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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Prakriti & Purusha

5.13.11 - Meditation based upon Patanjali's Yoga Sutras
Taught by sisters Saraswati Andrea Lee and Chitra Jessica Sunshine Klein
Starseed Yoga and Wellness of Montclair, NJ

Welcome to Meditation!  Begin by taking a comfortable cross legged seated position.  Close your eyes and tune into the breath.  Notice if the breath is smooth or uneasy?  The breath is the link between the mind and body and can tell us directly our state of mind.  Slow, even breathing = Calm, focused mind.  Observe the breath.  Inhale and exhale.  Let us join our voices in unison for three OM's and then a call and response chant of Hari OM with a special ending.  Feel free to join in when you are comfortable.

Hari OM Hari OM Hari Hari Hari OM
I am not the body, not the mind, eternal Self am I.

Patanjali Yoga Sutra 4.17  An object is known or unknown depending on whether or not the mind gets colored by it. 

From the commentary of Sri Guruji Reverend Jaganath Carrera, Inside the Yoga Sutras  p. 217-218
    "The uinverse is a series of waves of Prakriti which express as names and forms.  The names and forms change appearance during their evolution and then dissolve back into the undifferentiated stuff of matter.  These movements within Prakriti attract the mind through the senses like a snake charmer mesmerizing a cobra.
     "Perception takes place when an object attracts the attention of the mind through the senses.  The senses pass on those impressions to the manas (the recording faculty of the mind) which then conveys their presence to the buddhi (discriminative faculty) and ahamkara (the ego, which claims the impressions as its own).  In other words, perception occurs when the mind gets colored bty stimuli from the outside world.  Subjectively, this experience makes it seem as if the mind has a consciousness of its own.  In truth, our individual consciousness in the "borrowed" reflection of the Purusha on the mind.  This is analogous to a mirror which can borrow the light of the sun and reflect it into a room.  This basic misperception - that our mind's "own" consciousness (which is tantamount to avidya) - is what has been preventing us from realizing our True Identity as the Purusha." 

Prakrati, or nature, is always changing, just different names and forms.  All the changes attract and create desires for the mind, like a snake charmer.  Perception occurs only when the senses grab the attention of the mind.  The mind's own consciousness, our feeling of seperate-ness, the ego-sense, prevents us from realizing our True Identity as the Purusha.  Purusha is the Self, the soul, the Spirit, the God or Divine consciousness within.  It is pure unbounded consciousness.  The nature of the Purusha is Satchidananda, eternal, knowledge and bliss.  It is beyond the body, beyond the mind.  It is the silent witness who watches everything and says nothing.  So we have two parts to us, Prakrati - nature, always changing and Purusha - Self, unshakable.  Listen to the example, we always prefice our statements with "I am".  I am Jessica.  I am hungry.  I am happy.  I am = Purusha, unshakable; (the fill in the blank)_______ = Prakrati, always changing. 

Brahmari Pranayama takes its name from the Sanskrit word for the honey bee -- Brahmar. During this breathing practice we imitate the buzzing or humming sound of a bee upon our exhale. This method of pranayama has many benefits for the brain and the nervous system as it balances the sympathetic nervous system -- our fight or flight instict -- and the parasympathetic nervous system -- that which takes care of relaxation and sleep. When the sympathetic nervous system is over stimulated, stress and anxiety are soon to follow. Brahmari pranayama helps to relax the body and mind by sending vibratory impulses to the parasympathetic nervous system, jump starting it to do its job.

Brahmari pranayama is often used in conjunction with a mudra or hand gesture that we use to seal in vital energy. The mudra that typically accompanies Brahmari is called the yoni mudra, in which the orifices of the head are blocked by the fingers.

Let’s first practice this breathing technique without the mudra. Begin by exhaling the breath silently and deeply. Take a full inhale and begin your next exhale making a humming sound in the back of your throat. After you’ve exhaled the oxygen from your chest and abdomen, repeat this pattern for several more rounds. Focus less on the volume of your humming and more on the internal vibration you feel in the throat and in the skull.  On your next inhale return your breathing to normal.

Next we will try this exercise using the yoni mudra. Begin by gently placing your open palms wide against either cheek, fingertips almost touching. Using the thumbs as earplugs, insert them gently into the ear canal. Rest your index fingers over your closed eyelids, your middle fingers gently pressing into the creases of your nostrils, your ring fingers resting above your upper lip and your pinky fingers resting below your bottom lip. Adjust your hands so that you are not feeling discomfort or strain between the fingers. We will do 10 rounds of Brahmari pranayama at your own pace and when you have finished, simply sit with your hands resting in your lap, keeping your awareness on your breath.  As before, exhale the breath fully and return breathing to normal. Keep your eyes closed and watch your mind with a non-judgmental attitude.

Introspection Meditation - Who Am I? Introspection or self-inquiry uses the mind’s discriminative capacity which involves a profound examination of the mind. During this method of meditation the limitations of the mind are recognized and transcended. A wake-up call about who we are occurs, which can lead to Self-realization.

Who am I? Am I my pinky finger? [pause and listen for answer within] I say, my pinky finger. Is this where I exist? [pause] No, I seem to by the owner of my finger. If the tip got cut off, would I seize to exist? No.

Am I my hand? [pause] Again, I seem to be the owner of my hand. I don’t seem to be limited by my body.
Am I my arm? [pause] I say, "my arm" therefore I cannot exist only in my arm. 
Am I my body? [pause] Again, I seem to be the owner of my body. I say “my body” therefore I am not my body but the owner of my body.
Am I my intellect? [pause] I can study and learn and yet I am still aware and a witness to the intellect while it learns.
Am I the mind itself? Here I am, witnessing the mind go through the analysis. Again, listen to the language. I say, “my mind” therefore I am the owner of the mind. I am not the body, nor the mind, eternal soul am I.

I am = GOD, Divine energy within all beings. I am Jessica. We put God first even in our names.

So-Hum Breath Meditation to end. Begin with normal breathing.  Inhale four counts, exhale four counts.
Inhale So, exhale Hum.
So-Hum = I am that I am. Eternal spark within all of creation. Sound that exists already within everything. Listen inside as you breath. Silently say to yourself So (inhale) Hum (exhale).

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes
but in having new eyes.
~ Marcel Proust ~

Reality is what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is what we believe.
What we believe is based upon our perceptions.
What we perceive depends upon what we look for.
What we look for depends upon what we think.
What we think depends upon what we perceive.
What we perceive determines what we believe.
What we believe determines what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is our reality.
~ Gary Zukav ~

We do not see things as they are.
We see them as we are.
~ The Talmud ~

Closing Peace Chants
Asaato Maa Sad Gamaya Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya Mrityro Maa Amritam Gamaya
Lead us from unreal to Real.  Lead us from darkness to the Light.  Lead us from the fear of death to the knowledge of Immortality.
OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
Lokaah Samastaah Sukhino Bhavantu
May the entire universe be filled with Peace and Joy, Love and Light.

1 comment:

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