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Note: For the complete lessons,
with additions, see the AYP
Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living Books.
Lesson 138 - Q&A Would you like to get
Date: Thu Mar 11, 2004 0:18pm
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: (On lesson #35 Enlightenment Milestones) Re your triad of
Silence, Bliss and Harmony, in your discussion of milestones are they close or similar to
the description of Brahman as Existence-Consciousness-Bliss (Sat-Chit-Anand)? Is the
body-mind purification process another name for reconditioning or unconditioning?
A: Satchitananda (existence-consciousness-bliss) is what we contact in deep meditation and
it is what rises in us as silence, also called the "witness state," and
stabilization of this transcendent reality as our sense of self 24/7 is the first stage of
enlightenment. The phrase "pure bliss consciousness," used often in the lessons,
is synonymous with satchitananda, inner silence, and witness. Bliss is a key word in this.
The immutable inner witness is a blissful one, and so are we when we become it, and there
is much more to come after that.
Ecstasy is the key word in the second stage of enlightenment, caused by the movement of
prana (kundalini) in the nervous system. With refinement of inner sensory experiences,
devotion (bhakti) rises, and we accelerate in our neuro-biological transformation toward
permanent divine experience. Technically, the movement of prana/kundalini is movement of
satchitananda, because all is that, but we make a distinction between the bliss (of pure
consciousness) and the ecstasy (of the body) for the sake of the coming union of these two
aspects of our nature in the third state, unity, which is where the word
"harmony" comes in, and the rise of outflowing unconditional divine love. Then
we are a channel of the divine on earth, and loving every minute of it.
Lessons #85 & #113 revisit the stages of
enlightenment from different perspectives, and it is looked at from different levels of
experience in many other lessons as well.
None of this would even be mentioned, except for the experiences that come up with
practices. There is a need then for a framework of understanding (and milestones), so it
is discussed for that reason. Otherwise, who needs all this mumbo jumbo? With the
experiences, the mental framework and metaphors (shiva, shakti, etc.) describing what is
happening inside are helpful to inspire continuation of practices.
"Reconditioning" or "unconditioning" are a bit vague for me on what is
happening. I like purification and cleansing better. Once cleansed, the nervous system
becomes a clear two-way gateway to the infinite within us. It is semantics really.
Whatever words work for you are okay, as long as you understand your experiences clearly
on your own terms and don't misinterpret what is happening. Misinterpretation (and fear,
when experiences get way out there) can lead to a loss of motivation to practice, so
having an understanding of what is happening is important. Always, the main thing is that
we are motivated to be doing our practices and getting reconditioned! :-)
The guru is in you.
Note: For detailed discussion on
the stages of enlightenment and on building a balanced practice routine with self-pacing, see the
AYP Eight Limbs of Yoga book.
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