- 5 hours on-demand video
- 26 articles
- 30 downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
Get your team access to Udemy's top 3,000+ courses anytime, anywhere.Try Udemy for Business
- To gain a basic understanding of what it means to say that Yoga IS meditation
Easily be able to perform short self-guided meditations
To practice meditation systematically with body, breath, conscious and unconscious mind, and beyond
- To understand the difference between modern postural yoga and traditional yoga which is about meditation
- No requirements
"Yoga As Meditation" is a process of blending with and expanding on what you are already doing, not a process of replacing one with the other. An increasing number of postural yoga teachers and students are exploring the more traditional meaning of yoga practices as methods of meditation and contemplation intended to lead to Self-realization, or enlightenment, awakening to the ever peaceful, joyous center of consciousness which is one with the absolute reality. This course is designed to be an introduction to that process, to the fact that yoga really does mean "union" of the individual self with the universal Self.
Yoga is a whole life process. Ultimately, there is only one Yoga with many aspects. Meditation is so much at the core of traditional Yoga that meditation virtually IS Yoga.
- Teachers and students of postural yoga who want to go a step further into the more traditional practice of yoga as meditation
- Yoga practitioners whose first encounter with yoga has been as meditation, rather than as a physical practice
- People who already have any kind of background in yoga and/or meditation.
INTRODUCTION TO YOGA AS MEDITATION #2
"I called it yoga meditation, because yoga actually is meditation"
In this clip Swami Jnaneshvara expands on why we call it yoga meditation, which is the yoga that has been around for thousands of years, playfully called old-fashion yoga.
YOGA HAS DIVERGED IN RECENT YEARS
Like the Robert Frost poem of two roads diverging in a wood, Yoga has diverged, gone two different directions in the past hundred years or so.
SATSANG ON YOGA AND RELIGION
"Yoga is in every religion, but yoga is not a religion"
In this clip Swami Jnaneshvara speaks about that yoga is not a "thing" that can be labeled as different kinds of yoga.
Yoga is a systematic process, it simply means you go from outer most, to outer, to a little bit inward, to more inward, and finally to the center most inward, whether you give it a name or not, if you call it a soul, if you call it God, if you call it Divine, if call it Atman, or Brahman, or Self.
ART AND SCIENCE #1
Meditation deals with Senses, Body, breath, and Mind. There is an art in the process of observing, accepting, understanding, and training each of these various aspects of our being.
Yoga meditation is a science, providing a blueprint for the architecture of consciousness, and a roadmap to the center of consciousness.
ART AND SCIENCE 2#
Music Metaphor: a student of music learns music, studies the science, studies the masters, learns to reads music. But the student also has to put the instruments in his hands, and engage with the instrument. He will learn the mechanics and will learn how to play the instrument.
Meditation is like music; it is not a science you merely study in a books, you practice, and you will learn to play the instruments called body, breath, mind.
"Yoga is a systematic process, it simply means you go from outer most, to outer, to a little bit inward, to more inward, and finally to the center most inward, whether you give it a name or not, if you call it a soul, if you call it God, if you call it Divine, if call it Atman, or Brahman, or Self."
The process starts with the body, then there is the breath, then there is the conscious mind, the levels of unconscious mind and finally something beyond that.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY MEDITATION?
Is it very common that after some time we come to a plateau, whether it is after a week, or months, or years, and we wonder or ask someone "what is wrong with my meditation?" More often than not we have skipped something. Something about the systematic aspect of meditation has been skipped.
Or something in the systematic practice of meditation
11 MINUTE MEDITATION
A brief explanation on the 11 minute guided meditation practice, that is presented in the next lecture
THERE IS GREAT FLEXIBILITY IN PRACTICE
Students of Yoga Meditation have different inclinations towards the practice stages of preparation, postures, relaxation, breathing, and meditation. The times spend with each stage might be different for each person. Each of these stages work together, one leading into the next.
"It took me a considerable period of time to get an idea of what that meant"
00:16 Every element that sounds like philosophy, that sounds like theory, it is not; it is practice of self-awareness. This self-awareness is of the little "s" self.
00:42 If we are observing all the aspects of ourselves that we are not, gradually we come to know who we are, or what we are.
You find the self-assessment PDF in the next lecture, and in a downloadable PDF below
YOU READ ABOUT, YOU LEARN ABOUT AND YOU OBSERVE IN YOURSELF, BUT THESE ARE NOT WHO YOU ARE!
- Gunas: sattvas, rajas, and tamas
- Elements: earth, water, fire, air, space
- 8 rungs of Yoga: yamas, niyamas, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi
- 4 kinds of Avidya: confusing the temporary and eternal, impure and pure, pain and pleasure, self and not-self
04:02 We use the framework of Yoga to provide the elements of what we're observing
- Four attitudes to cultivate: 1) Friendliness 2) Compassion 3) Supportiveness 4) Neutrality
- Shraddha, virya, smritti, samadhi, prajna
06:11 You internalize them (these elements), and they become the way in which you view yourself
- Waking, dreaming, deep sleep
06:59 It takes time, but is why they call this practice. You just keep practicing self-awareness. You practice awareness of the little "s" self, in all of the many ways in which that manifests, and gradually what's revealed is the big "s" Self, the consciousness, the pure consciousness, the Atman, the Purusha, that is behind or underneath, that is the witness to everything. Witness everything!
The items of self-awareness listed in this paper are from the perspective of yoga as seen through the tradition of the Himalayan masters as practiced at Abhyasa Ashram. Through both mindfulness in daily life and seated contemplation and meditation, one becomes increasingly aware of each of these elements of our being. By increasing self-awareness one gradually comes to see that these are not who we really are, which leads to the realization of the witness of these, the true Self, Atman, a realization commonly called Self-realization or atma-jnana.
"This acceptance does not mean approval, does not mean agreement, it means fully acknowledge and accepting that there are thought and emotion, attachments and aversions in my mind-field."
Reality is was it is, it is just the way the mind works, it has all kinds of conditionings that are stored in the mind.
Question: "Does accepting mean acknowledgement?"
Question: "Does the practice of accepting ultimately helps you accept the Center of Consciousness within when you find it?"The way it helps you find the Center of Consciousness has to do with the removal of the obstacles.
As soon as you feel any moment of dissipation (of accepting), you see that there is a quiet after that.
Question; "How does accepting relate to non-attachment?" Virtually it is one and the same.
Accepting is the acknowledging part, by acknowledging it's there then there is the possibility that something can change.
Understanding is that insight that comes with observing and accepting
The point of understanding is; if we have explored the systematic nature of meditation, and seen it in its sense of being art and science, and it has something to do with observing, acknowledging and accepting, that whatever is going on in this being called me is just something going on, it is reality, then I really start to have the understanding.
HOW DO I GET THE MIND TO SHUT UP?
Swami Jnaneshvara explains how the solution is not to want the mind to shut up, it is better to understanding to know how the mind operates, to allow the mind to do what is wants to do and not be disturbed by it.
The first part of this video starts with the question "Why train ourselves?"
- Training of the senses
- Training the body
- Training of the breath
- Train the conscious mind
- Four function of mind; manas, chitta, ahamkara, and buddhi
- Train the unconscious mind
- Train the subconscious mind
COLORED (KLISHTA) AND UNCOLORED (AKLISHTA)
If I am observing, and I am accepting, and I am understanding, I can probably start to do something in training, I can make choice"
Sluice gate Metaphor from Yoga Sutras (4.3)
This kind of learning does not occur by addition, it is a different kind of learning, in meditation it is done like a sluice gate, it is to learn how to un-learn, it is to learn how to remove the obstacles .
What are you going to train? You train each of the levels of your being
I train my body
I train my breath
I train my conscious mind
I train my unconscious mind
And I train myself how to be in relationships with other human beings
OBSERVING, ACCEPTING, UNDERSTANDING, AND TRAINING
Swami Jnaneshvara give a summary of how all these 4 parts of observing, accepting, understanding and training complement each other, work together, and are a process. He gives an example that if you have an ill thought about someone else, and you have paid attention, and you have accepting the nature of how the mind works, understanding is probably going to come that this is not very clear thinking. And so what you need to do? You need to train yourself.
02:36 There is some form of attitude that we can have that is OK with everybody, that is realizing that at the core of every being, that is probably purity.
ATTENTION - CONCENTRATION - MEDITATION - SAMADHI
"It is very common that this business of samadhi is very confusing, I give you a little tip; simplify it, whenever you're reading or you're listening to somebody talk about samadhi, just turn the volume down a little bit"
00:40 Simple attention leads to concentration, gradually concentration leads to unbroken concentration, which is called meditation, and meditation when it collapses into the deep absorption with that object on which you are meditating is called samadhi.
Awareness/Attention leads to concentration, which leads to meditation, which leads to samadhi!
It may seem to be unimportant to point out the word "each." But you individually study each of the parts, aspects and levels of yourself, so that you may then experience the Whole from which the parts all emerge. In a school, college or university you may enroll in a program, yet you study each of the separate subjects.
Levels in deeper meditation
Each one of the levels is an individual, you don't skip the body, when you work on the mind, you do EACH.
The notion is that we are multifaceted, multilevel, multi-layered, being. And if we want to know the Center of Consciousness, by whatever name we call that, if that is what we are doing it for, then how many of the little trough in the farmers field to we need to remove?
Which part of your car may you freely ignore forever?
We have levels of our being and we ought to give attention to ALL of them
The pinnacle of the wisdom and practices of the ancient sages is contained in the terse twelve verses of the Mandukya Upanishad, which outlines the philosophy and practices of the OM mantra (written as either AUM or OM). The three stages plus the fourth of Om mantra are central to Yoga Meditation.
To know yourself at all levels means to direct or train your attention to gradually, systematically move inward, going from outer to inner, from gross to subtle.
One explores "horizontally" and "vertically". We need not know everything there is to know about each level (horizontally). If we know that level well enough to allow it to be still, balanced, and not an obstacle, then our attention can shift to the next deeper level (vertically). In this way, we eventually move through the levels in our meditation.
All of a sudden during your quiet meditation the unconscious comes forward, which may be perceived like a bomb from way back when; this is progress, it is another level of unconscious processing.
Computer Metaphor - Who am I in the computer metaphor? I am the electricity, I am the Center of Consciousness.
It is all about remove the obstacles, on each of the levels, both conscious mind and unconscious mind. Then all of the parts will start to work together.
Manas, chitta, ahamkara and buddhi (the four functions of mind) working together
Swami Rama says: "OK, Mind you want to have that cub, you can have it... go ahead and steal it, but i am not going to let you use the hand" = training
The parts start to work together, they integrate.
KOSHAS OR SHEATH
We humans are like a lamp that has five lampshades over our light. Each of the lampshades is a different color and density. As the light shines through the lampshades, it is progressively changed in color and nature. It is a bitter-sweet coloring. On the one hand, the shades provide the individualized beauty of each lamp. Yet, the lampshades also obscure the pure light. The Yoga path of Self-realization is one of progressively moving inward, through each of those lampshades, so as to experience the purity at the eternal center of consciousness, while at the same time allowing that purity to animate through our individuality. These five levels are called koshas, which literally means sheaths.
ANIMATION ON KOSHAS
A short animation on the five koshas
IS ONE OF THE LEVELS THE OUTSIDE WORLD?
In terms of the relationship with the external world the suggestion is, the starting point is called Ahimsa
"Himsa" meas harming, hurting, or damaging
"A" means "no"
Ahimsa means refrain from hurting, harming, and injuring.
Start with this at home, with the person(s) who are closes to you, and being willing to run the experiment to observe and accept and acknowledge and come to understand and train myself.
You can choose one and make an agreement with yourself "that I will do absolutely nothing that will have the effect of harming this person."
03:29 Satya = truthfulness; that what is going on inside me and what is going on outside of me are in alignment
To train these aspects of ourselves to coordinate, rather than to compete with one another is a very useful thing to do. This practice of coordinating is dome both at meditation time, as well as, in daily life by the student of yoga meditation.
Reduce the competition among desires.
At each of the levels of our being, allow the various aspects to work together, like the fingers of a hand.
The force of this integration is then turned inward with full determination = sankalpa shakti. People speak of wanting to awaken kundalini shakti, the spiritual evergy. However, the first form of shakti to emerge is not kundalini shakti which brings enlightenment or Self-realization, but sankalpa shakti, which is the energy of determination.
COORDINATE AND INTEGRATE #2
"The body, the breath, the conscious mind, the active unconscious mind, and the latent unconscious (the place of the seeds of the habit patterns) can all work together When they are all working together we find equanimity."
Analogy of the tumblers in a lock. When the key go into the lock, all tumblers are aligned, and the lock turns very smoothly.
We are multilevel beings, we have many aspects to ourselves and if we want to get all of those parts line up, then we have to work with each one independently and we have to work with them together in life, in practice, and then beautiful almost imaginable thing happens; THE LOCK OPENS, THE DOOR OPENS to the Center of Consciousness.
MEDITATION; A UNIVERSAL PROCESS
This animation shows you the whole systematic meditation, which is a universal process that includes working with the body, breath, mind to go beyond all these levels to dive the Center of Consciousness, which is of the nature of peace, happiness, and bliss.
There are various aspects of ourselves within each of the levels of our being.
02:15 Aspects of the Senses Level
04:06 Aspects of the Body
05:34 Aspects of the Breath Level
07:19 Aspects of the Conscious Mind Level
08:56 Aspects of the Unconscious Mind Level
10:26 Aspects of the Latent (Subconscious) Mind Level
11:48 Aspects of Center of Consciousness
Yoga Nidra means Yogic Sleep. It is a state of conscious Deep Sleep. In Meditation, you remain in the Waking state of consciousness, and gently focus the mind, while allowing thought patterns, emotions, sensations, and images to arise and go on. However, in Yoga Nidra, you leave the Waking state, go past the Dreaming state, and go to Deep Sleep, yet remain awake. While Yoga Nidra is a state that is very relaxing, it is also used by Yogis to purify the Samskaras, the deep impressions that are the driving force behind Karma.
Yoga Nidra is a companion practice to meditation. This article is here so that you will be familiar with how Meditation and Yoga Nidra—while separate—work together. This article and links to the Yoga Nidra CD practice are here: http://swamij.com/yoga-nidra.htm (This Yoga Nidra CD has been the most popular in the world for 10 years or more.)
This animation will show you the apparent paradox of non-dual Consciousness and practice. How do they go together? If there is only one formless non-dual consciousness, why should you do practice? Consciousness is all there is! But as long as the attachment is there to the appearing manifestations that seem to exist within the formless non-dual Consciousness there appears to be a path to follow and practices to do.
DWELL IN THE DIRECT EXPERIENCE #1
A good starting place, as a goal, is to seek even one second of direct experience of the Absolute Reality at our Center of Consciousness. That second of direct experience is then allowed to expand. Eventually one comes to dwell in that Absolute Reality 24 hours per day. every days, permanently. Ultimately, this is the goal of yoga meditation.
DWELL IN THE DIRECT EXPERIENCE #2
"Dwell means live there... most of the time"
We increasingly at one level or an other are aware of this Center of Consciousness, of this purety, equanimity, calmness, peace of mind
The choice of the word dwell... in the direct experience of that, if we dwell in That, then it doesn't matter what we are doing outside.
The awareness is mostly always there... this is part of the training... we are becoming a master of ourselves
In the oral tradition of yoga, it is said that you should not believe anything you are told, or what is written in books. However, it is also suggested that the student does not reject either. Seek your own direct experience, not merely belief.
CENTER OF CONSCIOUSNESS
The phrase "Center of Consciousness" simply means that core of our being which we each intuit as being our deepest true nature.
ANIMATION OF KOSHAS
YOGA SUTRAS 1.1-1.5
Yoga Sutras is a 196 verses... and the whole science of meditation is summarized in these first 4/5 sutras.
00:00:28 Yoga Sutra 1.1 Atha yoga anushasanam
Now, after having done prior preparation through life and other practices, the study and practice of Yoga begins.
Read more: http://swamij.com/yoga-sutras-10104.htm#1.1
00:00:35 Atha, translates as now. Atha has a particular implication, it implies that before you do this you have done something else. It means you are prepared to do yoga.
00:11:29 Question: Are there setbacks sometimes?
Answer: Of course...so what! It is predictable, it is mentioned in the yoga sutras (1.30-.1.32....read more: http://swamij.com/yoga-sutras-13032.htm#1.30
00:12:47 Yoga Sutra 1.2 is the most succinct definition of self-realization
Yogash chitta vritti nirodhah
Yoga is the control (nirodhah, regulation, channeling, mastery, integration, coordination, stilling, quieting, setting aside) of the modifications (gross and subtle thought patterns) of the mind field.
Read more: http://swamij.com/yoga-sutras-10104.htm#1.2
00:13:10 Nirodhah= is a difficult word, it is an incredible word. Gradually over time the meaning will get richer and richer. It doesn't mean mere repression. There is no single word that translate nirodhah.
00:15:20 Four functions of mind, manas, chitta, ahamkara and buddhi
Integration between these four function is one of the aspects of nirodhah
00:20:55 Question: "Is a part of integration listening to your conscience?
00:22:49 Question: "Is there a preferable age to start yoga?
00:32:47 Yoga Sutra 1.3 Tada drashtuh svarupe avasthanam
Then the Seer abides in Itself, resting in its own True Nature, which is called Self-realization.
Read more on: http://swamij.com/yoga-sutras-10104.htm#1.3
00:39:15 Question: "Can you also get these glimpses in daily life?"
00:40:32 Question: "Is the observer the same as the seer?"
00:45:50 Question: "Does the seer provide the power?"
00:48: Question: "So the electricity is without identity?"
00:53:58 Yoga Sutra 1.4 Vritti sarupyam itaratra
At other times, when one is not in Self-realization, the Seer appears to take on the form of the modifications of the mind field, taking on the identity of those thought patterns.
Read more: http://swamij.com/yoga-sutras-10104.htm#1.4
01:04:34 Yoga Sutra 1.5 Vrittayah pancatayah klishta aklishta
Those gross and subtle thought patterns (vrittis) fall into five varieties, of which some are colored (klishta) and others are uncolored (aklishta).
Read more: http://swamij.com/yoga-sutras-10511.htm#1.5
01:08:53 Question: "Can you say something about "clouding over?"