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 Discussions on AYP Deep Meditation and Samyama
 Duration of picking up a sutra in samyama
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TensorTympani

USA
53 Posts

Posted - Sep 26 2023 :  2:38:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
After revisiting the instructions on samyama and in particular this lesson: https://www.aypsite.org/317.html I realised that I probably have done samyama incorrectly. Yogani writes

quote:
[E]ach repetition is a fraction of a second of faintly picking up the sutra, and 15 seconds of letting go


What I have been doing is to think the sound of the sutra very faintly, similar to how I think the mantra. A long sutra like "akasha - lightness of air" took me much longer to think than a short sutra like "love", just like a mantra with many syllables takes me longer to think than a single syllable mantra. In particular thinking the sound of "akasha - lightness of air" and "I-thought - Who am I?" takes me much longer than a fraction of a second. And that's the reason why my samyama practice always took about 7-8 minutes with what felt like 15 seconds gaps after the release.

My question is what it actually means to pick up the sutra only for the fraction of a second. I guess it cannot be the sound. Is the idea to pick "akasha - lightness of air" as a single package rather than going through the sequence of syllables? Thanks for any thoughts, clarifications or pointers!

Christi

United Kingdom
4332 Posts

Posted - Sep 26 2023 :  4:05:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Tensor,

Yes, the idea is to touch upon the faintest feeling of the sutra for a fraction of a second, and release that into silence.


See this lesson:

"Let's begin with "Love." It is a good place to start with samyama. In samyama it is suggested you use your most intimate language, the language that goes deepest in your heart, whatever it may be.

In your easy silence, pick up, just once, the fuzziest feeling of the word "Love" in your own language. Don't deliberately make a clear pronunciation, or mental images of this or that scene or situation that represent Love to you. Just have a faint remembrance of Love, and then let go into your silence, the easy silence you are in as you pick up the faint meaning of Love. Don't contemplate Love or analyze it during samyama. Don't think about it at all. Just come to it once in a faint, subtle way, and then let go into silence. It is a subtle feeling of Love we are coming to, nothing more, and letting it go. Like that.

Having thought "Love" once, be in silence for about fifteen seconds. If any thoughts come, let them go easily. Don't look at the clock. With a little practice your inner clock will tell you with good enough accuracy when fifteen seconds is up. Just be easy in silence for about a quarter of a minute. Then pick up the faint, fuzzy meaning of "Love" again, and let it go again into your silence for about fifteen seconds again.

That is two repetitions of samyama - twice picking up Love at its subtlest level of thought, and twice letting it go into inner silence." [Yogani]


And this is from lesson 317:

"It is important to recognize that when we are picking up the sutra in a very faint and fuzzy way, then all three limbs of yoga [dharana, dhyana and samadhi] will be coexisting at the same time. This becomes very natural and easy as our inner silence becomes steady and stable from our well-established deep meditation practice and increasing experience in samyama. So, samyama is all three aspects together, and this is the essential cause that yields the remarkable effects of samyama." [Yogani].


So, it is not a clear pronunciation of each sutra in the mind, which would take time, as you say. It is a faint and fuzzy feeling. So, ten sutras, if you are including the Self-Inquiry sutra, will take around 5-minutes.

If you find it difficult to find a feeling for any of the sutras, then you can simply pick up the sutra itself, as the feeling will be contained in the sutra. But, over time, it is best to be gradually moving towards a faint and fuzzy feeling of each sutra, which is touched upon for a fraction of a second and then released into silence.


Christi
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TensorTympani

USA
53 Posts

Posted - Sep 27 2023 :  11:19:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Christi,

thanks a lot for the clarification. I think I understand. Please let me know if I understood correctly.

So what I've done so far is what you describe as to "simply pick up the sutra itself". I was thinking the sutras like mantras: as a sound. I did think the sound of each sutra very faintly and fuzzily though. Not a clear pronunciation. But still like a stream of sound. Similar to how DM might look like if the instruction were to leave a 15 sec gap between each mantra repetition and think the mantra as faintly and fuzzily as possible.

Now the correct instruction for picking up the sutra is "to pick up the fuzziest feeling of the word". Optimally this feeling is different from just the faint and fuzzy sound of the word because we want the picking-up to last only a fraction of a second, independent of the length of the sutra.

Is there anything I can do to train a feeling (that is independent of of the sutra length) for each sutra (apart from doing samyama)?

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Christi

United Kingdom
4332 Posts

Posted - Sep 27 2023 :  6:13:42 PM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi TensorTympani,

I am not aware of any training of the mind in that way. I would suggest simply doing the practice twice each day and allowing it to develop as it will. It is really not a big deal and you can trust that the practice will develop as it needs to.

Gradually the practice will begin to spill over into daily life and you will find things falling away into stillness. First just occasionally, and later as a constant stream.


Christi
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TensorTympani

USA
53 Posts

Posted - Sep 28 2023 :  11:08:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Christi! That helps

Yogani asked in the preface of his books:
quote:
How far can we go in effectively transmitting spiritual methods in writing?


From personal experience and looking into this form, it seems the answer is: surprisingly far. And this forum is an integral and crucial part of it. A lot of questions that came up for me have been asked and answered by others in this forum, and so those cases can be treated as writing too. But in this case now, when I couldn't find the answer in the archived posts it was active communication that helped me. I think this possibility of communication makes a big difference in how far we can go with the writings. So, Christi, thanks a lot for being always available here!
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SeySorciere

Seychelles
1522 Posts

Posted - Sep 28 2023 :  11:33:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Dear Tensor,

The samyama practice, like all the other AYP practices, will refine along the way and will keep on refining. So, don't worry too much if doubt start arising as to whether you are doing the practice correctly. In the beginning, you will have a tendency of thinking the sutra out loud or picking up the sound of it as you are doing, you will be unable to do it for a split second. Dropping the sutra into inner silence will also feel clunky as perhaps very little inner silence is present. As years go by and inner silence becomes a tangible thing, you will start noticing the formulation of a thought and be able to let it "die" (let go) in a split second.
The clue here is to abide in inner silence during the samyama practice, pick up the sutra briefly and let it go in inner silence. That is why some extent of inner silence has to be present for the practice to gain traction.
I hope that is helpful.


Sey

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TensorTympani

USA
53 Posts

Posted - Sep 28 2023 :  12:55:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Dear Sey,

Thanks for chiming in! I actually like samyama a lot because inner silence is pretty stable now for a while after DM. And samyama seemed to deepen that silence even more within each session. So, I didn't have the impression that I was doing anything incorrectly because there wasn't any felt clunkiness to it. I very faintly and fuzzly thought the sound of the sutra at my solar plexus from where it would spread to the rest of my body. I would not interfere with these sutra reverberations and let them die down by themselves, after which I would find myself in blissful silence again. This dying down process was well completed by the 15 seconds mark which is why I never thought anything was wrong with my practice, until I found Yogani's comment that the pick-up process is supposed to take only a split second, which is also in line with expected samyama duration time being the sum of the 15 second periods rather than pick-up periods.

It's reassuring to hear that what I did wasn't far off, but just an initial stage. I noticed in the last two days that I can actually pick up the sutras comfortably in shorter packaged form (rather than a stream of sound). It might still be more than a fraction of second, but it's not a syllable-wise pickup. Hard to explain though what it is
It might have been good timing that only now I stumbled on the ``fraction of a second'' comment.
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Christi

United Kingdom
4332 Posts

Posted - Sep 28 2023 :  3:49:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by TensorTympani

Thanks Christi! That helps

Yogani asked in the preface of his books:
quote:
How far can we go in effectively transmitting spiritual methods in writing?


From personal experience and looking into this form, it seems the answer is: surprisingly far. And this forum is an integral and crucial part of it. A lot of questions that came up for me have been asked and answered by others in this forum, and so those cases can be treated as writing too. But in this case now, when I couldn't find the answer in the archived posts it was active communication that helped me. I think this possibility of communication makes a big difference in how far we can go with the writings. So, Christi, thanks a lot for being always available here!



Hi Tensor,

I am glad you find this forum, and the written lessons by Yogani helpful.

We are gradually taking steps to expand the transmission of AYP so that it is available in both written form and in other forms. So, residential AYP retreats and online Zoom retreats have been a part of this, as have AYP teacher training courses, so that AYP classes are available for people. We are just about to finish this year's AYP teacher training course in Thailand.

More recently, we have started to develop AYP video courses, so that people can see things being instructed online, as well as hear the teacher speaking.

We are hoping that eventually anyone will be able to learn AYP, wherever they live in the world, in whatever medium they prefer: Books, online text, online audio, video courses, live online classes, or physical classes, retreats and trainings.

Christi
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TensorTympani

USA
53 Posts

Posted - Sep 29 2023 :  10:29:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I already signed for the May 7 - 12 retreat in Devon next year. I'm very much looking forward to it

Great idea also to offer video courses too. I'm sure this will attract a lot more people than this dinosaur of an website
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Christi

United Kingdom
4332 Posts

Posted - Sep 29 2023 :  3:51:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by TensorTympani

I already signed for the May 7 - 12 retreat in Devon next year. I'm very much looking forward to it

Great idea also to offer video courses too. I'm sure this will attract a lot more people than this dinosaur of an website





We are actually also working behind the scenes on improving this website as well. It was made mobile responsive a few weeks ago, which means it automatically resizes for smaller screen sizes. It is not mobile-first yet, but that may come in time.

We are gradually bringing it into the 21st century!

Christi
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Wil

Sweden
148 Posts

Posted - Sep 30 2023 :  03:14:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I like this dinosaur. It has integrity :)

Great news about the mobile-version of AYP!
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TensorTympani

USA
53 Posts

Posted - Jan 02 2024 :  2:33:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Recently I discovered this sutra enhancement:
https://www.aypsite.com/plus/155.html#155.2

where one replaces "Akasha - Lightness of Air" by "Relationship of Body and Akasha - Lightness of Air". The idea behind this according to Yogani:
quote:
As with the AYP mantra enhancements, this is a longer sutra, and will sweep out a broader inner path as it is repeatedly released in stillness according to the procedure of samyama.


So it seems then that in a settled state of samyama practice the pick-up duration of the enhanced sutra will be the same (the fraction of a second) as that of the original sutra.

At the same time it also seems that it is the length of the sutra that determines the "sweeping broadness".

For me an enhanced mantra takes longer to think than the AYAM mantra. And so, I assumed, the broader sweep of the mantra enhancements arises due to the extended time it takes to think them. Apparently there might be more going on.

Is there a practical limit of the length of a sutra or mantra? It's interesting to note that "Relationship of Body and Akasha - Lightness of Air" and "Shree Om Shree Om Ayam Ayam Nama Nama" when spoken out loud, might take about the same time. Since Yogani never wrote about longer enhancements maybe that's a maximally useful length?

If longer versions could be useful, one could ponder enhancing sutras and mantras indefinitely over a life time practice.
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Christi

United Kingdom
4332 Posts

Posted - Jan 02 2024 :  3:32:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Tensor,

The mantra enhancements have a "broader sweep" in the subtle nervous system, because of the different syllables involved. Each syllable will affect a different aspect of the subtle nervous system. So, it is not related to the time it takes to think the mantra. I discuss this in lessons 48-50 of my course on AYP Deep Meditation practice. The same is true for sutras in samyama: "Relationship of Body and Akasha - Lightness of Air", has more aspects to it, because the body is included. So, it will affect more things.

This enhancement brings the sutra more into line with the descriptions of the samyama sutras from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali:

"By Samyama on the relationship between the body and akasha, and by concentrating on the lightness of cotton, passage through space can be attained" [YSP 3.43]

As for optimal maximum lengths for mantras and sutras, obviously it is no good having something that is too long to remember easily. But apart from that, it is not so important. In the appendix to the AYP Samyama book, where Yogani suggests some additional sutras that can be experimented with during the day, outside of practice time, all the ones suggested are quite short. No longer than "akasha - lightness of air". However, in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, there are some longer ones suggested. For example:

"By samyama on the process of perception and action, essence, I-ness, connectedness, and purposefulness of senses and acts, mastery over those senses and acts (indriyas) is attained." [YSP 3:48]

That one would probably be too long for me to remember! But, the important thing is that it is not the length of a mantra, or sutra, that is important. It is what is contained within it.
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TensorTympani

USA
53 Posts

Posted - Jan 03 2024 :  2:42:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Christi,

Thanks a lot for the wealth of information! It's really fascinating...

I'm planning to read the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali during a 3-week retreat next month. So thanks a lot for the pointers! Do you have a preferred translation? I got "The science of Yoga" by I. K. Taimni.

Also, I will definitely check out your online course

Edited by - TensorTympani on Jan 03 2024 2:58:13 PM
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Christi

United Kingdom
4332 Posts

Posted - Jan 03 2024 :  3:11:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Tensor,

I like the translation and commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda. I also like the translation on the Sanskrit Channel here. If you are into learning what the Sanskrit means, word-by-word, then there is a 12-hour version here.
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TensorTympani

USA
53 Posts

Posted - Jan 03 2024 :  11:32:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
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