Babaji’s Kriya Yoga is a Gift and a Blessing

Babaji’s Kriya Yoga is the Yoga of Awareness

Since I was a child I have been asking the questions, “who am I?… and, where in the body does my I-ness exist?”  The Siddhas of this Kriya Yoga Tradition answer this question.  They tell us the body is a vehicle, which brings Divine conscious energy to earth; within the body there is a mystic center, a sacred passageway back to the Infinite and that liberation from all the rounds of suffering is only available within it.  So it is a truly great gift to be born in a human body.  Babajis Kriya Yoga encourages all of us to question our self and the purpose of our existence.  It gives us effective methods to discover who we are and where in the body “I-ness” exists.

Babaji’s Kriya Yoga is an authentic lineage of a modern synthesis of classical Yoga (Patanjali Yoga Sutras) and Tantra ( prana, nadis. kundalini and chakras, mantras, devotion), which provides us the means of developing our potential power and consciousness.  Through the techniques of asana, pranayama, dhyana, mantra and bhakti we can come to experience moments of  “I-ness.”  The practices help us to strengthen the physical body and the mind, while clearly distinguishing our true Self from our vital body, the seat of our desires and emotions. We learn to understand that free will gives us the choice to either express and identify with our normal, restless, and judgmental, fluctuating state of ego consciousness or with the calm, silent, reflective consciousness of true Self.  We come to know that right lifestyle, emotional balance and strong concentration are necessary, if we are to express who we truly are.

The discipline or sadhana of Babaji’s Kriya Yoga, involves not only realizing, “Who AM I?”, but also takes us on  the difficult journey of uncovering “what we are not.”  Getting a true indication of what we not, i.e., our habits and tendencies, emotions, desires and limiting thoughts is challenging to our ego, the little “me.”  The first step is to witness with calm detachment all the things with which our ego identifies.  Typically, we readily accept, ignore or justify them.  We try to hide some parts, the dark bits. We even project some of them onto others, with judgments. The techniques of BKY help us to slowly, recognize, understand, eliminate or forgive the conditioning and influence of our past experiences that cause us to continue to suffer. Then, as we deepen our practice they help us to “see” clearly…to witness harmoniously and experience with new eyes, each of the moments that make up our life.  Throughout their practice, we must choose to remain awake, witnessing the influences of our past conditioning and exercising our will, to transform it.

 Kriya Yoga awakens us to our own true self. It takes a humble and devotional nature to maintain the persistence, power and steadiness needed to continue a deep and daily sadhana of asana, pranayama, meditation and mantra. When devotion, humility and compassion are strong, the practices yield the greatest spiritual benefits of heightened awareness, peace and bliss.  Alone, these spiritual qualities can open the all-important, subtle, spiritual channel, the sushumna nadi.  To open this central channel safely, the knots of the heart must be released.  We  must “let go” of deep-seated fears, desires, anger, preferences and attachments.  If the source of our motivation is egotistical, for example, to be admired by others, or to develop some power or ability in performing complex asana, only personal power is strengthened; consciousness will remain narrow and we will remain subject to past conditioning.  The force of potential energy and consciousness, Kundalini shakti is not of the ego.  It is a force of non-ego and when the ego manipulates it, only the ego enlarges.

The whole system of Babaji’s Kriya Yoga is a life-long, total hygiene for the well-being of the practitioner and points the sincere aspirant toward a state of continuous awareness and transformation of their human nature.   Why limit oneself with expectations for quick short-term results? Rejuvenation of the physical body, especially the brain and nervous system takes time, but the process also energizes the subtle body.  And when prana is increased and balanced and the senses are revitalized through pranayama and meditations, the physical body becomes rejuvenated, more energized, too.  Still more is required of the sincere aspirant.

 Not only are we asked to practice rigorous techniques, for the Yoga to work best, we must also make the corresponding changes in our lifestyle and in our emotional and mental body.  The yogic teachings of self-discipline, the yamas and niyamas are critically important to understand, contemplate, meditate on and live by throughout our lifetime: non-harming, compassion, truthfulness, non-stealing, modesty, moderation, detachment, simplicity, greed-lessness, charity and kindness, purity, contentment, self-study, intense practice and a willingness to celebrate the sacred.

We begin our practice with Kriya Hatha Yoga.  Aside from the beneficial effects of the practices of the postures in general on our physical health, the correct practice of Babaji’s Kriya Hatha Yoga, the 18 postures has many important effects for our emotional, mental and spiritual development.  Their practice release blockages in the subtle channels and awakens dormant spiritual and psychic faculties.  Tensions in the body contract and block subtle channels and directly create restlessness and inertia in the vital life force energy (prana) and its counterpart, the mind. Conversely, as the physical body relaxes through aligning the bones and musculature in selected asana and by coordinating movements with the breath, tensions in the gross body release, prana flows freely through the subtle channels and the mind begins to empty itself.  Bandhas (muscular locks) and mudras (gestures which circulate energy) play an important role in centralizing, stimulating and balancing the increased flow of life force energy. The relaxation following each asana affects healing and a widening of consciousness.

If we practices asana regularly as a means of nurturing our whole being, with our mind passive, ego subdued and concentrated long enough in the posture for it to become truly effective, shifts in consciousness will occur.  We will come to experience our energy body.  Exploring the body, we will find tactile sensation, miniscule flickering of energy or waves of energy, ebbing and flowing through lines in the body from the navel down through the legs, and up and out through the arms and up through the crown of the head, all responding to the life force energy (prana) that animates them.  As we tune into the prana, our  mind becomes calm and one-pointed, and then we experience silence – an expression of our higher consciousness. We are taught to observe and direct prana flowing in our asana practice and in our pranayamas and we learn to concentrate and contemplate it, in one of our meditations.  Through these practices, we learn how to “know and understand” through sensation and through the essence of feeling.

Kriya Kundalini Pranayama is a gift and a true blessing. We can feel the effects of the pranayama almost immediately, as the mind is calmed.  As the inhalation and exhalation become regulated the gross prana begins to affect the subtle pranas. The result is a calm sense of detachment. Each kriya pranayama is practiced with awareness. With each breath we direct the subtle prana through the subtle channels, taking the mind into a state of equipoise. This resting state of equipoise and clarity leads us into potent meditations.  And we also begin to take out into our life activities, naturally, deeper, slower breathing and a calmer, conscious perspective. The Kriya Kundalini Pranayamas balance the two major influences on the nature of the mind, the ida (feminine) and pingala (masculine) nadis and consequently, opens sushumna. The particular breathing pattern increases energy, a sense of youthfulness, mental clarity and contentment.  The more you practice, the more refined the energies become and more you come to understand, as your breathing moves you into a unitary state of awareness and prana.

The Dhyana Kriyas (meditations) build upon one other, throughout the week.  We start with a technique to uncover what is disturbing the mind and we create an opening for subconscious patterns to arise and come clearly into view. Bringing awareness to what lies in the subconscious is the first step toward healing and “letting go” of negative influences. The dhyanas offer us a means to work on self-control, to promote our health and well-being, as well as the well-being of others.  Once we have calmed the mind, the other various meditation techniques begin to develop strong concentration and utilize visualization to open and widen the channel between the perceiving self and the objects of perception.

Inside each of us, is an empty, unlimited space full of consciousness, free from the clutter of thought, where only the sense of I Am, abides.  It is from the perspective of this space that we concentrate, see, visualize and meditate.  The eyes act as shutters, allowing us to interact with the world outside through a field of awareness. As we develop these visualization techniques we come in direct contact with that field of awareness.  There is a direct connection between sight, vision and our inner being, I Am.

Pure vision is mirror-like; it reflects, without color, without the shading of memory, judgment or preference. Whenever we see purely, we feel an intimate connection with whatever we gaze upon.  But this state of consciousness is most difficult to live in because thoughts, memories, preferences, aversions invariably arise in consciousness. Thoughts, both conscious and subconscious distort awareness.

The high text of Vedanta and monistic thought, The Yoga Vashista says, “Consciousness plus thoughts is the mind.  Consciousness minus thoughts is the Self.”   When the mind is empty of thoughts a palpable stream of consciousness can be felt to flow through the eyes, connecting the place from which you “see,” to the object you are looking at.  It is like seeing from the space of  “who you are.”

 The dhyanas of Babajis Kriya Yoga generate an energetic flow that expresses itself along a conduit of perception that links the perceiving mind with the world, which is both visualized with the eyes closed and seen with the eyes open.  Concentrating one’s gaze and actively visualizing, strengthens and increases alpha, beta and theta brain waves and raises consciousness and can reveal one’s intimate connection to the soul.

The meditations open us to experience our soul-connection through the medium of the senses: sight, sound, taste, touch and smell.  We focus the eyes and our attention, concentrate the mind and visualize through the senses, not to fantasize or daydream, but instead to align all the parts of our being toward the soul, so that we come out of the fiction and fantasy of the past and future.  We experience that vision itself, is connected directly, and intimately related to our deeper Self.  We learn to directly experience the present moment.  It is as if we slow time down so that we “see” with more clarity, insight, discernment and detachment in all life activities.

Practicing the bija mantras taught during the second initiation helps us to develop new insights and inspiration. The regular repetition of mantras is known as japa.  This practice is very soothing to the mind.  It brings calmness and healing.  As we direct our mental energy into the mantras, the desire and emotion filled movements of the vital body easily dissolve.  The mind becomes quiet and purified. Consequently, the voice of our soul, the psychic being, our intuition, feeds our intellect with wisdom and understanding. We turn towards it for guidance.  We listen and we hear it.  Mantras can be extremely energizing. Instead of dissipating our mental energy in worries and a thousand trivial thoughts, they help us to conserve it, and then, at the proper time, with intuitive guidance to apply it to the everyday problems of life.  They bring forth a feeling of being supported by Universal Energy, by Mother Nature Herself.

As we advance in our practices with devotion to our own highest Self and develop faith and trust in the techniques, we feel connected, inspired and intuitively guided.  We begin to heal the conflicts or divisions between our inner and outer selves. We experience their integration, their union, their yoga, joining in this journey, inseparable, interdependent, moving together with everything in our life.

Blessed are those who study Babaji’s Kriya Yoga and take it to heart.

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