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Elements of Practice

SIVA YOGA: EIGHT KEYS FOR SUCCESSFUL PRACTICE

ASANA: stilling the physical vehicle, relaxing, and releasing the drama of stress.

In order to properly practice Kriya Kundalini Pranayama it is necessary for the body to be relaxed and still, preferably in lotus, for a minimum of 30 minutes. When the body is full of toxins and excess mucus the body remains overexcited and restless and cannot normally reach a state of relaxation. Therefore proper diet and fasting are necessary to success in asana.

Stress in the nervous system also prevents proper relaxation. Correcting the diet and cleansing the body will help to relieve stress in the nervous system. Learning to live with the right attitude will help to prevent accumulating stress in the nervous system in the first place. Practice of the various yoga postures will help to overcome energy blocks caused by stress thus normalizing the flow of prana in the body and helping to induce proper relaxation. The various yoga postures will also help greatly in eliminating toxins from the body.

When asana is performed correctly the body will feel so balanced and relaxed the body will feel weightless. The feeling of weight in the body is the feeling of lethargy caused by energy blocks or imbalances in its flow. In correct asana the mind is naturally relaxed and awareness of the flow of prana is naturally present. Pranayama, the next step, cannot be properly done until this awareness of the flow of prana is present. Hence the necessity of correct asana, of correct balance, calmness and relaxation of the body.

PURPOSE (objective or goal): Why you do kriya is half the battle.

Without development of the moral nature it is not possible to properly understand the purpose of kriya no matter how carefully it is explained. That is why yama and niyama are prescribed at the very outset in order to develop the moral nature, thus allowing an understanding of the purpose of kriya to develop.

It is almost sacrilegious to try to put into words the purpose of Kriya Yoga. Words are only symbols. When you relate the symbols to your experience the meaning will be different than when I relate those same word symbols to my experience. Words alone cannot convey the purpose of Kriya Kundalini Yoga. For example: Yoga means union or that which unites. But if you havenít experienced Yoga Union your idea of this union will not even remotely approximate the true meaning. To try to expand on this by saying it is a state of great happiness only increases misunderstanding. You relate happiness to worldly happiness and try to read worldly happiness into the meaning of Yoga. In Yoga there is neither worldly happiness nor the person who experiences worldly happiness. So then you think you cease to exist in Yoga, which is even more incorrect. You for the first time become aware that you exist in Yoga.

In what has come to be referred to as normal waking consciousness you only know you exist through intuition. You donít experience even your own existence directly. You have this idea of your self which Western psychologists try to fill with or dissect into various terms like self-image, self-concept, ego, super-ego, identity, self-consciousness, selfhood and so forth. But this false self neither holds your existence nor your self. Awareness of your existence filters through this false self and through your worldly consciousness before you allow yourself to experience it. In Yoga this false self disappears and you experience your existence directly. Only then do you know who you are. People often think they are finding out who they are, or think they have found out who they are. Only in Yoga can you find out who you are.

There are two principles of life: the Unmanifest and the Manifest.

The Unmanifest makes the Manifest possible.
The Manifest proclaims the Unmanifest.

The balance of these determines the quality of life.
Perfect balance makes perfect life.

Some, preferring the manifest, go from one suffering to another. Others, preferring the unmanifest lose all difference, change and suffering. Some, keeping them in balance behold the Infinite Fullness in all manifest appearances.

The goal of Kriya Yoga is not to escape the manifest altogether, but to learn to live in the manifest without losing sight of the Infinite Fullness.

BREATH:
Calming the mind . Concentration. First the breath is made steady, even and slow, then the mind becomes calm and better able to concentrate. The power of the breath is then used to increase the power of concentration. The empowered concentration is then able to focus within. When this happens peace and joy become unavoidable. Made calm by the inner peace and content by the inner joy one is then able to think clearly. Without calmness and contentment it is impossible to think clearly, or understand things correctly. Restlessness and discontent obviate control of the mind, proper judgment and understanding.

ATTITUDE:
God is the Doer The frame of mind one brings to the practice is half the practice. Improving oneís frame of mind is a practice in pranayama. Whether we are happy or sad, hopeful or discouraged, lustful or calm, anxious or enthusiastic, or restless or content is determined by where the prana is flowing in our inner universe. All our desires, tendencies and experiences past are stored in the inner rivers of our astral solar system, our subtle bodies. When we change our attitude we have effected a change in the flow of the subtle energy of prana flowing in our inner rivers of subtle nerves.

By learning to control the prana directly we gain control over our destiny. We discover that it is not the happenings and circumstances in the life around us that controls the quality of life. The quality of life is determined by where the prana flows in our own inner universe. By gaining control over that flow we gain control over the quality of our life.

There are different forms of life on different planets in our inner solar system. If we donít like the nature of life on the planet we are on we can simply travel to another planet in our inner universe.

DETACHMENT:
Cultivating evenmindedness in the midst of desirable and undesirable circumstances.

CENTERING:
Immersing the consciousness at the confluence of the three primary rivers of life force. The Center is where your sense of self is, where your identity is. Your desires and what you identify with usually brings your sense of self, your identity, to somewhere outside your true self. Centering is to bring your identity back to your real center, your real self.

Developing awareness of the astral currents will greatly assist with this. As will reducing those kinds of desires which draw the identity and center of consciousness away from this center. Some kinds of desires that draw the identity away from this true center are:

  1. Desires for false security based on the physical plane, which, although the self may identify with it, it cannot even know about it but very indirectly through the agency of the mind and senses;
  2. Desires based on gaining pleasure or avoiding pain.

VISUALIZATION:
Using visualization to help internalize the consciousness by directing the flow of the astral currents to the sacred city. Visualization is also important in developing concentration.

SURRENDER:
Giving up false identities. Cultivating devotion is the easiest and best aid to increase naturally the capacity to surrender. Some eye diseases cause total blindness. Infection with the virus of personal desire is one. To prevent infection with personal desire keep clean from the dirt of ego by constantly washing the vision with surrender to God.

Siva Yoga is based on the principle of surrender to God. Without surrender to God one operates from the ego. The ego is that which binds oneís consciousness to the limited, to the relative.

Siva is the term used in Siva Yoga for God. Siva is at once the Unmanifest,the Source of the manifest, and the Grace that lifts us on High. Siva Yoga is the technique of surrender to Siva.

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Last updated: 2001SEP02 15:50 PDT