Our discussion of samyama so far, beginning way back in Lessons
149 and 150, has been focused
on the practical application of its essential principles in our daily
sitting practice for broad purification and opening within our nervous
system to advance our progress toward enlightenment. The incorporation of
samyama into our daily routine of sitting practices right after deep
meditation, and the selection of sutras we have used there, are designed to
cover a wide territory both within and around us. We can say that this
approach is qualitative,
meaning it is for enhancing the quality of our life in the broadest terms.
In doing so, it opens the door for improving our experience in everyday
living - often in ways we might least expect. By steadily awakening the
qualities of the divine within us, all of life is uplifted as we gradually
become a channel for that expression.
With a good foundation of daily deep meditation and
"core samyama" practice in place, well stabilized within our overall routine
of practices for some time, we will find ourselves in a position to consider
further applications of samyama. Indeed, it is natural to desire more,
building on the practice routine we have prudently established. Fortunately
we can do this in ways that do not overwhelm our schedule and busy life. We
seek a good balance between our practices and daily living. We need both to
assure our spiritual progress.
In this lesson, and upcoming ones, we will explore
expanded applications of samyama that can provide increased practical
benefits in our daily life and for all whom we serve, without greatly
increasing our time in practices each day.
applications of samyama we will discuss are decidedly more
designed to enhance the flow of pure bliss consciousness through us on the
physical plane. None of these should be considered to be a replacement for
our primary samyama practice as discussed in Lesson 150 and follow-up
lessons. Rather, these are logical expansions in practice that bring many
Sooner or later we will find ourselves moving
naturally into the areas we will now be discussing. Perhaps you are already.
All of yoga will be percolating within us as we continue to advance along
our path of daily practice.
COSMIC SAMYAMA AND
It has been said that the entire cosmos is
contained within each of us. Perhaps that is what is meant by the phrase,
"Humanity is created in God's image."
Regardless of what has
been postulated by mystics, theologians and philosophers, it is a fact that
most everyone at one time or other in this life has felt a kinship with the
whole of creation. As we undertake deep meditation, spinal breathing
pranayama, samyama and other yoga practices, this feeling of
gradually increases, in time becoming a full time experience.
Somewhere along the way, we might ask, "Is there a
way to accelerate this rising sense of unity I am feeling?"
If we continue our
practices, it will most certainly continue to grow, for it is only ourselves
we are discovering. Whatever That
is, we will come to know it by direct experience. No one else's word has to
be taken as gospel. Direct experience will tell the tale. So let's move on
There is an additional procedure of samyama we can
utilize that can enhance two aspects of our unfoldment.
First is aiding in the
perception of our cosmic dimensions. This is applying samyama in a way that
meaning we are addressing and integrating the furthest reaches of our
physical dimensions in samyama practice.
Second is enhancing our
experience of yoga nidra,
which means yogic sleep.
Yoga nidra is not primarily about sleep really. It is about further
stabilizing our inner silence, the witness, which is known to coexist with
our other states of consciousness - waking state, dreaming sleep state, and
deep dreamless sleep state. When we are awake, we tend to call inner silence
among other things. In sleep, inner silence is also called
yoga nidra, or
It is the same thing.
Inner silence is also
which means the fourth state,
which can be present during any of the other three states - waking, dreaming
sleep or deep sleep. The further we go along the path of yoga, the more
inner silence we will have present all the time, twenty-four hours per day,
seven days per week (24/7).
The new procedure of
samyama we are introducing here bears some resemblance to so-called
methods that are used to promote yoga nidra. So, some might say, "Oh, this
is a yoga nidra practice. AYP is finally offering a yoga nidra practice!"
But, it isn't really, because this is not an
externally guided meditation practice. It is self-directed and can be done
anywhere without external assistance, recordings or other props. Only your
nervous system is needed. It involves the systematic use of samyama, which
is another major difference from the multitude of externally guided
meditation practices out there.
We call it
It is an advanced form of yoga nidra.
Cosmic samyama expands
our sense of physical presence within and beyond our body. This is an
expansion of our awareness in a way that transcends the physical, while
cultivating the yoga nidra (stillness) effect. The more cosmic we become,
the more we become infinite awareness,
not bound by any physical dimensions. As we expand our awareness to
encompass all that is physical, the physical evaporates into the vastness of
our inner space. It is one of those paradoxes we find in yoga. The paradox
is resolved by direct experience, so let's get into it.
First, it is recommended that cosmic samyama not be
undertaken until our regular sitting samyama practice (Lesson 150) is
well-established and stable for at least several months, preferably longer.
Each new practice we add brings new layers of purification and opening in
our nervous system. This is a good thing. But if we do not stabilize each
practice before taking on the next one, there can be excessive energy flow,
discomfort, and the necessity to discontinue some or all of our practices
for a time. Obviously, this does not foster progress. So, the best course in
taking on new practices is a measured one. Keep in mind that the full
effects of inner purification and opening with any new practice will take
months to be realized - sometimes years. So, please do step carefully and
always remember to self-pace. The more advanced we become, the more
important prudent self-pacing becomes.
Cosmic samyama is a practice we will do while lying
on our back, relaxed with eyes closed. It is similar to the corpse pose
utilized at the end of our yoga asana routine, except we elevate our head on
a pillow or two and rest our hands easily on our solar plexus, the area
between the navel and the bottom of the ribs. Our legs can lie flat and
easy. This can be done on the bed, if desired. If we are not in a place
where we are able to lie down, then we just lean back in whatever place we
happen to be sitting. The key thing is to be comfortable.
Cosmic samyama can be performed at the end of our
sitting practices, using a predetermined series of sutras. It then becomes
the first part of our rest period after all of our sitting practices are
finished. We also have the option to do it right before we go to sleep at
The practice is similar to our regular sitting
samyama routine, with an additional element - the physical location of our
awareness with the sutras. We use a specific sequence of sutras for cosmic
samyama and use them in the same way every time we practice. We go through
them once, with one repetition of each sutra. When we pick up each sutra, we
let our awareness naturally go to the location the sutra is associated with.
When we let go of the sutra for the 15-second interval, we do it from the
designated location of the sutra, allowing our attention to release from
that location. The result will be an expansion of awareness from that
For example, the first
sutra we use in cosmic samyama is Feet.
When we lie down at the end of our sitting practices, we relax for a minute
or two, and then pick up the first sutra,
Feet. At the same time we pick up the
location of our feet. As soon as we have picked up the sutra at the
designated location, we let it go. As with sitting samyama, picking up the
sutra (and location in this case) is faint and fuzzy. We let it go at the
location of our awareness, at the feet. From there it is in the hands of our
inner silence. We may feel some expansion occurring in the area of our feet.
Or maybe not. Whatever happens will be taken care of by our inner silence.
When about 15 seconds have passed, we go on to the next sutra, and so on all
the way through, with one repetition of each sutra at the designated
location, and letting go.
We have 16 sutras for cosmic samyama. When we have
completed the series, in about five minutes or so, we rest for at least
another five minutes to allow the effects of our samyama to stabilize before
we get up. If we feel some irritability after we are out of practices for a
while, it will be a possible sign of not taking enough rest before getting
Let's list all of the sutras now, along with
indications of their corresponding locations, as applicable. For those whose
first language is not English, these sutras may be translated as desired for
easiest recognition. The sutras are:
Feet - both feet
Knees - both knees
Root - perineum/anus
Sex - center of pelvic region
Navel - navel/solar plexus area
Heart - center of chest behind the breastbone
Throat - hollow of throat
Eye - center brow, extending back to center of
head and down into the brain stem
Crown - a point one hand's width (five fingers)
above the top of head
When using these sutras,
we do not repeat the location description mentally, only the sutra itself.
So when picking up the word Feet,
we do not think "both feet." We just let our attention embrace both feet,
and then let go of both sutra and physical location of attention from there.
All of this very faint and fuzzy. Likewise, when we pick up the word
Knees, we do
not think "both knees." We pick up the sutra at the location of both knees
and let go. And so on...
No doubt it is noticed
that no location is given for the sutras from
So where is Earth?
Is it the Earth we are on, teeming with life, or is it the lovely blue ball
seen from a distance in vast empty space both outside and inside us. It is
all of these, so we don't specify a location. Earth is Earth, and we use the
sutra only. The word contains all that Earth is, including its location. The
same goes for Moon,
Where are all of these things? They are in us and around us in the vastness
of infinite inner and outer space. So we use them as sutra words only. Deep
in inner silence, we know them intimately.
And where is
Well, it is the same as Cosmos,
yes? Everywhere within us and around us. So we just pick up the outer
space/inner space sutras for what they are, using our normal samyama
technique, and we will have the result.
While it takes millions of years for light to
traverse the physical universe, we can instantly encompass and manifest
everything from within our pure bliss consciousness with the simple
technique of cosmic samyama. Our mind dissolved in stillness can travel
infinitely faster than the speed of light. In time, this will lead to a
redefinition of physical laws as we currently understand them. But that is
Recall that cosmic
samyama is for integrating our inner and outer physical dimensions in
consciousness. Inner and outer are the same. Even though we are infinite
both inside and outside, there is no distance or time. Our awareness
contains all of space and time. On the level of our samyama practice, the
pure bliss consciousness is everything, and everything pours out from
The expansion of awareness utilizing the cosmic
samyama sutras is by orders of magnitude to the infinite, both within us and
outside us. Our wondrous Earth is but a speck in our solar system. Our sun
is one of billions in our galaxy. And our galaxy is infinitesimally small in
the vast cosmos. Yet, it is all contained within us - within our unbounded
awareness. The cosmos is us, and we are the cosmos.
By engaging in cosmic
samyama, we are dissolving the yogic paradox, finding that the entire cosmos
and all of eternity are consciously contained within this tiny human form,
this human being. We come to know that this consciousness of ours is
synonymous with the cosmos. Cosmic samyama is for advancing our direct
experience of That.
A noticeable effect of this inner and outer cosmic
merging is the stabilization of unbounded awareness. So much so that we may
find ourselves becoming absorbed in it during practice, and more aware of it
as abiding with us outside practice in everyday living. This is normal. It
is the quality of yoga nidra. Once we complete our rest period and get up
from our cosmic samyama, the deep silence and sense of cosmic universality
we have gained will be carried out into our daily activity, and influence
our actions accordingly. It is important that we keep up normal activity to
stabilize the experience. Cosmic samyama and yoga nidra are not a departure
from this world. Rather, through cosmic samyama and the yoga nidra effect,
the infinite is brought into this world through us, and into all of our
actions. Our life becomes a constant outpouring of divine love, which we
also call "stillness in action."
If we find ourselves
wandering off during cosmic samyama practice, we just easily pick up where
we left off. If we do wander off, it can be into a state of unbounded
awareness. We might feel that we are asleep, but fully awake inside at the
same time. This is yoga nidra
- yogic sleep.
It is a common experience in cosmic samyama. We are, after all, the infinite
pure bliss consciousness behind it all. If we have wandered off and time has
run out by the time we realize we have not completed our sutras, it is okay
to discontinue our sutras, take some rest and get up. Or, if we have time,
we can continue to the end of our sutras, no matter how long it takes.
It is also common to
become absorbed in yoga nidra for some time during rest after our cosmic
samyama practice. If we drift off into yoga nidra after our morning or
afternoon practice, we will get up feeling extra refreshed. If we have
practiced at bedtime, it can be a good way to go to sleep. We may be
watching ourselves restfully sleeping all night. It's a good thing. However,
cosmic samyama is not recommended to be used in combination with so-called
practices. This can cause imbalances in the nervous system leading to sleep
deprivation, which is not beneficial for our health and wellbeing. If sleep
deprivation is occurring in relation to cosmic samyama, then self-pacing of
the practice should be applied, such as doing it only after sitting
practices and not before going to sleep at night until we can do so without
disrupting our sleep. We need our sleep!
Cosmic samyama gradually cultivates an enhanced
foundation of inner silence during our daily activities, and a much greater
sense of unity in all that we undertake. This is a big boost to all of our
other yoga practices as well, including our sitting core samyama practice.
If we experience excess energy flow occurring as a
result of our cosmic samyama, we self-pace accordingly, like we do with any
of our practices. Because we are using one repetition for each sutra and
location, self-pacing of cosmic samyama would mean reducing the number of
sessions in a day. So, if we are doing cosmic samyama after both of our
sitting practice routines, and again at bedtime, and are having too much
purification occurring during the day (usually in the form of irritability)
or at night (as sleeplessness), then we can reduce the number of sessions
for a while until there is stabilization.
We may find that cosmic samyama offers additional
balance, reducing energy imbalances within the body related to overdoing in
other yoga practices. Cosmic samyama expands and balances the flow of our
energies between inner and outer expression, reducing the congestion that
can occur within the nervous system. This balancing effect is delicate, and
depends largely on the degree of purification we have achieved previously at
the crown with our other practices. This is why it is preferable to have a
stable routine of sitting practices well established prior to undertaking
cosmic samyama. From there, we can proceed with our expanded opening,
reaching far within and beyond the physical body. Then we may find that
cosmic samyama serves as a stabilizing factor for everything else that is
going on inside us.
The sutras we are using
in cosmic samyama are universal points of awareness that unfold our infinite
dimensions, inside and outside our body. As we move ahead, we will find both
to be aspects of the same reality, all manifesting from the same infinite
sea of our unbounded silent awareness, like waves on the great ocean. We are
The guru is in you.