Moving Forward! Start a journey to a Yogi Lifestyle – 4 The Theory

Moving Forward! Start a journey to a Yogi Lifestyle – 4  The Theory

Love the theory part, not so much that I like to read now, but so relax and easy that someone there talk and I listen, the science, the philosophy, the art, and the stories.

I had already much forgotten to recall exactly how many years from the day I enjoy listening to the teacher’s classroom teaching.

It’s back to my old golden days.

After all, after reading for so many years, my eye sights getting bad. Just packed up all my books into 26 cartons of boxes while preparing to move them to another location.

After this course, I think, likely will start collecting and pick up again, books on the Yoga’s title.

It’s pleasant reading on the Yoga Sutra, though initially having difficulties and hard time stirring my tongues over the Sanskrit words and trying to figure out what’s the meaning by reading the long explanation inside the manual, which eventually made me more confused.

Lucky enough, I managed to find and organized from the internet.
Well, IF, I meant “IF”, If I have the time, likely will add on to it’s German and Chinese or even other languages translation at my leisure if I can find it.

Here share if you need.

Here go we happy Journey to Yoga Lifestyle.

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra Translation Sanskrit to English

 

汇编 Complied by Angie Chua 20190909.

Svadhyaya and Dhyana

Svadhyaya simply means the study or observance of the self with no attachment and no judgment.

I really appreciate this term, as it allows me to reflect on  myself and others around me, observing and  analyzing  a situation with an almost scientist-like approach. I have found this brought me new insights to situations, but I have to be careful about whether it is applying judgment or discernment and whether it is expressing compassion or sympathy to myself or to others.

Read More

Can you really empty the mind?

There are many misconceptions of meditation, or dhyana. One of the most common misconceptions about meditation is that it is about making your mind go blank. In my opinion, asking a person to stop thinking would be like having them keeping their eyes open and telling them not to see. Is that really possible?
Rarely do we experience times in meditation when no thoughts arise at all. Most of the time, the mind is anything but blank. Instead it is filled – filled with inner self-talk and non-stop chattering. So what do we do? Well, stop resisting thoughts and trying to make them go away. We need to learn to accept that thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations come and go continuously, and they are a part of meditation. They are a natural activity in the mind. Make use of this chance to observe our emotions rather than blindly react to them.
Where yoga is concerned,meditation is defined more specifically as a state of pure consciousness. Meditation can help people to optimise their potential by allowing them to optimise their potential by allowing them to accept the ups and downs of existence unconditionally. Acceptance of life means acceptance of self, and by leading us to learn and embrace our true selves. It is the actual experience of this union.
Meditation is about making a different relationship to our thoughts. Let us learn to maintain a detached awareness of our thoughts and emotions and allow a broadened perspective and greater access to deeper truth. Meditation helps us to optimise our potential by allowing us to accept the ups and downs of existence unconditionally. For acceptance of life suggests acceptance of self and embracing our true selves. Meditation sets free the beauty that lies within.
Claudine Yong
200 Hr – July – Aug
 

Dhyana (Meditation) – 8 Limbs of Yoga

Dhyana, or yoga meditation, is the 7th stage of the 8 limb’s of Ashtanga Yoga. What most people today refer to as ‘meditation’ are generally varieties of techniques for stress relief and relaxation, and for enhancing and refining the faculty of ‘concentration’ (or dharana).
However, Swami Gitananda explains that meditation is a most misunderstood word. It has come to mean for many, simply sitting with the eyes closed, or the repetition of a mantra sound over and over. It must be something much more profound, much more elevated.
 
From the 6th stage of Dharana, the mind is put through various rigors of trainings to restrain its waywardness and to refine its awareness to the ultimate degree of ‘one-pointedness’. Achieving this state is an ‘active process’ that requires much effort. But it is precisely when this ‘one-pointedness’ of mind ceases to be an ‘active effort’ and then just ‘happens naturally’, without any effort, that we have achieved the state of meditation.
Hence, meditation is a ‘state’ (of being, or of mind), and not a techinique that we ‘practice’.  It is an unbroken stream of raw observation whereby very little ‘sense of self’ remains. Without the dualistic nature of thought inherent in thinking present, one can say that at such moments, the observer and the observed become one.
At this level, it becomes increasingly more difficult to use words and the reasoning, conscious mind to describe the experiences of yoga. After all, the state of meditation, by its very nature transcends our material human experience and everything that is related to it.
The 6th (Dharana) and 7th (Dhyana) stage of yoga often seem to overlap each other by definition. However, we could say that meditation (dhyana), is concentration (dharana) taken to ‘perfection’ — In other words, a meditative state is the natural result of ‘perfect concentration’.
So it is prolonged concentration, then, that leads us into this ‘spontaneous’ and ‘free-flowing’ meditative state, whereby nothing but the object of concentration fills the mental space; and whereby the observer and the observed become one.
So this begs the question “How often are we in a meditative state?”. Unless you are a very dedicated and highly disciplined practitioner, the answer is “probably not often”.
While this word ‘meditation’ has taken on a whole range of meanings today, from the very mundane exercises for calming the mind, to more structured practices for refining and improving concentration, these things, although some of them may be valuable tools on the ‘road to meditation’, are not themselves meditation, and in most cases, alone will not be able to take one to a state of meditation.
This is so because much preparation is needed before one is capable of experiencing this powerful, yet very subtle state of meditation. As Swami Gitananda explains:
“Meditation is an exalted state of being which is produced by a moral and ethical, pure lifestyle; control of the body and breath through Asana and Pranayama; transcendence of and freedom from the imprisonment of the senses in Pratyahara. Practices of Dharana, exercises in concentrating and focusing the mind must be perfected. Only then is one able to even speak of meditation, let alone experience it.”
In my own experience in meditation, I believe I have encountered fragmented moments of meditative states. However, I say they are fragmented states because while in those states, it does not take long before my discursive mind intervenes to try and dissect and understand what has just happened. I suppose the “ … moral and ethical, pure lifestyle; control of the body and breath through Asana and Pranayama” spoken of by Swami Gitananda refers to the ultimate process of making the ego extinct, thereby allowing a meditative state to be sustainable. This is not an easy task from my own experience.

Dhyana (Meditation) and Your Brain

Probably like many before me, my foray into meditation was motivated by a need to calm my mind, ease the overwhelming torrents of anger in my chest, etc, etc…you get the picture…
Well, after having meditated regularly for about 2 months..something has changed. it is subtle. There were no fireworks or grand realisation. There is no light around my head, and i still can’t sit in a lotus position. But there is a constant fuzzy feeling that surrounds me, which either helps me disconnect or connect to my environment. Am i imagining this? After all, the mind creates what the mind creates..no? NO! According to this article in Science Daily, mediation can actually change your brain structure. A team led by Massachusetts General Hospital researchers conducted a study group where they looked at the brains of participants before and after they started on an 8-week meditation programme. If you don’t fee like reading the looong article…here are the highlights of differences found in the participants:

  • increased grey-matter density in the hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory
  • increased grey-matter density in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion and introspection
  • decreased grey-matter density in the amygdala, which is known to play an important role in anxiety and stress.
And all of the above by just meditating 27 mins per day for 8 weeks…..pretty awesome huh?

Source: Massachusetts General Hospital. “Mindfulness meditation training changes brain structure in eight weeks.” ScienceDaily, 21 Jan. 2011. Web. 16 May 2011.