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Goal of the Three Streams: The goal of our sadhana or practices is the highest Joy that comes from the Realization in direct experience of the center of consciousness, the Self, the Atman or Purusha, which is one and the same with the Absolute Reality. This Self-Realization comes through the three streams of: 1) traditional Yoga* meditation of the Yoga Sutras, 2) the contemplative insight of Advaita Vedanta, and 3) the intense devotion of Samaya Sri Vidya Tantra, the three of which complement one another like fingers on a hand. (more) - Yoga - The goal of Yoga* is Yoga*. (more)

 
 

About the word "Yoga": Throughout this website the word "Yoga" is used in its traditional meaning of realizing the
union of the individual and the universal, rather than the revisionist meaning of Yoga as a physical fitness program. (more)

 

Definition of Yoga (from Yoga Sutras): Yogash chitta vritti nirodhah. Tada drashtuh svarupe avasthanam.
Yoga is the mastery of the activities of the mind-field. Then the seer rests in its true nature. (more)

 
 
 

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In your meditation today....

May your body be still and comfortable....

May your head, neck and trunk be aligned....

May your breath be smooth, slow, serene, 
            and with no pauses....

May the flow of thoughts in your mind 
             not disturb you....

May your meditation today bring you peace, 
             happiness and bliss.... 

Self-Realization & Yoga Meditation

What is more important than
where we are standing on the path
is the direction we are looking.
-- Swami Jnaneshvara (more)

 

Self-Realization & Yoga Meditation
Audio Podcasts

Suggestion: Read articles in this column first

The Path

Summary of Practices

Understanding and Practing the Teachings of Swami Rama

Yoga, Vedanta, Tantra

Self-Realization is the Goal: Self-Realization in the Tradition of the Himalayan Masters; purpose, goals of practice, methods of realization; includes seven sound files.

Our approach to meditation is neither exclusively cultivating one-pointedness of mind, nor exclusively promoting insight or mindfulness. Rather, these are emphasized as companion practices. Meditations on attitudes of friendliness or lovingness, compassion or mercy, gladness or goodwill, and acceptance or neutrality are most important, and are seen as preliminary practices to stabilize the mind in preparation for the subtler meditations (Yoga Sutras 1.33-1.39). We practice breath regulation and breath meditation for their immediate benefits, and as a foundation for the advanced practices. We employ the classical approaches of raja, jnana, karma, and bhakti Yoga, as well as hatha, kriya, kundalini, laya, mantra, nada, siddha, and tantra Yoga. Meditation, contemplation, mantra and prayer finally converge into a unified force directed towards the final stage, piercing the pearl of wisdom called bindu, leading to the direct experience of the absolute.

Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced Meditation (chart): Practical outline explains the entire process of meditation in one easy to read table of three columns and six stages. There is also a page of detailed descriptions. (See also the PDF file entitled The Path)

Summary of Practices Outline (7 pages)
Summary of Practices Paper (87 pages)

A Program for Progress in Meditation by Swami Rama

Videos

Click here for All 40+ Videos by Swami J 
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MORE "Read these first" ARTICLES

Seven Skills for Meditation: While there are numerous specific techniques related to meditation, this article summarizes seven core skills that are useful for all of us to develop.

Converging Four Practices: By practicing each of the practices of Meditation, Contemplation, Prayer, and Mantra, these four converge into a unified force of clarity, will, focus, and surrender.

Diaphragmatic Breathing: Breath training is one of the most important foundation practices for advancing in meditation; article includes extremely clear photos.

Two Harmonious Directions in Life: As in physics, there are two forces at play; one moving outward into the world, and the other drawing us inward toward Self-Realization.

Bindu: The Final Convergence: There is a stage of meditation in which all experiences collapse, so to speak, into a point (Bindu) from which all experiences arose in the first place. (See also the Bindu video)

Yoga Sutras: Yoga Meditation is outlined in 196 pithy statements or Sutras, summarized on one page so as to see the "big picture. See also: Summary page | List of 196 Sutras | Introduction | Narrative | Patanjali | Download | Chapter outlines | Seven Keys | Questions | Yoga Sutras in PDF.

Judge each day not by the harvest you reap,
nor by the seeds that you plant,
but by the stillness of your mind in meditation.
-- Swami Jnaneshvara (more)

Yoga Nidra: This is an extremely useful practice that is a companion to meditation. This article describes both the philosophy of the levels of consciousness and some methods leading to the state of Yoga Nidra. (See also the best selling Yoga Nidra CD in the world today, which is recorded by Swami Jnaneshvara)

AUM Mantra: OM Mantra outlines seven levels of consciousness, and provides a roadmap for the entire process of sadhana in Yoga meditation.

Avidya and Adhyasa: Two processes in Yoga that are extremely useful to understand. These two take us evermore out into the external world. To recede back through these two leads us inward to the direct experience of Samadhi, Turiya, or Self-Realization.

Avidya and Adhyasa are two processes in Yoga that are extremely useful to understand. These two work as a pair so as to take us evermore out into the external world. Receding back through these two leads us inward to the direct experience of Samadhi, Turiya, or Self-Realization.

Coordinating the Four Functions of Mind: One of the most central practices of mindfulness or introspection is witnessing and coordinating the inner functions of manas, chitta, ahamkara, and buddhi.

Training the 10 Senses or Indriyas: Along with the four functions of mind (above), training, witnessing and withdrawing the ten "senses" is essential to advancing in meditation.

Karma and its Sources: Systematically moves through a graphic representation of how karma is created and systematically weakened. Of critical importance is the relationship between karma and samskaras.

Kundalini Awakening: The process of balancing energies, awakening and raising kundalini is explained in a series of six pages and six graphics. This general outline and description provides a broad overview.

Mantra and 13 tips on use: These practical suggestions are general in nature and should apply to most any use of mantra. Includes links to other Mantra articles on the site, most important of which is Om Mantra.

Great Contemplations - 7 Mahavakyas: Contemplation is an extremely useful, if not essential companion to meditation. This article presents the practice of seven traditional contemplations called Mahavakyas.

Yoga Meditation in 16 parts: This page gives a one sentence description of Yoga Meditation. The sentence has 16 links that further explain each part of that one sentence. This is a very practical learning tool.

Modern Yoga versus Traditional Yoga: Describes recent alterations of Yoga, and that Yoga is not merely a physical fitness program; includes quotes from several well-known authorities on Yoga.

Yoga and the words Hindu and Hinduism: There are two diversions from traditional Yoga. One is that Yoga is physical fitness and the other is that Yoga is a religion.

Yoga and Institutional Religion: Yoga is in religion, but religion is not in Yoga. Yoga itself has no deity, worship services, rituals, sacred icons, clergy, temples, churches, or other characteristics of religion.

Mysticism, Yoga, and Religion: Mysticism and Yoga can be practiced either within the context or religion, or outside of it. Yoga and Mysticism are on the esoteric end of the the esoteric-exoteric polarity.

 

Traditional Yoga* Meditation

 
Yoga Meditation is the art and science of systematically observing, accepting, understanding, and training each of the levels of our being, such that we may coordinate and integrate those aspects of ourselves, and dwell in the direct experience of the center of consciousness. (There is a 16-page description of traditional Yoga Meditation, which explains the process in practical terms, and simple language.)

Yoga Meditation is not actually a separate aspect of Yoga, due to the fact that traditional Yoga virtually is meditation. However, the phrase Yoga Meditation can be used here to discriminate between traditional Yoga Meditation and the now popular belief that Yoga is about physical postures. Yoga or Yoga Meditation is a complete process unto itself, only a small, though useful part of which relates to the physical body. (See the article Modern Yoga versus Traditional Yoga)


Purpose of Yoga*

The goal of Yoga is Yoga itself, union itself, of the little self and the True Self, a process of awakening to the preexisting union that is called Yoga. Yoga has to do with the realization through direct experience of the center of consciousness, the preexisting union between Atman and Brahman, Jivatman and Paramatman, and Shiva and Shakti, or the realization of Purusha standing alone as separate from Prakriti.



7-minutes


3 Stages of Awareness

1) Awareness Manifests Outward to the World

Yoga, Sankhya, Vedanta, and Tantra view the human as manifesting outward step-by-step, whereby the subtler consciousness projects evermore outward, and then gradually forgets those subtler levels. Genesis also explains this outward movement when seen through the eye of the Yogi or mystic. (Sankhya, Vedanta, Tantra, Adhyasa)
 

Yoga Meditation: 1) Awareness Manifests Outward to the World

2) In Yoga Each Aspect is Trained

Yoga is complete unto itself. In Yoga, each level of our being is trained independently, while also being trained to flow together. The systematic processes deal one-by-one with our actions in the world, senses, body, breath, and and both the conscious and unconscious aspects of mind.
 

Yoga Meditation: 2) In Yoga Each Aspect is Trained


3) Awareness Recedes to the State of Yoga*

Yoga or "Union" is attained by first training, balancing, and purifying each of the aspects of our being individually, and then systematically receding attention inward through those levels, expanding so as to experience the state of Union, Yoga, Samadhi, or Turiya.
 

Yoga Meditation: 3) Awareness Recedes to the State of Yoga


Individual Stages of Yoga Practice

Body and Breath

The Yoga practices with Body and Breath bring health benefits and balance in life. However, many people stop at the Breath, and are unwilling to explore or train the Mind. It is like building a wall between the Yogic stages of Breath and Mind. Some sincere seekers delay out of fear. Others incorrectly believe that Yoga is only about physical fitness. The key for the sincere seeker of the highest joy of Yoga is to be gentle and loving towards yourself, and persist with all levels of Yoga, including directly dealing with the Mind itself.
 

Yoga Meditation: Body and Breath

 Conscious Mind

Mindfulness of the emotional and mental processes of the Conscious mind is very stabilizing. In Yoga, this includes meditation and contemplation on attitudes of friendliness, lovingness, compassion, and acceptance. It includes cultivating non-harming, truthfulness, non-stealing, remembering of truth, and non-possessiveness. However,  many stop at this level of mind, and effectively build a wall between the Conscious and Unconscious, not willing to explore the depths of the Unconscious. Many get stuck here by thinking the goal of meditation is only a calm mind. For Union, Yoga, Samadhi, or Turiya, the streams of thoughts in the Active Unconscious mind need to be encountered, explored, and only then transcended.
 

Yoga Meditation: Conscious Mind


Active Unconscious

By allowing the Active Unconscious to come forward and be witnessed in a neutral way, the thought patterns colored with intense attraction and aversion gradually weaken, allowing a greater peace and freedom of mind. This is one of the most direct ways to deal with the purifying, centering, or balancing of troublesome thoughts. However, few go beyond the boundary between the Active Unconscious and the Latent Unconscious. The Active Unconscious has alluring visions and sounds. Only the most dedicated Yogis are willing to completely transcend sensory experience of both external and internal objects, and to pursue the formless Latent level out of which the Active arises.
 

Yoga Meditation: Active Unconscious Mind


Latent Unconscious

To be fully aware of the Latent Unconscious is a very deep state, and an aspect of advanced meditation (Authentic Yoga Nidra reaches this Latent Unconscious level with practice). It is underneath, beyond, or prior to the pictures and words of the Active Unconscious. It is the ground out of which those emerge. All sensory experiences such as sights and sounds have been left behind, whether of external worldly objects or inner images. To consciously rest in the awareness of the Latent Unconscious is to be filled with bliss. However, there comes a point where individuation itself is the final wall, and even the bliss needs to be transcended. Even for the experienced practitioner this can be a great obstacle. It is beyond the mind in the conventional sense of mind, so the mind can no longer be an aid. Body and breath cannot help. It is only surrender that finally helps.
 

Yoga Meditation: Latent Unconscious Mind


Realization

Whether you call it Grace, God, Guru, Shaktipat, or some other name, the greatest help of all finally comes from within to remove the final barrier of ignorance (Avidya). This final stage is a process that has been called piercing the pearl of wisdom (Bindu). A Yogi does not debate whether the Realization is called Yoga, Self, Atman, Soul, or God, etc., but rather, lives "in" the world while not being "of" the world.
 

Yoga Meditation: Realization of Self


"In" the World -- Not "of" the World

The Realized Yogi lives like a lotus flower. The lotus is both "in" the world, yet not "of" the world. It grows in the soil and water of the world, yet rises above it at the same time. It goes outward (Adhyasa), but is not blinded by Avidya or Ignorance of its true nature. (Avidya-Adhyasa)
 

Yoga Meditation: Like a lotus flower, be "in" the world but not "of" the world.


In the traditional Yoga Meditation of the Himalayan tradition, one systematically works with senses, body, breath, the various levels of mind, and then goes beyond, to the center of consciousness. The science of Yoga Meditation as taught by the Himalayan sages is already a whole, complete science that has been torn into smaller pieces over time. Individual parts have sometimes (unfortunately) been cut out from the whole of traditional Yoga Meditation, given separate names, and then taught as unique systems of meditation. The perspective of Yoga Meditation on the SwamiJ.com site is that it is not a pasting together of disparate Yogas, but an already unified whole that we might call traditional Yoga Meditation, or simply Yoga.

Yoga Meditation of the Himalayan tradition is holistic in that it not only systematically deals with all levels individually, and then integrates them with one another, it also involves a broad range of practices, including meditation, contemplation, prayer, and mantra, as well as the preparatory practices leading up to these. Traditional Yoga Meditation also explores all of the levels of reality and self-construction, including the:

  • Gross (Vaishvanara; A of AUM),

  • Subtle (Taijasa; U of AUM),
  • Causal (Prajna; M of AUM), and
  • Finally, traditional Yoga Meditation leads one to the direct experience of the absolute, pure, eternal center of consciousness, the Absolute (Turiya; 4th beyond AUM), as reflected in OM Mantra

Yoga Mediation: AUM Mantra and the levels of consciousness

The root meaning of Yoga Meditation lies in the meaning of the word Yoga itself, which comes from "yuj" which means "to join," to bring together the aspects of yourself that were never divided in the first place. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a primary source of learning the practices of traditional Yoga Meditation. The finer points of Yoga Meditation are described and taught face-to-face, as it is an oral tradition. Hopefully, the many articles on SwamiJ.com will enhance your understanding and practicing traditional Yoga Meditation. There includes a succinct outline of Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Yoga Meditation.

In the Himalayan tradition, Yoga Meditation is not limited to just the Yoga Sutras, but also includes Vedanta and internal Tantra, while also acknowledging that the practices are also contained in many other sources (See the article, Yoga, Vedanta, Tantra). The teachers of the Himalayan tradition may emphasize or draw on some of these (or other) sources more or less than others, matching the teachings with the student. Traditional Yoga Meditation in the tradition of the Himalayan masters also involves the process of Kundalini Awakening, and this is described in a series of pages on the site.

Tripura, the Three Cities: The three streams of Yoga Meditation, Vedanta, and Tantra include at their core the principle of the "three cities" or "tripura," seeking to know that "one" who lives in those three cities of:

  • Waking, Dreaming, Deep Sleep

  • Conscious, Active Unconscious, Latent Unconscious
  • Gross, Subtle, Causal

This "one" living in, or permeating the three cities is the Turiya, or fourth state in the AUM mantra. In Tantra that "one" is known as Shakti, or sometimes Maha Tripura Sundari, which means the great, beautiful one, essence, consciousness, or reality living in the three cities.

Yoga Meditation: Tripura, the Three Cities

Yoga Meditation itself is not a religion, although some of the principles are contained within the various religions. There are articles on Mysticism and Religion on the site, which should give a good overview of this perspective of traditional Yoga Meditation.

 

The many articles on Yoga Meditation are linked directly on the home page (above), as well as the Index pages, which are at the top of this, and other pages. You can easily access those Indexes by clicking on the little mountain icon at the top of any page on the site.

Please enjoy your visit to the SwamiJ.com site on Yoga Meditation of the Himalayan Tradition, and do come back often to visit.

Swami Jnaneshvara
 


Affirming Three Aspirations
 

 

 
 Yoga Nidra Meditation CD by Swami Jnaneshvara
 

(If you like it: click-save-copy-circulate)
 
 

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This site is devoted to presenting the ancient Self-Realization path of the Tradition of the Himalayan masters in simple, understandable and beneficial ways, while not compromising quality or depth. The goal of our sadhana or practices is the highest Joy that comes from the Realization in direct experience of the center of consciousness, the Self, the Atman or Purusha, which is one and the same with the Absolute Reality. This Self-Realization comes through Yoga meditation of the Yoga Sutras, the contemplative insight of Advaita Vedanta, and the intense devotion of Samaya Sri Vidya Tantra, the three of which complement one another like fingers on a hand. We employ the classical approaches of Raja, Jnana, Karma, and Bhakti Yoga, as well as Hatha, Kriya, Kundalini, Laya, Mantra, Nada, Siddha, and Tantra Yoga. Meditation, contemplation, mantra and prayer finally converge into a unified force directed towards the final stage, piercing the pearl of wisdom called bindu, leading to the Absolute.

 

 

Meditation CDs

Meditation CDs:

Tradition (more)

Himalayan Tradition
Yoga, Vedanta, Tantra
Our Tradition
Swami Jnaneshvara
What is a swami?
Essence of Spiritual Life
Sanatana Dharma

Source of inspiration

Swami Rama (more)

Swami Rama
Index of Swami Rama Articles
The Path (49-page PDF)
Teachings booklet (39-page PDF)
Guru and the light within
Guru is a stream

Guru and divine grace

Systems of Practice

Yoga, Vedanta, Tantra
6 schools of philosophy
Four Paths of Yoga
Sadhana and Its Purpose
Yoga Sutras
Sankhya, prakriti, purusha
Yoga Darshana
Upanishads

Schools of Tantra

Prayer and Contemplation

What is Yoga?* (more)

Yoga
Yoga Meditation in 16 parts

Meaning and Purpose of Yoga

Yoga is a Science

Modern vs. Traditional Yoga
History of Yoga
Truth about 10 reasons for Yoga

Distortion of Yoga - Yoga Day USA

Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Stages of enlightenment

Mind & Senses (more)

Meditation on Attitudes

Witnessing Your Thoughts
Witnessing - Summary page

Inviting thoughts to arise

Mind Map of Yoga
Four Functions of Mind  /  2 egos 
Control Over Mind

Ten Senses or Indriyas

The Mind  -  Emotions

Know yourself at all levels

Driving your chariot
Now, future, and contradiction

Clearing the clouded mind

Maslow and Yoga Psychology

Emotions

Two Faces of Emotions
Emotions - Conscious Living
Truth is in Every Heart
Inner Peace
Emotions, Mind, and Ego
Projection of Your Mind
Condemnation of Yourself

Kundalini Yoga* (more)

Kundalini Awakening
Kundalini Awakening Index
Secret of Shiva and Shakti
Shakti, Kundalini, & River

Chakra Meditation - Bhuta Shuddhi

Guru chakra

Karma (more)

Karma and its sources
3 kinds of karmas

Klishta and aklishta vrittis 

Yoga Meditation and Karma: The word Karma literally means action. It may appear that Karma is happening to us, as if some outside force is causing good things or bad things to come to us. However, it is really our own inner conditionings and processes that are leading us to experience outer effects or consequences in relation to our own actions.

Levels of Awareness (more)

5 Koshas or Sheaths over the Self

4 Levels and 3 Dimensions

Cake and consciousness

Computers and consciousness

Beyond the Subtle & Causal realms

The Self behind the Canvas

Religion and Yoga*

Philosophy, Not Religion

Is Yoga a religion?
Mysticism, Yoga, Religion 
Yoga and Institutional Religion
Theism, Atheism, Yoga, and Fear
Religious Diversity
What God Is
Yoga, Hindu and Hinduism
Indic Understanding of "Religion"

Yoga and Christianity

Christian Yoga

Upanishads (more)

Overview, Mandukya, Brihadaranyaka, Isha, Katha, Chandogya, Prasna, Tripura

Shankara (more)

Atma-Bodha, Atma Shatkam, Siddhanta Tattva Vindu, Sadhana Panchakam, Bhaja Govindam, Aparakshanubhuti, Panchakaranam, Vakya Sudha, Vakya Vritti, Viveka Chudamani 

Online Practices (more)

Online breathing & meditation

Meditation Breathing

Trataka-Gazing     Soham Trataka

3-minute Yoga meditation
7-minute Yoga meditation

11-minute Yoga meditation

Soham mantra practice

Survey of body
61-Points exercise

Ascending breath relaxation