Advanced Yoga Practices
Note: For the Original
Internet Lessons with additions,
For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books,
Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.
Darshan, Shaktipat and the Global
Web of Awakening (Audio)
AYP Plus Additions:
332.1 - What is Initiation? (Audio)
May 20, 2009
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
Q: I've been on this trail for a few years now and, besides meditating, have
attended events with Eckhart Tolle, Adyashanti, plus a few others, and am
working my way through Nisargadattas "I AM THAT" for the third time. My
co-workers see me reading it on lunch break and ask, "What is THAT?"
When I was with
Tolle, and then Adyashanti, I had peak experiences (huge inner expansions),
but with big letdowns after getting home (ugh). After each letdown, I found
myself more or less back where I started, stuck in ego, except all the more
determined to break through. Can you offer me any advice on where to go from
here? Should I keep going back for boosters from those who gave me the jolts
of insight before? Or should I go to an Indian guru for shaktipat?
A: It sounds like you've got the bug and are going for it. Keep
There is no doubt that sitting with those who are awakened, and masters of
the art, is a good thing. Even better is having a stable and effective
meditation practice to do at home every day. In the long run, what we are
doing at home in-between our retreats will exceed the effects of the
retreats. No doubt people like Eckhart Tolle and Adyashanti
can give some great boosts,
but I think even they will tell you that what you are doing about your
enlightenment will far exceed what they can do. They may point to the moon,
but they are not the moon. Likewise, reading Nisargadatta, or any realized
sage, will point the way and be inspiring and instructive. There is energy
in all of these, according to your
own dedication, and it helps to draw from the resources
that resonate with you.
But in the end, you will find it in yourself in your own way. No one else
can do that for you. For lasting progress to occur, it is essential to
Traditionally, receiving darshan (seeing) from someone who is awakened has
been the standard formula for those who wish to experience their own
awakening. This tradition continues in modern times. The few who have become
seriously enlightened continue to be magnets for the multitude who hunger
for salvation. How it happened for them may be a mystery, and often they can
offer little more than their presence and information about the
circumstances of their awakening. While there may be no question about the
"what" (the enlightenment and energy flow), there will often be questions
about the "how" (reliable methods that can work for everyone). So the
darshans go on, and the efforts to achieve enlightenment by osmosis continue
as they always have. It's not a bad thing, but not very effective when used
as a primary cause of our awakening.
Now we are in a new era when lots of people are awakening. See
Lesson 93 from
five years ago on "Changing Times." In the 20thcentury
there was a clear turning
point, and now we are seeing the fruit as many are finding their toes
dipping into the enlightenment experience everywhere. Rather than being the
product of darshans, the current global awakening is the product of millions
of practitioners around the world engaging in meditation on a daily basis.
This has not been limited to any particular tradition or method, but has
been represented by all traditions and methods, including in the mainstream
religions where the awakening is beginning to happen also. So the prodigies
of enlightenment are finding much more company these days. There are lots of
people to help get over the hump, needing support and advice about what this
awakening thing is all about.
The awakening itself comes from within you, and from your own efforts in
that direction. There are methods to it, known causes and effects, and the
application of these methods is what
difference in terms of the increasing numbers of people who are waking up to
the presence of the witness within, and the long term implications of this
in everyday living.
This is why the focus in the AYP lessons for all this time has been on
practices rather than where to go to get that next boost. It is not
primarily about who can do it for you. It is about how you can do it for
yourself. So, the advice is to do both as you see fit continue seeking
darshan and satsang (spiritual company) with those you resonate with, and
build a sound daily practice that fits into your lifestyle and can serve you
over the long term. In this way, those peak experiences will become more
steady and lasting, and the letdowns will become much less. In the end,
there will be little fluctuation
at all, and it will feel like home whether you are sitting in darshan on
a teacher, at home on your meditation seat, busy at
work, or shopping in the marketplace. It will all be the same Oneness,
your Self reflected
everywhere you go and
in everything you do.
Regarding seeking shaktipat, it is the same thing as darshan, only more
targeted and, depending on the source, there can be a more lasting effect.
Nevertheless, the greater impact will continue to come from your daily
practices, and from how you integrate the inner silence gained into your
daily activities. You may or may not find yourself drawn to this kind to
energetic support. It
is a tricky business. See Lesson
Shaktipat. There it is pointed out that with the changing times, and the
rise of spiritual energy from millions of practitioners around the world, we
are all receiving a constant infusion of evolutionary influence that is
quickening our purification and opening in every moment. As a result,
spiritual practices are becoming increasingly effective. What used to take
an hour in meditation can now be accomplished in a few minutes. This is why "self-pacing" has
become so important in the application of the AYP methods, and in all other
approaches to spiritual awakening, including darshan and shaktipat.
Increasing attention is being given to this by students and teachers
everywhere. It is no longer a matter of if the whole of humanity is
awakening spiritually. For anyone who has eyes to see, there can be no doubt
that something profound is happening. Now it is becoming
question of how it will be managed. So we have a lot to do on both sides of
those peak experiences you mentioned before and after.
"Breaking through" is not necessarily the best way to look at it, though
enthusiasm and dedicated effort are certainly assets on the journey. But no
one really "breaks through." It is more about "falling through" letting go,
particularly of our inner hanging on to our identified awareness.
In the AYP approach, it
is a two step process. First we cultivate
silence, the witness, in daily deep meditation. And then, through gentle
inquiry, we gradually release our identification with our thought processes
that bind us to the mindset of "me and mine." The whole thing gradually
unwinds, with a vast pillow-like foundation of inner silence underneath to
catch us hence, fewer letdowns. There are many additional methods and steps
we may bring into the process along the way, but that is the basic scenario.
It is getting easier to fall through all the time. At the same time, we have
new challenges in stabilizing the awakenings that are occurring everywhere.
A global web of awakening is emerging. Not primarily a
physical web, though is has its physical components which give rise to an
energetic web encompassing the entire planet. There are increasing numbers
of teachers everywhere, many who transcend traditional knowledge systems by
direct experience. There are the unlimited communication capabilities of the
internet, which make it possible for extensive sharing of knowledge and
experiences, and the creation of simultaneous group meditation practice
sessions spanning the globe. So, in addition to the individual daily
practice sessions of millions following the clock in
an energy wave traveling continuously around
the world, we also have periodic time-synchronized
sessions occurring when many are dipping deep into
silence at the same time. The power of global group practice is palpable,
be understated. If
you are interested in participating in global group meditations that are
occurring every weekend, visit this AYP
Support Forum topic.
The global web of awakening is getting stronger each year.
Every practitioner and every teacher is a node in this vast energetic
network. No one is alone. Everyone contributes in each daily meditation and
in every spiritual gathering, and everyone benefits from the continuously rising
energy field. So carry on as you see fit, and all the best on your path!
The guru is in you.
Related Lessons Topic Path
Discuss this Lesson in the AYP Plus Support Forum
For detailed instructions on building a
daily practice routine, and the profound implications of large numbers of
practitioners around the world, see the
Eight Limbs of Yoga book
and the Retreats book,
and AYP Plus.