This course introduces learners to the three levels of meditation, focusing on the 3rd level, which is rarely taught or explained. Progressing from definitions and explanations to actual exercises, students can expect to gain an understanding of the difference between concentration and meditation, choosing the right "object" of meditation, and how to actually redirect attention to perform internal meditation.
Meditation in its various forms can have many benefits, from physical health to mental relaxation and well-being; at its core, however, meditation is a tool to bring us to our true Selves. This course will look beyond common conceptions of yoga to that true spiritual practice.
This is a great course for anyone who has been seeking a deeper spiritual understanding and wants to go beyond external practices, such as breathing exercises and mantra.
Introduction to the course, your instructor, and her spiritual lineage through Swami Muktananda.
In this lesson, we will cover what meditation is and how it differs from concentration.
In this lesson, we will look at the three different levels of meditation, also known as the three levels of "attention and prayer" as described by the 10th century saint Symeon.
In this lesson, we will practice first level meditation using breath.
In this lesson, we will practice second level meditation using mantra.
In this lesson, we will begin third level meditation, directing attention to the Heart.
In this lesson, we will look at what the Heart is, where it can be found, and how to get into it.
In this lesson, we will look at guidelines for when, where, and in what physical positions to practice.
In this lesson, we will look at what you can expect to experience in meditation and what benefits you will gain from meditating regularly.
In this lesson, we will look at common pitfalls you may encounter while meditating and how to deal with them.
In this lesson, we will look at samadhi and explore the different types of samadhi.
In this lesson, we will explore taking meditation with you as you function in the world.
This final lesson will give you the opportunity to practice meditation with Rohini.
An essay on the challenges and joys of spiritual practice.
Some concrete first and second level practice to take you deeper.
An essay on the third level of meditation.
What could be more important than being happy?
Make sure you are pursuing internal practice for the right reasons.
Definitions of key terms in the course.
A list of some useful resources for learning more about meditation and spiritual practice.
Do you know your terms?
Rohini Ralby has taught meditation and spiritual practice for more than 30 years. She is a disciple of Swami Muktananda, with whom she studied one-on-one for almost a decade. That time included three and half years at Muktananda's ashram in Ganeshpuri, India, where she used her background in martial arts to serve as head of ashram security. She later became Muktananda's appointments secretary on his world tour. After Muktananda's death in 1982, Rohini returned to the USA and has been teaching from her school outside Baltimore, Maryland.
Rohini holds a BA in Sociology from Washington University in St. Louis and an MA in Dance from Mills College. After completing her masters, Rohini transitioned from dance to teaching the martial art of Tai Chi Chuan, which she studied from T.R. Chung in Berkeley while at Mills. She returned to her hometown of Boston in 1973 and opened her own school. After years of practice, her longing for something deeper led her to Muktananda, who became her teacher and guide.
For the past three decades, Rohini has quietly worked as a spiritual teacher, passing on the internal practice taught to her by Muktananda. She also teaches exegetical classes in the Yoga Sutras, the Shiva Sutras, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Pratyabhijnahrdayam, the Vijnanabhairava Tantra, the Bhakti Sutras, and the Philokalia. For each text, students examine and reflect on different translations and commentaries, but above all they are led to experience directly what lies behind each reading.
In 2012 Rohini wrote Walking Home with Baba: The Heart of Spiritual Practice, a guide to spiritual practice, which was published by Bancroft Press. It has been successful with readers and practitioners around the world, and has been recognized and included in many major research libraries, including those of Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Stanford, Washington University in St. Louis, and others.