Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What is Meditation?

What is Meditation?

Meditation offers innumerable benefits. The rest you gain in meditation is deeper than the deepest sleep. The deeper your rest, the more dynamic your activity is.

An inward journey with Meditation

Ready to begin the journey?
To experience meditation, you need not go to a remote cave in the Himalayas.
Meditation is diving deep within at this moment.
Bring the mind, which is all over the place, back to its source.
In meditation - your mind is alert, and all other organs are in deep rest.
Repose in the cool, calm, serene depth of your Being.

Letting go and Meditation

Do you think that meditation is deep concentration? Then you’re in for a surprise:
Meditation is de-concentration, letting go.
To meditate:
  • Let go - of anger and events from the past
  • Let go - of desires and planning for the future
Meditation is accepting this moment, and living every moment totally with depth.

Total relaxation with Meditation

Are you curious to know the steps/actions that lead to meditation?
The good news is that, you need not do anything – meditation is not an action, it is an art of letting go without any effort.
Step 1: Relax
Step 2: Relax more
Step 3: Relax more and more
Meditation happens with effortlessness.
There are numerous meditation techniques that exist in the world, The Art of Living offers a course which teaches one how to meditate with complete ease, in just 20 minutes, one can sink into deep meditation. It is called the ‘Sahaj Samadhi’ meditation, meaning ‘an easy and effortless way to reach the highest state of meditation’. Once learnt, it can be used anywhere, while sitting at home or travelling on train or airplane.

The Qualities of a Spiritual Life - Huffington Post

Life is more than matter. If it were just matter, there would be no need for comfort. Matter does not feel comfort or discomfort, beauty or ugliness, love or compassion, joy or sorrow. Will a chair ever feel sorry or happy? No, matter does not have these finer values. They belong to the realm of the spirit. But life is also more than spirit. If it were just spirit, there would be no need for water, food, or rest. Human life is a combination of both matter and spirit.
The nature of the spirit
Spirit experiences and expresses values. Values are feelings and emotions -- that which cannot be captured totally by words or understood by the intellect. The goal of the spiritual path is to understand the spiritual dimension of life and live fully all the values that the spirit represents. What are those values? Peace, love, joy, beauty, unlimited knowledge, and the capacity to understand both mind and matter.
Comfort: A quality of consciousness
Whatever one does is directed towards one goal, happiness or comfort. Often people think that comfort comes in a material way, through matter alone. Comfort is a quality of consciousness. To some degree it does depend on matter, but to a greater degree it depends on attitude and understanding.
The true nature of the spirit is comprehension
You listen, you understand and you absorb. Who is understanding? Who is absorbing? It is the spirit in your body that is taking in the knowledge. And this knowledge is not coming through sight, sound, smell, taste and touch alone. It is also coming from inside as intuition.
The very nature of consciousness is knowledge
You can say that at every level of consciousness, knowledge is present. And consciousness is present! If it were nothing, it could not be present. It is something, yet it is not finite. You cannot measure consciousness, so it is present and infinite.
The nature of your consciousness is peace: You are love
Consciousness is peace. You are peace, you are truth, and you are energy, walking, moving, talking, sitting. The "self" is energy and the "self" is knowledge, the knowing and the knower. This consciousness is love, you are love. Understanding and living this is the spiritual life. Life attains its richest form through the spiritual dimension. Without it life becomes very shallow and you are unhappy, dependent, depressed and miserable.
The effects of the spiritual dimension on society
This is a great sense of belongingness, responsibility, compassion and caring for the whole of humanity. The spiritual dimension, in its true form, breaks the narrow boundaries of caste, creed, religion and nationality. Wars will be eliminated only through spiritual understanding.
The spiritual path is not an escape from life
Actually, the spiritual path makes life more difficult! In India people think the spiritual life is easy -- go to an ashram where you don't have to work hard. No! The spiritual path is not an escape from hard work or sincere action, just as social service is not an escape to a comfortable life. In both situations you have to put your heart and soul into your actions and be ready to give a hundred percent of yourself. The spiritual life will bring you enormous joy, more contentment, more peace and more energy than you can find, but it's not an escape.
The spiritual path is not an escape from responsibility
The spiritual path means taking responsibility. If you think it is difficult to manage your children and your spouse, you will be given more people to care for. If you are ready to take responsibility for 20 people, 2,000 people, 20 million people, then you are on the path. The spiritual path is not an escape from responsibility, but taking responsibility.
The spiritual path is not an escape from hard work
Intelligent, effective work is part of the spiritual life. When you are working hard you may think you deserve compassion. I say that if you are working hard and doing it with intelligence, then you need appreciation, not compassion. If someone is taking five hours to complete something that can be done in half an hour, it doesn't need compassion.
Knowing peace
Another aspect of spiritual life is peace -- knowing that peace is your nature. At any moment, in any place, you can just sit and let go, knowing that inside you there is a pure clear space that's vast and deep. That inner space is what you are. Feeling this is knowing your spiritual dimension. ''I have come from peace, I am in peace, I will go back to peace. Peace is my origin and my goal.'' This inner affirmation or experience makes you a seeker.
A sense of sacredness
Still another aspect of spiritual life is a sense of sacredness. When you have a deep sense of thankfulness combined with regard and respect for everything that comes to you in life, it brings a sense of sacredness. In sacredness there is awareness. Your mind is fully present in fear, anger or sacredness.
Service and silence
Silence heals and rejuvenates. Silence gives you depth and stability and brings creativity. Service brings the dynamic experience of heart. It creates a sense of belongingness. Lack of service can land a person in depression. Service alone can bring contentment in life, but service without silence tires you. Service without spirituality will be shallow and cannot be sustained for a long period of time. The deeper the silence, the more dynamic the outer activity becomes. Both are essential in life.
Have confidence
Have confidence in yourself. One who does not have confidence cannot achieve anything. Confidence clears doubt. Doubt is the opposite of confidence. Once you eliminate the negative, you will see that the positive has already happened. When doubt clears, confidence appears. So to gain confidence in yourself, you must understand what doubt is.
The nature of doubt
If you observe the nature of doubt, it is always about something that is positive. You doubt the goodness of other people, never their bad qualities. You doubt your own capabilities, never your incapabilities. On the spiritual path, you learn to handle things with intuition and inner freedom. I don't say don't doubt. I say doubt as much as you can. That will help you get through it before progressing further

Source :.http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Cobra Posture

Cobra Posture


  • Lie on your abdomen, forehead on the floor, hands under the shoulders, palms on the ground, elbows close to the rib cage, pressing the pelvis and navel firmly on the ground, feet together with soles facing up.
  • Breathing in and keeping the hands and elbows on the floor, look up and, gently arching the spine, lift the chest up.
  • Yoga Asana – Cobra Posture
  • Relax the shoulders and focus on bending from the upper back.
  • Hold
  • Lift the elbows slightly off the floor but keep the elbows half bent and close to the body.
  • Relax the shoulders and focus on bending from the upper back.
  • Hold.
  • Breathing out, lower the chest and forehead to the floor. Relax.
  • Repeat the posture, this time straightening the elbows all the way up, keeping them close to the body. Lift your chin up.
  • Hold.
  • Release and rest.


  • Rejuvenates the spine
  • Brings more flexibility to upper back
  • Tones and massages the back muscles and the abdominal organs, expands the chest area
Source : www.artofliving.org

What is Yoga?

The term ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘yuj’, meaning union - the union of body, mind and spirit or consciousness. It’s a way of uniting different aspects of what we are.
Yoga isn’t merely yoga postures, it isn’t just physical exercise of the body, as is often misconstrued; it encompasses something vast and varied that impacts the gross body and the subtle layers as well, invigorating the mind and soul. If you read the ancient treatise of yoga – Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – you will know that Yoga is a way of life. It needs to be imbibed at all levels of human existence in order for mankind to find both spiritual and material joy.
Just as water comes in many forms – steam, ice and liquid and has multiple uses –Yoga has many forms and each form has a particular role to play in every aspect of life: relationships, family, career, health and environment.
Everyone can do Yoga. It is not acrobatics. Yoga comes naturally to us.
Three blind men came to an elephant. One person touched
the tail and said the elephant is like a broom,
the second man touched the leg and thought it’s like a tree and
the third person touched the trunk and thought it’s similar to a pipe.
People come to yoga thinking it’s only asanas or breathing
or meditation, but the whole is always bigger than its parts.
Yoga is much more that what one perceives it to be.

Did You Know

    That yoga is not only asanas or exercises but also
  • Fun and play
  • Silence
  • Dispassion
  • Love
  • Self

Fun and Play

When you follow fun, misery follows you.
When you follow Knowledge, fun follows you.

Yoga is a way of reaching out to that fun and play in each situation - ordinary or extraordinary and moving toward equanimity and abundance.
The first step is realization and once you are on this yogic path, you’ve already realized and made yourself aware of what is. After that, it’s only a spiral upward.


Prayer within breath is silence.

Love within infinity is silence.
Wisdom without word is silence.
Compassion without aim is silence.
Action without doer is silence.
Smiling with all the Existence is silence!

And all of the above are yoga.


Dispassion is not apathy. Dispassion does not take away joy from you. Dispassion gives the joy that nothing else can give. Dispassion does not divide you, in fact, it connects you. It connects you to the present moment so totally, so you can be 100 percent in anything you do.

Practice of yoga brings wisdom or knowledge, which in turn lead to dispassion. A broader understanding of the transient nature of things brings a state of non-attachment to all the events, objects, people or situations that lets you remain calm and unperturbed in any and every situation.


Love is your nature.

In the process of its expression, you often get caught up in the object. This is when your sight is caught outside. To return back to your nature, you need insight.
Pain is the first insight.
It takes you away from the object and turns you toward your body and mind.
Energy is the second insight.
A bolt of energy brings you back to your Self.
Divine Love is the third insight.
A glimpse of Divine love makes you so complete and overrules all the relative pleasures.
Trance is the fourth insight.
An elevation of consciousness and partial awareness of the physical reality around is Trance. Non-dual existence - that all is made up of one and only one, is the fifth insight.
When love glows, it is bliss,
When it flows, it is compassion. An amalgam of all is yoga.

The Self

Feelings change, thoughts change, ideas change, body is undergoing changes all the time. But the thirst deep within us is for something that is not changing, that is eternal, that is always, that is the Self. The Self is not just the mind-body complex. Neither the body nor the mind is the Self. The only purpose for this body to exist is to make you aware of how beautiful you are and to make you aware that it is possible to live all the values you cherish and create a world of divinity around you.
Yoga gives you that lens to view the world from inside out instead of having it the other way around.

Source : www.artofliving.org

Spirituality begins with amusement : Sri Sri

Jai Gurudev
Bangalore, May 23: Q: Guruji, can spirituality be explained by science? Sometimes I get amused by this creation which is yet to be explained by science. Do the Vedas have a solution?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, amusement is the preface for Yoga. When you are amused then you start enquiring into the nature of truth and then your journey begins. So, it is perfect. ‘Vismayo Yoga Bhumika,’ spirituality begins with amusement and then it is like being in an amusement park all the time. You get surprised, wow! What is this? What is this world? So many different varieties of trees, plants, flowers, leaves, vegetables, fruits, people, what is all of this? When such a thought arises, then knowledge begins.
Q: Guruji, if we accept situations the way they are then how would one be creative?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You must have understood this in the course (Art of Living’s Part One course), right? Acceptance does not mean inaction; acceptance is actually acknowledging the present situation.
You know, every child should know that they are a part of all the traditions in the world. Pakistanis’ ancestors were Hindus, Buddhists, Jains; many of the ancestors were from all these ancient traditions. Some were Parsis. The children in Pakistan should have been taught Upanishads, a little bit about Yoga and meditation. Yoga was born in Pakistan; born means it was taught and preached in what we call Pakistan today.
Hundreds of people follow all sorts of preaching because they don’t have access to spiritual knowledge, they don’t know about it. That is why it has become a very important duty for all of us to educate people about spirituality. Don’t you think so?
So we have got to be more active now and see that any sort of fanaticism is transformed into compassion and fanaticism is changed into a commitment to do good work in society, isn’t it. So we all have to work for it, yes!
Q: Dear Guruji, can Sudarshan Kriya change the DNA?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes
Q: Guruji how do I make myself strong to accept criticism?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, whether you accept or not, the criticism has already happened, isn’t it? You are left with no choice. Only after someone has spoken, you find that they have criticized you, right. How do you know before they speak? Before someone criticizes you, you don’t know. After they have criticized you, it is already done. What is the option you have? Okay, don’t accept it, what will happen to you? You will become more miserable. So if you are intelligent you will accept it, if you don’t want to be intelligent you can suffer for some time. That is the only way you can do it.

Q: Guruji, I have seen that there is a lot of your grace on me. Whatever I want or whichever desires I have, you give them to me. It has never happened that I have not gotten what I wanted but desires are such that they never end and now I have started to feel ashamed of myself, what to do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, now you have become aware of this, right? So you are now on the right track. The car has taken a ‘U’ turn. Ask for something big. Why are you asking for something small? And don’t ask only for yourself, ask for everyone. What you ask for, you will get.
Q. Sometimes, I am not happy with the school that my child is attending. Should I remove him from school and let him be at home?  
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No, just because the school environment is not good enough, to remain at home is no good. Then children will become dull. We have to improve the systems in schools and this work is happening. That is why we are opening so many schools; we have opened around a 100 schools here in India.
Q: Dear Guruji, my mother-in-law does not distribute the prasad to people from other religions. Her logic is that those who don’t understand the importance of prasad won’t benefit. How can I get her to think otherwise?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Does not matter if she does not do it, you give it to everybody. Prasad is mostly nice eatables, people will appreciate. You know, everybody has got their individual opinions. Let them have, you have your own opinions, there is no conflict. You do what you want to do.
Q. What is more important: Vedanta, knowledge or love? 
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, Vedanta, knowledge and love are always together.  Sometimes one is given more importance and at another time the other is given more importance. So you have to go with both. Good!

Jai Gurudev

Source : www.artofliving.org

Guru ji : H H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (JE TU NA FAD..DA .......)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Benefits of Yoga Asanas

Just as the knowledge of Yoga is vast and deep, so are its benefits. The practice of yoga benefits the body, mind and spirit.

Benefits of Yoga & Yoga Asanas

Yoga increases flexibility
The practice of Yoga benefits us in a multifold way. Various aspects and dimensions of our life can be enriched and benefited by diligently practicing Yoga and yoga asanas. Our system is a seamless blend of the body, mind and spirit. An irregularity in the body affects the mind and similarly unpleasantness or restlessness in the mind manifests as an ailment in the body. Yoga and yoga asanas, benefit us by bringing a harmonious balance within our system.
Physically, Yoga and yoga asanas benefit us in many ways. Apart from improving the flexibility of the muscles and the joints, they also strengthen them and improve the body postures. The asanas or poses provide a massage to the organs, aiding them in improving their functioning. Thereby, Yoga and yoga asanas also benefit the coordinated performance of the various systems in the body – digestive, endocrine, cardiovascular, nervous systems etc. Yoga heals various chronic illnesses like high/ low blood pressure, chronic body pain, diabetes, depression, sleep disorders etc., in a natural and simple way and also improves the immunity. A day well begun with the practice of yoga asanas, keeps us energetic, enthusiastic and fresh till the sky darkens.
Have you ever noticed how the breathing pattern changes with the change in emotions/ feelings? Our breath is fast when we’re angry, heavy when sad and calm and smooth when peaceful. Just as our mind influences the breath, breath and yoga influence the mind. Through the pranayama (breathing techniques) taught in Yoga, the mind becomes more calm, peaceful and alert, helping us to make better decisions. The improved concentration that results due to the practice of Yoga and yoga asanas makes us efficient and adept. Through Yoga, we can effectively deal with and release the stresses that we accumulate and experience the deep benefits of Yoga in our everyday lives.
In an extremely subtle and effortless manner, Yoga and yoga asanas make us more contented and happy. They expand our sphere of belongingness and thereby, improve our relationships. The inert talents and creativity begin to blossom and we become harmonious with nature. Eventually, it leads us towards realization of the eternal inner peace and joy despite all the cacophony that surrounds us