Advanced Yoga Practices
Lesson 198 - Targeted Bastrika - A Laser for Karmic Cleansing (Audio)
New Visitors: 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?"
Now we are going to consider additional applications of bastrika as a discretionary targeted tool. Why?
Sometimes we may run into a really stubborn obstruction somewhere in the body, and with focused bastrika we can put a lot of pressure in a localized area and literally burn the karma away. It is like using laser surgery in a small area of the body. This is in great contrast to the "global" methods of meditation and spinal breathing we use as our core practices.
It is important that we have met the yoga practice and health-related prerequisites for spinal bastrika before we add targeted bastrika. This cannot be over-emphasized. Targeted bastrika is not a shortcut to enlightenment. In fact, it could land us in substantial discomfort if applied prematurely. If we are new to yoga, and try targeted bastrika without the prerequisite global cleansing provided by meditation and spinal breathing, we could create an unpleasant energy imbalance in our nervous system.
So, keep in mind that targeted bastrika is for cleaning out stubborn residual karmas. It is not for going into an area for the first time, thinking it is all we need for a good cleaning out. It doesn't work like that.
Targeted bastrika is a close relative of spinal bastrika. We are still working in the spinal nerve with targeted bastrika. The difference is we are tightening the range of attention moving up and down in the spinal nerve with our rapid bastrika panting.
For example, let's say we have been doing meditation, spinal breathing, associated mudras and bandhas, and spinal bastrika for quite a few months. All is going fairly smoothly. We are experiencing some ecstatic conductivity, which is detected by a pleasurable reaction coming up from the root when we do sambhavi. Still, we still feel some resistance in the area of our third eye between the center of our head and the point between the eyebrows. This is possibly a good candidate for some targeted bastrika. I say "possibly" because we will only know when we try. If we do try, and find too much obstruction there to remove comfortably with targeted bastrika, we will have to back off and rely on the less intensely targeted means for some more time, i.e., meditation, spinal breathing, sambhavi, yoni mudra kumbhaka, etc.
When we use targeted bastrika we do it at the end of our sitting practices, after meditation, samyama and yoni mudra, but before rest. We set up just the same as for spinal bastrika (including associated mudras and bandhas), but we limit the cycling of attention during rapid breathing to the area we are targeting. So, if we are targeting the area between the center of the head and the point between the eyebrows, then we let our attention cycle quickly there during bastrika. Attention goes in the same direction as in spinal breathing and spinal bastrika - up with in-breath and down with out-breath.
When first learning targeted bastrika, we only go for two minutes, and then do our normal rest period at the end of our sitting practices routine - preferably lying down for at least 5-10 minutes. Then we monitor how we feel during our daily activities. If there is no undue roughness, then we know the targeted bastrika is probably okay. But we won't know for sure for a few more sessions, so be cautious about ramping up targeted bastrika to more time until you know you are stable with it. Once we know we are stable, and still wish to focus on a particular area, then we can creep the time up to three minutes, and then five minutes, monitoring for stability in daily activity each step along the way.
As with spinal bastrika, targeted bastrika can be very pleasurable, and we should be careful not to overdo if we get into a reverie with it. It can happen. When it does happen we may find ourselves in the position of having ecstatic sitting practice and crabby daily activity - that is not what we want happening over the long term, because it is not sustainable. Better we should have enjoyable sitting practice and enjoyable daily activity. That is the balance we are looking for. Our friends and loved ones will appreciate it too.
Targeted bastrika is the most discretionary of all the practices we have covered so far. It is for those who are well established in their daily practice routine, and who have a clear recognition of their inner silence and ecstatic conductivity in relation to localized obstructions in the nervous system. Some ability for "inner seeing" should be developed before using targeted bastrika. Without some inner sensory ability, using targeted bastrika is like using laser surgery without the magnifying glass that is necessary to see to aim it accurately. Then who knows what will be burned up with the laser beam? Inner seeing comes with ecstatic conductivity. Then we will know where the obstructions are and can target them accurately with attention in the spinal nerve oscillating in combination with the power of bastrika. Even then it could be too much upheaval, and often those with inner seeing have to back off too. It is not a perfect world inside, not until we have gotten all the obstructions loosened and out. That is what all of these advanced yoga practices are for, working on many levels in our nervous system.
What are some of the areas where targeted bastrika can be used?
We mentioned the third eye area (ajna). This is a very important one because the purification of the entire nervous system ultimately depends on the region of the third eye becoming fully functional as the "command and control center" of our rising enlightenment.
Other areas where targeted bastrika can be used, according to our inner seeing, include the throat, the heart, the abdomen and the pelvic region. In advanced yoga practices involving pranayama, we are always best off to be in the spinal nerve. So we will be working in the spinal nerve on whatever level in the body we may find the need for targeted purification. The spinal nerve is the foundation for all spiritual purification and opening of the nervous system. As long as we are working in the spinal nerve, we will be in cooperation with the natural process of evolution going on within us, and this is how we keep our journey of spiritual transformation both progressive and smooth.
Another area where targeted bastrika can be used in a discretionary manner is the crown - the sahasrar. This is a completely different situation from any other part of our spiritual neuro-anatomy, and will be covered in the next lesson. There are huge repercussions to doing any practice at the crown, so please don't start doing targeted bastrika at the crown until you review the next lesson and understand the delicate dynamics that are involved there.
Always err on the side of caution when considering the use of targeted bastrika anywhere in the body, and always use it in the spinal nerve. It is a powerful practice that will be effective only when the necessary prerequisites have been met. Once the right conditions are in place, targeted bastrika can be used with good effectiveness, and it will greatly enhance our steadily rising experience of ecstatic bliss.
The guru is in you.
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