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1
Spirituality / Documentary Questions the Existence of Jesus
« on: August 22, 2005, 06:58:39 PM »
In 'The God Who Wasn't There,' a former born-again Christian argues that Christ was a mythological figure.

Brian Flemming's "Bat Boy: The Musical" was praised by critics but appalled some fundamentalists with its references to incest and other dark themes. Flemming's latest project is just as likely to disturb conservative Christians.

The 39-year-old Angeleno has made an hourlong documentary titled "The God Who Wasn't There." In it, the former born-again Christian argues that the biblical Jesus never lived, but is a mythological figure like Paul Bunyan.

Initially released theatrically June 17, the documentary grew out of Flemming's research for a fictional thriller-in-progress titled, "The Beast." In that film, which he hopes to release next year, a teenage Christian discovers that the Jesus she fervently believes in never existed.

"My position is that's the most likely scenario," the filmmaker said.

Asked why he chose to question Jesus' existence instead of his divinity, Flemming said: "I think that the idea that an individual could be the son of a god is already so ridiculous it doesn't need to be debunked."

To promote the movie, Flemming places it squarely in the company of other headline-making exposes: " 'Bowling for Columbine' did it to the gun culture. 'Super Size Me' did it to fast food. Now 'The God Who Wasn't There' does it to religion…. Hold on to your faith. It's in for a bumpy ride."

Made for less than $100,000, with jazzy graphics and David Byrne remixed on the soundtrack, the documentary includes a montage of images from a 1905 silent movie on the life of Christ and the 1952 miniseries "The Living Bible."

Wielding his own camera, Flemming interviews believers outside a Billy Graham event and talks with academics who argue that the Jesus of the Gospels did not live 2,000 years ago in what is now Israel.

Flemming also returns to the campus of the Sun Valley Christian school where, he said, he accepted Christ as his personal savior. The school superintendent walks out mid-interview.

If that makes the documentary sound, to believers, like the evil twin of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ," that's fine with Flemming.

To get attention for his movie, he is mimicking Gibson, who generated word of mouth for his controversial film about the Crucifixion by screening it first for Christian groups.

Flemming is encouraging skeptics groups and others to show his movie, allowing them to keep any profits once they purchase the DVD. It goes on sale Tuesday (its website is http://www.thegodmovie.com).

Flemming will screen and talk about the film Sunday at 11 a.m. in the Center for Inquiry-West's Steve Allen Theater, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. The secular humanist organization will repeat the program at 4:30 p.m. at the Costa Mesa Community Center, 1845 Park Ave. (Admission is $6 for nonmembers, free for members.)

With his parents, the young Flemming attended a Methodist church. But, he said, his parents were concerned about violence in the Sylmar public schools and sent him to a nearby fundamentalist Christian school. There, he said, he believed his teachers when they said that God created the world in six days and other Bible-based lessons.

But those beliefs crumbled when he went to UC Irvine and began studying philosophy and science.

"I am not one of those atheists who has a big conversion story," he said. "It took me a while to call myself an atheist, because it was drummed into me that was such a bad thing to be."

What Flemming learned at a secular university convinced him that his fundamentalist teachers had "misrepresented what evolution was" and distorted other truths to bolster their Christian faith.

It is "frightening to me that children get indoctrinated in it," he said.

Chris Leland, a spokesman for the Focus on the Family Institute, an educational unit of the evangelical Christian organization, has seen the film and decries the scholarship that Flemming uses to argue against a historic Jesus.

"Some of the original premises of the film are shallowly researched," Leland said. "It ignores an enormous range of Jewish research on a person called Jesus, archeological confirmations … as well as other external historical documents."

One of the people arguing on screen for questioning belief is neuroscientist Sam Harris, author of "The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason." An atheist, Harris praised the film for challenging what he regards as a maladaptive taboo in contemporary society — against asking people of faith to present evidence for their contentions.

"We allow people to make the most extraordinary claims without giving evidence," Harris said. "It's considered uncivil to criticize people's religious certainties…. Whether Jesus existed or not, we need to criticize people's false certainties."

Father Thomas Rausch, a Jesuit priest and professor of theology at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, has not seen the film. But, he said, "I don't know any serious scholar who questions the existence of Jesus."

According to Rausch, the best evidence that Jesus lived comes from the ancient Jewish writer and historian Josephus, particularly a passage in his "The Jewish Antiquities," dating from about AD 95. Some material in Josephus was probably added to the original text by Christians to bolster the young religion.

But, Rausch said, most scholars accept as authentic Josephus' description of a wise teacher called Jesus who did "startling deeds" and "gained a following among many Jews and many of Greek origin," according to one translation, and was condemned to the cross.

Historian Richard Carrier, the atheist author of "Sense and Goodness Without God," said he had been "agnostic" about the existence of Jesus until Flemming interviewed him for the film. Now, he said, "I think that more likely than not, Jesus did not exist."

Carrier has come to doubt that Josephus wrote a word of the key passage about Jesus, known among scholars as the Testimonium Flavianum. Carrier was swayed by a mass of circumstantial evidence, including early Christian theologian Origen's citing Josephus but not that passage.

Whether or not the film changes anyone's mind, some skeptics see the movie as a welcome call for reason and against blind faith. Ford Vox heads the Universist Movement, whose 8,000 members describe themselves as "faithless."

"We emphasize free inquiry rather than the nonexistence of God," said Vox, a medical student who founded the group in Birmingham, Ala., in 2003.

The Universists sponsored the film's Southern premiere in Birmingham and its New York City opening. Vox said he believes the movie communicates a healthy skepticism about Christianity.

He said religion is dangerous in that it often encourages "absolutist, black-and-white thinking" that allows people to dehumanize and demonize those who don't share their beliefs.

Flemming, aware of the irony that the fundamentalist faith he rejected fuels much of his work, said he gets "a lot of e-mail that ranges from utterly hateful to 'I want to save your soul.' "

The filmmaker said he has "no lingering resentment" about his parents sending him to a fundamentalist school. And making "The God Who Wasn't There," especially the sequence in the school chapel, was "very cathartic," he said. "I'm finally done with that whole period of my life, and I can move on."


http://www.religionnewsblog.com/12035/Documentary-Questions-the-Existence-of-Jesus

2
Spirituality / Was Jesus Teaching a Yoga System?
« on: August 10, 2005, 10:47:30 PM »
Did Jesus teach Yoga?
Though it may surprise you, the answer to this question is both “Yes” and “No.”

First, let's define the word "Yoga." It comes from an original Sanskrit word that means "yoke" or "union." So the implied meaning is "to be yoked with God or in union with God." In this sense, Yes, a person could say that Jesus taught "Yoga," because His teachings emphasize how to be "yoked with
God," how to experience "oneness or union with God." However, the methods employed in various schools of Yoga usually differ drastically from those espoused by the Lord Jesus.

In Hinduism especially, as well as some other Far Eastern worldviews, it is believed that union with God can be achieved through various means. According to the emphasis of a particular group, different categories of "Yoga," such as the following, have emerged:

(1) Hatha Yoga (the path of physical disciplines, asanas and breath control);

(2) Karma Yoga (the yoga of action, good works or selfless service);

(3) Mantra Yoga (the path of chanting mantras);

(4) Bhakti Yoga (the path of devotion to God, a god or an individual guru or avatar);

(5) Jnana Yoga (the path of transcendental knowledge);

(6) Raja Yoga (the royal path of meditation and mind control);

(7) Tantra Yoga (the use of esoteric methods to obtain supernatural experiences, sometimes the harnessing of power through sexual experiences);

(8) Kundalini Yoga (a blend of Hatha, Mantra, Raja Yoga and sometimes Tantra Yoga aimed at the awakening of the “kundalini”—defined as a latent, divine power coiled like a serpent at the base of the spine).

Sometimes various branches of yoga incorporate several of the above types into one composite yogic system. Though each branch may promote a slightly different approach, the ultimate goal of all yoga practices is Enlightenment, oneness with the Divine, the awakening of the Higher Self, the attainment of God-consciousness,

I was a teacher of Kundalini Yoga at four universities in Florida, so I am well aware of the various yogic practices designed to carry devotees to higher levels of consciousness. I am now a Christian minister, a believer in the Biblical worldview. So I have experienced both sides: theoretically, theologically and experientially. You can read my testimony, the story of my conversion to Christianity by clicking here.

The title question of this article is "Did Jesus Teach Yoga?" and my initial response was both "Yes" and "No." Let me restate some important basic observations. When the meaning of the word "Yoga" is the emphasis, it would be logical to conclude, in a qualified sense, that Jesus did teach yoga—for He definitely taught men and women how to be "yoked with God," how to experience "union with God." This is reinforced by one of his most quoted invitations and promises:

“ Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

When Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you” in essence, He was saying, “Come into union with Me—learn to think, feel, act and react just as I would.” He even prayed in John 17 that His disciples would be one with the Father, just as He was and is. So oneness of heart, union with the Almighty, was definitely an emphasis in Jesus’ preaching. This is the primary goal of yoga and the primary theme of Jesus’ message. However, the projected means of obtaining such oneness and the philosophy behind the practices and methods used are, at times, oceans apart. For instance, let’s inspect how the teachings of Jesus fit, or fail to fit, within the framework of the various yoga schools already mentioned:

(1) Hatha Yoga—Jesus never taught the necessity of physical exercises and breathing disciplines in order to open up the ‘chakras’ (spiritual energy centers) and achieve a state of inner harmony. Most teachers of New Age ideas or Far Eastern religions would readily label Jesus an Avatar (a manifestation of God on earth). If He did fill this role (of course, Christianity teaches that Jesus was the “only” incarnation of God to ever visit this world) and if Hatha Yoga is a valid methodology, why did He neglect such an important subject?

Of course, the logical answer is that He did not consider such methods necessary to man’s spiritual development. Years ago, I spent many hours doing yoga postures (asanas) and breathing exercises (pranayama). Now I am convinced, they may help tone and oxygenate a person’s body, but they do not aid anyone in obtaining true experiences of the transcendent state. God is a personal God who is approached in a personal way, not by such structured, mechanical methods. (Check out this link for info on “The Third Eye.”)

(2) Karma Yoga—This yogic system is based on the idea that every action causes either good or bad karma. Furthermore, the soul of a person remains locked in a series or rebirths (reincarnations) until all karmic debt is paid off. So the object of Karma Yoga is to live such a perfect life that there is no karmic indebtedness. At that time, release (moksha) from physical existence is achieved.

Jesus did not teach this. He taught one life and then a resurrection, not karma and reincarnation. However, He did teach a certain concept of cause and effect. He warned that the measure we deal out to others will also be dealt back to us. (See Matthew 7:2) Later on, Paul, the apostle, restated this concept with the words, “Whatever a man sows, that will he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)

These statements describe a general truth that is somewhat predictable concerning life and relationships in this world. For instance, if we show hatred toward others, they will normally respond with hatred toward us. If we express love toward others, they will usually react with love toward us. If we bless others selflessly, they will often bless us in return—and God Himself will often reward us with outpoured blessings for our generosity. If we drink or do drugs, we will end up destroying our bodies and minds. If we involve ourselves in sensuality and immorality, it will destroy family relationships. If we rebel against God’s laws, we will suffer the consequences. What we sow, we reap. That’s just the way things work in life.

However, Jesus never intended to convey the karmic concept that every action MUST result in an exactly matched counter-action. Neither did he teach that souls get ‘locked’ into samsara (the cycle of rebirths) because of karmic debt. Believing this doctrine leaves no room for forgiveness coming from God, which was a major emphasis in Jesus’ teachings. Man instead is required to work out his own destiny by the strength of his own choices. (See more on “Reincarnation” and “Karma”, including 13 reasons why I no longer believe in the twin doctrines of Reincarnation and Karma.)

(3) Mantra Yoga—Jesus never taught the use of mantras. Quite the opposite, he warned against this method, describing the practice as “vain repetitions.” (See Matthew 6:7) The Bible advocates confessing the promises of God’s Word. It also encourages us to use certain words and phrases in prayer that can sometimes get somewhat repetitive (like “Praise the Lord” or “Hallelujah”). However, it never instructs Christians to chant these words or some magical phrases over and over in a monotone way, in order to manipulate some kind of inner cosmic power. God is a personal God, to be approached in a personal way, and these praise words are a means of celebration for those who have already established a relationship with Him. (Click this link for more on “Mantras and the Message of Jesus.”)

(4) Bhakti Yoga—Of course, Jesus taught that the greatest commandment is to love God with all the heart, mind, soul and strength. However, to actually do this, a person must know and correctly define the name and nature of the true God. Not all names and personalities ascribed to God are correct. Bhakti Yoga would advocate devotion to any god as being legitimate. However, if one expresses love and devotion to a god that is actually non-existent, there is no value to the soul. A deity that is the product of human imagination is a deity that cannot deliver its devotees from sin and deception, for the very worship of that deity is itself sinful and deceptive. (Click this link for more info on the “The Name of God.”)

(5) Jnana Yoga—Bible believers are encouraged to grow in the knowledge of God and we are taught that “in Christ” are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Gaining greater knowledge of God through prayer (revelation knowledge) and through the study of God’s Word (intellectual knowledge) does heighten one’s awareness of God and increase intimacy with God. And Jesus did explain to His disciples, “This is life eternal, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3) So knowing God is far more important than knowing about God. The problem is this. Much of that which is promoted in Jnana Yoga as the “Path of Knowledge” would not be in harmony with what Jesus taught. Just learning theories and ideas about God is not enough; we must learn the truth for it to be effective in our lives. Reading all the Scriptures of all world religions is not enough; we must discover what is actually inspired of God.

(6) Raja Yoga—This group emphasizes meditation. Well, Christians are taught to “meditate” on God and on His Word. Biblically, the word “meditation” simply means a private and focused time of devotion, which often involves prayerful study of God’s Word. Many of the meditation practices encouraged in Raja Yoga are much different that the methods Christians would employ. The use of mechanical, esoteric, or magical methods is not a part of the biblical approach to God. The Bible teaches that a spiritual regeneration is necessary in order to know God. This can only happen through the soul being cleansed by the blood Jesus shed on the cross. Any other method aimed at penetrating a supernatural world will fall short of its goal.

(7) Tantra Yoga—No true Christian would EVER be involved in the pursuit of enlightenment through sexual practices. Quite the contrary, the Bible teaches against fornication, adultery, incest, homosexuality, lesbianism and any other aberrant sexual behavior. Sexual involvement is only allowed within the confines of marriage and is never projected as being a means of obtaining enlightenment. Any supernatural experience coming from this method involving partners other than a spouse actually bring a person into a demonic experience.

(8) Kundalini Yoga—Jesus never taught his disciples methods aimed at awakening some inward, latent, coiled energy at the base of the spine, bringing on enlightenment. Neither did He portray God as an impersonal cosmic energy that permeates all things, to be discovered by meditating within. He rather taught an external, transcendent God who is personal and accessible only through the atoning death Jesus died on the cross. Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

In order to enter a relationship with God, the heart must first be cleansed by the blood of Jesus from all sin. This takes place when a seeker asks Jesus to come into his heart and be Lord of his life. The Holy Spirit will then enter that heart from without, thus effecting a spiritual regeneration. This is the experience Jesus referred to as being “born again,” an experience far different than any experience provided through yogic disciplines. (John 3:1-6) Jesus clearly informed that this experience is necessary to enter the Kingdom of God.

If the Spirit of God has not yet entered a person from without, any attempt to awaken some divine presence within is in vain. Furthermore, the awakening of the kundalini is supposed to bring a person to the awareness of his own divinity, an understanding that we are all God. Jesus never taught such a concept. We are called to be children of God and servants of God, but we will never actually become God Himself. (Check out this link for more info.)

SO, DID JESUS TEACH HIS DISCIPLES YOGA?

If that statement means being “yoked” with the true God, one with the Holy Spirit and lovingly submitted to His will, the answer is a qualified “Yes.”

If that statement means that acceptance of all the yogic methods, practices and beliefs taught by the groups listed above, the answer is a definite “No.”

HOWEVER, JESUS DID TEACH US HOW TO BE IN UNION WITH GOD…AND THAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT DISCOVERY TO BE MADE IN LIFE.

SEEK IT WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND YOU WILL FIND A TREASURE:

“…THE TRUE LIGHT which gives light to every man coming into the world.” (John 1:9)



http://www.thetruelight.net/booksections/articles/didjesusteachyoga.htm

3
Is it possible to 'attain' enlightenment without an awakened kundalini? Yes.

"Is it possible to 'attain' enlightenment without an awakened kundalini as it is presented in the kundalini shastras?  Yes, absolutely.  Is it common.   Enlightenment according to Vedanta is the removal of Self ignorance brought about by the understanding that the Self is limitless actionless awareness and that I am that Self.  I have met perhaps twenty enlightened people whose kundalini was not active in that it was not producing mind altering inner experiences.   I have also met many people who were having intense kundalini experiences…sometimes for many years…and who were actively seeking ways to turn the experience off because it was completely disrupting their lives.  You won't be able to accomplish anything solid or real in the world with this going on. It is too disturbing and it often has a strong negative impact on the people you come in contact with. You say and do things that make normal people think you are nuts.   And in a way you are. The spiritual world is full of peole who have had it going on for varying periods and it does not rise up and ‘mate' with Shiva and they stay unenlightened.   It just bounces around in the chakras. Shakti sadhanas can be very dangerous without the right teacher and the right karmic situation. 

It is also important to know that kundalini does not generate the same experiences for everyone.   It generates the experiences necessary to stimulate inquiry.   Certain people have developed very subtle minds as a result of the way they have lived.   So for these people the Self as kundalini awakens inquiry, leads them to a jnani, and their ignorance is removed by the non-dual teachings. Their enlightenment is in no way inferior to the people who have realized during or after an intense kundalini sadhana. Enlightenment is enlightenment; it has nothing to do with the way it came about. Ramana, for example, did not practice kundalini sadhana although his kundalini was obviously active; it produced his ‘death' experience.   He is an example of a yogi who had an inquiring mind and practiced vichara, Self inquiry, not kundalini sadhana.

Muktananda does say that enlightenment can only come through kundalini sadhana but he knew that this was not true.   He was very smart about psychology and he was trying to build a big religion…Siddha Yoga…and he knew for that purpose it does not help to give people too eclectic a view of enlightenment.  It just confuses them.  So he said it was the only way.  It is very much like the Christians who say Jesus is the only way.   Well, Jesus may be a 'way’…but the only way?   I don't think so.  The same with Kundalini.  It may work…there is no sense putting it down…but I would bet my last dollar that of all the enlightenments that happened since the beginning of time not more than one or two percent were the result of a classic kundalini sadhana.   Look at all the great enlightened people that have come out of Buddhism and other paths.  They they are not talking kundalini."

http://www.shiningworld.com/Home%20Page%...edanta.htm

4
Spirituality / No-Mind Achievement in Meditation is a Misconception
« on: July 18, 2005, 08:47:06 PM »
When first starting the path of meditation, alot of seekers will turn to the classical sources of how to meditate. In the course of time, it is inevitable the novice will come across the concepts of no-mind as a 'goal' to achieve through meditation.

The classical concepts of no-mind typically involve the idea of 'the mind stopping' or 'ceasing its movements' or even 'dying.' The stalwart spiritual pilgrim sets out with the intention of stopping all mental action. And inevitably, they fail, as the mind is the most slippery of dragons. Feeling frustrated, the individual with potential falls the the wayside, and back into unconscious living patterns.

Yogi Patanjali, an ancient yogic master, describes yoga as 'ceasing of the modifications of the mind.'

Again, ceasing the modifications of the mind.

This means the awakened human needs to be able to identify mind stuff, and how mind modifies our reality through distorted misperceptions and half-truths. Literally attempting to cease the mind is itself sourced from an egoic mindset, and is a modification of mind.

What to Do?

An intuitive understanding of the creative principals of shiva and shakti (consciousness and energy) and what within us abides in which principal reveals how the mind can never cease its functioning.

Shiva is the realm of pure, witness consciousness where there is no doing, no action, - no duality, only pure observation. This is the realm of our soul, and the realm of pure manifestation and potentiality.

Shakti is the realm of energy, of movement, creation. Anything which changes is an aspect of Divine Kali, and is bound to death instantly during its birth.

This includes the thoughts which flow through us like a never ending, babbling brook. Thoughts are the realm of shakti, prakriti, illusion, and never ending energy movement and by attaching willpower to ceasing these thoughts, the seeker is placing themselves into conflicting duality, for the simple reason they have not only identified their being with thoughts, but also identified certain thoughts as 'bad' and as the 'cause of failure for not feeling meditative' and planting seeds of negativity, failure and guilt.

Meditators should cease attempts to stop their mental action.

Thoughts are energetic currents which can never truely be stopped. Even in the deepest states of samadhi, thought currents still operate. Just as our blood, nerve impulses, glandular systems operate during sleep, as do our mental neurons, synapses and other mental activities which unconsciously trigger thought.

The trick to meditation is being in witness consciousness, the state of being existing behind the mind. Its the buddi, the pure intellect, and the abode of 'shiva consciousness.'

A person who consistently abides within this inner space allows all aspects of chaotic change to flow around and through them, not touching their real being.

This is the space of meditation, and the meaning of 'no-mind', as you are in a state of being which is past the mind.

Instead of identifying with the mind objects, in the space the non-judging, internal witness consciousness is a non-participative observer, and is able to draw upon the deeper levels of subconscious experience gained from lifetimes of experience.

From this point of conscious being, the mind is no longer an enemy to be overcome in order to enter a meditative state.


Instead, this mode of being allows the mind to act on its own accord. Like a caged animal, it may run around, chase its tail, or do any number of wonderful side-show tricks. Witness consciousness may take the opportunies to view these tricks, which are really old habit patterns resurfacing, and to dissolve the patterns instantly and forever. Of course, the trick to witness consciousness is remembering to remain non-judging, non-participative, and to just observe _whatever_ comes up.

As the mind becomes more and more disciplined and accepting to the higher Self, like a trusted steward it gains more and more abilities to operate effectively, efficiently and powerfully in the external world. Overtime, thought objects we perceive as burdens are revealed as illusion, and fall away, leaving us constantly more and more capable to consciously act in full accordance and harmony with universal energy.

The more and more a person can remain in a meditative state of witness awareness, the greater the unfolding potentials in their life. The more truths about themself is revealed, aspects of manifest and unmanifest reality become known, and the sense of inner peace and conviction which dwells within the conscious meditator generates a field which benefits all life nearby.

http://www.livejournal.com/users/primalfire/14800.html

5
Body Energy Arts / Anything Goes
« on: July 08, 2005, 09:13:42 AM »
Just a Thought.

- Neti


Anything Goes, A Virtual Q&A with Master Daryl (Part 6)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[Master receives a lot of questions online be it via this website, Yahoo! chat, or email. Questions range from the deep and profound to the most inane annoying nonsense. The answers however are always significant and direct to the point.]

Master Daryl,

What is BAY?

BAY is the heart of all true and major religions, philosophies, and sciences, the volatile potency that keeps all Self-realization disciplines aflame.

Brahman is One Great Power, the Source, Sustainer and Ultimate Refuge of all life. Atman is you, and myself, and every single soul in existence. Yoga refers to the conscious, functional and empowering integration of these two.

What is Kriya Yoga?

Kriya Yoga means applied oneness. It is an advanced body-mind-spirit equilibrium regimen that combines elements of Tantra, Strict Adherence Hatha, Raja Yoga and Siddha Medicine. It is practiced within BAY.

What is the difference between BAY and Kriya Yoga?

Within the BAY fold we see no difference and use both interchangeably. However, to a majority of practitioners the meaning of Kriya Yoga shrunk down to refer specifically to a set of techniques taught by Lahiri Mahasaya in the 1860s, instead of just being the name preferred by Sage Patanjali to identify the entire philosophy and practice he expounded in his Oneness Aphorisms. BAY goes well beyond what Lahiri Mahasaya taught open-mindedly embracing the wisdom of Sage Patanjali as well as other masters while remaining loyal to our own.

Why are you the Master of BAY? Why not someone more popular, more intelligent, more powerful, more wealthy or influential? Why not someone older or younger?

The Way is always at the middle, in a state of perpetual balance between opposite extremes. That is why the Lord always chooses souls who are also at the middle, whose personalities resonate with the nature of the Way, to represent it.

I've been going through your "Anything Goes" articles and I have to admit that I am completely blown away by your ability to answer all sorts of questions, even technical ones and those involving old languages and interpreting religious scriptures that I'm sure you did not grow-up with. How do you do it?

May I give you two answers? One is coming from my head, an intellectual answer, and the other is coming from my heart, an intuitive answer.

My first answer is "I do not know." It just happens that while hearing or reading a question all of a sudden I get the answer; I do not even need to pause and think.

My theory is that it is due to having studied a lot of stuff, and because I have always been highly imaginative to the point that reading something is almost equal to experiencing it, I managed to remember most of what I have studied and they surface to the conscious mind when triggered by questions.

My second answer is "because I am the Master." And I am saying this with sincerity, humility and in complete awe; because up to now my humanity—fully aware of my own weaknesses and limitations—cannot accept it. There are times when I am also being educated by what I write or say, and the most essential answers that I give can't be found anyplace else.

When I feel down or confused I go through my own writings and find solace and peace, acknowledging that I am only a steward and the teachings are really coming from the One Great Power. See? I am also nothing but a disciple of my inner Guru.

Is your Kundalini awake?

What do you think?

Is it true that Kundalini awakening is dangerous?

It depends on what kind of method you have in your hands. If you happen to possess some really powerful instructions, as opposed to to various sham techniques marketed nowadays as "Kundalini Yoga," and you don't have a living master to personally guide you then you can go insane or develop some debilitating illness due to certain errors in practice. One major problem is if the Kundalini does go up but through the wrong conduit. Shakti going up through the pingala nadi, for example, could cause your body to just be consumed by amplified inner fire.

Is it true that Kriya Yoga practice hastens human evolution?

Yes, Kundalini is human evolutionary energy, forcing it to uncoil and ascend from center to center in the spinal pathway is therefore the only way to accelerate normal evolutionary processes.

By the aid of a special breathing technique life force is made to move up and down, revolving around the six chakras (muladhara, swadishthana, manipura, anahata, vishudha, and ajna) corresponding to the twelve (by polarity) zodiacal signs. This innerdimensional orbit of mind and energy around the spinal chord effects a progressive transformation in the body-mind constitution.

The sharp ascent of cool prana pierces the granthis and clears the way for subsequent ascent of Kundalini. Apana and udana meets and combusts at the base chakra stimulating primal force.

Paramhansa Yogananda said that half a minute of Kriya is equivalent to a year of natural evolution. Is that a fact and how is it a fact? I am seriously considering applying Kriya Yoga initiation.

That is a fact to a "deeply developed yogi." Yogananda said, "The Kriya shortcut, of course, can be taken only by deeply developed yogis." (Autobiography of a Yogi, 1946 Edition, p. 234) Many tend to omit that part. The evolutionary equivalent of one Kriya can range from a day, to a week, to a month, to a year depending on a person's own samskaras and degree of mastery.

Hastening evolution, however, is not the only reason why people should take-up to the practice of Kriya Yoga. I have stated its many benefits in different areas of life in this article. Actually, only an absolute idiot would, after hearing what the masters say about Kriya Yoga, still oft not to receive it.

Is Kriya Yoga a science?

It is a spiritual science.

In what way is it a science?

In the way that its effects are totally predictable constituting a fact.

Take two persons who are more or less alike in terms of spiritual development, teach them Kriya Yoga until they are both proficient, prescribe an adequate number of Kriyas to be practiced within a year, make sure that they practice everyday without fail, then after the prescribed time has lapsed bring them together. You will see that they are both productive, happy, and content with their lives; their spiritual progress has greatly accelerated and are quite the same realization-wise regardless of the difference in physical and environmental factors.

How can I accurately determine the level of other people's spiritual development?  How can I gauge where another person is "realization-wise"?

First you have to be a sage. That is why I said that Kriya Yoga is a "spiritual science." It would take a good number of spiritual adepts to effectively perform an experiment like that.

What is the path to enlightenment?

The distance between darkness and light, between the individual and the Universal, is just the distance between the coccygeal and coronal centers.

The straight and narrow path to the kingdom of God is the straight and narrow path of the spine.

This is why though we are skeptical and cautious with regards to other practices and remain faithful and confident with our own ways, descrimination, self-righteousness and exclusivism is completely absent in BAY. We accept any discipline or system that has been proven to facilitate the ascent of the most constricted "I-ness" consciousness towards the Christ or "I and the Father are one" consciousness as a valid technique in the path.

Most Christians I know look at me like I have three heads when I mention the concept of enlightenment. You might as well say voodoo. It's really something they're not familiar with.

It seems that anyone on a serious spiritual journey would be most concerned with "facilitating the ascent of the most constricted 'I-ness' consciousness towards the Christ or 'I and the Father are one' consciousness."

In my experience I have not seen evidence of this in any Christians I know.

Master, what is the reason for this failure in Christianity. Did Jesus ever reveal any techniques for attaining enlightenment?


The Lord took earthly incarnation to fulfill a deep and pressing desire to save those who have remained his faithful and loving servants through many incarnations. It was to introduce a dispensation of love that was to replace a dispensation of fear, coercion and mindless adherence to fixed principles and laws.

Enlightening people wasn't really a major purpose, other masters like Siddharta already began doing that. Mass consciousness at Jesus' time was too low to handle that kind of transformation. Yet he did give some special teachings to his inner circle:

"And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given." » Matthew 13:10&11

"And he [the primal energy] arose, and rebuked the wind [ the breath], and said unto the sea [the mind], Peace, be still. And the wind ceased [the mind was transcended], and there was a great calm [samadhi]." » Mark 4:39

"Yogash chitta vritti nirodha" [Yoga means to still and transcend the fluctuations of the mind] » Yoga Sutras 1:2

The way to accomplish even greater works:

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me [make samyama on my being], the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." » John 14:12

The process of individualization, ascent of the serpent (primal force) takes the Son of man (I-ness) consciousness into heaven:

"If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up" » John 3:12-14

To the rest Jesus taught

Man's divine nature:

"Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?" » John 10:34

The Kingdom:

"The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." » Luke 17:20&21

How to worship God:

"Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." » John 4:21-24

And how to know if the Spirit of God resides in them:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." » Galatians 5:22&23

With regards to the degree of "attainment" of the faithful:

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he [the Christ] shall appear, we shall be like him [in consciousness]..." » 1 John 3:2

Though clear about their belief with regards to the ultimate outcome of their lives as Christ's workers (which reminds me of Krishna's eternal  assurance to Arjuna, "In truth do I promise thee, thou shalt attain Me!"), the above passage can also be taken as an _expression of experiential uncertainty. It is possible that though Jesus' disciples were deeply devotional and were so empowered in terms of performing miracles many of them, perhaps the majority, failed to reach the final merger, the state of absolute and irrevocable oneness.

Thus Jesus' last wish in prayer:

"Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one." » John 17:20-22

This could be the reason behind what you termed as "failure" to perpetuate the inner teachings.

Hello!

I just hope I'm not bothering you with my messages, but wished to hear your thoughts...


It is a fulfillment of my life's purpose to answer your questions.

What would you call "a spiritual awakening," I mean, those experiences a person has gained and have led to that or things like that. What lead to that?

A spiritual awakening is doubtless realization and acknowledgement of your core identity as spirit, a significant fraction of God, and not just another pleasure-driven animal. A spiritually awake person thinks, speaks and acts more as a spirit than a psychophysical organism. His ways are often pure, mindful, enlightening and purpose-driven.

What leads to this kind of realization? The sincere desire to finally find out and actualize the truth of your being, the strength and one-pointed determination to break free from the cycle of suffering (birth, sorrow, old age, disease, and death), an effective mentor, a powerful sadhana (spiritual practice), discipline and the willingness to surrender to the gradually unfolding Truth.

From: http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=yogin

6
Questions & Suggestions / My "Dissappearing" Posts
« on: June 24, 2005, 01:13:18 PM »
I made a couple of posts in this thread:

http://forums.theveritasacademy.net/showthread.php?t=5622

It is closed now, but I looked at it and my comments were removed.

Simple Question: Why?

Out of all the frivilous "levitation" threads that there have been here, I post a perfectly valuable method and one that is backed by valid Yogi methods. Despiste the Thread starter (Xanus/Lotus) inate knowelge and deceptive means towards the board, my points were indeed VALID, and seperate from his intent. Even if I don't recommend the use of it, I posted my knowelege as free knowelege for whoever wished to pursue it further. This act has considerbly shaked my already wobbling stand with Vetrias. It's why I rarely post.

But when I do, I don't expect for them to dissappear. Especially in a locked thread. So is this what happens when someone provides a very clear and logical set posts? They just dissappear?

Disturbed and sadden I am by this. Perhaps my hopes were just too high for Vetrias?

7
Other / superhumans
« on: June 11, 2005, 05:49:15 PM »
Book three of the Yoga Sutras plainly details the acquasion of "Super Powers". It explains the birth of these powers comes to anyone who is pursuing the truth of theirselves. It also says that they can be obtained threw drugs (which give rise to certain altered mental states), hypnosis, birth (from previous lives), austerities, or Samyama. OF course the last two will mean little to anyone who doesn't know what they mean, so I will ellaberate.

Austerities are practices that burn away hidden "karma" or other obstructions which keep us from living spiritual life. Threw practice of these, the wearing away of certain mental road blocks are all but not certain. When they do dissappear, then things open up. Or more so, you realize the obvious.

Samyama is a combination of Dharana (fixation), Dhyana (flow of thought), and Samadhi (absorption).

Loosly translated, Dharana is the ability to keep the mind focused on one perticular subject without allowing it to waver at all. Its when consciousness is held innocently in a single place with the least of effort. Basically, directing the percieving mind on one point within or without the body. It is completely effortless-- something that happens naturally. The only way to understand it is to witness it in its natural state. When a car suddenly appears from around the corner, and all of your minds attention is suddenly focused on the car--- in that instant, dharana happens naturally. When you understand the natural occurence of it (what makes it happens) then you will master it.

Dhyana is simply the flow of thought. It comes after Dharana is understood. Most of our minds are classed in the state of "Monkey mind". This means that our attention is constantly broken. If you are aware of your thoughts, you will notice that they rarely complete theirselves. You may start with "Im hungray"-- but quickly you move to "What to  do about the hunger". You mind jumps into the future, and leaves the present reality of hunger in its wake. Take the exapmle of the car again. The car is comming at you, and in that moment your thoughts leave the rality of the car and begain to wonder "What if the car hits me? ", "Should I move left?", "Should I stand still?", "What if I die now!!?!!", etc, etc. It is threw natural reaction and mental conditioning that this occurs. We leave the present. If your thoughts remain with the present situation however, the reality of the danger disappears. The question is answered without any answer even given. It is when you realize the reality of the problem---hunger or death, that the solution comes without any effort of your own. Again, you have to watch this as it happens naturally within your own being. Only then will you come to an understanding of it.

Samadhi is the third stage of this. It is when the object and the subject dissappears, and the only thing remaining is the reality of the situation. It is when you and the car dissappear-- when hunger and the hungery all vanish. It is when reality all becomes one motion--- thus it is not disorted or limited to single perception. The car or hunger is no longer a seperate event. The reality of nature in that moments undergoes a most magnificent change. There is no longer a problem, or a search for a solution. They are both one and the same. All that remains is the reality of the situation. Yet again, it cannot be obtained threw practice. Why? Practice is something of obtaining, something of ego. Samadhi can only occur when ego ends.  Which is ironic, since Pantalanji names this book "The Attainments".  The ending of the thingking process--- or the illusion of thinking, is the ending of ego. Think about it.  ;)  

Using the above three in unisence thus results in Samyama. That is: focusing them on any paticular subject, object, or otherwise will result in this. Patanjali this writes a book on what can be obtained by using these means of perception in certain orders. Which, levitation is one.

"42. By practising Samyama on the relationship between the body and akasa and by concentrating on the lightness of cotton wool, passage through the sky can be secured." Translation from  http://www.geocities.com/Athens/6709/page6.html .

Akasa is space. So, by understanding the relationship between your body and the concept of space, levitation is then acheived. Simple--- yes. So much so in its complexity created by your ego.

I personally don't recommend or incourage pursuit of any "superpowers" for they are only super to the material world--and will amount to very little for your heart. Many people get lost in the pursuit of them. Which inturn leads to their undoing. These "powers" naturally come as a result of understanding what you are. And when you understand that--- you see just how insignificant they are.  

So I posted the above for you to refrence and study. To incourage what I don't incourage.

Why? :)

8
Spirituality / The One is the Many and the Many are the One
« on: February 13, 2005, 12:07:21 AM »
There is 1 message in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

      1. The One is the Many and the Many are the One
           From: "yogani99"


________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 1        
   Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2005 13:04:45 -0000
   From: "yogani99"
Subject: The One is the Many and the Many are the One


New Members: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web
archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first
lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"


Q: If we reach samadhi, we are the God. My question is, because there
is only one soul, and if I realize that I am God, everybody in the
world should know automatically that he is God.

How come that's not happening? If  Swami Ramakrishna Paramahansa
realizes, shouldn't I also realize?


A: Yes, you are right. As one person becomes enlightened, the many do
experience the opening also. Full enlightenment comes as each soul
turns and looks directly inward upon the divine Self. In other words,
to complete the process, each must choose. It is individual karma,
the residual effects of past actions, that delays the opening of
individual souls to the inner light. These lingering obstructions in
each nervous system can be removed through the methods of yoga.

Consider the one great inner light of pure bliss consciousness
animating everyone. This is also described in the unified field
theory of modern physics. The One is the many and the many are the One.
Each of us can experience and express the fullness of the One.
The human nervous system has this ability.

We are like windows -- billions of windows to the great inner light.
We are in need of some karmic cleaning so the glory of pure bliss
consciousness can shine out through us into the world. If one window
is being cleaned through daily yoga practices, then the light comes
up, and this has a corresponding effect on all other windows. This
inspires a conscious turning in toward Self-awareness by each
individual window. Then there is the individual desire to clean the
window, and it will be done through engagement in practices. Each
person/window will choose according to the stirring of the inner
desire, which is determined by the light coming up due to the
practices of others, and the individual karmic obstructions still to
be cleaned out.

There can be no doubt that more windows choosing to engage in self-
cleaning will affect many more windows. So you are right that one
window can facilitate the cleaning of many windows. So too do many
windows being cleaned affect many more. And so on it goes like an
expanding snowball rolling down a hill. That is the scenario
occurring in this new era, with more and more people engaging in yoga
practices. In that way, Ramakrishna's enlightenment is gradually
becoming everyone's enlightenment, as is the enlightenment of all the
saints and sages. Today, ordinary people meditating everywhere are
cleaning the windows of everyone. It is a mass phenomenon that has
been steadily rising on the planet over the last century.

Like that, our individual commitment to daily practices benefits
everyone in the world. If you feel the inner desire, you don't have
to wait for others to finish the job for you. You can clean your
window yourself. Then everyone will be moving much faster toward the
wonderful ideal you suggest.

I wish you all success on your chosen spiritual path. Enjoy!

The guru is in you.

http://www.geocities.com/advancedyogapractices

9
Other / Meditation and Powers (Siddhis)
« on: January 05, 2005, 08:14:31 PM »
Message: 1
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2005 20:26:43 -0000
From: "yogani99"
Subject: Meditation and Powers (Siddhis)



New Members: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web
archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first
lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"


Q: I have been experimenting with mantras and I am a firm believer
that there is something beyond science, which is an actual part of
science but will not be looked into by the modern western scientist
as it is beyond them. Sound is a vibration and certain sounds and
vibrations can effect our surroundings and environments in the way
that we may will. I believe myself to be a spiritual scientist
(Rishi) using the power of the mind at its limits.

Now, I have a few questions regarding siddhis and samyama. It is said
that whatever a yogi meditates on, he feels 'like he is falling into
that...or becoming one with it'. Now I have been meditating on a
small flame between my eyebrows and have a weird sensation of falling
into it and I stop existing and so does the flame. Can I ask what
effects this will have on me? Will I take on the personality of the
flame?

Also, do you think it is possible to manipulate matter energy and
transform something into nothing using just 'will' and also the
possibility of moving something from one place to another? In Swami
Rama's book, "Living with the Himalayan Masters," he said it was
possible and he was taught it, but stopped after making a promise to
his Guru. What exercises or meditations must one do to experiment
with such siddhis? Patanjali has not mentioned this type of siddhi in
his sutras.

Hoping for some guidance.


A: Thank you for writing and sharing.

The role of science is to enter new frontiers of knowledge and apply
what is learned in practical ways. The infinite inner realm of
humanity is the next big frontier for science -- yoga science!

The full range of yoga reaches beyond mind into pure bliss
consciousness. Mind is the small tail on the big dog of infinite
divine silent awareness, our essence. You are finding this already
with your meditation experiments. So yoga is not mainly about
increasing mind-power in the world for miracles, etc., though this is
a side-effect. Better not to get too hung up on the side-effects --
the scenery. See "scenery" in the topic index on the AYP web site for
more on that.

The process you experienced with attention on the inner flame is the
last three limbs of Patanjali's eight limbs of yoga -- attention
going from focus on an object (dharana on the flame), expanding
beyond it (dhyana/meditation) to empty awareness with no object at
all (inner silence/samadhi). If this process is repeated
systematically on a daily basis, over time, the functioning of the
nervous system will be opened to higher experience of unending
ecstatic bliss and outpouring divine love. And, yes, you will have
the siddhis too -- any that your illuminated life may need to serve
your self in the form of everyone else. That is how it works.

As Jesus said, "Seek first the kingdom of God within and all will be
added to you." First things first, yes?

As for meditating daily on the flame instead of mantra or other
object, I can't say what will be the exact path of opening in your
nervous system. From the AYP lessons, you know that different
vibrations open the nervous system in different ways -- some more
comfortable and progressive than others. We will do best to settle in
with a proven object of meditation (such as a mantra) and stay with
it for the long haul. Digging deep in one place with a good shovel is
usually the best way to strike water, rather than making small holes
everywhere with lots of different shovels.

Once you have daily meditation in place, with some inner silence
coming up, you can add systematic daily samyama practice right after
meditation, if you wish. The series of lessons starting at #149
covers this. This is the application of samyama aiming for much more
than some worldly powers. Enlightenment! This is the purpose of
samyama practice, and what Patanjali encourages us to use it for.
Then you will have everything, and will be a seer -- a rishi.

Your experience is very good. I wish you all success on your chosen
spiritual path. It is in your hands. Carry on wisely, and enjoy!

The guru is in you.

http://www.geocities.com/advancedyogapractices

10
Spirituality / Meditation and Powers (Siddhis)
« on: January 04, 2005, 10:43:50 AM »
Message: 1        
   Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2005 20:26:43 -0000
   From: "yogani99"
Subject: Meditation and Powers (Siddhis)



New Members: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web
archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first
lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"


Q: I have been experimenting with mantras and I am a firm believer
that there is something beyond science, which is an actual part of
science but will not be looked into by the modern western scientist
as it is beyond them. Sound is a vibration and certain sounds and
vibrations can effect our surroundings and environments in the way
that we may will. I believe myself to be a spiritual scientist
(Rishi) using the power of the mind at its limits.

Now, I have a few questions regarding siddhis and samyama. It is said
that whatever a yogi meditates on, he feels 'like he is falling into
that...or becoming one with it'. Now I have been meditating on a
small flame between my eyebrows and have a weird sensation of falling
into it and I stop existing and so does the flame. Can I ask what
effects this will have on me? Will I take on the personality of the
flame?

Also, do you think it is possible to manipulate matter energy and
transform something into nothing using just 'will' and also the
possibility of moving something from one place to another? In Swami
Rama's book, "Living with the Himalayan Masters," he said it was
possible and he was taught it, but stopped after making a promise to
his Guru. What exercises or meditations must one do to experiment
with such siddhis? Patanjali has not mentioned this type of siddhi in
his sutras.

Hoping for some guidance.


A: Thank you for writing and sharing.

The role of science is to enter new frontiers of knowledge and apply
what is learned in practical ways. The infinite inner realm of
humanity is the next big frontier for science -- yoga science!
 
The full range of yoga reaches beyond mind into pure bliss
consciousness. Mind is the small tail on the big dog of infinite
divine silent awareness, our essence. You are finding this already
with your meditation experiments. So yoga is not mainly about
increasing mind-power in the world for miracles, etc., though this is
a side-effect. Better not to get too hung up on the side-effects --
the scenery. See "scenery" in the topic index on the AYP web site for
more on that.

The process you experienced with attention on the inner flame is the
last three limbs of Patanjali's eight limbs of yoga -- attention
going from focus on an object (dharana on the flame), expanding
beyond it (dhyana/meditation) to empty awareness with no object at
all (inner silence/samadhi). If this process is repeated
systematically on a daily basis, over time, the functioning of the
nervous system will be opened to higher experience of unending
ecstatic bliss and outpouring divine love. And, yes, you will have
the siddhis too -- any that your illuminated life may need to serve
your self in the form of everyone else. That is how it works.

As Jesus said, "Seek first the kingdom of God within and all will be
added to you." First things first, yes?
 
As for meditating daily on the flame instead of mantra or other
object, I can't say what will be the exact path of opening in your
nervous system. From the AYP lessons, you know that different
vibrations open the nervous system in different ways -- some more
comfortable and progressive than others. We will do best to settle in
with a proven object of meditation (such as a mantra) and stay with
it for the long haul. Digging deep in one place with a good shovel is
usually the best way to strike water, rather than making small holes
everywhere with lots of different shovels.

Once you have daily meditation in place, with some inner silence
coming up, you can add systematic daily samyama practice right after
meditation, if you wish. The series of lessons starting at #149
covers this. This is the application of samyama aiming for much more
than some worldly powers. Enlightenment! This is the purpose of
samyama practice, and what Patanjali encourages us to use it for.
Then you will have everything, and will be a seer -- a rishi.

Your experience is very good. I wish you all success on your chosen
spiritual path. It is in your hands. Carry on wisely, and enjoy!

The guru is in you.

http://www.geocities.com/advancedyogapractices

11
Psionics / Vegitanariasm and Psychic Abilities
« on: December 31, 2004, 09:45:23 PM »
Ello peoples! Happy New Years!

Ever since I became a vegetarian, my psychic abilities have increased dramatically. I have been completely vegitarian since March of 2004 now. Before I limited my meat intake completely, I reduced my meat intake. First I started to eat less meat, then I stopped eating red meat (Beef, Deer, etc.). After that, I stopped with pork. Slowly I got off of chicken, then seafood was last. Now, I have my reasoning for that-- but I thought I would just mention it for refrence.

Anyway, with little to no practice, my psychic abilities have increased magnafold. Again, I have my own personal reasoning for this, but I was wondering can anyone state a specific reason to why they believe such a thing would occur? I never was a big meat eater, but after dropping it all together--- there has been a great and noticable change. Mental clarity and things of the such have also come. I stopped meditating around the second month after I stopped eating meat--- I simply felt that there was no longer an immediate need for it. It feels as if I am in constant meditation now...so that just nulifies sitting meditation which I use to do almost daily.  

Thanks in advance for your imput guys and gals!

(Note, its not the lack of protien intake. Vegtiables and Fruits do contain protien... duh... lol, but I know that someone would say otherwise. Just significally less then meat. Also, I eay soy products occasionally, so...yea. )

12
Spirituality / Seeking Samadhi
« on: November 09, 2004, 05:58:22 PM »
Seeking Samadhi

Reclaim the wholeness that's your birthright with the final three limbs of Patanjali's classical yoga: dharana, dhyana, and samadhi.

By Judith Lasater

Each scorching afternoon during the summer I was 8 years old, I'd crawl into my favorite chocolate brown, fringe-bottomed easy chair and dive into a Nancy Drew novel. Completely mesmerized as I read about the daring exploits of my favorite heroine, I was transported to another time and place. I wouldn't notice anything around me until I surfaced to find my mother standing close by, repeatedly calling me to dinner.

Years later, this ability to focus completely on one thing proved surprisingly valuable as I tried to understand what the second-century philosopher/yogi Patanjali was writing about when he discussed dharana—the state of concentration—in his Yoga Sutra.

The most-revered ancient sourcebook for yoga practice, Patanjali's Yoga Sutra describes how the mind works and how we can integrate yoga into our lives. Patanjali's ashtanga yoga includes eight components of practice ("ashtanga" means "eight-limbed" in Sanskrit), and dharana or concentration is the sixth of these eight limbs. The seventh limb is dhyana, or meditation, and the eighth and final limb is samadhi, or enlightenment. These last three limbs are often studied together and are called antaratma sadhana, or the innermost quest.

In chapter III, verse one, Patanjali explains concentration as the "binding of consciousness to a [single] spot." I like to honor this state of absorption whenever and wherever I find it. Sometimes I see it in a musician who is focused on the music to the exclusion of all else, or in an athlete in a tense moment of a crucial game. Of course, yoga practitioners actively seek out this depth of concentration in the practices of asana (posture) and pranayama (breathing exercises), as well as in meditation itself. But I believe that dharana can be found whenever a person is fully present and focused on an activity or object.

By definition, this focus cures the inner conflicts we so commonly experience. When you're completely focused, you can't be of two minds about something.

Like many people, I've found that when there's a disparity between my actions and my thoughts I become more fatigued and feel less joy in my life. But I don't feel conflict—even though I may encounter difficulties—when I'm truly focused on and committed to the moment.

This ability to focus all the mind's attention toward one thing is the foundation of the next limb—dhyana or meditation—and is absolutely necessary if the practitioner is to reach the liberation of samadhi. One way to understand the distinction between concentration and meditation is by using rain as an analogy. When rain starts, the moisture of clouds and fog (everyday awareness) coalesces into concentrated moisture and becomes distinct raindrops. These raindrops represent dharana—intermittent moments of focused attention. When the rain falls to earth and creates a river, the merging of the individual raindrops into one stream is like dhyana or meditation. The separate raindrops merge into one continuous flow, just as individual moments of dharana merge into the uninterrupted focus of meditation. In English, we often use the word "meditate" to mean "to think," but in yoga, meditation is not thinking; instead, it is a deep sense of unity with an object or activity.

Yoga students are often taught to meditate by focusing on a mantra, on the breath, or perhaps on the image of a guru or great teacher. These practices are extremely difficult because it is the nature of the mind to jump around from idea to idea, from sensation to sensation. In fact, Swami Vivekananda called the mind "a drunken monkey" when he introduced meditation to the United States at the end of the nineteenth century.

Once you've taken the first step of learning to still the body for meditation, you can't help but notice how "un-still" the mind is. So instead of thinking of meditation as some dreamy state in which thoughts do not happen at all—instead of trying to quiet something that by nature is never quiet—I pay total attention to the agitations which are my thoughts. My thoughts may continue, but paying uninterrupted attention to my thoughts is itself the meditation.

The final limb in Patanjali's ashtanga yoga is samadhi, or enlightenment. When I contemplated writing about this most indescribable of limbs, I first thought about just taking a Zen approach and leaving the page blank. In a way, writing about samadhi seems like giving a hungry person words about food instead of food itself. But discussing samadhi is worthwhile, because unless we're made aware of the possibility of wholeness, we may find it virtually impossible to start our journey toward it.

Presence Without Ego
When I first began to study yoga I thought that samadhi was a trancelike state which would take the practitioner away from everyday consciousness to a better state of being. Over the years, my understanding has changed. Now I think of samadhi as exactly the opposite of a trance. Samadhi is a state of being intensely present without a point of view. In other words, in samadhi you perceive all points of view of reality at once, without focusing on any particular one.

To understand this better, imagine that each of us has a "grid" or filter in front of us. The mesh of this filter is constructed of all of our experiences and ideas; it is created by our gender, our particular personal history, our family and cultural values, and our education, to name only a few factors. This grid filters all our experience. For example, while we all have the need for food, our grid tells us whether hamburgers, raw fish, or organic tofu is food. The grid is the sum total of our beliefs—conscious and unconscious—about reality.

Samadhi is the state in which we no longer experience reality through a grid; instead, we experience reality directly. Virtually all of us have had a taste of this state. Some people have this experience during worship, others during lovemaking, still others while alone in the woods. Samadhi is the state in which you are aware on a cellular level of the underlying oneness of the universe.

How does samadhi relate to daily life, a life filled with paying taxes, cleaning up the kitchen, practicing yoga poses, washing the car? Samadhi may seem to have nothing to do with our everyday activities. But on another level samadhi is the most important thing in our lives. The concept of samadhi brings with it the possibility of a deep hope about our growth as human beings. Patanjali teaches us that we are always capable of experiencing samadhi—that at any moment we can become whole and fully present. If we understand this, that understanding becomes a fundamental acknowledgment of our true nature. Paradoxically, it seems that we need the journey—the journey of yoga—to discover what was present inside us all along.

Judith Lasater, Ph.D., P.T., author of Relax and Renew (Rodmell, 1995) and Living Your Yoga (Rodmell, 2000) has taught yoga internationally since 1971.

http://www.yogajournal.com/wisdom/461_1.cfm?ctsrc=nls126

13
Spirituality / The Lord of Time
« on: November 05, 2004, 12:26:09 PM »
Who will know what I am?
I who have thrown the cosmos into infinity
Like a scattered bag of marbles
Into the playground of myself.

One knows me on the wings of the breath
of a god who has lived forever.
Yet to me that forever is but a moment
And the god flings out existence on those wings.

It seems the in-breath lasts no time at all
Before the out-breath begins yet again.
In mere moments eternity has passed
While the Universe dies and is born on my breath.

Endless ages unfold endlessly
But I am before and after them all.
To Me eternity is a mere speck
While light blasts out of me!

Yet moments, hours, days and years
Follow one-on-another infinitely.
Seeming to last as long as it takes
But they are nothing in me.

You see, you feel, you experience - Time
Looking ahead, looking behind.
Who understands Me before
Beginning to know Time's unfolding?

An infinitesimally short -
halt of the clock , hidden in Now, I am.
Can you not see that those moving
Though they move eternally, to Me do not come?

Aeons pass, these to Me are not
Neither do they exist, because I am beyond.
All that seems to exist, though existing eternally
Cannot surpass my duration
For I am Forever, and beyond.

Yet I have not been, nor shall I
For I was never not, to begin.
Yet events seem to unfold and you are lost again
Looking forward, looking back.

Sitting in the ashram meditating on me
Lying on your bed contemplating me
Watching your breath, and Mind.
Beginning and ending that practice.

Time is passing, you think -
Measuring the moments by Time.
Looking back, looking forward
You do not know eternity to Me, is over.

Before it begun, before it was
Longer than eternity, more than a moment.
Impossibly longer than Time
Though you do not know a single breath.
Each breath comes swiftly, followed by another
Each moment disappears whence it came.
Who knows those short specks?
Perhaps each is an eternity to Me?

Before a moment in Me passes
The Universe becomes and dies.
Though one would think Time has passed
Time no matter how long, to Me is nothing.

Moments seem therefore, to extend
Time seems to be, yet it isn't!
Yet you are lost in Me, lost in Time!
Come, look at a moment, Who am I?

What is that thing you call Time?
That in which moments unfold.
In which things are, then are no more
What is that to Me? Nothing, it was not.

Before it was, I was, who else could see this?
How could an unfolding be known - except by one beyond?
You watch time become, yet you think it passes
How can that be, when always there is you?

The riddle is; Who is this You?
What passes when moments go, who watches ?
Always in the Now, beyond Time
Watching it unfold, Lost in Time!

Thinking something must occur
When you realize Me, as if I am in Time.
It cannot, because I am beyond those moments
requiring but an infinitesimal halt to the Clock.

A mere glimpse, a tiny breach in times fabric.
An aberration of Mind, suspended cognition.
Recognition of extended infinity
Being expanded omnipresently.

Omniscient Atman meditating as Time
Knowing any duration of Time is lost.
Lost in infinity, meditate forever
Or realize I am beyond Time!

Watch the moments unfold, know them eternally
Know that each breath lasts an Aeon.
Though each seems no time at all
Seeming this way, because you are eternal!

Each second an unfurled eternity
Each being a god in decay.
And the very Cosmos, Time's Being
Is no more, nor ever was!

But who will know Me
Knowing beginning in the unknown?
Yet I am before Time
After there is only Me!

It is I, who am the knower of the moments.
I, who am the knower of the knowing.
I, before a seconds tick,
Beyond, though my heart beats for years.

Living, though I never was
countless beings live and die in Me.
They, measuring life by moments
Do not understand.

Who can see that Sadhana is over at the end of a moment.
Who can know that Time began again, on the in-breath.
It seems a moment no matter how long has duration
To Me it is so little that it is non-existent

Therefore know that a moment -
No matter how small or great -
Is really eternal, containing the Cosmos
Supported by the total, in that moment.

Who will know that I am The Omnipresent One?
Who sees I am The Eternal One?
Existing beyond, before and in between
I am the Consciousness of the Cosmos.

Knowing all, who will know what I am?
None, but The Omnipresent One.
Omniscient Atman, Time's Lord!

There flashing, a great light!
A true consciousness!
A bright bindu rides on the brow of god!
A seeming spark, yet infinite.

The enlightened Lord of himself
Birthing being, light pours forth into nothingness.
Sitting in himself, there The Great Siva-Lingum
Shines, unimaginable rays shoot forth.

Like a struck gong, a mighty star throbs!
Four rays begin as one, as if a great eye opens.
There seems a solar eclipse,
but the great shining eye engulfs it!

There stands  Great Siva! There is Atman's form!
Yet beyond there is a light!
It is as if struck in the pitch-black of a nowhere;
Yet the light rays do not move, there is simply an extension.

The center is still, the arms of the rays are seen.
There is a dark bindu, light leaking from around the edges.
The light, holy beyond explaining
The source of Time, the source of light!

No more than this, is there to know.
To the end I have come!
Who will know Me? In myself?

14
Main Hall / Child's Play
« on: October 19, 2004, 01:23:43 PM »
JD : ever heard of penny-arcade.com?

Crispy: nope

JD : okay well it's a webcomic about video games.

JD : but every year the guys who run it have a charity event called "Child's Play"  how it works is some Children's Hospitals across the country go to amazon.com and make a wishlist for what the kids want for christmas.  then people go to their wishlists and buy stuff for the hospital.  it's sent straight there in time for christmas.

JD : prices range from $150 to $5.

JD : everything from xboxs to childrens books.

JD : play-doh even.

JD : i was wondering if you'd maybe like to take a look and possibly buy something for the kids?

JD : http://www.childsplaycharity.org/

JD : that's a link the child's play main site.

JD : hmm...  well if you could, tell everybody you know online.

Crispy: kool

JD : just link 'em to the site.

15
Spirituality / Who is the Mysterious Self?
« on: October 19, 2004, 01:09:50 PM »
There is 1 message in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

      1. Who is The Myterious Self
           From: "bindu"


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Message: 1        
   Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 00:40:58 -0000
   From: "bindu"
Subject: Who is The Myterious Self



The one who seeks to guide or help another in spiritual matters
should be able to go to any level to help the person at that level,
i.e., he should not be sitting on a mountain saying do this do that,
nor should he try to drag a person there.  Nor should he have an
attitude which is holier-than-thou. (spiritual ego)  

He should go to that persons level and look at how they are stuck.
Then he should give them his hand and lead them (only if they are
willing).

"From what you tell me and what I see from you, you are such a man. I
am honored to know you!". This man should also have the ability and
the tools to give to others which are suited to their situation.  For
example:  He cannot give a person who is a Christian - Hindu tools,  
nor can he give a Moslem person Christian or Hindu tools. He should
not put one religion over another, nor any god, nor philosophy .  He
should give each what will assist him towards God in his own path,
not try to drag him to another unless he asks for this.

All gods, all beings are created for each of the paths upon which God
walks, all are paths of God which lead to God ... after all we all
agree there is but one God , we simply call him by different names
and prescribe different rituals and observances to be applied in his
worship. But the prescribed rituals and such, are what comprise the
path of a given religion. These rituals and modes of worship of God,
are modes of his own worship of himself.

Who are we to say one way in which He worships Himself is in error?
Only a being desiring separation from him could think such a thing.
Hence behaviour which would condemn another religion or path is an
act of arrogance performed by the ego in an attempt to justify the
existence of its separation from him.

More trouble comes when we try to justify our rejection of each other
by saying our path is the only path upon which God walks.. If the
claim that our path is the only true path were true, then our believe
in The One Omnipresent God (no matter what our religion) is
contradicted and is nothing more than the empty claim of a dry and
dead religion, because we have rejected some aspect of him existing
as that other path, or the people who walk that path and worship him
in that way. No he worships himself in every way we can imagine; and
in ways we could never imagine.

As Shiv Sutra says : He should be able to be free in all levels and
modes of his own being and be able to come and go from those levels
at will -having true freedom in will and efficacy at all levels. This
way he can reach and help all aspects of The Self who is none other
than his own self dwelling in all beings as the self.

Thus that man will be a humble man. Without that humility he cannot
do this. Humility will be limited in some way according to his
devotion (which is nothing more than humility) to The Self    - or to
his God whoever that god may be. Humility in this way is not
humiliation, but is recognition of the existence of The Self walking
on all paths as The One Manifold and Omnipresent Self in all beings.
From this Spiritual Realization of who He is can result.

This Manifoldness, this omnipresence existing as The Self in all
beings. is in this way also omniscient, being that is is He (God) who
is know as The Self in ALL Beings everything which those various
selves might know or come to know; also in this way he is the ONE
TRUE EXPERIENT of all the knowables such as joy, love, a
compassionate heart and devotion to himself via the actions of beings
who understand who he is; hence He is existence-consciousness-bliss.
The Great Lord of Being Sri-Satchitananda.

Love is the measure of the Intellect (buddhi). With little love  for
The Self who dwells in all beings as The Self there is low  spiritual
intellect , because knowledge of The Self comes from devotion to The
Self . With great love there is merging with The Self . Hence a man
with great wisdom but without love being expanded as the cosmic
display of  The Self cannot get the intellect of the  Atman. Love is
the thing that bridges the distance of the whole of Lords
manifestation... love is the bliss... love is the consciousness...

Hence little consciousness comes from little love, great awareness
and realization comes from great love. Final merging into existence -
consciousness - bliss ( Satchitananda) comes from purest devotion.
This pure devotion or Para-Bhakti is the bridge to infinite being and
conscious realization of  The  Self.










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