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Advanced Yoga Practices
Note: For the Original Internet Lessons with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons Books. For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books, Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.
Lesson 415 - Samyama and Prayer for Dissolving Global Problems (Audio)
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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?"
And many are offering their prayers. When it comes to prayer, there is a way to greatly strengthen our influence over the problems of the world. Or, to be more specific, greatly increase the divine influence that comes from within all of us. We have the ability to dissolve the worlds problems simply by giving our attention to them in an effective way, using the principles of samyama. From there, we may also be inspired to engage in further positive action in the world. Whether we are spurred to action or not, our influence will be felt simply by the fact that we have been praying in a way that is extremely powerful. Anyone can make a huge contribution to dissolving the worlds problems in this way.
We have discussed in a previous lesson how prayers can be greatly strengthened by condensing the content into sutras, which are code words that can be used in the systematic way described (see Lesson 301) . This is how we release the full content of our prayer easily into our inner silence, where the infinite power of all goodness will manifest them back out in a positive way. This goes for any sutra we wish to devise. Whatever we surrender to our inner silence will come out with radiant power and purpose. In time, we come to know that we can count on this principle. As our experience and belief grow, so does the purifying power flowing from within us.
In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the principle of surrendering obstructions to inner silence is presented, where we can do samyama directly on an obstruction (a negative influence) in order to remove it. This supports the assertion that all sutras, regardless of content, will bring a positive effect when utilized within samyama.
In using a sutra that represents an obstruction (or group of obstructions) we do not have to specify what we want done with the obstruction. Inner silence knows what to do with the obstruction -- dissolve it!
We can divide sutras into two categories:
Qualities - Sutras that manifest the enhancement of a designated quality, such as Love (from our core sutras see Lesson 150).
Obstructions - Sutras that, when released in inner silence, will dissolve the implicit obstruction, such as the sutra, Unseen Obstructions (from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali).
We can make each of these painfully more specific with a word or two added. Most will not need help with this. Just check the daily headlines. The bad news on obstructions can be good for something useful - samyama! We may feel the pain in just reading these words, which encapsulate so much suffering in the world. In samyama we will be more deeply moved as global impurities in the family of humanity are dissolving in pure bliss consciousness. Tears may come to our eyes. It is our compassion coming up from deep inside. But we are not here to wallow in sentimentality, no matter how divinely inspired and well-intentioned. We want to go much further. We want to dissolve these obstacles to global human enlightenment. And we can.
We can pray utilizing samyama on any or all obstructions to human happiness and global enlightenment, using the same method we use with sitting samyama practice. This would be done outside our regular sitting practices. Meditate for 5-10 minutes, and then faintly touch the sutra and let it go into inner silence for about 15 seconds. And again, and again, continuing for 5-10 minutes. If we decide to use a series of sutras of our own choosing in this way, then we can repeat each sutra two, three or four times, depending on how many we are using and how long we want our session to last.
The effectiveness of our prayer will depend on following the procedure of samyama and on the consistency of our practice over days, weeks, months and years. The more consistent our practice, the more results we will produce.
As with prayers offered for individuals, the strength of prayers using samyama for dissolving global problems can be amplified by engaging in them at the same time in groups. This can be done with groups physically located in the same place or with groups widely dispersed geographically, using communications and coordination via the Internet.
However, do not feel that a group is mandatory to make a difference in dissolving the problems of the world. Groups help, but we can pray alone too. One persistent individual engaged in systematic samyama practice on a daily basis for weeks, months and years can move mountains, and transform world consciousness. So, if there is a desire to illuminate the world from within, there is no need to wait for a group to form. We can each start where we are right here, right now. Indeed, thousands of people engaged in individual daily samyama practice constitute an ongoing group, whether everyone is practicing at the same time, or not. So, in truth, we will never be alone in our endeavors.
Just a reminder that it will be best to be well established in our sitting samyama routine before we engage in the application of samyama with prayers. It is very important to have a stable daily practice forming a good foundation, and to be methodical in implementing any samyama-related additions or modifications to any practice, including our daily prayers. Spiritual practices work best when they are scheduled (repeated daily) and systematic. Then we will have a good handle on what is happening in any given session, and can self-pace our practice accordingly.
Prayer is spiritual practice. With the principles of samyama added, the power of our prayers will be greatly intensified, producing purification and opening within us as energy moves in relation to that which we are praying for. We will know if we are overdoing by how we feel during and after practice. If there is irritability, we may need to add a rest period at the end of our prayer session, or self-pace (temporarily scale back) the practice as we would for any other spiritual practice we are doing that may be causing excess energy flow. While energy symptoms are a confirmation that we are making strides, we'd like to pace our progress to be comfortable and safe, to avoid having to back off practices completely for an extended period during a major overload. In this way, we can continue on an ongoing basis, dissolving obstructions to enlightenment within ourselves and within everyone around the world.
It is not necessary for anyone to alter their religious beliefs or customs to make good use of the natural principles of samyama that exist in all of us. Whatever our religion may be, our practice of prayer can be greatly enriched. By applying the simple and universal principles of samyama, our prayers can be empowered in ways that fulfill their purpose maximizing the divine presence and influence in our life, and in the lives of people everywhere.
What we will find over time is that the way we think about "bad news" will change. As inner silence and our cultivation of the habit of samyama advance in daily living, we will be able to let go of any sort of negative concept in stillness at any time, and this will send powerful healing energy out from stillness associated with the initial thought vibration.
This does not guarantee that any personal desire or expectation we may have about solving world problems will be fulfilled. Indeed, as our spiritual condition advances in daily living, personal desires and expectations will also be released and be moving in universal stillness. We will continue to act, with more energy and purpose than before, but without the personal attachment. Samyama and spiritual living are not personal at all, so in addition to becoming channels of great spiritual power, we also are freed from the personal suffering that comes from identification with the many pains of this world. Neither our bodies nor the world will be freed from pain, but the principles and methods of yoga do offer the possibility for freeing the world from suffering, beginning with ourselves right here.
The guru is in you.
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Note: For detailed instructions on samyama practice, including additional applications of the Samyama Sutras of Patanjali, see the Samyama book, and AYP Plus.
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