Daaji’s Yoga Nidra

Ganesha In Yoga Nidra

 

I will sometimes get into talks with people (friendly, no-argumentative talks) about sleep. Many people claim that once they are asleep, they are out cold. Others tell about how they are such light sleepers. Some people toss and turn. While everyone sleeps in their own way, it seems like everyone can relate to how others sleep – except for when I detail to them how I sleep. To be clear, there are times when I’m out cold and sleeping so deeply that all disappears. And there are times when I sleep like my birth mother did when she lived: So lightly that if someone gently sighs three rooms away – with the door closed – it’ll wake me up. But mostly it’s neither of these. More often than not, I am awake (aware?) while I’m asleep. I really don’t know how else to describe it. My body goes to sleep. And I would say, too, that my mind also goes to sleep. But “I” stay awake and aware for most of every night’s rest. It’s dark and and quiet and very still (stiller and quieter than your home when the electricity goes out and you notice the screaming silence that happens as a result of things like the refrigerator not running. Y’know – that really LOUD silence?). I’m keenly ware that my body rests. I’m just as aware that my mind’s thoughts are passing by at a slower pace (if at all) than when I’m awake. The whole time, I just….. am. It’s nice. So nice.

I’ve written about it here before, in the past. It’s always a tough thing to try to effectively describe. Almost no one understands what I’m talking about. This seems to say that I’m either describing my experience in a way that others cannot at all relate to (read: I’m using the wrong words), or else there really are so few others that have this experience that I’ve yet to encounter one. It can be frustrating. And it IS frustrating when I’m in talks with someone who claims I’m entirely mistaken – that we ALL dream every night, whether we recall as much or not. Thank god for people who know my own life experience better than I do! (#Sarcasm)

Anyway, What you will read below the line is something I pulled from a newsletter or maybe a publication from Daaji’s Desk or something. I forget the exact source, but I suppose that doesn’t matter so much as you understand it’s not something I composed. Daaji was questioned by some students about falling asleep during meditation and his answer feels like it touches a bit on how I experience sleep. Just thought I’d share.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti


It was a quiet morning. Daaji came to the meditation room around 7:30 a.m. and conducted satsangh. Afterwards he answered questions from new seekers. Here are some excerpts:

Q: While meditating, I find that I am leaning either forward or sideways by the time I finish. So how do I know that I am meditating and not sleeping?

Daaji: I will start with the second part of your question. How to know whether you are meditating or sleeping? Often when we conduct such programs in universities, especially when there are 500 or 1000 students in a hall and generally they would be having fun. After meditation, they ask, “Sir, did we go to sleep?” So I respond, “Okay, let’s do an experiment. Sit in a chair and I will not transmit to you. Now, try to go to sleep in the chair within 5 minutes. Can you do it?” So it is the relaxing effect produced by transmission that creates a state akin to yoga nidra. At the same time, if you pay attention, you are aware of what is happening outside, even though you are in a sleep-like state.

Now, to the first part of your question: often we seem to lean forward or sideways. It is a very good state actually. It happens when the mind relaxes and our emotional heart surrenders. In that state of submission the head bows down, unknowingly, unconsciously. It is arising out of our subconscious submission to Divinity.

Points of Interest

By now it’s well documented that many Eastern traditions have known things which the Western is only just now beginning to recognize. Certain examples might include the nature of matter and energy, the shape and structure of the universe and space, and certain features and functions and compositions of the human being. Likely falling under the last of the list I just made would be the images shown below. I don’t rightly know if I’m “allowed” to share these images and diagrams with the world via our wide web, because in every path there are many things (often of an esoteric value) which paths don’t typically let anyone and everyone to see and which instead are reserved for the initiates.

However, whispers coming from The Hierarchy in the Brighter World have indicated that change is happening – at an unprecedented rate and in unprecedented ways. That alone, I think, is enough so-called “wiggle room” for me to be able to share the information below and not to be breaking any rule. But even if it isn’t, those who know me personally will know that I often live my the motto of it being better to ask forgiveness than to ask for permission. So… Imma do what I think I should, regardless of what’s technically allowed or not.

For those already walking the path of Sahaj Marg or Heartfulness, this content might be nothing new to you. Depending on what Sahaj Marg / Heartfulness books are in your home library, you may well have seen these diagrams already – and if you have, then you probably already have read the surrounding information which does a better job explaining foundational and peripheral knowledge related to these images. If that’s you, then you are a bit ahead of the game and these will make more sense to you.

For anyone very new to this path, or who maybe has a home library which doesn’t include the books detailing this information, this might be content you haven’t before seen. That’s fine. For you folks, you’ll want to keep in  mind that these diagrams are (to say the least) digest versions of deeper knowledge relating to our path. Take from these whatever you can, and don’t worry too much about anything you aren’t super clear on or places where you think you see holes in the information presented.

Regardless of whether or not these diagrams are new to you, feel free to leave your thoughts in a comment below or through contacting me privately. (If you haven’t commented here before, then your comment will require my approval – so leaving a first-time comment IS a way to contact me privately if you can find no other way. Just FYI.)

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Child

Daaji came back to the cottage and attended many meetings. A small group of children met him and one child looked quite serious, saying, “I have a question for you.” Daaji replied, “Please go ahead and ask.” The child to Daaji asked, “Master is in the heart. So why are people greedy to see him physically?” Daaji answered, “That is my question and my problem also.”

Daaji was so happy with this wise youngster. Later, the child’s father said that the whole morning he was upset watching those people who were demanding to see Master. Here again a small but profound incident showed that the wisdom of the heart does not depend on age or knowledge.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

About Mind

“We have to understand the function of the mind. We have a nose. What is the role of nose? It is to smell. Would you tell your nose to stop smelling things?  “I would like to smell only a rose and not this gutter.” It can’t be selective. The same thing happens with the eyes. The role of the eyes is to see things. The mind is also like that, you see. The mind is to think. To prevent its function from thinking is to go against its nature. So, in Yoga sadhana, we first train the mind to think on one object – the Divine presence. After that we go deeper, from thinking, which is a superficial function, to feeling. That is true meditation. When we shift from thinking to feeling that is the real meditation, where we no longer think of the divine presence but feel the presence. For that we need dedicated practice.” -Daaji

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

Tied to Freedom

Last November I read something on a blog I follow and I’d like to share here now. The post can be found by clicking here and deals with the idea of Samadhi. The author writes about a spiritual idea that is often thought to be the culmination of lots of hard work – I think I’ve written about it, too, but this author does really well at touching on something in a meaningful way but without digging so deep that the reader tunes it all out.

In Sahaj Marg / Heartfulness, we can trace some of our foundation to the Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and anyone who has studied the broader yoga umbrella and what falls under it will be familiar with the term samadhi. My own understanding of the word, when I first came to Hinduism, was that samadhi is THE highest attainment and means the truest and most complete liberation. It’s The Goal. Synonymous with words like moksha. Stepping off of the samsaric wheel. No more karma, either good or bad. No more samskara. No more anything. Sometimes I’d read that it just meant someone died.

I think there are applications of samadhi, as a word, that still carries all that just fine. But my understanding has evolved. For abhyasis practicing Heartfulness, samadhi isn’t really The Goal. It’s an attainment and a great sign post of one’s personal development and evolution as a human. And I’d say this largely matches what Yogibattle has communicated. And I agree with him that it is possible that one can experience samadhi while in everyday life. From a linguistic standpoint samadhi does communicate the essence of yoga which is union. Here, samadhi gets extra fancy in that is implies a sort of ultimate freedom – but through ultimate union.

From Wikipedia….

Sanskrit

Various interpretations for the term’s etymology are possible:

  • sam, “together”; a, “toward”; stem of dadhati, “puts, places”: “a putting or joining together;”[web 1]
  • sam, “together” or “integrated”; ā, “towards”; dhā, “to get, to hold”: “to acquire integration or wholeness, or truth” (samāpatti);
  • sam, “uniformly” or “fully”; adhi, “to get established: : a state wherein one establishes himself to the fullest extent in the Supreme consciousness;
  • samā, “even”; dhi, “intellect”: a state of total equilibrium of a detached intellect.
  • sam, “perfect,” “complete.” dhi, “consciousness”: a state of being where “all distinctions between the person who is the subjective meditator, the act of meditation and the object of meditation merge into oneness.”[6]

The above excerpt from Wikipedia (I know, I know – whatever) does well at highlighting the “union” aspect of samadhi. You see words and phrases like “together,” “integrated,” and “merge into oneness.” But it’s through this union  (a form of binding, being bound) that expansive freedom is experienced and that is the essence, peace, hope, and purpose of yoga and spirituality associated with yoga.

Yogibattle details some of what Patanjali has said about samadhi and I’ll let you spend a few minutes reading his post which I’ve linked to earlier in this post. Samadhi, clearly, is something achievable by austere renunciates escaping everyday life AND the householder / grhasta who operates within worldly living. He also rightly points out how natural and therefore automatic samadhi is and that it isn’t really something one “does.” (This should parallel teachings on meditation where you don’t forcefully clear your mind – but it happens.) He says, “I  have an inkling that Samadhi hits us when we are not trying to achieve Samadhi. If you are in your natural state doing your dharma without any expectation, I think you are ripe for the experience.” That means this is probably not at all far removed from times when someone is “in the zone” – when hatha yogis are flowing in and through asana as much as the asana is flowing in and through them. When athletes perform in ways that seem super human. When mothers are mothering like no other mother.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

Gotras

saptarishi

 

“Whenever you go to visit a temple in India, and participate in the doing pujas or rituals, the priest will often ask you to which gotra your family line belongs. Then you tell him your gotra, and usually the names of your father and mother, and he puts that into the recitation of prayers to offer to the deity you are worshiping, and to get blessings from that deity. In other cases, a person introduces himself to elders by stating one’s name and gotra. This is a form of acknowledging one’s ancestral ties and all that has been given by one’s ancestors.”

The above is how a post written by Steephen Knapp begins and in which he offers an explanation of what gotras are. You can access that post by clicking here. I have always seen this as a kind of barrier for me to participate in certain rituals wherein I know I’ll be asked to cite a familiar gotra. Surely, though, non-Indians DO have applicable gotras because the gotras are based off of the humanitary progenitors. It would be interesting to track down the gotra of various non-Indian peoples of our world.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

Sainthood Or Stings

 

saint_morrissey_by_ivyascending

 

“The saint helped the scorpion over and over again and the scorpion each time returned a sting. Some said, ‘Do you not know it is the nature of the scorpion to sting?’ and the saint replied, ‘It is my nature to save.'”

The above is attributed to Kabir – someone who was a 15th century Indian mystic who influenced two of the world’s major religions – Hinduism and Sikhism. In fact, verses from Kabir are not only inspirational they are also to be found in the holy text of the Sikhs, namely the Adi Granth.

This quote is one I found not long ago but it has really been on my mind. There are two reasons for why it has stayed with me. One is that the saint is aware of the scorpion’s nature – something that’s actually very telling. The other thing causing this quote to stick with me is that the saint pretty much self-identified as a saint to another human. Let’s look at the first part.

The saint was well aware of the scorpion’s tendency to sting, even when being helped. The shortest assessment, probably, of the saint’s behavior in this context is that he simply didn’t care. At a bare minimum, he simply didn’t care that the scorpion had stung him and would continue to sting him. But why didn’t that matter? We have a modern saying that goes something like, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fooll me twice, shame on me.” We don’t like feeling like fools and most people would agree that, excluding all masochistic tendencies, to continue to do something that seems to be a source of pain (like suffering a scorpion’s sting) is foolish. However, that doesn’t really seem to be on the saint’s radar. There are two things I can say ARE on the saint’s radar: Awareness of the scorpion’s nature, and awareness of his own.

The saint seems to be saying that it simply doesn’t matter if it’s painful to help. He knows (by recognizing the scorpion’s nature) that pain is likely. Since he’s helped more than once already, he probably recognizes that the scorpion will continue to need help. And he recognizes (by being aware of his own nature) that he will likely be stung again… and again. Seems like a bad combo, right?

Why would anyone continue to place themselves in the position to be stung when all they are doing for the one stinging is helping? It doesn’t make sense… Unless you’re a so-called saint.

The saint in our little story accepts the nature of the scorpion. He not only sees that the scorpion will sting him, but also knows that the scorpion, in all it’s scorpion-ness, will continue to need help. When most people come across the various kinds of scorpion-humans in the world, they do what they can to stay away. The opposite of help. Most think to themselves, “Why would any fool help someone else who is just going to sting them as repayment?” But the saint isn’t concerned with those kinds of thoughts or that mudane level of operating in the world… Because the saint knows his own nature.

The saint knows he’s here to help. Period. The saint knows lots of other things too: That his needs will always be met, that things aren’t often the way they seem, that the Big Picture is REALLY fucking big, that there are reasons behind happenings which aren’t always apparent and often are never known on the surface level. But the most important and useful thing understood by the saint is that he’s here to do what he’s supposed to do when he’s supposed to do it, and never really to care about whether his payment is sainthood or stings. This is why he responds to his questioner with the simple statement, “It is my nature to save.”

Whoa.

The second part of the story that has stayed with me is that the saint self-identified himself as someone who saves. Today, a statement like that would probably strike most people as pretty arrogant. The first thing that pops into my head when I chew on this is that the humility of someone who says, “I’m a humble person” is often questioned before they can put a period on the end of that statement. So wouldn’t the sainthood of someone who tells others, “I’m a saint” likewise come into question? Maybe, but maybe not.

I suppose on some level this is no different than some teachers and guides and gurus saying they are beggars or a “servant of the servant,” something I’ve heard a lot. I know even within Heartfulness / Sahaj Marg our Masters or guides have made very clear that they are nobody to exalt, that they are here to serve.

Somebody can say they are a beggar or – as we often see in Hinduism – that the guru’s padukas are all we’re worthy to touch. It’s all the same and it’s all a form of the person speaking about their own humility – and yet we’re okay with that, in that form. So this leaves me wondering a bit about other different-but-similar self-proclamations. When the person asked the saint if he wasn’t aware of the scorpion’s tendency toward stinging and was met with a response akin to “I save people,” how did that person respond? Are we supposed to question a saint’s assertion or just stay out of the way and let him or her keep sainting?

Either way, I’m not convinced it matters much. What seems to be the real lesson of the short story this post started with is that some of us are here and have evolved in such a way so as to help – in whatever way we’re supposed to, at whichever time we’re supposed to – even if we know the scorpion is a selfish kind of idiot and seemingly undeserving.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti