HALASANA

September 21, 2013 Comments Off on HALASANA

HALASANA – The Plough – All Levels

Continuation of the forward bend movement in Shoulder stand/Sarvangasana,
amplifying Sarvangasana.
Caution: If you have slipped disc or other painful neck condition, seek advice
before practicing.
Begin either from a lying down position on back, or taking legs over the head
from the shoulder stand.
From mat: Raise legs and hips in 2 stages. Inhale and raise legs together to 90
degree angle.  On next inhalation lift hips and support lower back with hands.

With control bring the legs over the head and point the feet to the floor.

Tip: Keep legs straight and back supported with hands.
If feet not on floor yet: Keep supporting lower back with hands. Breathe through
the nose. Practice abdominal breathing. Hold the position 5 breaths and roll
out.
If feet on floor, Extend arms flat on the floor behind back to increase
flexibility of shoulder girdle.  Keep arms close to each other as possible. Now
interlock fingers and press palms against each other.
Variation: Take arms next to ears and try to touch toes. Move very smoothly.

Tip: Keep knees straight and legs together with toes pointed to head. Keep spine
straight and focus on slow abdominal breathing. Think of the stretch as
extending from fingers to neck and over back to feet in the plough shape. Hold
up to 1 minute or half the time of shoulderstand.
Coming out of pose: Release hands, arms are flat on floor palms down to brake
the descent. Raise the legs till parallel to floor. Then slowly roll the spine
down to the floor.
Relax in corpse pose at least 8 breaths.
Benefits:
Keeps spine youthful, strong and elastic.
Loosens hamstrings.
Stretches entire back of body.
Helps  flexibility of shoulder joints.
Increases blood supply of spinal nerves.
Improves digestion.
Mental Benefit: Soothes stressed nerves and tired brain. Helps better coping
with any claustrophobia.
Those who practice Halasana can never become lazy. – Swami Sivananda
The self-effort of today becomes the destiny of tomorrow. Self-effort and
destiny are one and the same. – Swami Sivananda

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By our thoughts we have prepared

August 24, 2013 Comments Off on By our thoughts we have prepared

By our thoughts we have prepared for ourselves the happiness or unhappiness we experience.

Bowl of Saki, August 23, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

Fighting with another makes war, but struggling with one’s self brings peace.

from  http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/say/gayan_talas.htm

All our possessions, all that we collect in life, all these things which we shall have to leave one day are transitory; but that which we have created in our thought, in our mind, that lives. A person thinks, ‘Some day I should like to build a factory.’ At this time he has no money, no knowledge, no capability; but a thought came, ‘Some day I should like to build a factory.’ Then he thinks of something else. Perhaps years pass, but that thought has been working constantly through a thousand minds, and a thousand sources prepare for him that which he once desired. If we could look back to all we have thought of at different times, we would find that the line of fate or destiny, Kismet as it is called in the East, is formed by our thought. Thoughts have prepared for us that happiness or unhappiness which we experience. The whole of mysticism is founded on this.

from  http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/VII/VII_17.htm

Joy, sorrow, love, all depend on our thought, on the activity of our mind. If we are depressed, if we are in despair, it is still the work of our mind; our mind has prepared that for us. If we are joyful and happy, and all things are pleasant, that also has been prepared for us by our mind. It is only when our mind works without control that unhappiness, sorrow, trouble, pain, or whatever we experience comes without our intention. No one could wish to create hell for himself; all would create heaven for themselves if they could; and yet how many allow their minds to create these things for them, regardless of their own intention.

from  http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/VII/VII_16.htm

‘The present is the reflection of the past, and the future is the re-echo of the present.’ Destiny is not what is already made. Destiny is what we are making. Very often fatalists think that we are in the hands of destiny, driven in whatever direction in life destiny wills; but in point of fact we are the masters of our destiny, especially from the moment we begin to realize this fact. … Man is responsible for his success and failure, for his rise and fall. And it is man who brings these about either knowingly or unknowingly.

from  http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/VI/VI_31.htm

Mastery of The Mind

April 27, 2013 Comments Off on Mastery of The Mind

The experienced meditator seeks out the unwholesome areas within himself, endeavoring to expose and rid himself of each knot of karma. The beginning meditator may be shocked and shrink from even continuing the practice of meditation, as his inner mind plays back unhappy thoughts that impose themselves upon his shanti. Many stop meditating altogether at this point and turn instead to the distractions of modern life for solace.

But true meditation happens because of soul evolution. We evolve into meditative practices from bhakti, the yoga of devotion. The transition is earned through past good karmas, not chosen as an intellectual or recreational pastime. As the transition of external worship to internal worship is made, the devotee has to face all bad karmas cheerfully and honestly in order to resolve them and move forward.

Sitting in a state of real meditation, one must be more alive and alert than a tight-rope walker suspended without a net on a taut cable three hundred feet above the Earth. Do you suppose that this man is sleepy, that he allows his mind to wander? No, every muscle and sinew of his body, every thought, every feeling within him, is absolutely under his control. It is the only way he can maintain the balance which keeps him from plunging to the earth beneath. He must be the master of himself, all the while seeking to identify with his pure soul being, not allowing attention to be pulled here and there–to the physical body, to outside sounds, to thoughts of the past or to concerns about the future.

In meditation, you will feel the same intensity of purpose as the tight-rope walker. Every atom in your being must be alive, every emotion under control, every thought seeking to impose itself upon your mind set aside until your purpose is accomplished. If the man three hundred feet up in the air feels a gust of wind coming against him, he must exercise perhaps a hundred times more will and concentration to remain poised in his precarious condition. Likewise, in meditation your mind may be intensely concentrated upon a particular object or thought, and yet you find an opposing thought seeking to divert your attention. The opposing thought may simply be a wind from your subconscious. You must then put more effort into the object of your concentration so that the opposing thoughts will be set aside and not have power to topple your balance.

Upon entering a state of meditation, one may find that awareness is enmeshed in a struggle between two states of mind: the subconscious of the past and the conscious, external, waking state concerned with the present and future. The experienced meditator learns that he is the watcher, pure awareness. When concentration is sustained long enough, he dives into the superconscious, intuitive state of mind. It enables the meditator, in time, to unravel the mystery. An integrated, one-pointed state of being is the goal–a state of inner perception without vacillation, with the ability to move awareness through the mind’s various states at will. To become the ruler of the mind is the goal. To then go beyond the mind into the Self is the destiny of all living on this planet, for most in a life to come.  – Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami,from:Merging with Siva

Finding Your Own Voice

April 6, 2013 Comments Off on Finding Your Own Voice

“If you choose according to your own inclination, according to your own intuition…[the inner voice] is very strong in children but, slowly slowly, becomes weaker. The voices of the parents and the teachers, the society and the priest, become louder and louder. Now if you want to find out what is your voice, you will have to pass through a crowd of noises.

“Just watch inside: whose voice is this? Sometimes it is your father, sometimes it is your mother, sometimes it is your grandfather, sometimes it is your teacher; and those voices are all different. Just one thing you will not be able to find easily — your own voice. It has been always suppressed. You have been told to listen to your elders, to listen to the priest, to listen to the teachers. You have never been told to listen to your own heart.

“You are carrying a still, small voice of your own, unheard, and in the crowd of voices that have been imposed upon you, it is almost impossible to find it. First you will have to get rid of all those noises, attain a certain quality of silence, peace, serenity. Only then will it come, as a surprise, that you also have your own voice. It was always there like an undercurrent.

“Unless you have found your natural inclination, your life is going to be a long, long tragedy, from the cradle to the grave. The only people who have been blissful in the world are the people who have lived according to their own intuition and have rebelled against any effort by others to impose their ideas. Howsoever valuable those ideas may be, they are useless because they are not yours. The only significant idea is that which arises in you, grows in you, blossoms in you.”

Step 1: Who’s speaking, please?
“Whatever you are doing, thinking, deciding, ask yourself: Is this coming from me or is someone else speaking?

“You will be surprised when you find the real voice. Perhaps it is your mother; you will hear her speak again. Perhaps it is your father; it is not difficult at all to detect. It remains there recorded in you exactly as it was given to you for the first time — the advice, the order, the discipline, or the commandment. You may find many people: the priests, the teachers, the friends, the neighbors and the relatives.

“There is no need to fight. Just knowing that it is not your voice but somebody else’s — whosoever that somebody else is — you know that you are not going to follow it. Whatsoever the consequences — good or bad — now you are deciding to move on your own, you are deciding to be mature. You have remained a child enough. You have remained dependent enough. You have listened to all these voices and followed them enough. And where have they brought you? Into a mess.

Step 2: Thankyou…and Goodbye!
“Once you identify whose voice it is, thank the person, ask to be left alone and say good-bye to it.

“The person who had given that voice to you was not your enemy. His intention was not bad, but it is not a question of his intention. The question is that he imposed something on you that is not coming from your inner source; and anything that comes from outside makes you a psychological slave.

“Once you have told a certain voice clearly, ‘Leave me alone,’ your connection with it, your identity with it, is broken. It was capable of controlling you because you were thinking it was your voice. The whole strategy was the identity. Now you know it is not your thoughts, not your voice; it is something foreign to your nature. Recognizing it is enough. Get rid of the voices that are within you and soon you will be surprised to hear a still, small voice, which you have never heard before…then a sudden recognition that it is your voice.

“It has been there always, but it is a very still, small voice because it was suppressed when you were a very small child, and the voice was very small, just a sprout, and it was covered with all kinds of crap. And now you go on carrying that crap and you have forgotten the plant that is your life, which is still alive, waiting for you to discover it. Discover your voice and then follow it with no fear.

“Whenever it leads, there is the goal of your life, there is your destiny. It is only there that you will find fulfillment, contentment. It is only there that you will blossom — and in that blossoming, knowing happens.”
Osho, From Ignorance to Innocence, Talk #13
Copyright © 2013 Osho International Foundation

Thought draws the line of fate

January 19, 2013 Comments Off on Thought draws the line of fate

Thought draws the line of fate.

Bowl of Saki, January 17, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

As mind is naturally impressionable, that means that man is naturally impressionable too. Most often his illness, health, prosperity, failure, all depends upon the impressions on his mind. They say ‘Lines of fate and death are on the head and palm,’ but I would say that it is the impressions man has on his mind which decide his destiny.

from  http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/XIII/XIII_5.htm

A person thinks, ‘Some day I should like to build a factory.’ At this time he has no money, no knowledge, no capability; but a thought came, ‘Some day I should like to build a factory.’ Then he thinks of something else. Perhaps years pass, but that thought has been working constantly through a thousand minds, and a thousand sources prepare for him that which he once desired. If we could look back to all we have thought of at different times, we would find that the line of fate or destiny, Kismet as it is called in the East, is formed by our thought. Thoughts have prepared for us that happiness or unhappiness which we experience. The whole of mysticism is founded on this.

from  http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/VII/VII_17.htm

One must always say every word with consideration, and should not say what one does not wish to happen. Those who do not understand the value of suggestion walk after their own fate with a whip in their hand, and those who understand its value and control their word and use it rightly, they are a bliss to themselves and a source of happiness to others.

~~~ “Githa I, ‘Amaliyyat 5”, by Hazrat Inayat Khan (unpublished)

Is Initiation Necessary to Perform Japa?

January 6, 2013 Comments Off on Is Initiation Necessary to Perform Japa?

 

The most precious of all Saivite mantras, Namah Sivaya is freely sung and chanted by one and all. Mantra diksha bestows the permission and power for japa yoga. Without this initiation, its repetition bears lesser fruit. Aum. The Panchakshara Mantra is the word of God, the name and total essence of Siva. But to chant Namah Sivaya and to be empowered to chant Namah Sivaya is likened to the difference between writing a check without money in the bank and writing a check with money in the bank. Namah Sivaya is the gateway to yoga. Initiation from an orthodox guru is given after preparation, training and attaining a certain level of purity and dedication. The guru bestows the authority to chant Namah Sivaya. After initiation, the devotee is obligated to intone it regularly as instructed. This forges the shishya’s permanent bond with the guru and his spiritual lineage, sampradaya, and fires the process of inner unfoldment. From the lips of my Satgurunatha I learned Namah Sivaya, and it has been the central core of my life, strength and fulfillment of destiny. The secret of Namah Sivaya is to hear it from the right lips at the right time. Then, and only then, is it the most powerful mantra for you. The Siva Samhita affirms, “Only the knowledge imparted by a guru, through his lips, is powerful and useful; otherwise it becomes fruitless, weak and very painful.” Aum Namah Sivaya – by Satguru sivaya subramuniya swami, from:Dancing with siva

Our thoughts have prepared us

November 12, 2012 Comments Off on Our thoughts have prepared us

Our thoughts have prepared us for the happiness or unhappiness we experience.

Bowl of Saki, November 11, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

In point of fact, whatever one makes of oneself, one becomes that. The source of happiness or unhappiness is all in man, himself. When he is unaware of this, he is not able to arrange his life. As he becomes more acquainted with this secret, he gains mastery. The process by which this mastery is attained is the only fulfillment of the purpose of this life.

from  http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/X/X_3_4.htm

‘The present is the reflection of the past, and the future is the re-echo of the present.’ Destiny is not what is already made; destiny is what we are making. Very often fatalists think that we are in the hands of destiny, driven in whatever direction in life destiny wills; but in point of fact we are the masters of our destiny, especially from the moment we begin to realize this fact. … Man is responsible for his success and failure, for his rise and fall. And it is man who brings these about either knowingly or unknowingly.

from  http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/VI/VI_31.htm

A person thinks, ‘Some day I should like to build a factory.’ At this time he has no money, no knowledge, no capability; but a thought came, ‘Some day I should like to build a factory.’ Then he thinks of something else. Perhaps years pass, but that thought has been working constantly through a thousand minds, and a thousand sources prepare for him that which he once desired. If we could look back to all we have thought of at different times, we would find that the line of fate or destiny, Kismet as it is called in the East, is formed by our thought. Thoughts have prepared for us that happiness or unhappiness which we experience. The whole of mysticism is founded on this.

from  http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/VII/VII_17.htm

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