as
the activity itself. Nothing blase about that. And totally peaceful and free at the same
time. As the old saying goes - "In the world, but not of the world." At the same
time, we are the world.
As for what to do next, it is okay to soft-pedal advancement in the hatha techniques
(siddhasana, yoni mudra kumbhaka, kechari, chin pump, bastrika, etc.) if you want to stay
more on the shiva (inner silence) side for a while. When you do move forward with hatha
methods again, I suggest you take it pretty much in order. Siddhasana can be done very
lightly, so does not have to be "all out." It can be eased into gently over many
months, which should not be a problem for someone with hatha yoga skills. You'll know what
On what to do now, I think it is too soon for a mantra enhancement. You just got going
with meditation again. Give it 3-6 months and then see. A mantra enhancement is really a
huge adjustment, taking at least that long to settle in, so when you do a mantra
enhancement, give it that much time at least before taking on another one.
Regarding samyama, as it says in lesson #150, that can be taken on
when there is some inner silence coming up, assuming the meditation routine is stable.
That is the main prerequisite. You have that now, so maybe consider samyama as the next
step. Give samyama 3-6 months before tackling a mantra enhancement also. It is okay to
ease into more hatha methods before then if it is comfortable, but give samyama at least a
month or two without playing with anything new.
Samyama will begin to move inner silence out into external energy expressions in thoughts,
feelings and the physical environment. The blase will begin
to unwind everywhere, but not in
a raw kundalini way -- not usually. More of a moving inner silence kind of thing. A very
unique and wonderful next step for inner silence. It can be physical also (you might
"shake" or "hop" a bit), but not usually like a raw kundalini
experience -- generally deeper and more refined. Samyama cultivates all three stages of
enlightenment at the same time -- inner silence, ecstatic conductivity and unity.
So, maybe try leapfrogging to samyama. Then, a little later, look to proceeding with next
hatha steps. Then, once samyama is stable and hatha is on a reasonable even keel, consider
a mantra enhancement. These are just suggestions. It can be done in any reasonable order
that works for you. This is just some perspective on a possible path forward based on
where you are now.
Above all, always go at your own pace, and have fun!
The guru is in you.
Note: For detailed instructions on building a
balanced daily practice routine with self-pacing, see the
Eight Limbs of Yoga Book.
For detailed instructions on samyama
practice, covering multiple applications, see the
AYP Samyama book.
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