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Herb

Canada
71 Posts

Posted - Jan 01 2017 :  5:38:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Hi I began studing Jhana and Raja Yoga from a book called Yoga for the Mind written by an American Yogi in the late 70's, then took a TM course in the early 80's and practiced Meditation for many years purly for health reasons. Eventually I developed problems with it and stopped Meditating by the mid 90's.

In the early 90's I became a practicing Christian and eventually attained the full realization of God on April 3rd, 2012 which started a profoundly rich spiritual life, quickly going from sabikalpa samadhi, into higher and higher levels of nirbikalpa samadhi, where I experienced God even during many and varied worldly activities. However, my spiritual life hit a wall in 2014 and I entered into a dry period that I am still trying to break out of.

My daughter and I have decided to take up Yoga Meditation together and are in the process of finding a teacher. I know I want to learn Raja Yoga, but do not know much about Kriya, or Kundalini vibration awakening. I struggle with sleeplessness so do not wish to practice anything that will disrupt my sleep.

My daughter and I both wish to develop more calmness and inner peace. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Herb

Edited by - Herb on Jan 01 2017 7:13:49 PM

rkishan

USA
102 Posts

Posted - Jan 01 2017 :  6:53:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit rkishan's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Herb,

Welcome to AYP! If you are looking for inner peace and calmness, you have come to the right place.

You can start with the main lessons link at the top. You mentioned doing TM for several years. I haven't done TM. But, from reading the forum here, I know there are a lot of people here in AYP who have done TM for years. I was initiated info kriya yoga and some other pranayama, meditation techniques, etc, before I got here like many. I found more balance, understanding, wealth of information and kind support right here in AYP. People who did TM before have pointed out similarities with AYP's Deep Meditation. But AYP is not just meditation, it is an integrated and balanced approach that touches all limbs of the yoga including meditation. I am talking from my limited knowledge and limited experience. There are a lot here, who can provide deep insight.

I am curious though, about the full realization of God that you have mentioned. I understand that realization can be interpreted in many ways just like any other word. It's just that, I was taught that the realization of the God/Truth is the goal, the liberation.... where the sorrows of the mind end. I understand that a fully realized (liberated) person may live the world, function just like any other person, he/she may have physical ailments just like others, since they are still bound by the human body.
But, I thought mentally and spiritually the journey was over when we have full realization or liberation. You have mentioned that your spiritual life hit a wall 2 years after your full realization of God. If you can elaborate or describe the experience which you stated as the full realization of God, I am just curious to know about it. That is, if you don't mind sharing.


Edited by - rkishan on Jan 01 2017 8:30:23 PM
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Herb

Canada
71 Posts

Posted - Jan 01 2017 :  11:55:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you for the warm welcome Rkishan. The thing I forgot to do on my first post above, but I want to do now is to wish everyone here great love and good will.

My many experiences of the realization of God that began on April 3rd 2012 are deeply personal and based on a Christian point of view or faith. I'm not sure that this is the right place to talk about Christian experiences of God realization. When I recieved the first one it was so overwhelming that I couldn't eat for a whole week. Mind you I had a few extra pounds so the fast did me nothing but good.

The first experience came after a very long search for God that culminated in a great inner struggle. At the time I had been studying M. Gandhi's book, The Way to God, and had been practicing his suggestions on lifestyle and prayer.

At first the God realization experiences happened in deep prayer while my heart was wide open to God and my emotions fully engaged, but the exeriences quickly evolved into fantastic experiences of God realization that I was allowed to experience while engaged in worldly affairs like doing selfless service for the poor and, one time, even while driving my car. God was in total control that time and I was in no danger of getting into an accident at all. He was just confirming that a previous message that was delivered via a homeless lady was, as I had thought, from God and that God had just used her as a vehicle to deliver the message.

Although my experiences of God realization were, at first, non specific as far as Christian/Hindu/Muslim exc belief or doctrine is concerned, I began reading the Bible(for several hours a day) right after the first experience. And I went to Catholic and Protestant priests and pastors for guidance. If I had started reading the Gita instead and went to Swami's and Yogi's for guidance my understanding of what was happening would have been different at first. But since Hindu's and Christian's as well as Muslim's all seek communion with the One God, and my faith has now evolved, I believe that it has made no difference as far as my understanding of what I went through is concerned.

My experience of hitting the wall spiritually is very common in the Catholic faith. I think it is called the dark night of the soul. It is an unexpected dry period in ones experiential spiritual life. Mother Theresa experienced it for most of her relgious life. However I doubt if Mother Theresa studied other religions looking for ways to enrich her spiritual life, and I'm quite certain the great Saint never practiced Raja Yoga.

Once I discover that it is OK to discuss Christian spiritual experiences on this board without offending I will be happy to answer the question more directly. But for now I think it best to focus here on Self-Realization as it is experienced and understood in Yoga. It is the regular experience of Self-Realization that I hope to achieve by learning Raja Yoga.

With love and respect, Herb

Edited by - Herb on Jan 02 2017 03:46:48 AM
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Ecdyonurus

Switzerland
479 Posts

Posted - Jan 02 2017 :  01:59:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Herb, sorry to hear that you are experiencing pain. But I think that your idea to start meditating again is a good idea.

However, I wonder what made you stop meditating in the 90', and why you don't just resume your former TM practice. Also, why are interrsted in yoga meditation and specifically raja yoga? You also have meditation practices in the framework of your christian religion too (I was raised in a catholic family), and since you seem to be a very religious person maybe you can find a meditative approach in line with it.

Of course, this is not to say you cannot engage in yoga (which I do myself), but giving a try to a christian meditation approach could be a good idea before you engage (again) in yoga.

Just my opinion, of course.

Wish you all the best.
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Herb

Canada
71 Posts

Posted - Jan 02 2017 :  04:35:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Ecdyonurus the reason I quit doing TM was that, after a fairly long time of success, I was recieving little or no benifit even though I was practicing regularly. And when I went back to where I took the lessons the two awesome teachers I had before were gone and the person who tried to help me just didn't seem competent. Also my family and worldly things took over my time and I just left TM behind.

While studying Jhana and Raja Yoga from that little paper back I got deeply interested in several things that TM didn't touch on. So now, starting over again, and having all the spiritual experiences, I am looking for something more substantial than TM that includes all things that may help me physically, mentally and spiritually. And from what I can tell so far, Raja Yoga seems to be what I'm looking for. My child has grown up and moved out on her own and I have finally broken free of the worldly things that were enslaving me.

As far as my Christian faith and practice is concerned I am an active Catholic and Prodestant and do all I can through my faith and two churches to progress spiritually. I just feel that my spiritual life will benifit from learning all I can from other spiritual practices and incorporating what is compatable and what works into my spiritual life. This phylosophy worked for M. Gandhi and he felt that it made him a better Hindu and gave him more respect and tollerance of believers from other faiths. Because of the exclusiveness of the Christian faith, the system I am now following I know is not for all Christians, but I have found a way to make it my own path. And along the way I am finding Muslim's, Hindu's, Sikhs, and some Christians who see the wisdom in it.

Herb

Edited by - Herb on Jan 02 2017 06:52:15 AM
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Bodhi Tree

USA
2721 Posts

Posted - Jan 02 2017 :  07:52:24 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bodhi Tree's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Enlightenment is about continuing to be an outpouring of divine love through stillness in action. Benchmarks of samadhi are mainly arbitrary and of less significance.

I've had about 200 dark nights of the soul, and plenty of samadhis (all the variations you listed), and those peaks and valleys fall under the umbrella of what we call "scenery" in AYP.

The emphasis here is placed on forward, cyclical movement towards a chosen ideal (ishta), which can include Christ. AYP is compatible with the essence of Jesus. At the same time, AYP is open to all faiths, including non-theological approaches that are more Eastern, for lack of a better word. Here's a great lesson on the matter: Enlightenment without God?.

There's a scene in Forrest Gump, where he is playing college football, and even after he scores a touchdown, he keeps running. The crowd in the bleachers have to hold up signs to tell him to stop. He just wants to run endlessly. That's kind of the AYP style--to keep running, with self-pacing applied. We're not advocating stress or burnout, of course, but we are advocating persistence and consistency in engaging in a daily practice routine (which includes service, bhakti, and karma yoga).

Best wishes on your journey!
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Charliedog

1074 Posts

Posted - Jan 02 2017 :  07:54:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Herb,

Welcome! Thank you for sharing your experiences so far.

Raised Catholic, but left that behind in my teens, like many, I didn't understand and found nothing in church.

Later in life I became interested in yoga and eastern philosophy after a sudden awakening. I could describe this sudden awakening as God-Realization. Now, many years later I know it was the awakening and the start of the journey inside. Beautiful part of this journey is, the wisdom in all traditions is recognized

quote:
My experience of hitting the wall spiritually is very common in the Catholic faith. I think it is called the dark night of the soul. It is an unexpected dry period in ones experiential spiritual life. Mother Theresa experienced it for most of her relgious life. However I doubt if Mother Theresa studied other religions looking for ways to enrich her spiritual life, and I'm quite certain the great Saint never practiced Raja Yoga.


http:www.aypsite.org/392.html amongst others will give you insights in the dark night of the soul (aloneness of enlightenment) AYP plus provides some interesting discussions in the forums.

Wishing you the best
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rkishan

USA
102 Posts

Posted - Jan 02 2017 :  09:16:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit rkishan's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Herb

Thank you for the warm welcome Rkishan. The thing I forgot to do on my first post above, but I want to do now is to wish everyone here great love and good will.

My many experiences of the realization of God that began on April 3rd 2012 are deeply personal and based on a Christian point of view or faith. I'm not sure that this is the right place to talk about Christian experiences of God realization. When I recieved the first one it was so overwhelming that I couldn't eat for a whole week. Mind you I had a few extra pounds so the fast did me nothing but good.

The first experience came after a very long search for God that culminated in a great inner struggle. At the time I had been studying M. Gandhi's book, The Way to God, and had been practicing his suggestions on lifestyle and prayer.

At first the God realization experiences happened in deep prayer while my heart was wide open to God and my emotions fully engaged, but the exeriences quickly evolved into fantastic experiences of God realization that I was allowed to experience while engaged in worldly affairs like doing selfless service for the poor and, one time, even while driving my car. God was in total control that time and I was in no danger of getting into an accident at all. He was just confirming that a previous message that was delivered via a homeless lady was, as I had thought, from God and that God had just used her as a vehicle to deliver the message.

Although my experiences of God realization were, at first, non specific as far as Christian/Hindu/Muslim exc belief or doctrine is concerned, I began reading the Bible(for several hours a day) right after the first experience. And I went to Catholic and Protestant priests and pastors for guidance. If I had started reading the Gita instead and went to Swami's and Yogi's for guidance my understanding of what was happening would have been different at first. But since Hindu's and Christian's as well as Muslim's all seek communion with the One God, and my faith has now evolved, I believe that it has made no difference as far as my understanding of what I went through is concerned.

My experience of hitting the wall spiritually is very common in the Catholic faith. I think it is called the dark night of the soul. It is an unexpected dry period in ones experiential spiritual life. Mother Theresa experienced it for most of her relgious life. However I doubt if Mother Theresa studied other religions looking for ways to enrich her spiritual life, and I'm quite certain the great Saint never practiced Raja Yoga.

Once I discover that it is OK to discuss Christian spiritual experiences on this board without offending I will be happy to answer the question more directly. But for now I think it best to focus here on Self-Realization as it is experienced and understood in Yoga. It is the regular experience of Self-Realization that I hope to achieve by learning Raja Yoga.

With love and respect, Herb




Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question in the first place. In my experience, I found that it is perfectly alright to discuss any faith here in AYP. But posts that mainly talk about systems and practices that are entirely out of context of the AYP's path some times get moved under the sub forum, 'other systems and practices' by moderators. This is my experience and I understood why the moderators were doing it. For that matter, discussions mainly about Deep Meditation, gets moved under the Meditation topic. This is just for better placement of the topic and to maintain the structure of the forums, so that we all know where to look for what easily.

Other than this I have seen people discuss all kinds of faiths, practices, here freely as long as they are in context.
You don't even have to even talk about it if you don't want to. It was not my intention to poke. I was just curios, based on my limited understanding.

Welcome, once again! There are some great people here as I said, that share their experience, provide guidance and support in these discussions. Yogani also chimes in and helps, when people reach out to him for help. But, he always points out, the guru is in us all.

Edited by - rkishan on Jan 02 2017 10:10:37 AM
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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1003 Posts

Posted - Jan 02 2017 :  09:47:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Herb, welcome to the AYP forum
quote:
Originally posted by Herb
attained the full realization of God on April 3rd, 2012 which started a profoundly rich spiritual life, quickly going from sabikalpa samadhi, into higher and higher levels of nirbikalpa samadhi, where I experienced God even during many and varied worldly activities.
Since you are a Christian, I am going to quote this line from the Gospel of Thomas:
quote:
Jesus said "This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away"

There is always more to do,the journey never comes to an end. You are wise to look around for a system of practices. Experiences are nice and they are indications of progress, but it is practice that produces results. I recommend finding one system of practice that resonates with you and sticking to it. Mixing and matching is not such a great idea unless you are really advanced and you know what and how to combine.

Best to have a read though the lessons on this website, then you will be able to tell if the AYP system is for you. It sounds like your sensitivity level is quite high, so you will probably need to adopt the AYP techniques for over-sensitive meditators. Have a look at lesson 367 when ready http://www.aypsite.org/367.html

It is good to read through the lessons from the beginning. There is a lot of advice about self-pacing and managing energy overload symptoms. Whether you adopt AYP as your practice or not, reading the lessons will help you understand what is happening to you along your spiritual path.

All the best
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sunyata

USA
1135 Posts

Posted - Jan 02 2017 :  09:51:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Herb,

Welcome to the forum! You have already received good advice. Thank you for sharing your beautiful experiences.

I was born in a Hindu-Buddhist family and went to a Catholic school for ten years. Along with chanting mantras, I often find myself saying Hail Mary, Our Father and other prayers and hymns I learned. I would go into all sorts of states and the energy would flow through the body during daily prayers and mass even back then. I just didnít have the vocabulary for them.

You have landed in the right place. There is a buffet of practices here which you can pick from. Iím a working mom of a five year old and almost three year old. AYP has changed my life forever. There is so much energy not only to take care of my young family but to also give back to the community and the people around me.

The experiences are great but when ordinary life starts becomes extraordinary thatís when Life becomes magical.

The lesson starts here http://www.aypsite.org/10.html

Wishing you the best and enjoy your journey.
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Herb

Canada
71 Posts

Posted - Jan 02 2017 :  10:16:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you for all your posts on this thread. I'm feeling your love and encouragement.

Herb
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Herb

Canada
71 Posts

Posted - Jan 03 2017 :  10:55:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Last night I clicked on the link Sunyata posted and read along to the first meditation exersize in lesson 13. I was amazed to see how familiar the procedure was to what I was used to in my practice years ago. This morning I got up early and, after my brief back exercizes, I went into my prayer room, sat down, and without even needing to review the lesson, did the exersize. The lesson was easy to follow and I had e real nice initial meditation session.

In hind sight I wish I would have found this site and signed up for the plus level instead of ordering the $150 worth of books from all over the place lol. My wife is upset at me so, to keep the peace, I think I should wait a few months before I sign up for the plus level here. For less than I payed for all those books I could have got two years of help here and all the e books I needed. Oh well, hind sight is always 20 20 haha

Herb
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sunyata

USA
1135 Posts

Posted - Jan 03 2017 :  2:12:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Herb


In hind sight I wish I would have found this site and signed up for the plus level instead of ordering the $150 worth of books from all over the place lol. My wife is upset at me so, to keep the peace, I think I should wait a few months before I sign up for the plus level here. For less than I payed for all those books I could have got two years of help here and all the e books I needed. Oh well, hind sight is always 20 20 haha

Herb



Yes, AYP plus is very affordable compared to what other teachers charge.

My hubby says I have an expensive hobby (Yoga). I turned in my application for Yoga Teacher Training at the studio I practice in. The fee is expensive but I know it's going to be worth it.

So, I understand keeping the peace part and trying to explain the yogic path.

Edited by - sunyata on Jan 03 2017 2:17:32 PM
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Herb

Canada
71 Posts

Posted - Jan 03 2017 :  2:41:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I have noticed results from my very first Meditation session under Yogani's wise written lesson! Both good and bad: the good news is that my mind is more clear and calm than usual, even after my morning coffee which usually hypes me up a bit. The bad news is that my upper back, just below the base of my neck, is stiff and sore. I was slouching as I meditated and that is the only thing I can think of as to why. It's wierd cuz I often read or watch TV in that possition without feeling this afterwards. I must have become much more relaxed during Meditation than when I watch TV or read. The only time I get this type of problem is when I fall asleep on the couch with insufficient neck support.

I can see now why the expert Yogi's recommend a strait posture. That will be an easy fix.

Herb
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sunyata

USA
1135 Posts

Posted - Jan 03 2017 :  3:39:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
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Charliedog

1074 Posts

Posted - Jan 04 2017 :  04:16:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
@ Sunyata

quote:
I turned in my application for Yoga Teacher Training at the studio I practice in. The fee is expensive but I know it's going to be worth it.


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sunyata

USA
1135 Posts

Posted - Jan 04 2017 :  08:52:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
CharlieD-
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Blanche

USA
313 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2017 :  07:06:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by sunyata

I turned in my application for Yoga Teacher Training at the studio I practice in.


Great, Sunyata!
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Blanche

USA
313 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2017 :  07:15:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi, Herb!
Moving to a dry phase after a rich period that you call "God realization" is a good sign. You are making progress. God realization is not the end of the process of spiritual transformation. If you reflect on this, you find out that this stage implies a clear duality: God and you. The attachment and the sweet intimacy with the Divine are lost to make space for something else. Just practice regular meditation, and things will evolve as they usually do.
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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1003 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2017 :  07:48:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Blanche
The attachment and the sweet intimacy with the Divine are lost to make space for something else.
That is a great insight Blanche. We talk about ups and downs along our journey, but the ups are ups and downs are down depending on the perspective you see them from... Brilliant!

Edited by - BlueRaincoat on Jan 05 2017 08:01:08 AM
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sunyata

USA
1135 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2017 :  10:11:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Blanche

quote:
Originally posted by sunyata

I turned in my application for Yoga Teacher Training at the studio I practice in.


Great, Sunyata!



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sunyata

USA
1135 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2017 :  10:21:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Blanche

Hi, Herb!
Moving to a dry phase after a rich period that you call "God realization" is a good sign. You are making progress. God realization is not the end of the process of spiritual transformation. If you reflect on this, you find out that this stage implies a clear duality: God and you. The attachment and the sweet intimacy with the Divine are lost to make space for something else. Just practice regular meditation, and things will evolve as they usually do.



Hi Blanche,

Love this.

Even with the realization that there is nothing but the Self. This body mind loves to adore God. Perhaps "That" created this world to adore itself. There is something about Bhakti-being in Love with God. Perhaps we experience this existence in our own/different flavors even though the underlying reality is the same.

Your wisdom is always appreciated.


Edited by - sunyata on Jan 05 2017 10:24:14 AM
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Herb

Canada
71 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2017 :  6:07:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you Blanche! That insight was priceless. Even though I can intellectualize non duality, I think I have only completely lost myself in God during the God Realization experiences I had. I have also called them massive blessings and Devine revelation.

I absolutely loved your advice and will take it deeply to heart

Herb
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Blanche

USA
313 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2017 :  6:23:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
BlueRaincoat

Sunyata
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Blanche

USA
313 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2017 :  6:40:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Herb,

Your desire (bhakti) will lead you home. Letting go of our experiences, our beliefs, and expectations is easier said than done. But it is an essential part of the spiritual path. Patanjali identifies two factors involved in the spiritual transformation: abhyasa (practices) and vairagya (non-attachment). It is useful to let go of our attachments, including our attachments to spiritual experiences, expectations, ideas, relationships, etc. Inquire: "What else is there that I can let go?" Eventually we have to surrender everything to gain everything.
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