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Advanced Yoga Practices
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Note: For the complete lessons, with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living Books.

Lesson 74 - Q&A – For this life, and the next one

From: Yogani
Date: Thu Jan 8, 2004 1:38pm

New Members: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"

Q: I am 73 years old and live alone, so I thought I would have plenty of time to learn to meditate, but I was told that it could take a lifetime to reach the state of bliss that meditators are reaching for, and I don't have much of a lifetime left. Do you have any suggestions?

A: It is very inspiring that you want to make the best, spiritually speaking, of the time you have left. The rest of us should all be in that mode too, no matter what our age.

Yes, the party line is that it takes a long time. But it is a relative thing you know. In the Bhagavad Gita, the great Indian scripture, it says that just one dip into the infinite erases lifetimes of mundane struggles in the future. So whether we are 23 or 73, if we can start dipping into pure bliss consciousness, there will be big progress. If you can entertain the possibility of reincarnation in that vein, it can be a great motivator. It is a form of bhakti, you know. We all have much to work for spiritually, no matter how young or old we are. No one should delay a minute.

One thing I can tell you for sure. Whatever you accomplish in spiritual practices now will not be lost. Later on, you will pick up where you left off and continue somewhere else, carrying on with your journey to enlightenment. Not only have I heard and read this from every sage I have encountered over many years, it is also my direct experience. I was born doing spiritual practices. Why? It had to come from somewhere. Maybe I was a 73 year-old man who kept up spiritual practices sometime in the past. Who knows? All I know is that I was born with this stuff singing inside. The fact that you are interested indicates you are not new to spiritual practices either. We have all been here before. What we do in practices now brings us closer to enlightenment. It will not be lost.

As you get further into the lessons, you will find things getting more aggressive in terms of practices. It is not recommended you try and tackle all that is in here, not at your age. Too much stress and strain. Aggressive yoga is for the younger folks. But there is still plenty you can do. Twice daily meditation is the best foundation. That alone accomplishes huge things. It is your daily dipping into the infinite, as mentioned above. Some light spinal breathing before meditation can help, and maybe some daily yoga postures if you are willing and able. There are yoga (postures) classes for seniors available almost everywhere. Those three things are more than enough. If there is any discomfort with pranayama (or anything), scale back or stop immediately. See if you can find a steady, comfortable routine. The most important thing is to have a comfortable daily routine with no strain in practices. Then, doing that each day, you will know you are making a big contribution to the future in both this life, and the next one.

I am honored by your presence here. I am honored by everyone's presence here. It is a sacred thing for me. Thank you so much.

I wish everyone on earth could be here. Not for my sake, but for the sake of all the sincere longing that is out there.

The guru is in you.

Note: For detailed discussion on spiritual desire, action on practices we take in this life, and karmic consequences, see the AYP Bhakti and Karma Yoga book.

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