Advanced Yoga Practices
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Lesson 93 -
Changing Times (Audio)
Date: Fri Jan 23, 2004 1:23pm
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 feel like meditation is going good, and I just took up spinal pranayama
which is proving to be challenging to get through the clunky startup as you
call it. With all the other things you introduced, I feel like I am going
underwater. So many wonderful practices, and me so inadequate to do them. I
doubt my worthiness for all this, yet I have so much desire to pursue the
path to the end. I wish I had started this twenty years ago. I am going
crazy with impatience, yet I know if I push too hard it could make problems.
What should I do?
A: You are doing just right taking it one step at a time. While your
emotions may be raging for the divine, you are clear on what must be done in
what order, and what you can undertake now and what you can undertake later.
And you will. It is coming together just right. Just take it one day at a
time. You will know what to do next.
You suffer from a most blessed disease -- intense bhakti. We should all have
this disease. If we all did, the world would be transformed in one
generation. I know it may not stem your impatience to hear that, but that is
how it is with bhakti, you know. When we become acutely aware of our
separation from the divine, we crave yoga like mad. We become mad for God.
It is a blessed condition to be in. It will get much better as your
experiences of union advance, and they will as you continue with daily
Bhakti will continue to increase in all of us as time rolls on. There are
powerful forces at work that are putting the spiritual winds at our back.
All we have to do is put out the sails in the form of practices, and the
spiritual winds constantly fanning our nervous system will do the rest.
Let's step back for a minute and take a look at the big picture that we are
all part of. We are living in very interesting times. Back in the 1960s, Bob
Dylan sang, "The times, they are a-changing." It was certainly true then,
and it is even more true now.
Depending on which astrological approach you consider, the earth has been,
or will soon be, entering a "new age" of enlightenment. In Sanskrit, these
ages are called "yugas." The new one may have started over a hundred years
ago. Or it may be starting now. It has been a popular topic since those
early Dylan days. But an emergence was occurring in the world of yoga long
before then. The start of a new age is not an instantaneous event. It starts
with a long gradual build-up, and it keeps accelerating as momentum grows.
Quite a lot has happened already, and we are whisking along at an
Around the turn of the last century, Vivekananda, a leading disciple of
Ramakrishna, came to the West and planted the first seeds of yoga that found
some fertile soil and sprouted. Twenty years later, Paramahansa Yogananda
came and found even more receptivity than Vivekananda did. By the time
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi came along in the 1960s, a whole generation of
disaffected baby boomers was ready to jump into yoga in a big way, with a
little help from the Beatles, of course. Since those days, hundreds of yogis
have come to the west from India, and thousands of "next generation" western
yogis and yoginis have stepped up to the teaching podium. Actually, in the
past couple of decades, things have gotten a bit muddled, a bit confused. So
many different approaches to yoga have come up that it is hard to know which
brand of yoga is the real one, if there is even such a thing as "the real
yoga." Will the real yoga please stand up? There are many volunteers for
this exalted position, of course. Some have even gone to court to stake
their claim on your nervous system. There have always been those who would
like to be in charge of your gateway to heaven. Well, never mind that.
So, in a century we have gone from having no yoga to having so many
different kinds that we are looking at a proverbial yoga "Tower of Babel."
That's okay. It is a good thing. Obviously, it can't stay splintered in a
thousand pieces like that forever. Sooner or later it will be distilled down
to something (or several somethings) that the average
ready-to-become-enlightened person can grab hold of. In the next few decades
the name of the game is going to be, "consolidation," "integration,"
Pick any of those, and you will have the idea. It will be the scientific
method that will produce this distillation of the knowledge of yoga, so the
widespread application of it will become practical.
When personal computers first came out, you needed to know an archaic
language like, "BASIC" or "DOS" to get anything done. Computing was an
esoteric world for geeks. Then the mouse and graphical user interface came
along, and suddenly the doors to easy computing were flung open for
everyone. It was a revolution.
This has been the story with many applications of knowledge over the
centuries. It starts out with a few "geeks" who
establish a beach head in applying a type of knowledge. Then, later on, some
researchers figure out how to make it easy for everyone to apply the
knowledge. It nearly always boils down to simplifying the user interface,
the main controls, so anyone can apply the knowledge with good results.
Useful technology is "user friendly." Remember the Wright Brothers? Remember
Henry Ford? Remember Thomas Edison? They all simplified the interface
between users and the application of powerful knowledge.
This is what is going to happen with yoga. It must happen. Millions of
people are feeling the spiritual winds rising inside them in this new age,
and the sails of practice must be pulled up. It is time for the full range
of yoga knowledge to be made user friendly.
Nothing is new in yoga. All of the components of practice have been around
for thousands of years. Natural principles don't change. The human nervous
system has always had the same natural abilities. There have been
enlightened times in the past when yoga has flourished. In darker times, the
vision was less clear about the possibilities in us. There was heavy doubt,
superstition, and fear. But a few have always been playing around with
applications of yogic knowledge. Doing it in secret in the darker times,
because they'd get strung up if they got too public with their endeavors.
They have been the "geeks" of yoga, you know. The pioneers who created the
esoteric traditions. We owe much to the great old-time yogis. They have
given us the seeds of knowledge necessary to proceed full speed ahead into
the new age. Now it is up to this generation, and the coming ones, to
develop and utilize simplified interfaces with the human nervous system
utilizing yogic knowledge, so many will be able to take up yoga practices
and have good success.
The new age is not just about the spiritual winds coming up behind us from
the cosmos. The enlightenment game is not a spectator sport. We have to get
in the game if we want to have the benefits. We have to put up the sails of
practices to take the ride. As we do, this earth will continue to become a
better place. As we bring the reality of pure bliss consciousness and divine
ecstasy into the earth plane through our practices, everything will change.
There will be light and love rising everywhere in abundance. It will not be
an ideological occurrence. It will be a real energy transformation, palpable
to all who live on the earth. With nervous systems everywhere becoming
powerful radiators of pure bliss consciousness and divine ecstasy, no one
will be left in the dark. Lingering doubts will be swept away. The winds of
bhakti will carry us ever forward. All we have to do is keep up the sails of
our daily practices. Our nervous system will take care of the rest.
The guru is in you.
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