Day 50 – Lotus posture.

No physical yoga today, slept late and explored interesting dreams.

Very good pranayama session though.

Am getting used to sitting in lotus. I can see why it is renown as the king of meditation poses. One feels so stable.

Something clicked in meditation today. very subtle. Could really feel apana and prana currents, rise with inhalation and descend with exhalation; the opposite movement to the breath.

Something opened, or, let go.

Have been feeling very positive and energized. Am spinning a new animation, have some great reading material and just feel settled and content.

It has gotten very cold here. Winter has definitely arrived.

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Day 11 – Cycling and yoga

Went for a long bike ride today. Reluctantly missed my 6 pm pranayama session 😦

Ah well 1 miss in 11 days is not bad. That’s 43/44 Pranayama sessions.

Some days the body needs a different form of exercise – that’s my excuse anyway. Cycling can be a form of yoga, it takes stamina and perseverance, very yogic traits!

My pranayama times have gone very low because have been cycling a lot. Am building the strength back in my injured leg, overdid it though and felt exhausted.

Tut-tut.

This will not do!

Still, did an hours physical asana today.

I understand why Sivananda says the pranayama practitioner should not walk far distances or exert oneself too much physically. Pranayama demands a lot of energy.

Hopefully I have learned from this experience.

Day six – Meditation on unselfish Love

Today I decided to rest from physical asana. My body firmly stated that it required rest and I have definitely learned to listen to my body. Yoga injuries can take a long time to heal. I think this is of extreme importance to the yogin but sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between bodytalk and sheer laziness!

Yesterday I started to read about meditation and refresh my memory upon the topic. Last night at my midnight sitting the investment bore fruit. Previously my style of meditation was simply attentive but completely still. I would attempt to hold the utter stillness for as long as possible. My goal was to hold the openness for 12 seconds. This is no easy task, the mind is a hard beast to tame. I achieved this goal once, almost 4 years ago and experienced my second encounter with the great light. It took a long time and a lot of practice to still the mind completely for 12 seconds. I used to describe this process as meditation but after reading up on meditation yesterday, now I’m not so sure. I have a new understanding of meditation and samadhi.Yoga - Be your own sheep.

Last night at my midnight sitting I employed a new technique of simply withdrawing the senses and then holding the breath and going deep into a feeling state of Unselfish love. The resulting feeling state was held for about 10 seconds I would guess, it is impossible to count when in a deep feeling state. I was able to project myself deep into the feeling of love. It’s quite difficult to describe, it’s a subtle feeling at first which grows in intensity and mounting bliss. Accompanied with rushes and tingles throughout the body it was a very pleasant feeling. Recalling feelings of giving and receiving love unselfishly, felt subtly magical as if an ensuing flood of endorphins and enkephalins were somehow Natures reward for sharing the universal energy of Love.

I think previously I had confused the terminology of meditation, the 7th limb of yoga, with the 8th limb of yoga – contemplation, Samadhi. I am looking forward to reading all about Samadhi tonight and hopefully moving another step nearer my goal.

I decided at my noon session today to change my pranayama, again. I was getting an unpleasant feeling in my cheekbones and ear canal from to much Bhastrika. This was a problem last time I practiced pranayama in depth. It’s a very unusual feeling. I feel the cheekbones to have special significance in yoga which I will talk about at another time, when I recount my second encounter with the Light.

I feel I have progressed greatly these last 6 days and feel I should tone down the purifying pranayama a little and move it in a more subtle direction. I decided upon the bee breath, which feels really nice. I also changed the inhalation/exhalation extension practice to the identical breath which is similar but not as strenuous. Lastly I changed the deep abdominal breathing to sun piercing breath which is also more subtle and less strenuous. I look forward to exploring and working with these new techniques.

Day 5 – Hong Sau & chakra positions

Today I began incorporating Hong Sau;

“In Sanskrit, the word Hamsa (Hong-Sau) means wild gander, and has great symbolic significance. No matter how far the wild gander flies, at some point it remembers, and migrates back to its home, always at the proper season. In the same way, we as spiritual beings following a spiritual principle must, like the wild gander, remember, and migrate back to our spiritual home. The spiritual home is the inward state of Samadhi. The Hong-Sau Kriya meditation is a key technique whereby you return to the spiritual home.SriYantra

In most systems of meditation, there is a particular spiritual result that is sought. This may be trance, vision, or clairaudience. This is not, however, the end goal of Kriya Yoga. There is a higher meditation, in which you enter a state of consciousness with meaning beyond your own mind. In this state of meditation, you remove the illusions, delusions, cravings, loyalties, and prejudices. These states produce emotional ignorance within your everyday consciousness. When these states have been removed, you see the reality.

Higher meditation produces a strength and an intensity of consciousness making you courageous and fearless. The most universally applicable method for developing meditation is attentiveness on the incoming and outgoing breath! This technique in no way interferes with the normal breathing pattern. It is used as a point of concentration. It is a pattern upon which the Hong-Sau meditation technique is based.

 

 

 


 

Taken from The Spiritual Science of Kriya Yoga” by Goswami Kriyananda.

Was good to find this on the web as it gives an example of Goswami Kriyanandas style of writing; plus I couldn’t think of much to say today ; ) found some nice pictures though. I especially like the one showing the position of the chakras from the side view. For a long time I was never exactly sure where the Chakras were, depth wise in the body. Most images only show the chakras from the front. I wonder how ida, pingala and shushumna fit into this view of the chakras being along the spinal axis? Are the three main nadi channels found simply in the center of ones body or do they also adhere to the spinal axis? Answers on a postcard please..

Day 3 – The hardest thing in the world! An encounter.

Day three, rolled out of bed at 6:35, completed Pranayama, rolled back into bed and went straight back to sleeep! Nice. It’s becoming automatic!

Woke at 10 am to brilliant blue skies, praises to the God and Goddesses! Read up about Dharanaconcentration, gorging in the splendid sunshine. Felt like I had discovered a missing piece of the yogic puzzle, refreshing my sitting practice.

Memories of my previous concentration practice came flooding back. My concentration object – a beautiful stone which my daughter gave to me, a fortuitous discovery from a Welsh beach. Oh the hours spent concentrating on this stone! I know its every detail so intimately you could not imagine. Yet somehow it has slipped from my mind recently. I guess the power of my last mystical experience was such a transforming episode and took such assimilation that it has taken nearly four years to get back into the samadhic saddle to make my next assault on the spiritual mountain peaks.

I feel energised today! I felt a little down last night because I chose to say no to various invitations from friends. This feels more important to me at the moment, to ground myself thoroughly in my practice, to create a strong foundation. I’m sure my friends will understand, yet I cannot help feel bad as I am usually a good friend and know the importance of supporting ones friends when they need it. I feel it is the highest privilege to be able to help a friend in need and normally I am unconditionally giving of my time.

Lately I have felt let down by several friends when we have arranged to do something. It felt very frustrating. One of my beliefs is that if you say you are going to do something with a friend you should do it, and if for some reason you really cannot do what you agreed, then you should make it a priority to let your friend know as soon as possible. To me that’s just common decency. I may be being a bit harsh but I am tired of certain so-called friends continually letting me down and so have decided to cut some individuals out.

Any way enough of the rant, let me tell you about my practise. My asana is going nicely, I practice roughly an hour before noon for about an hour. I will post a list of the sequence. Gradual strengthening is already being felt. Coupled with the pranayama it is a very powerful fitness routine. The bellows breath is the best abdominal exercise I have come across. It takes some getting used to but when the flow kicks in it feels magical. Ouch!My right leg is still a bit sore from my biking fall but today I managed the lotus whilst performing the mountain. So it’s gradually healing. My new problem is my elbow. It got cut up real bad in the fall and was healing well until I did the scorpion on it and now its gone into a very painful blister. I just hope it’s not infected. I have had to cut out the scorpion for now until it heals again.

So why is simply sitting on the ground with your eyes closed the hardest thing in the world? By God its difficult! Don’t believe me? You should try it. It is sooooo hard!

In the past I have always practised meditation lying down and have had amazing results but now I have decided to master sitting asan. The goal is to be able to sit for 3 hours. I have managed 25 mins so far. Today after my Pranayama I went into yoni mudra, a sense withdrawal exercise in which you close all the senses and concentrate on ajna. This feels good. The-Microcosmic-OrbitNext I went into concentration on my stone. This was the first time I’ve done it for ages so was a tad tricky. I then went into a Qi-gong exercise called the microcosmic orbit this is not strictly yoga but I feel it helps to speed up the energetic process considerably and have had excellent results with it in the past. In fact I would go as far as to say that it is the most powerful spiritual/energy exercise I have encountered. It is amazing! Let me tell you about my experiences with it.

Firstly it took weeks to get any results. I practised it a lot. I mean a lot. The process is to visualise a small ball of energy, about half an inch inside your skin, moving from the anus up the back, around the head, down the face to the throat as you breathe in. Then move the energy down from the throat chakra back to the anus as you exhale. This completes one circuit. Mantak Chia suggests starting with nine circuits. Later you can train the circuit to spin continually, unconsciously.

At first you may have trouble visualising this process and so to help you can trace a line around yourself with a finger as you breathe. I found yogic concentration exercises to work  great in combination with the microcosmic orbit as they both help your visualisation skills to develop.

So anyway, after several weeks I started to actually feel the energy rather than just visualising it.  It’s as if the circuit is already there but you need to activate it by first visualising this cosmic loop. It first feels like a weak current moving around your body. After more practice the current gets stronger. I actually started to see it with my inner vision as a light blue electricity looking light moving around a channel which was gradually getting thicker with time. This probably sounds far-fetched to someone who never practised any energy work, but if you have felt these astral energies, you will understand.

This  microcosmic orbit for me was the first piece of a combination of techniques that I started putting together which led to a huge breakthrough. The barefoot doctor tells of a shamanistic exercise called scooping the loop in which the microcosmic orbit is utilised in conjunction with visualising three chakras breathing in unison but separately. This takes a lot of skill. visualising one chakra can be a challenge, to hold three at once whilst spinning the microcosmic orbit around it all takes a lot of practise. It is worth it. The chakras start to come alive. After much practise I then added the Dharana exercise of visualising my stone outside of the orbit whilst breathing the three chakras. This is an incredibly powerful technique.

It takes a lot of energy and time to build up.

One day, about 8 years ago, after deeply feeling the inherent power I was determined to master this technique. It was a sunny day and I spent a full 8 hours lay in Whitworth park continually practising this formidably complex visualisation. I had been abstaining from ejaculating for about a month to build up the required energy levels. I was holding the visualisation strongly, for a long time, but without  major breakthrough.

I went home and decided to give it one more try. I lay on the bed and restarted the technique, after a short time suddenly I was struck by lightning! BOOOM! I  left.

I was transported to what appeared to be the depths of space.

I seemed to be stood on a floating rock in front of a gigantic field of energy. This wasn’t a visualisation or a hallucination I was actually there. Though the experience was somehow more real than our usual reality.

I could physically feel the pulsating energy’s heat combined with some sort of solar wind on my skin. The heat was immense. I was extremely terrified. I thought I was going to catch on fire as the heat was so strong. I suddenly realised how people spontaneously and mysteriously combust.

I felt I was too near to the huge light. The light itself, when I say huge, probably the biggest thing we can imagine is our earth or sun, a planetary scale. This Energy/ Light was hundreds of times the size of our sun. It was staggeringly colossal! Imagine the heat of being right close to our sun but it was a different type of heat, more electrical, of a cool blue colour but still Hot. I sensed it was sentient and it was sensing me.

As quickly as I was there, I was back on the bed.

This was my first mystical experience.

Wow!

I didn’t want another.

I was in shock. Serious shock.

I tried to explain what had occurred to my then girlfriend, and later some of my friends. She later put it down to me opening my kundalini. I guess this was the outer edges of her model. How could anyone realise the power of that experience unless they had under gone a similar occurrence.

This was not Kundalini.

Before this happened to me, if someone would have tried to explain this as happening to them I would probably thought they were crazy or exaggerating. After this experience I didn’t practice any yoga or energy work for over a year. I was petrified!

After a lot of assimilation to my new model of the universe, I began again. It was not to be my last encounter with this incredible light.

23-09-2010

Deep abdominal breath

Inhalation/Exhalation Extension

Easy breath

Bhastrika

Total sit time

6:00 am

X7

20/20 15/15 12/12

5in 5h 10ex x3 5–10–10×4

30 30 30 30 30

5 min

12 noon

X7

15/15×2 17/17×2

5- 10-10 x7

40 20 30 30 30

13 min

6:00 pm

X7

17/17×2 15/15×2

5-10-10×7

25 30 30 35

13 min

12 mid

X9

17/17×5

5-10-10×7

30 30 30 30 30

18 min

24-09-10

6:00 am

X10

20/20 20/17 17/17×3

5-10-10×7

35 35 30 30

20 min

12 noon

X12

25/25 30/30 25/25 20/30 25/25

5-10-10×7

35 40 30 30

25 min

6:00 pm

X20

25/25 20/20 35/35 30/30 25/25

5-20-10×7

30 35 30 25

22 min

12 mid

X20

30/30 40/20 25/25 20/20 20/20

5-10-10×7

40 35 30 30

21 min

25-09-10

6 am

X20

40/45 30/30 25/25 20/20 20/20

5-15-10×8

40 35 30

22 min

12 noon

x25

45/45 35/35 30/30 25/25 20/20 20/20

5-10-10×8

60 30 30

22min

6 pm

12 mid

Pranayama times table

Day 1 – Lead-up, rough itinerary and first session.

Start at the beginning

Yesterday I spent the day reading up and re-familiarizing myself with pranayama, (breath control). I have practised Pranayama on several occasions over the past 7 years and become accustomed to its raw power. No other exercise effects your total self quite like the breath of life.

The last time I practised for several weeks and then had to stop as I felt I had become just too open. I was experiencing very unusual perceptual abilities. I could see why most yogin retire to an ashram in which to open and expand the system, as doing so in a busy modern city can de a difficult endeavour. Opening the higher chakras whilst being surrounded by people deeply rooted in the materialism, inebriation and the guttural thought forms of the lower energy realms can be a trying procedure.

Practicing the eight limbs of yoga intensely for a prolonged period hones the mind and system to such a degree that all the senses sharpen, including the sixth and higher senses. The ability to directly read people’s minds, bodies and energies can become a hindrance in a tough, masculine city such as Manchester where people rarely pass on a smile to strangers, fear and self consciousness completely absorb the majorities attention. Sense withdrawal skills become handy when traversing the city streets so as to remain unaffected by the hordes contagious energies.

I reread Goswami Kriyanandas instructions, it’s always a pleasure to read his beautiful style of writing and I also read “The science of Pranayama” by Sri Swami Sivananda which was a first for me and provided some interesting new insights into Pranayama.

Pranayama always comes with strong warnings and the strict instructions to never push to hard. Slow gradual progress is the most important rule.

Pranayama should ideally be practised four times a day, though this is usually too difficult for most people. Last time I settled for twice a day, at noon and at midnight but this time I feel I shall attempt the full four sittings and if it gets too much I can always drop it down to two.

My rough plan is to practise at:

  1. Sunrise; roughly 6:30 am
  2. Noon
  3. 6:00 pm
  4. Midnight

The sunrise session shall be simply Pranayama followed by asan (sitting in a meditative posture).

Noon session will be preceded by physical Asana (yoga poses), starting roughly at 11:00 am.

6:00 pm session will be simple Pranayama and sitting asan.

Midnight will be Pranayama followed by sense withdrawal, concentration and meditation. Though I will always go with my feelings whilst practising and this is a very rough guide.

Window view

I set my alarm for 6:30 am. I usually rise between 9 and 11 am so it was quite a shock this morning to be so rudely pulled from my dreams. For 5 minutes I wrestled with the idea of going back to sleep and forgetting my practice, but soon found it in me to jump up, brush my teeth and found myself sitting on my Indian woolen blanket at 6:40.

I took it slow the first session. It felt nice to be back in the blanket. The motor memory of  previous Pranayama sessions came back to me and I only required some brief revision to recall the procedure.

I decided to start with:

  • Deep abdominal breathingDerga-shwasa-prashwasa
  • Inhalation/exhalation extension
  • Easy breath – Sukha-purvaka
  • Vitalising breath
  • Bellows breath – Bhastrika

Wow! Bellows breath is powerful!

I  sat with eyes closed in The prosperous pose for 5 minutes. A short time but you should begin slowly.

I have had a terrible manflu for the last two weeks, so much mucous came out, it was unbelievable. I am over the worse now and decided to go ahead on the auspicious autumnal equinox day.

My nasal passages were a little dry but overall the session went very smoothly. I read for a while before falling back asleep till 11:00 am. I need to re-programme my body clock over the coming days.

At 11:00 am I did some sun salutations followed by an hours yogic warm ups and stretching, culminating in handstand, head stand and scorpion. I have not done any physical practice in over 2 Months as before my flu I had a bad fall from my mountain bike which left me on crutches for several weeks. My right leg is still very sore and I cannot manage the full lotus posture or leg bounces properly. I took this first session very slowly and gradually.

I then performed the same pranayama as earlier except I missed out the vitalizing breath as I wanted to do the full Pranayama session without getting up or opening my eyes. This procedure allows me to kill two birds with one stone as it combines the breathing exercises with sitting asan. In total I sat for 13 minutes. We now approach my third session of the day so I must leave it there..

An inspiring thunder storm shook Manchester today, I saw it as a good omen for my forthcoming months of experimentation,

Namaste.