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The Power of Siddha Yoga: Path of the Heart

The Power of Siddha Yoga: Path of the Heart

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The Power of Siddha Yoga Contemplation

The Power of Siddha Yoga Contemplation

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The Power of Siddha Yoga Meditation

The Power of Siddha Yoga Meditation

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audio length: 7:47 minutes         Read a transcript

The Power of Recognition: Kundalini Shakti

The Power of Recognition Kundalini Shakti

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Transcripts

The Power of Siddha Yoga: Path of the Heart
Excerpts from Lesson 1—The Path Opens Before You

Welcome to the Siddha Yoga Home Study Course —
           The Power of Siddha Yoga: Path of the Heart.

The Gurus of the Siddha Yoga lineage — Bhagavan Nityananda, Baba Muktananda, and Gurumayi Chidvilasananda — teach us that God dwells in every human heart.

The purpose of this course is to learn to access the heart’s wisdom and to express it in every aspect of your life.

To accomplish this, you will be doing what students of enlightened masters have done throughout the ages. You will walk the path laid out by the Guru — a path of teachings and practices enlivened by the Guru’s grace.

Over the coming months, you will study and learn to put into action five essential Siddha Yoga teachings. Each teaching conveys the very essence and power of the Siddha Yoga path, the knowledge and experience of the Self. And each teaching guides you to your own essence, the heart of your being, and the treasures that abide there.

As you explore teachings from Bhagavan Nityananda, Baba Muktananda, and Gurumayi, you’ll learn to penetrate their meaning on subtler and subtler levels. You’ll contemplate and meditate on the Guru’s words. In time, the teachings will become part of you, assimilated into the fabric of your being, and expressed through your words and actions. As this happens, you will see your life becoming a manifestation of the wisdom that you’ve received from the Siddha Masters and made your own. You will experience directly The Power of Siddha Yoga: Path of the Heart.

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As I prepared to write this lesson and to explore the Guru’s teachings with Siddha Yoga students around the world, I contemplated my own experience of The Power of Siddha Yoga: Path of the Heart.

Again and again, my mind came back to words of Gurumayi and Baba that have guided every aspect of my life for the past thirty-five years —words that are utterly priceless to me. Following their teachings has brought greater meaning and purpose to my life than I ever imagined possible.

I remember the first time I heard Baba Muktananda speaking. At one point, in one of his characteristic ways of illustrating a teaching, Baba began to sing a verse from a poet-saint of India. As I listened, Baba’s voice seemed to reverberate in my own chest and throat.

Why do you wander looking from forest to forest
when He dwells in your own heart?
This one looks in the East, that one in the West.
Without the Guru you cannot find Him.
1

Baba was singing about something I had never heard of. And yet, deep inside, I knew that it was the truth. He was teaching that God was in my heart and that I could know Him there. This was completely revolutionary for me. And it was what I had been seeking for many years — the true purpose and meaning of my life.

Baba moved on to other cities, other countries. Yet he remained very present for me in the form of his teachings. As I read Baba’s books and reflected on his words, I came to understand more completely what I had heard him sing. I recognized that after years of restless wandering, looking for something I could not name, I had found my spiritual master. He had unlocked a great force within me, my own innate power. And now his words were teaching me how to align every aspect of my life with that awakened power.

Since then, as I follow Gurumayi’s and Baba’s teachings, I continue to access inner resources I never imagined I had, and to put them into action. I’ve discovered within myself the courage and wisdom to transcend self-imposed limitations, to share love and joy with others, and to step forward in service. I’ve seen myself becoming more light-hearted and steady, happier, and more free.

The teachings I’m speaking about are the teachings that Gurumayi and Baba have made available to great numbers of people throughout the world —teachings that have been printed in their books and translated into many languages. And yet, their inner meaning and liberating power can only become fully apparent when we take them into our being and start to apply them. Then these teachings come alive for us. And it is then that we understand how priceless they are and how fortunate we are to have them.

1Manpuri, an 18th century saint of Daulatabad, India.


The Power of Siddha Yoga Contemplation
Excerpts from Lesson 1: Siddha Yoga Five-Part Contemplation

The purpose of this year's study is to become so practiced and skilled at Siddha Yoga contemplation that you can:

  • access the Self, the inner Heart, with greater ease;
  • deepen your spiritual practices and understanding;
  • attune your thoughts, words, and actions to the wisdom of the Self; and
  • understand the Guru's words and the scriptures with greater clarity, illuminated by the Heart, the Self of all.

I was inspired to learn to contemplate because, fourteen years ago, I heard Gurumayi say that contemplation is essential for progress in sadhana. This statement grabbed my interest because, naturally, I wanted to progress in sadhana. Within days, I started to practice contemplation as I had been taught in Siddha Yoga courses. The methods of contemplation that I will be sharing in this course are the Siddha Yoga methods of contemplation—the result of years of development, teaching, and learning by Siddha Yoga teachers under the guidance of Gurumayi.

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Siddha Yoga contemplation is not the same as thinking about something. The word contemplation is often used colloquially to mean "thinking," or sometimes, even to mean meditation; however, the spiritual practice of Siddha Yoga contemplation is distinct from both of these. Thinking is on the level of the individual mind. Meditation focuses on the universal Heart, the Self of all. Contemplation is the bridge between these two aspects—the universal Self and the understanding of the mind.

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In the same way that the physical world is discovered through questioning, the inner world is opened to the one who has the humility to admit not knowing and the courage to question beyond the engraved habits of thinking. The Greek philosopher Socrates is still remembered for his enormous contributions to Western philosophy and intellectual tradition, not because he gave brilliant lectures or wrote profound books, but rather because he pursued the truth by asking penetrating questions. For millennia, the Indian spiritual tradition has honored the role of questions on the spiritual path. The Guru Gita is the generous answer to Parvati's questions to Lord Shiva, and the Bhagavad Gita is a dynamic dialogue between the questioning Arjuna and his Guru, Lord Krishna.


The Power of Siddha Yoga Meditation
Excerpts from Lesson 1: The Goal of Siddha Yoga Meditation

The ultimate goal of our practice is to become established in the Heart—to live from that place of fullness. Throughout this course, you will be exploring ways to realize this goal.

As we begin, hold the understanding that everything you need for a successful practice of Siddha Yoga meditation is accessible to you:
  • To begin with, the goal of meditation, the supreme Self, the Heart, is within you in its fullness—your own Self is already one with the supreme Self.
  • In addition, you have a human body. The scriptures of India say that with this human birth you have the potential to enter greater and greater levels of awareness. Living in this body, you can enter the Heart and come to recognize your oneness with God.
  • Furthermore, the attainment of that goal becomes a realistic possibility because you have received shaktipat initiation. Your own divine inner power, Kundalini Shakti, has been awakened by the Guru’s grace. The conscious power that was once dormant in you is now awake. The Guru’s grace has awakened it and it can unfold. It can support you in your efforts to go beyond the limitations of habitual awareness and to enter the bliss and freedom of your own true nature.
  • In addition to awakening your inner power, the Guru’s grace and guidance are always abundantly available to you. You can readily access them through her teachings and the Siddha Yoga practices, as well as through all the materials and learning events, such as this course, that support your sadhana

So, once again, you have all the essential ingredients to achieve your goal. The only thing that remains is for you to wholeheartedly give yourself to that pursuit. Even though the Self is completely present within you, until you become immersed in the experience of it, how fully does it exist for you? You may understand it on an intellectual level; it may be part of your theoretical belief system, but the only way to become established in the Self is to enter within your own being and to perceive it directly again and again.

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When I was a child, my family used to escape from the summer heat of the city by renting a cottage at a small lake. Sometimes, as we were swimming in the lake, a speedboat would go by, creating waves in the usually placid water. This was an exciting event for us children—a time to float and let the waves rock us up and down. When I was about nine years old I discovered something that fascinated me. When a speedboat went by, I could dive down and stay under the water and look up and watch everyone else going up and down on the waves. Somehow that was always very satisfying, watching all that movement from a place of stillness.

Try this now. Breathing freely, watch the flow of your thoughts. If you struggle to eliminate thoughts, you are only giving energy to them. So don’t try to eliminate your thoughts. Don’t become involved in their content. Just don’t give energy to them in any way. Instead – simply watch thoughts arise and subside like waves. By simply regarding your thoughts as forms arising and dissolving in Consciousness, you allow your mind to become still and rest in the Heart.

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Excerpt from Lesson 3: Breath

Be at ease.

This is a wonderful teaching for our modern age. Many of us have developed ways of pressuring ourselves—pushing hard to prove something, to please, to keep up, to get things "right", or to meet goals that are unrealistic. However, meditation is a time to let go of all that.

Once you’ve created the time and space for your practice, once you’ve invoked grace and taken a comfortable and steady posture, the next step is to offer your mind an object to focus on—one that will naturally lead it to the Heart—such as the breath or the mantra. With this focus you allow yourself to follow the natural pull inside. You release into meditation.

As you steadily give yourself to the practice of meditation, you can remember the Guru’s love and the shakti that has been awakened in you. You can hold the understanding that your goal of meditation is already with you, in you. As you learn, step by step, to enter into the experience of the Heart, you are progressing toward your goal, often in ways you cannot immediately perceive. Be at ease. Everything in its own time.


The Power of Recognition: Kundalini Shakti
Excerpt From Lesson 1: Awakening to Her Presence

The title of this Siddha Yoga Home Study Course is The Power of Recognition: Kundalini Shakti. The course title conveys at least two things:

  1. The course is about recognizing Kundalini Shakti’s presence in Her many manifestations within you and around you. During this year’s study, you will learn ways to recognize and attend to Kundalini Shakti’s all-pervading presence.
  2. She Herself is the power by which you recognize Her. She is Consciousness itself. And She is your own consciousness.

In the play of the one Consciousness, you have an indispensable role: learning how to perceive—and align yourself with—this sacred energy. I’ve found that any skill I undertake to master requires focus and sustained effort—the deeply satisfying work of enhancing your human capacities and skill. In this particular case, the reward is joy in being and delight in your true nature.

Daily life will be the arena for your practice in this course. As you learn to be aware of Kundalini in your daily activities, you will live more consciously with regard to everything. You will be more present, more alive. You will move closer to the goal of living consciously as the great Self, recognizing your oneness with Kundalini Shakti, your own inner power.