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th1996

Germany
23 Posts

Posted - Jun 23 2023 :  12:14:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Hi all,

after 7 1/2 years of spiritual practises there is no witness. There are some energetic symptoms but no witness. I long for the witness very bad, because I suffer a lot of depression, and I think the witness is the only thing which can help me to end suffering.

What can I do to enhance the experience of the witness? I practise 5 min spinal breathing, 10 Minutes Deep Meditation and 5 min Samyama. More is not possible because of self pacing. I try my best to live life fully and to give enlightenment away. I do some self inquiry, but thats mostly non-relational. Is there anything else I can do to enhance the witness? Or can I just wait till the witness is coming?

iamthat

India
14 Posts

Posted - Jun 24 2023 :  3:09:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi ,
Can you share what practices have you been following since 7 1/2 years.
had you been following ayp ,you may want to add self inquiry in samyama sutras.Deep longing/desperation is understandable but too much of it might also be a sign of too much attachment and might be preventing you from experiencing deeper and deeper levels of samadhi/witness.
Over time spiritual practices will increase emotional resiliency as a side effect but if you are suffering from depression i feel it is a better idea to seek a medical help.Also if your lifestyle is sedentary you may want to active physically and try yogasanas/gymming/walking/excercising regularly ,as it has positive effects on overall mood and general well-being as it releases happy hormones and decreases cortisol(stress hormone) naturally.
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Dogboy

USA
2192 Posts

Posted - Jun 25 2023 :  04:40:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Good advice from iamthat. Perhaps you misunderstand what witness is. You are saying you have no awareness of your thoughts while you are thinking them? Have you not held back a comment, and allow silence to enter that moment? Do you not scan your body any time of the day (during SBP, for instance)? Most likely it is your depressive state that is robbing your attention. If this is a chronic problem, it is best to get a professional opinion or two. There is no shame in stabilizing a chemical imbalance (if that is what this is) and may even improve your practices.

Here an excerpt from lesson 322 where Yogani explains witness, and self inquiry:

The primary aim of self-inquiry is to remain established in the unconditioned inner silence that resides within all of us, that is us. The experiencer: the witness to all thoughts, feelings and perceptions of the body and external phenomena. Self-inquiry seeks to dissolve the identification of awareness with all of these perceptions that are external to our unconditioned awareness. The traditional wisdom holds that the abiding presence of the witness (unconditioned awareness) will be the effect of self-inquiry. Under certain circumstances, it can be, and this is the aim of those who pursue self-inquiry as a stand-alone path. All of the various strategies (mental algorithms) of self-inquiry are for realizing That.

However, it is also true that the presence of the silent witness is the cause of self-inquiry, and this is a more fundamental truth. Being is more fundamental than any doing we can conceive of. When the witness is present, a natural inclination toward self-inquiry becomes self-evident. The mind simply follows That. The innate condition of the practitioner as the witness becomes the answer to every inquiry - the eternal stillness that does nothing, even as life carries on in all of its diversity, with us fully engaged in it in an illuminated condition. Once the witness is present, self-inquiry becomes automatic. The witness is both the fuel and the destination of self-inquiry. Self-inquiry without abiding inner silence, the witness, is like a house without a foundation, or like a castle built in the air. Those who engage in self-inquiry without some experience in meditation know what this is like. Not fun for long.


https://www.aypsite.com/plus/322.html

Good luck, and report back.
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th1996

Germany
23 Posts

Posted - Jul 20 2023 :  07:52:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank u for your answers.

Yes, I followed AYP since 7 1/2 years. My practise has changed over time, but there was always deep meditation part of it. Since 2 years or so it is 5 mins spinal breathing, 10 mins deep Meditation and 5 mins Samyama with self inquiry sutra.

I am in professional assistent and I am taking medications. That helps a lot but it isn't perfect, yet. I guess I need more patience for the process. A friend of my also meant that I maybe long too much for it. Maybe the solution is more ease. But it isn't easy when there is so much suffering and the witness would be such a relief.
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Wil

Sweden
150 Posts

Posted - Aug 19 2023 :  02:43:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by th1996

Thank u for your answers.

Yes, I followed AYP since 7 1/2 years. My practise has changed over time, but there was always deep meditation part of it. Since 2 years or so it is 5 mins spinal breathing, 10 mins deep Meditation and 5 mins Samyama with self inquiry sutra.

I am in professional assistent and I am taking medications. That helps a lot but it isn´t perfect, yet. I guess I need more patience for the process. A friend of my also meant that I maybe long too much for it. Maybe the solution is more ease. But it isn´t easy when there is so much suffering and the witness would be such a relief.



I send my sympathy.

*Psst.* Do you..between you and me as yogis....believe in time...or death for that matter? Samyama on that maybe. What is 7 years compared to That?
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th1996

Germany
23 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2024 :  09:02:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Now, six months later...nothing has changed. My practise time is getting more and more intense, and that is the reason I continue to practise. My outer life is getting better, yes. I will start a new job which will lead hopefully to more stability in my life. But my inner life is much the same. I suffer a lot because of my depression. Suffering is predominant in my life. I don't understand it. Yoganis promise is that with effective spiritual practises there will be an increase in the quality of life. Why not for me? Is it my Karma which is the reason for that?
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SeySorciere

Seychelles
1532 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2024 :  12:40:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Dear th1996,

Is there a reason as to why you are doing only 5 mins of SBP? Are you sensitive? If not, increase SBP to 10 mins. SBP is the cultivation of ecstatic conductivity. It results in joy.


Sey
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interpaul

USA
524 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2024 :  11:54:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
th1996, You raise a very important issue which I can relate to and I believe speaks to a deeper struggle many people have. I've been practicing AYP for 4 1/2 years. The ecstatic (shakti) aspects of the practices came easy to me and the inner silence (shiva) have evolved slowly and more subtly. I have found this journey different than I expected. The deepening of awareness and connection the has come from yoga has made me more aware of my struggles. If I focused on this I'd feel bitter about my "progress". We each have "obstructions", "baggage", attachments that can challenge our progress on this spiritual path. If your goal is to just feel relaxed and free from suffering it may be a challenging journey at times. Inner silence for me is a deeper knowing. Getting in touch with one's deeper intuition. It isn't as obvious as the pleasurable experience of pranic energy rising up the spinal nerve and bathing our brain in ecstatic delight. I have come to accept the ecstatic aspects of this type of practice serve as fuel for the spiritual journey. Many people lean Into these practices too much and develop sensitivities. I have weathered some rather painful personal challenges and believe this growing inner silence has guided me along. I certainly have had times that feel like the "dark night of the soul", a feeling of abandonment. I personally don't experience this journey as a slam dunk, but do gain the perspective as the years pass my life is gradually evolving in the right direction. Depression and other psychiatric conditions cause much suffering in our modern time. Antidepressants and therapy certainly have their place but I find AYP a process that, when committed to, can gradually lead to a improved outlook on life and an easing of suffering. 8 years is a long time to do a practice and feel disappointed with progress. I sense in your comments there is progress just not what you would have expected. Many of us have experienced traumatic experiences that leave us vulnerable to distrust and fear. Inner silence can slowly fill in that place of vulnerability. One of the difficult aspects of depression is rumination. This process draws attention to the negative, reliving an endless attack of negativity. It is the opposite of DM which focuses our mind again and again towards a gentle favoring of the mantra. Teaching ourselves to let go of the negative voice has been a significant step on that path for me. Gradually letting go of the attachment to negative inner dialogue gradually opens the door to inner silence. Another way I think about this is the mantra, when engaged in gently brings my mind to stillness, inner silence. Repeating this practice twice daily reminds me regularly of this less hostile mental state. Bringing attention to this more kind and gentle resting space can slowly ease the burden of the harsh critic, the ruminator, the judge.
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th1996

Germany
23 Posts

Posted - Jan 26 2024 :  09:35:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you for your answers!!!

Yes Sey, I only do 5 mins of SBP and 10 mins of DM because of self-pacing reasons. If I do more my life is not stable. I have found the perfect edge. If I do more I have an increase of the symptoms of my depression, but if I do less I don't feel `good`. The best for me is this level of practise.

@interpaul: yes, I make some progress. Especially in my practises. There is coming more and more ecstatic conductivity and stillness. But it doesn't translate much into daily life. Sometimes There is a change in my perception of the world, I see my environment with more unity. And that is sometimes ecstatic. But the ecstatic part is not resulting in joy. It's hard to describe, it makes somehow my life better, but on the other hand my depression is predominant. It's a specific feeling in my head which makes me very heavy. And that feeling I don't get rid of or can transcends it.

So, without that feeling in my head I would be okay with my path. I mean there is improvement in my outer world (change in job, more unified view of the world, more joy in my practises), but this feeling in my head is like a shadow. It doesn't allow me to enjoy these results. That is the reason I long so much for the witness. For the Nondoership. For the freedom of identification.

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Christi

United Kingdom
4363 Posts

Posted - Jan 26 2024 :  10:50:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi tt1996,

If you are needing to self-pace down to 5 minutes of SBP and 10 mins of DM practice, due to energetic overload (negative symptoms caused by too much practice), then you must have a lot of purification going on in your body and mind. This purification can take time, and whilst it is happening, things are not always easy. The purification of the subtle channels will release blockages, and this in turn can affect your thoughts, feelings, mental states and so on. There can sometimes be quite a delay between this phase of the practice beginning, and noticeable improvements in our daily life. In fact, for a time, we may notice that we have more challenges in our daily life, due to these additional powerful emotions.

The key is to cultivate patience and equanimity. In time, everything will begin to clear, and we begin to see the sun shining through the clouds.

I recorded a short podcast on this topic a while ago which is on YouTube here:

Why can meditation appear to get more difficult after a few years?
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akitla

2 Posts

Posted - Jan 26 2024 :  9:20:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
A gratitude practice can create an amazing shift in our lives. In the morning, before going to bed, and really any time you like, try a gratitude practice. It is a simple act. Wake up and run through a list of things that you are thankful for. They can be small or grand things like, "I am grateful for this moment, for a new day, for the sensation of the sun on my skin, warm gentle breezes and the glistening snow."

If you like, let's try one together now, "I am thankful for this forum and all the wonderful people sharing their wisdom and experiences!"

Maybe you feel some resistance at first. Maybe this practice doesn't come naturally or easily. That's okay. That's a good sign, too; we can see the resistance as a first step on our journey to wellness. Perhaps you say the words, but don't feel it in your heart. We have a saying for this, "Fake it until you make it." Haha. A continuous intention will naturally bring peace and joy to your heart. In truth, the process has already started, th1996. When you decided to make a change, the path to health and happiness opened. Another thing to be grateful for!

Also, 7.5 years, now 8, is a wonderfully brilliant achievement. I am fortunate to communicate with someone so dedicated and committed.
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Mithuna

France
7 Posts

Posted - Jan 27 2024 :  09:48:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi tt1996
A friend of mine who also practiced deep meditation had suffered a very strong emotional trauma, such that he tended to relive this trauma in a painful way, as an insoluble failure. I advised him not to let go of the DM whatever happens, like a captain who does not lose direction despite the storm, as well as to rigorously plan his days to avoid falling into melancholy by practicing concentration on everything that 'it was. Being a painter, I also encouraged him to paint everything he felt, to externalize his suffering, his interior contents to give them a way of expression.
Over time he noticed that if his suffering was still there, we could say that he had gotten used to living with it, which for me is a first form of the awakening of the witness, but by starting to imperceptibly becoming a spectator, condensing it without trying to ignore it, a bit like a form of cohabitation. The figure of Mat in the "Tarot de Marseille" representing a traveler on the way with a small dog biting his ankle had inspired him and he understood that this bite did not prevent him from traveling because his eyes were fixed on the purpose of the journey (see the very beautiful pages of Yogani on the ishta). Very clearly he noticed that gradually even if this suffering continued, as part of his sadness was reinvested in his ishta ? the dynamics of the path ? his relationship with the outside world changed, calmed down and were becoming more and more fertile. In a virtuous circle, by being active and focused on his activities outside of the two DM sessions, the moments when sadness and depression came to the surface became less acute and imperceptibly the seeds of inner silence planted during the DM began to replace them, which further motivated him to practice DM as a moment of calm.
You do not waste your time, the main thing is to continue the journey, even if sometimes the night seems long and the storm rages, even if we do not control time, we have power over our practice, in DM(Dyana ) and in our daily activities whatever they may be (Dharana) and this inner happiness that we secrete, nothing can take it away from us.
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th1996

Germany
23 Posts

Posted - Jan 29 2024 :  08:48:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank u @akitla and @Mithuna.

Yes, gratitude is powerful. I have done a gratitude practise in the past, but have lost it now. I will make it again. Thank u for your inspiration.
"I am thankful for u and your nice words and inspiration."

yes, doing DM, not matter what happens. That's a good attitude. I have done this more or less the last 8 years. And painting I have give it a try in therapy. It was very helpful.

Maybe u are right with the witness that it is a first sign for living with it. I live with it much better than in the past. Maybe there is already some stillness cultivated!!!

Maybe my bhakti gets fueled by my suffering. That is my hope. At least I try to direct it in that direction.

I will give my best of the use of my power to practise and doing my daily activities. Thank u a lot!
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mrjones

Australia
8 Posts

Posted - Feb 03 2024 :  11:15:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I didn't really understand what the witness was until I read The Awakening Guide by Bonnie Greenwell. You might want to check it out.
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George227

United Kingdom
3 Posts

Posted - Feb 20 2024 :  8:35:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hope you're doing well th1996.

As others have pointed out the value in staying with practices no matter what, I'd like to point out that sometimes focusing on physical health (which in turn has a great effect on mental health) can be the most effective way to reduce suffering in the short term.

It's like if you lived in a bad neighbourhood with a high crime rate - meditation practice would certainly help bring you peace in the long run, but you'd feel much more peace straight away if you moved to a nicer neighbourhood.

Depression is a frustrating thing to deal with because there are often both physical and mental causes, but a lot can be done to alleviate symptons with certain lifestyle changes. I highly recommend 'Getting Well Naturally' by Penny Kelly for information on dealing with the physical aspects of depression and for living a healthier lifestyle in general.

I hope I haven't been too presumptuous if you've tried this approach already.
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th1996

Germany
23 Posts

Posted - Feb 21 2024 :  09:40:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank u George227 for your answer.

I will check out 'Getting well Naturally', thanks for the recommendation.

I am doing much better. Yes, a healthy lifestyle is very important. For two weeks I just eat lesser than usual, and it has a good effect on me and my mental health (and my spiritual condition). I am doing more walks which also is a good thing for me. Also I am doing some gratitude practise, which opens my heart more and more.

So, I am in a high phase, which I am very grateful for.
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Timo

Germany
7 Posts

Posted - Mar 16 2024 :  1:58:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hey guys,

I am doing fine even if there is no witness, yet. It's driving me crazy. Can it be that I am not correctly self pace and so there is a slow down of my spiritual path?

And I have an another important question...how do you measure your spiritual progress? I know, it's our daily life where the rubber meets the street...but how exactly can I know the practises are paying off...


For me, I enjoy the practises very much, they are the best part of my daily life. The experiences are amazing, the stillness, the peace and the ectasy are crazy, but it doesn't show in daily life. And the differences are getting bigger and bigger. Means, the experiences growing very much while the experience of daily life is very subtle in changing. It does change, but very slow. And no witness. No seperate awareness from my thoughts and emotions.

I have added some asanas in my routine (only the short version for people who have not so much time, but with Samyama). In my practises it gives me a noticeable shift in the ecstatic conductivity. In daily life, I didn?t note any differences, positive or negative. I am doing it 8 days now. Can a constantly overpaced practise session lead to a miss of the witness in daily life?

We could say that the energy part is very good, and this part does improve the quality of my life in form of more enjoyment and other elements. But the stillness part is not there yet. So, there is not much relaxment in my daily life, much suffering... how can this be after 8 years of deep meditation and almost 8 years samyama?
And I have to say my seeking is changing. First in my spiritual quest I was in search for energetic experiences but now I just wish to have the witness and ending suffering.

Edited by - Timo on Mar 16 2024 2:32:30 PM
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Christi

United Kingdom
4363 Posts

Posted - Mar 17 2024 :  08:22:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Timo,

To know if you are self-pacing correctly or not, you need to ask yourself the question: "Am I experiencing anything that is uncomfortable or painful?". If the answer to that question is yes, then you need to reduce your practices appropriately and increase grounding practices. Then you need to continue doing this until you are no longer experiencing anything uncomfortable or painful. Being driven crazy does not sound very comfortable, so that could be a good reason to self-pace downwards. It could be an indication of having too much purification happening in your nervous system.

As for knowing if you are making progress on the spiritual path, or not, that is covered in this lesson:

Lesson 120 - "Getting Enlightenment"


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akitla

2 Posts

Posted - Mar 17 2024 :  7:17:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hey Timo,

You are aware of the smartphone or computer in front of you. It isn't special awareness. It isn't special witnessing. It is simple, ordinary awareness. Like we are aware of the physical objects in the room, we can step back, take a breath and watch thoughts arise. Thoughts are always changing, coming and going. Emotions like sadness, irritation, anger, anxiety and loneliness come and go, too. However, the experience of being aware does not disappear or change. What is liberating about this? Silent awareness, our true self, is not sad, anxious or depressed.

Others in this thread have pointed to self-inquiry. Perhaps you will find this video titled "One Way to Facilitate the Recognition of our True Nature" to be helpful. Rupert Spira guides a meditator suffering from depression to experientially explore awareness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLRl-d8DHds
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Timo

Germany
7 Posts

Posted - Mar 24 2024 :  1:50:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank u Christi and akitla...

I don?t know days without uncomfortablity. There is always some part of the days which are uncomfartable...I always thought this is because of my depression and other mental health issues. Do u really think this is a sign of overload? When this is true, than I am constantly in overload...can this be true?

And I think I would have to self pace to zero practise, and even then I would have a little uncomfartability in my life. That was the reason why I asked about self pacing, because with mental health issues it?s hard to say: Is it because of the issue or is it because of the practises?


And I have another question: Would I really be faster on my spiritual progress if I would self pace, even it would mean doing 2-3 weeks no practises? Or doing practises on a level where the discomfort is okay, where I can do my daily life?
So let?s say with my routine now, there is some discomfort, but I can work and do my daily life okay, would this be slower than doing no practises or maybe only ten Minutes Deep Meditation?

To be honest, I am no native speaker, so it?s very hard to describe how it is really for me...and doing no or less practises is hard for me, too.
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Christi

United Kingdom
4363 Posts

Posted - Mar 24 2024 :  4:09:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Timo,

The easy way to know if your symptoms of discomfort are caused by energetic overload or not, is that energetic overload symptoms are caused by having too much prana in your body. So, they will become less if you reduce your practices and increase grounding practices such as walking in nature, swimming etc. This means that you can experiment and find out for yourself.

And yes, generally, practicing with no symptoms of energetic overload leads to better long-term results than practicing with ongoing discomfort. This is partly because it is difficult for people to continue with something over the long-term if it is not comfortable. so, they can fall off the path all together. People can put up with some discomfort for a few months, or years, but will tend not to for a few decades.

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th1996

Germany
23 Posts

Posted - Mar 30 2024 :  09:14:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank u Christi for clarification.

Do u think amaroli could be something which can help me to stabilise my daily life? I have tried it the last 3-4 days. The spirituel effect was too much, so I cut it away. But could it be a good idea for me to let away asanas and shortcut the time of spinal breathing to 2.5 min and DM to 7.5 min and trying a little of Amaroli. Or should I stay at this level of time and practises where I am stable?

With stable I mean I am able to live my life normally, even when I suffer of depression. Overload expresses for me that I am not able to live my life normally, and I suffer much more of my depression.

So with the short version of asana, 5 min Spinal breathing, 10 Min DM and 5 min Samyama we have the case that I was stable but suffer of depression(which hasn't to do with overload). The question is can I reduce my suffering/depression through amaroli with a shorter version of my practise session(no asana, 2.5 SB, 7.5 Min DM and 5 Min Samyama)?

The thought behind this is that amaroli could have an effect like antidepressiva, because Yogani said that there is some urin in medical stuff, and he also says and some other people, that it will have a psychological (and physological) strenghtening effect. So, my hope is that it will lead to a normally life without my suffering of depression, at least a strong reduce of it.
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Dogboy

USA
2192 Posts

Posted - Mar 30 2024 :  2:06:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
For a personal report, in this yogi's experience, amaroli is grounding, providing an immediate "sense of wellness". I have been practicing since conductivity, and have no set ritual or amount, a sip or a cupful, that is decided in the moment my body suggests I sample my urine.
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