Advanced Yoga Practices
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Lesson 84 -
The Art of Doing Nothing (Audio)
AYP Plus Additions:
84.1 - Do Enlightened People Remember Past Lives? (Audio)
The Cause and Effect of Causeless Liberation (Audio)
84.3 - Is
Awakening in Enlightenment Sudden or Gradual? (Audio)
Date: Tue Jan 13, 2004 0:29pm
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: Krishnamurti and other interesting people say that it is wrong to focus
on techniques because there is no technique for meditation. Meditation is
all the time, here and now. Doing a mantra and using pranayama is using a
technique. And I reason it is to raise my energy level and tune in so that I
can experience bliss and the world in its deepest levels. But why do some
teachers say that techniques are wrong and that they will mislead you - and
they give then no instruction but saying be aware, or maybe not even that.
Why, does that fit into the yogic understanding?
A: It is only a theory, but perhaps people like Krishnamurti are like
successful mountain climbers who have lost their memory. They stand on top
of the mountain and say to everyone down in the valley, "You don't have to
do anything. Just automatically wake up on the top of the mountain like I
did. You are here already." They were born at or close to enlightenment, and
apparently have no recollection of all the work they did in previous lives
to produce that situation. If we do nothing, we will eventually reach
enlightenment a kazillion years from now. If we do something, it will be
much sooner. There are certain methods that are known to advance the
enlightenment process. That is what yoga is.
Each chooses their own path, to do or not to do. Even a path of consciously
doing nothing (or "being aware") is a doing. In a real sense, the meditation
we do here is doing nothing. We just set a condition in the mind, and the
mind does the rest. It goes to stillness. We don't do anything. The nervous
system does it all once we set the initial condition. So, technically, I
agree that doing nothing is the way. But doing nothing effectively is an
art. It is the art of meditation. All of the other advanced yoga practices
are also arts of doing nothing. We set initial conditions, and the nervous
system takes over. We don't have to do anything once the natural abilities
of the nervous system take over. Yoga is the art of nudging the nervous
system in certain ways and then doing nothing.
Ramakrishna said yogis are like well diggers, and there are three kinds. The
first kind finds the tools, digs the well (to enlightenment) and then jumps
in, taking the tools with him. No one knows how he did it. The second kind
of yogi finds the tools, digs the well, and jumps in. But this guy leaves
the tools behind lying around on the ground where others can find them. The
third kind of yogi finds the tools, digs the well, and hangs around for a
while, showing everyone who comes around the tools and how to use them.
Maybe there is a fourth kind of yogi -- one who is born enlightened, has no
recollection about the tools he used in past lives, and tells everyone, "You
don't need tools. Just be enlightened. It is easy. See? Here is the well.
Just be aware and you will see you are in it already." Like that. Who knows?
One thing is for sure. While yogis like Krishnamurti are inspiring, they
can't offer much practical help to most people. Maybe a few high souls can
benefit from them. It is a pretty exclusive club. The rest of us need a more
comprehensive approach. Yoga! We need to do something in order to do
The guru is in you.
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For more on the role of yoga practices in relation to
"self-inquiry" (jnana-advaita) approaches to enlightenment, see the
AYP Self-Inquiry book and