The New Orleans Meditation and Spiritual Upliftment Group Message Board › Meditation and Knowledge Series at The New Orleans Healing Center
New Orleans, LA
You are invited to a weekly guided meditation and knowledge series at the New Orleans Healing Center (4th Floor) located at 2372 St. Claude Avenue.The schedule is as follows: 6:30pm - 7:00pm Guided Meditation, 7:00pm - 7:40pm - Knowledge Video of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's commentary on Pantangeli's Yoga sutras.
It is not required that you attend all sessions. Each one stands on its own.
Below is a summary of the first knowledge video in case you would like to investigate further. This video took the first two weeks to show.
Please consider this as a personal invitation to you to join us!
The Discipline of Yoga
There are two kinds of rules. The first is the rules that someone else puts on you. The other is the rules you impose on yourself. Where does the need for discipline arise?
You do not need discipline to drink when you are thirsty or eat when you are hungry. When it come to the question of enjoyment, no discipline is necessary.
Where does discipline come into the picture? It is where it is not enjoyable at the very step. Discipline arises when something is not charming to begin with. When you know that something will give you good and enjoyable fruit, but to begin with, the planting of the seed and the nurturing of the plant is not that enjoyable. When you are joyful, when you are in peace or happiness, then you are already abiding in yourself. Then there is no discipline.
But when that is not so and the mind is like the tail wagging the dog, then discipline is essential so that the mind can calm down and come back to itself. The fruit of which is eventually blissful and joyful. Like the diabetic who has the discipline not to eat sugar or someone with a cholesterol problem has the discipline not to eat fatty foods. Sugar and fats taste good for the moment but afterwards give complications which are not pleasurable.
Discipline is not torturing oneself for nothing. That is no discipline. The purpose of discipline is to attain joy.
Let’s look at the discipline of yoga. It is nobody’s imposition. It is self-imposed. Think about some of the things that you impose on yourself that bring joy. Brushing your teeth was not so fun to begin with but it brings joy in that it is freedom from a toothache. Good hygiene, exercising, meditating, praying, being kind, considerate, not being rude…all these are disciplines you impose on yourself. What do these disciplines do?
They unite yourself and all the loose ends of your existence. They unite the mind, body and spirit.
Your mind is caught up in the outside world most of the time. You are caught up with the things you see, hear, smell, taste and touch. When awake, you are constantly engaging the senses or else you go to sleep in the dreaming state where you are completely shut off. In sleep, your memories come. But you are never yourself. You become the object of your perception.
The whole purpose of yoga is to be one with the Self…to make you whole.
Yoga is in the form of the seer abiding there. Abiding in the form, in the nature of the seer, is yoga.
Whenever you experience joy, bliss, happiness in life, knowingly or unknowingly, you are abiding in the form of the seer.
At other times you become one with different activities of the mind. You assume the form of the mind.
We call the mind or consciousness, chitta. It is all the same.
There are five activities of the mind.
1. Pramana – The mind is engaged in wanting proof.
2. Viparyaya – Most of the time you impose your own views, ideas and feelings on others and you think that is how they are. This activity is called viparyaya. An example that Guruji gave of this is people who have low self-esteem seeing arrogance in others behavior. The other person is not arrogant and you are not being mistreated. But because you do not respect yourself enough you think others don’t respect you. This activity is called acting on wrong knowledge.
3. Vikalpaha – This is like hallucination or paranoia. It is fantasy. There are two types of vikalpaha: joyful and fearful.
4. Nidra – If the mind is not in one of the first three states, the fourth place it goes is to sleep. Nidra is sleep.
5. Smriti – This is the state of remembering past experiences.
Anything can change at any time. The world is full of possibilities and probabilities. But your mind fixes things, people, places, and ideas into definite terms and quantities. These ideas get set using proof, wrong knowledge, fantasies or fears and dwelling in past experiences. The four states plus sleep are the five different vruttis of the mind.
How can we get over the overpowering nature of these vruttis? This can be accomplished through our practice and through detachment (also known as centeredness).
That which you do to be is called abhyasa. Abhyasa is practice. To get relief from the five mind activities and just be here now requires a little effort. A little effort is needed to bring the mind to the present, not dwelling on past memories and that effort is called abyyasa.