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A Rainbow of Spirituality

Other Practices of My Spiritual Life

Yoga and Meditation


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Chakras

There are seven major Chakras, or centers of psychoactive energy, in the human body. These Chakras are the energy centers which are situated throughout the body to keep the body balanced. The word 'chakra' comes from the Sanskrit word, which means 'wheel'. These chakras are wheels of energy, which are continuously rotating all the time. If these chakra rotate incorrectly, then the body becomes 'imbalanced' and blockages occur which restrict the flow of energy. Each of the seven chakras plays vital functional roles in our physical body. Each of the seven chakras has several spiritual qualities. Thus, through regular meditation, we become automatically very dynamic, creative, and confident and at the same time very humble, loving and compassionate. It is a process, which starts to develop by itself when the Kundalini rises and starts to nourish our chakras.

When Reiki healing is given to these chakras become balanced and unblocks the energy flow. These seven chakras may be listed either top-down or bottom-up.

The root/base or Mooladhara Chakra
The first chakra is situated below the sacrum bone in which resides the Kundalini. The color of this chakra is red and the element is earth. The positive quality of this chakra is creative/awakened kundalini and the negative one is uncreative/not grounded kundalini.

The hara/sacral or the swadishthan chakra
The second chakra is the chakra of creativity, pure attention and pure knowledge. The color of this chakra is orange and the element is water. The positive quality of this chakra is that one is sexually happy and the negative one is sexually unhappiness.

The solar plexus or the manipur chakra
The third chakra is the one that gives us the sense of generosity, complete satisfaction and contentment. The color of this chakra is yellow and the element is fire. The positive quality of this chakra is pleasure and the negative one is envy/jealousy.

The heart chakra or the anahat chakra
The fourth chakra, the chakra of the heart, is the place where resides our Spirit, our true Self, which is eternally pure. All our worries, doubts and fears are destroyed when the heart chakra is fully enlightened by the Kundalini. The color of this chakra is green and the element is air. The positive quality of this chakra is love and the negative one is fear.

The throat chakra or the vishuddhi chakra
The fifth chakra is the chakra of diplomacy, of pure relationships with others. The Vishuddhi is the chakras, which gives us the connection with the whole, and make us feel our oneness and the fact that we are all part and parcel of the whole. The color of this chakra is blue and the element is space. The positive quality of this chakra is god/effective communicator and the negative one is prone to cold and cough.

The Ajna or the third eye chakra
The sixth chakra is the chakra of forgiveness and compassion. The color of this chakra is indigo and the element is space. The positive quality of this chakra is intuitional awareness and the negative one is anger craving for power. It is the narrow gate, which opens the way for our consciousness to ascend to its final destination, which is the seventh center.

The Sahasrara or the crown Chakra
This is the topmost center chakra. The crown chakra is related to the brain, and especially the pituitary and pineal glands. The color of this chakra is violet and the element is space. The positive quality of this chakra is intelligence and the negative quality is less intelligence.

Embracing Reiki is a commitment to your on growth for mental peace and towards spirituality. As you progress through levels, you can help yourself, others and the whole world community as a whole. The potential of this energy and the work you can do with the help of this energy is endless.

Yoga

In an effort to simplify and clarify the complex philosophies and teachings of Yoga, we can summarize the wisdom of yoga in six principles:

1. Proper exercise
2. Proper diet
3. Proper breathing
4. Proper relaxation
5. Meditation
6. Positive thinking

Yoga is designed to enable people to begin from their present state of consciousness and move forward into a state of well being wholeness and enlightenment.

There are mainly TEN kinds of yoga…

KARMA YOGA - Karma refers to the universal principle of cause and effect. Karma yoga meditation is consciously surrendering to the lord your selfish motives. You have to start living for the god, the higher self, and the soul not for your false ego. One has to dedicate one's actions, words, thoughts and feelings to god. One has to stop working, speaking, acting in a way that is to reward one's personal desires.

BHAKTI YOGA - Bhakti yoga, or devotional yoga, is the most natural path. Meditation is done by visualizing, thinking and feeling that the Lord is sitting or standing before the person. In this form of yoga there is awareness of relationship. The devotee is aware of the Lord and of his own being, and of the relationship between the Lord and the devotee. This continuous flow of love and life force brings about a super conscious state of awareness.

MANTRA YOGA - Mantras are words, phrases that are chanted thoughtfully and with growing attention. The mantram may create an opportunity for old thoughts and feelings, old fears and guilts, to be released. By this yoga the mind and emotions are transcended and the super conscious is clearly revealed and experienced. There are thousands of mantrams, which are mainly from the ancient Sanskrit language. In whisper chanting of the mantra the prana, the life force in the body, is balanced and harmonized, preparing the way for a deeper state of serenity - and of the balance of mind and emotions.

Whisper chanting easily dissolves and the life force moves even deeper within as you enter mental chanting. Mental chanting is practiced as long as thoughts are occurring to the mind. Whenever the mind is distracted, the mantram is simply chanted in the same area of the mind where the distraction is happening. Chanting becomes a pleasure, Peace and gentle joy to fill your mind. In order to be sure a mantram is right for you, get a mantram only from a Guru or Master who is qualified to teach and initiate you.

TANTRA YOGA - A tantra devotee sits calmly and purifies mind and heart of wayward thoughts and desires. The devotee then senses the life force within his or her, through imagination and feeling, directs the life force to rise up the spine, from the tail bone into the neck and then into the forehead. The word tantra means expansion. Tantra yoga is not concerned with sexuality, but with the creative force and transmuting this energy into higher channels. In this devotion they are freed from destructive habits and enter enlightenment. The person becomes aware that the life force within each person is truly divine; it is from the Lord. The spirit in each one is from God.

LAYA YOGA - There are five main energy centers in your spine and two in your head. The laya yoga meditator knows exactly how to locate these centers. When these centers are found, they function very much like doorways to different realms of higher consciousness. Through laya yoga meditation in the heart center you overcome selfishness and self-centeredness. You become able to deal with your fears and worries and other problems because of the tremendous strength and insight you gain from the heart expansion.

Over-stimulation of a center could cause pain, confusion, or intense desires. So, it is not wise to concentrate on these centers or meditate on any of them without the help of a teacher. On the other hand, most people live on only three levels of consciousness - the material, sensual, and egoic without ever opening the seven centers (charkas), which bring higher consciousness. Laya yoga, with a qualified teacher, is an extremely worthwhile endeavor.

RAJA YOGA - Raja yoga meditation is generally based on directing one's life force to bring the mind and emotions so into balance that the attention may be easily focused on the object of meditation or to the Lord directly. When the energy is balanced throughout the brain and body and easily moving forward in the area of the third eye, your mind becomes very calm. Raja means royal or kingly. Raja yoga, particularly, requires a teacher because it is easy to strain yourself. This state usually gives you a very pleasant sense of well being and your mind seems filled with a velvety darkness.

JNANA YOGA - Jnana means wisdom. Jnana yoga is the path of wisdom. The person meditates patiently to release all thoughts and feelings until the luminous glow of the soul dawns in the mind and heart is allowed to do a work of transformation and enlightenment within the meditator. Remember never to meditate in a passive way. This state of consciousness is one of alertness, an amazing application of awareness. You can also discard worry, doubt, or fear, and become established in the light of your inner self.

HATHA YOGA - It's a superb means of exercising, stretching, and freeing the body so it can be a healthy, long-lived, and vital instrument of the mind and soul. Through hatha yoga one can become extremely clear-minded and can concentrate well. It is also a main method for spiritual realization. One's clear mind and pure, healthy body enable one to meditate easily. Normally the one with the calm mind focuses awareness at the ajna center half an inch above where the eyebrows join and directs awareness to move through that center into a super-conscious state.

KUNDALINI YOGA - Kundalini yoga generally involves a combination of raja, hatha, tantra, mantra and laya yogas. But sometimes it is considered as a distinct yoga. Its principal goal is the stimulation of the spiritual life force at the base of the spine called Kundalini so that it will rise easily from the lower centers (lower charkas) of your being into the spiritual centers in your head (crown chakra) where higher consciousness is perceived, experienced.

KRIYA YOGA - Kriya means to do, to make an effort or to transform. Basically kriya yoga is a blend of raja, jnana and bhakti yoga. Kriya yoga is practiced daily with a self-disciplined mind and body, introspection, and devotion to God.Kriya yoga is practiced directing life force to move up and down the spine, transforming the mediator's state of being until spiritual realization occurs. This technique is usually conveyed privately through initiation from a Guru or longtime practitioner of this method.


The path here is one of greater consciousness, not magic. It all depends on your ability to be attentive and sensitize yourself to super consciousness in order to get success.



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Artwork by Dalyn (2003)

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Meditation

There is a perfect saying "When you have pain and suffering, you have to run someplace for relief. But there is no doctor for mental, spiritual anguish. No doctor can put these afflictions under a microscope and look at them. The only cure is meditation."
The aim of meditation is to clear away the adventitious defilements so that we can experience ourselves -- more deeply and more truly - in our primordial purity, clarity, and freedom of mind. Meditation helps us to cut through the agonizing clutter of superficial mental turmoil to allow us to experience more spacious and joyful states of mind. If you want to live a more fulfilled life, first you will want to know your potential, who you really are. Meditation is the route to that knowing. Meditation is the highest virtue. Meditation is the foremost austerity. Meditation is the greatest purity. Meditation is present wherever meditation is practiced. It is common in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity, as well as in other religions.

We cannot come to meditation in the hopes that it will give us what we need or what we want. Meditation is an activity. Close your eyes and feel and see that place that is beyond name and form. Meditation is a very sacred place. Everything we see in front of us is an illusion; it is a veil covering that which is beyond. You must have both the pain and the pleasure. You must learn to enjoy the pain. Learn to love it. There is something beyond the name; there is something beyond the form. Try to respect the form. Respect the name and do everything selflessly, for the Self.

We would all love to be in that state like a child, where there is no fear, no anxiety, no worry about who's going to say what to you or how you are supposed to act and react. Meditation is not magic, and it isn't a belief or a religion. It is simply a technology - a set of simple techniques that use what you have (your mind, senses, and body) to create a communication between you and your mind, and between your mind and your body. Meditation is a time to be with yourself. Meditation is a time to connect with your breath, a time to be present to the life force in your body, a time to talk to your higher self. Daily meditation cleans your mind, to help you focus your energy, avoid mistakes, stay healthy, and become more kind and prayerful. It is an opportunity to create stillness within yourself and to rejuvenate and relax yourself so you can handle stress.

Time and places to meditate

Any place that is neither too hot nor too cold and where you can sit quietly for a while without any kind of disturbance is perfect to meditate. The place should be clean also. Sit in a comfortable position; make sure that the spine is erect and reasonable straight. The early morning hours between 4 to 8 am is the best time to meditate but some people like to meditate before going to bed. It is also ok as it helps to clear away all the worries of the day. Never meditate after having a big meal. How long you can meditate it all depends on the kind of meditation, which you are doing as they work on different aspects of the mind and body, so the time varies with the technique. Start with what is comfortable for you. Even you can meditate only for five minutes. After some time you can increase it to hours.

Diet for Meditation

It is better to have light meals to get good and healthy mind. Many practitioners have become vegetarian, choosing the lightest diet that allows the mind to be calm and focused. Avoiding drugs, other than those prescribed by a doctor is also recommended, as drugs may imbalance your body and mind.

Clothes for Meditation

You can dress in any way you like. In which you find yourself comfortable and non-restrictive. The first thing is comfort. Some meditations use physical activity, and many people like to do some yoga or similar exercises to prepare, so you should dress in a way that will allow you to relax and freely do any exercises. Choose clothing that is clean, fresh, and often light in color and composition.

Meditation Guide

Many meditations use sounds or mantras, sometimes words that represent big thoughts (Love, Truth, God), and sometimes just simple sounds. The words come from many traditions, and can be in many languages. Even if the words and language of a mantra is unfamiliar to you, they are not about chanting to something, or some god that you don't know. Chanting is an energetic act that changes your brain, stimulates hormonal balance, and engages you in a special type of communication with your own mind, about truth and clarity.

Many meditations also use the breath (pranayam), perhaps simply bringing your attentions to the flow of your breath, or by consciously using specific patterns of breath. Feeling the depth, rate, and pattern of breath can change them as well. Be sure to follow the instructions for using the breath in a meditation carefully, and check with an instructor if you have questions. Begin with short times and gradually increase them as you get used to the changes they cause. If you feel dizzy, stop and make sure you are using the proper technique. Breath meditations create a lot of change and it is important to feel comfortable and balanced with these changes.

Higher consciousness is found through an increase in consciousness. If you've developed a habit of being numb in the brain or in general sensitivity, all the tendencies involved in this habit have to be patiently turned around. Let all the thoughts simply come and go. Just let go of the thoughts, as you stay with the flow and sensations of your breath.

Basically meditation helps us in many ways. It provides an outlet for tension and withheld emotions as well as being a great energy-booster! Creates an inner balance and stillness. Experience one's own center of stillness, silence and relaxed awareness. A gentle yet effective way to release all the accumulated stress of your day.

Kashmir Saivism

Kashmir Shaivism is another feature of my spirituality. To explain it better, please see Salient Features of Kashmir Monistic Shaivism by Prof. M. L. Kokiloo.

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