“Dhyanam nirvishayam manah”: That state of the mind wherein there are no Vishayas or sensual thoughts is meditation.
“Tatra pratyayaikatanata dhyanam”: A continuous flow of perception or thought is Dhyana (meditation). There is continuous current in the mind of one object like the flow of water in a river (Pravaha). There is only one Vritti in the mind. It is Ekarupa-Vritti-Pravaha.
Meditation is the keeping up of an unceasing flow of God-consciousness. It is the flow of continuous thought of one thing or God or Atman, like the continuous flow of oil. All worldly thoughts are shut out from the mind. The mind is filled or saturated with Divine thoughts, Divine glory and Divine presence. Meditation is regular flow of thought with regard to the object of concentration. Meditation follows concentration.
Meditation is the seventh rung or step in the ladder of Yoga. Yogis call this ‘Dhyana.’ Jnanis term this ‘Nididhyasana.’ Bhaktas style this ‘Bhajana.’
Yama (self-restraint), Niyama (religious observance), Asana (posture), Pranayama (restraint of breath), Pratyahara (abstraction or withdrawal of the senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation), Samadhi (superconscious state or blissful union with the Supreme Self) are the eight steps of Yoga.
Lord Jesus says, “Empty thyself and I shall fill thee.” This corresponds to the teaching of Patanjali Maharshi: “Yogas-chitta-vritti-nirodhah”–”Yoga is restraint (annihilation) of all mental modifications (functions).” This emptying process or making the mind blank is no doubt a trying discipline. But continued practice of an intense type will bring success. There is no doubt of this.
— Swami Sivananda
During the upcoming Prana in Life Enhancement program held December 20 – 22, 2013, participants can learn to work with pranas (energies) directly to facilitate balance on the physical, emotional, and energetic levels. Working with poses and the breath helps to regulate prana indirectly; learning to directly sense flows and blockages of energy helps us restore balance and enhance our lives. Having taught yoga for nearly 40 years, Dale Buegel, M.D. will guide us in 3 workshops to learn to work with the pranas in postures, breath, and meditation practices.
Answer: Yes, of course. Think about the sinking of the Titanic. There were many different kinds of people on the Titanic - evil people, normal people, saintly people, all types of people. When the boat sank, however, everyone who was on board shared in the collective karma, but the experience of everyone on board was different. This is the point. Everyone shared in the collective karma of the sinking boat, and at the same time, the experience of each one was different.
Watch this video on teaching yoga to teens. The Yoga Retreat will be offering a Teen Yoga Teacher Training Course taught by Charlotta February 2-6, 2014. For more information or to register click here: http://sivanandabahamas.org/course.php?course_id=3825
Answer: Sometimes at an early stage in life we make a mistake. We make what at the time seems to be a logical decision. Sometimes society is pushing us, sometimes the parents, sometimes our considerations are mistaken. For example, we take money into consideration: I want to have a career; I want to have money. How am I going to have money if I become an artist? Artists never have money; musicians never have money. Yogis, they never have money. Yogis are professional beggars!
We are making this so-called logical choice, but it’s not truly logical. What’s logical about being miserable?
If, however, at a certain stage of life you find yourself feeling sorry about your decisions, don’t be sorry. Everything has its own value, and we are going to get another chance anyway, but that’s not the point. As yogis we can make it in this very life without regard to external circumstances. They are not the most important consideration when it comes to being a yogi. The inner life is the most important consideration.
Om Shanti, Om Peace
Swami Swaroopananda, Director
Arrival Date: March 8, 2014 • Departure: March 15, 2014
Florida International University’s (FIU) renowned Religious Studies Department is partnering with Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat Bahamas to offer an innovative Study Abroad program from March 8-16, 2014. Students enroll in either an undergraduate or graduate course for college credit at FIU instructed by Religious Studies faculty member Dr. Andrea Mantell Seidel.
Through a concentrated study of yoga asanas (postures), meditation techniques, pranayama (breath control), guest lectures, and philosophical and religious scriptures and dialogue, students will engage in both the theory and practical applications of yoga and related spiritual disciplines within the concentrated environment of a traditional yoga ashram. The 7- day study abroad component includes lectures by world renowned speakers from a variety of traditions, daily Yoga classes, a morning and evening satsang (meditation, chanting, and lecture), delicious vegetarian meals, and some recreational time for swimming and meditative beach walks. The pre- and post-departure curriculum includes seminars, daily journaling, reading assignments, take-home essay exams, and term papers for graduate students.
Students outside of South Florida may register for one of the classes below as an out-of-state, transient student and participate in the pre- and post-departure seminars via internet. For further information please visit our website [http://www.sivanandabahamas.org/page.php?content_id=86&page_id=60#m]
Check out this upcoming course with Stacie Doorek (Saraswati). http://sivanandabahamas.org/course.php?course_id=3753
Learn how to make Yoga accessible for everyone — seniors, those with disabilities or limited mobility, the chronically ill, Alzheimer patients, pre-/post-surgery patients, and those recovering from injuries — so that all can enjoy the benefits of Yoga in a safe, gentle way.