Echo From The Cave: 154

Wednesday April 7, 2021 NYC

Celebration:
Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela
—The Grand Ceremony of the Divine Manifestations—
&
45th Anniversary of Mahayogi Yoga Mission

It is the time of year when beautiful buds and blossoms of fresh new life are beginning to herald the arrival of spring and also the arrival of Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela, the Grand Ceremony of the Divine Manifestations. It is a joyous time of year that brings the celebration of hope and salvation to our hearts, as this is the time in which we honor all of the great Awakened Beings (Avatara) who have brought the teaching of Eternal Truth (Sanatana Dharma) to humanity.

Since it began in 2017, this celebratory gathering (Mela) has taken place in Kyoto, but this year, because of the world circumstances, the gathering was held online, allowing participants to join from New York and Taiwan in addition to different locations around Japan. For many, this was the first opportunity to see and be with (virtually) our Beloved Guru, Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa, in over one year; so, it was filled with heartfelt preciousness without a doubt.

In addition to that, this year, 2021, marks the 45th anniversary of Mahayogi Yoga Mission in Japan and the 25th anniversary of the Mission in New York. Truly it was a very special event, for us to go back, to learn and acknowledge, honor and offer our gratitude for the endless and immeasurable and unimaginable work that Shri Mahayogi has been fully throwing himself into for all these years, and for us to commit ourselves to make solid the base that he has established and work towards developing it even further into the future. Various speeches were offered for the occasion, each filled with palpable devotion, faith and inspiration, Sanatana Dharma (Eternal Truth) clearly becoming crystalized in the speakers. A historical slide show was also presented, featuring moments and artifacts compiled from 1976 onward, there are not many photos that exist of Shri Mahayogi from the early years, so all the photos and records that are capturing some unique aspect, moment or detail of Shri Mahayogi’s tireless work for Sanatana Dharma are invaluable.

Here we would like to share with you the message that Shri Mahayogi spoke at the end of the celebration:

Today, as it’s the 45th Anniversary, there were some good old photos that were shown. In the very beginning, in order to convey the true and authentic Yoga, which is Sanatana Dharma, I made a flag. [The motif] was the Sahasrara Chakra, which symbolizes Sanatana Dharma and the completion of Yoga. Above the chakra, there is a sacred passage taken from the ancient Upanishad. It says, “From Pure Joy, springs all creation. By It, it is sustained. Toward Pure Joy it proceeds. And to Pure Joy it returns.” This word “Joy” is Ananda—as in Sat Chit Ananda. This Sat Chit Ananda is the Existence that has, at times, been called Brahman, at times been called Atman, or it has been called God. All and everything, the whole of [existence] is Brahman. There are many scriptural passages that come to mind, but this one—“Whenever there is decay of righteousness [Sanatana Dharma], and there is exaltation of unrighteousness, then I Myself come forth; For the protection of the good, for the destruction of evil-doers, for the sake of firmly establishing righteousness, from age to age”—this is the reason for the manifestation of the Avatara. This world is always filled with struggle and pain. Various disasters, large or small, come always. Yet time and time again a savior appears—for, in actuality, everything is the sacred Existence, called Brahman.

Hearing the messages from various locations today, I am really overjoyed. Because, I feel everyone’s eyes are coming to be awakened. (laughs) I am truly pleased. Right now, difficult circumstances have been ongoing; however, as it is said that there is no night that does not have a dawn, eventually, the sun will rise again. Right now, this is the time for you to internally deepen Yoga within. And I am looking forward to the day I can see you again. Thank you very much for the many joyful words today.”

—Satguru  Shri Mahayogi  Paramahansa

Below are the messages offered on the occasion of Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela & the 45th Anniversary of Mahayogi Yoga Mission, the 25th Anniversary of Mahayogi Yoga Mission in New York, on behalf of the New York Sangha:

“Yoga is a revelation of Shri Mahayogi  (Avatara), and to know its Truth, the Eternal Truth, ‘Sanatana Dharma‘—that ‘our true Self is Eternal Existence’—and to realize It, is a right given to all human beings; that is why I am convinced that It is the original religion, the essence of religion. Sanatana Dharma is often translated in English as “Eternal Religion,” and as I checked the origin of the word “Religion,” I found that it has been written that: “Religion” in Latin is “again” and “tie firmly or solidly together.” It is clear that the ultimate form of that is where Sanatana Dharma exists.

When I imagine the ancient Yogi, Shri Mahayogi is always there. We have been given grace—to witness how the ancient Yogi were, how Yoga, or Sanatana Dharma, was transmitted, right now in front of our eyes—we are truly in the Upanishad! I am awed by that. And the way Shri Mahaoygi does everything is TRULY FREE! Because he has a complete grasp of the Essence of the Essence, he is not bound by anything—everything Shri Mahayogi radiates, comes from that “Freedom of Being Free”! Anandamali lives in Sanatana Dharma within Shri Mahayogi, becoming One with Shri Mahayogi as that “Freedom of Being Free.”

Shri Mahayogi, today, through the slideshow, and through the expressions of the gurubai, we have been given an opportunity to retrace the steps of Shri Mahayogi, and for that, my heart is completely full.

For 25 years, Shri Mahayogi has visited New York every year, and with Your Entire Being, demonstrated to us “Satori,” and you have guided many souls. I cannot express words enough to express my gratitude…

But I hope to be able to communicate to You the heartfelt thoughts, feelings and emotions of we, the disciples in New York—through our recognitions, through our transformations and through our declarations.”

—Anandamali

“Twenty three years ago, I met Shri Mahayogi in Chicago. Two years later, my job led me to the land of New York. Since then, I have witnessed the most unbelievable story, a fantasy in real life, here in New York.

One day, in a Satsangha, I asked Shri Mahayogi: “Why would a father neglect his duties toward a son? Why?”  He answered that Love can be forgotten, and we have to remember It. These words summarize what I believe Shri Mahayogi is here to do: to lead us back to True Love.

 I witnessed people from different parts of the world come to meet Shri Mahayogi, and I observed how he communicated with them in a way that they could take in his teachings.

Shri Mahayogi spoke to an artist from Germany in the language of art. While describing the symbolism of forms in abstract painting, he was actually speaking of True Love. That was how the teachings entered directly into that man’s heart.

I heard from Anandamali about Shri Mahayogi’s interaction with a rug repairman from Iran, who was passionate about rugs. When he saw Shri Mahayogi enter the store, this man began to sweat profusely. As some know, Shri Mahayogi has an appreciation for rugs. It probably goes beyond the artistry. Perhaps behind the craft, the materials, patterns, colors, Shri Mahayogi sees the human story, with True Love as its foundation. Even without words this man must have understood and was overtaken by emotion.

I witnessed Shri Mahayogi break barriers of age, culture, race, ideology and religion, speaking gently yet boldly, but always touching upon something at the very core of a person’s being, the One Existence. What beautiful remembrance Shri Mahayogi brings!

I have seen Shri Mahayogi invite every heart to drink from the purest and most liberating Love, which is constantly there regardless of the topic of conversation and the person. I have seen the greatest expression of this Love in Shri Mahayogi—this, I could not have even dreamed of.

What we have seen with our own eyes is what caring for others truly means. In the way Shri Mahayogi moves, touches objects, walks, dresses, smiles, through all he does, we can learn how to love. These small things can make a big difference in understanding the refined and profound meaning of Shri Mahayogi’s teachings. Shri Mahayogi has constantly been teaching us the ways of True Love.

I realize now that Shri Mahayogi’s words “we must remember True Love,” was a message for all of us. Following His example, this is what we need to do: become True Love!”

—Karuna

“When I arrived at the feet of Shri Mahayogi, it felt like a new beginning, the start of a new path to walk forward. What I didn’t notice until recently though is my mind’s attitude of looking forward. Forward to the future, forward to what’s next, forward to what my role to play is in this Mission that is so close to my heart. But lately I’m starting to recognize that this forward looking, has been missing something that is absolutely essential. And that is—looking back.

When I think of how Buddha called the path of Sanantana Dharma, “the ancient straight road”, it is clear that a road is not only one way forward, but there are two ways, each extending as far as the eye can see. How can I walk straight forward without understanding where this road is coming from? If I only look forward, I can only follow the limits of my mind.

Over the course of the history of the Mission in Japan and in New York, so many moments of learning of Truth must have been born through Shri Mahayogi’s existence, each historical and precious, making a foundation that is filled with the wisdom and the spirit of Truth that are the reason behind even the smallest of things. And I would like to express my gratitude for each and every one of these moments as I feel they all have their role in making visible this ancient straight road that, without the Avatara, seems impossible to find. I feel that there is so much to learn about where Shri Mahayogi’s Mission is coming from and where it can go. But we need to look back and cultivate the eyes to see, the mind of learning and understanding the depth and richness of the how’s, the why’s that contain the spirit of Shri Mahayogi. Then, rather than proceed forward, let’s humble our minds, mold them to that spirit that is already coming from all these past moments, and allow ourselves to be swallowed up and carried forward by the strong current of Sanatana Dharma.

I have heard that each person encounters Shri Mahayogi in their own time and way. Surely every moment and every person must have their role at the feet of the Avatara.

May we all wholeheartedly and continuously reach to learn from the spirit of what has come before us, so that the Truth can be ablaze within us, and help point the way to this ancient straight path that is so graciously revealed.

And whether it is in the past, now or in the future era, please allow us to play these roles at the feet of the Avatara, again and again and again.”

—Sadhya

Top photo: Karuna (Left) Anandamali (Center) Sadhya (Right)   Bottom photo: Sangha in New York

Disciples in Japan who made speeches, as well as the MCs of the event.

Sangha in Taipei, Taiwan

We look forward to sharing some additional speeches in the next Pranavadipa.

Echo From The Cave: 153

Tuesday Mar 23, 2021 NYC

Announcement:
MYM’s Series “Positive Transformation in Times of Change”
presents
Disarming the Mind for Freedom – Part 4
Friday, April 2nd 7-8 pm

With our eyes fixed on the external world, internal observation of the mind is more challenging than ever before. Glimpse just beyond the realm of our immediate perception, to the battle waging constantly within our minds that keeps us in an un-free state, and seek together with us to disarm its factions in a step towards Freedom.

 In past programs, we have been working on the recognition of the unfree state of our minds, dependent and vulnerable to external conditions. In this next program, we will introduce an important tool for us to use to assist in this process—asana (physical postures of Yoga).

Asana: A Tool for Cultivating the Field
Cultivating the land is hard work that requires time, effort, and patience before it bears fruits. Cultivating the field of the mind is no different, though the tools that are needed are certainly of a different kind.

The first step in cultivation requires seeing what’s already in the field, recognizing what’s already in the mind—no matter how entangled and overgrown it may be with its own activities. Asana is a practice that can help us not only begin to see the field, but to also start clearing away the overgrowth. In this program, join us in our learning about what asana is, where it comes from, the importance and significance of it in cultivating the mind to walk on the path towards Freedom—and experience a small taste of asana for yourself.

Speakers: Karuna and Sadhya
Suggested: Please arrive without a full stomach to have the opportunity to experience the maximum benefit a few seated asana (physical postures) that will be introduced during the program.

REGISTER HERE

* Tickets will be available for purchase for up to 24 hours in advance.
* Please note that using Zoom is required for attending the program.
* You will be emailed a Zoom link on the day of the program.
* We will be happy to provide technical assistance to anyone who may need it.
* We will open the Zoom space at 6:15 for attendees to enter and test that zoom is working properly.
* We highly encourage you to connect early to troubleshoot any unexpected issues and then return just before 7 pm.
* On the day of the event, we will post a contact number here for any technical issues that may arise.

Please reach out to info@mahayogiyogamission.org for inquiries about this event.

LINKS
Report for Positive Transformation ~ The Story of Freedom 1: Recognition (Blog 145)

Youtube video Positive Transformation ~ The Story of Freedom 1: Recognition (Blog 148)

Report and Youtube video of Positive Transformation ~ The Story of Freedom 2: Self-Reflection (Blog 149)

Echo From The Cave: 152

Monday Mar 22, 2021 NYC

Announcement: MYM begins offering classes in Spanish
Introduction to
YOGA: ASANA AND MEDITATION (Online)
Saturday, March 27, 2021    11:00 am – 12:30 (EST)
ALL ARE WELCOME!

¡MYM ofrece clases en español por primera vez!
Introducción al
YOGA: EL ASANA Y LA MEDITACIÓN (en-línea)
Sábado, 27 de marzo 11:00 am – 12:30 pm (EST)
¡ BIENVENIDOS TODOS !

We’re very pleased to introduce Mahayogi Yoga Mission’s first Yoga class in Spanish. This is an introductory class, designed for people who have never practiced Yoga or have not yet practiced asana and meditation as it is taught by our Master, Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa.

Nos complace grandemente presentar la primera clase en español de Mahayogi Yoga Mission. Esta clase es una introducción, diseñada para personas que nunca han practicado el Yoga o para aquellos que aún no han practicado el asana o la meditación según las enseña nuestro Maestro, Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa.

In this class, there will be an introduction to what Yoga is, to the basic postures of asana (yogic postures) and to meditation.

Asana:
• Along with the help of a demonstrator, each asana is instructed verbally with care and detail. Specific adjustments or modifications are given to each practitioner accordingly.

Meditation:
• The basic practice of meditation (an introspective approach that guides the mind through meditation) is introduced, as well as the appropriate sitting positions for meditation.

Q & A:
• 
Time at the end for some conversation with the opportunity to clarify any questions and share practical and useful teachings of Yoga.

MORE INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION FOR SATURDAY, MARCH 27

Esta clase ofrecerá una introducción a lo que es el Yoga, a las posturas básicas del asana (posturas yóguicas) y a la meditación.

ASANA:
•   Se instruye mediante demostraciones de cada asana, junto con cuidadosas y detalladas indicaciones verbales. Se indican ajustes y modificaciones específicos a cada practicante.

MEDITACIÓN:
•  Se ofrece instrucción en la práctica básica de la meditación (usando un acercamiento introspectivo para guiar la mente durante la meditación), y se presentan las posturas sentadas apropiadas para la meditación.

PREGUNTAS Y RESPUESTAS (Q&A):
•  Al final de la clase, se ofrece tiempo para conversar, aclarar preguntas o compartir enseñanzas prácticas y útiles del Yoga.

MÁS INFORMACIÓN Y MATRICÚLA PARA EL SÁBADO, 27 DE MARZO

This past Sunday, March 21st, the first Asana and Meditation class in Spanish welcomed some attendees new to Yoga and also some with experience who were looking to deepen their practice. Though not physically together, the virtual medium allowed us to meet Spanish-speaking practitioners from Puerto Rico, France and Spain in a charming togetherness.

El pasado domingo, la primera clase de asana y meditación en español les dio la bienvenida a algunos participantes nuevos al Yoga y también a algunos con un poco de experiencia buscando profundizar su práctica. Pese a no estar físicamente juntos, el medio virtual nos permitió conocer a practicantes hispanoparlantes desde Puerto Rico, Francia y España en un conmovedor compartir.

Echo From The Cave: 151

Sunday Mar 7, 2021 NYC

 #Krishna is everywhere in #miniature #paintings #Kangra #Pahari #Guler #Basholi whatever you name, but he is the one who transcends all boundaries!! #sects, #Sampradaya #Language #Geologicalboundaries, he is breaker of #boundaries? he diminishes boundaries, i.e. #EgoEditor’s Note: Pranavadipa Volume 75
“Master (Guru) and Disciple”

Tomorrow we will publish Pranavadipa Vol. 76, but let us introduce here the great content of Pranavadipa Vol. 75.

“If a person could reach Satori by reading books, then all scholars would have already reached Satori. However, throughout the history of the past tens of thousands of years, there is not a single precedent for that. The most important thing is to come into contact with the Existence of Truth. Even if this Existence does not utter a single word, this is of no concern—for the Truth is beyond words to begin with.
In India, after one has completed all one’s studies, [it is customary] to wander around seeking the darshan (blessing) of a Guru, just to receive even one single moment of darshan. The darshan of a Guru is above hundreds of thousands, or rather, countless scriptures and words.”

—Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa     May 2005, Kyoto

 

The content of the Satsangha in this month’s Pranavadipa, Volume 75, can be summarized with these words of Shri Mahayogi above.

In MYM’s last online program, Disarming the Mind for Freedom Part 3, one of the central themes was the story of our mind, captured through the stories of “Buddha and the Farmer” and of “Jesus and the Adulterous Woman”, which were depicted at the beginning. From the former, we learned that the farmer became a disciple of Buddha after the encounter with him, and from the latter we learned that the woman later became a disciple of Jesus after this incident. But why did they become disciples? What did their hearts see in Buddha and in Jesus? It must be the Light that shines from such Holy Beings, and the words, infused with that Light, that are delivered by them. It is said that the Truth is within each one of us—that we are That. As it is said, when we encounter that Light outside of ourselves, the Light within us also resonates, and if our hearts are open and ready to listen with humbleness, there is something that shifts within us—this is the story of the mind that was captured in the program by these two accounts, and it can be our story too.

“Shift”—in everything that Shri Mahayogi is teaching it seems that at the core there is a shift that is required in the practitioner. A shift of the mind that makes one want to live one’s life according to the Truth, rather than according to karma, a shift that makes one want to give up the old ways of the mind and make space to learn and receive what the Guru is constantly offering us, and a shift towards seeing the need for the Truth to continue beyond our time in this world and, as such, acting towards making the Truth come to life and be realized in our own lives so that that same Truth bestowed by the Guru can be passed along beyond the time that the physical body is in existence.

“Grace is continuously bestowed upon you. You are continuously being given to.
It is not something you receive with a grim face. It is something you receive gladly.”
—Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa

How often do we welcome all the situations and circumstances that life brings to us—good, bad and everything in between—with open arms and an equal amount of gladness in receiving what arrives before us? How often can we recognize the grace that is being given to us moment after moment, or do we more often forget about it, and rather become tangled up in the situations and circumstances themselves? The opportunities to purify our minds, to transform ourselves toward the Light, the original state within us that the Great Enlightened Beings show is right in front of us in each and every moment. If we want to attain that Light ourselves, we need to boldly shift our minds, taking steps towards It by using our own actions.

As a key aspect of actualizing that, using the example of Shri Ramakrishna and his disciples, Shri Mahayogi emphasizes the importance and implications of disciples proactively modeling their lives after that of the Guru or of a holy being, saying that “as long as you have a physical body, that [way of living] will become a fortunate gift to your surroundings and relations; and even after your role in the physical body ends, how you lived will continue to have a further effect on the work [you completed and left behind during life].”

Actually, in the Testimony of this month’s Pranavadipa (Vol. 75) and of the next (Vol. 76)—“Guided by Another Teresa: The Little Way of Saint Thérèse”—we find a concrete demonstration of this among us right now.

*

This month’s Testimony is the first half of a 6-article series written by Yukti, and was originally published in Paramahamsa (Mahayogi Mission’s monthly magazine in Japanese for members) over several issues spanning from 2014 to 2015. Yukti is a disciple of Shri Mahayogi in Japan whose series of articles “Living on the Words of Mother” was previously published in Pranavadipa (Vol. 67, Vol. 68, Vol. 69).

As Yukti studied and learned from the ways of Mother Teresa, originally seeking out the best way to serve the dying, and then the meaning behind the words of Mother, “Be holy”, she naturally tried to model her own life after that of Mother’s and understand the intentions behind Mother’s actions. But, her doubt in herself to be able to truly understand kept her searching, and in this search she came across another Saint, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux,[1] who Mother Teresa had modeled herself after.

St Thérèse of Lisieux: The Last Eighteen Months

St Thérèse of Lisieux

[1] A well-known French Carmelite Saint of the 19th century. She lived a short life of 24 years and is known as “The little flower of Jesus.”

As we read Yukti’s articles, which open a window into the life of Saint Thérèse, we also can see how ardently and seriously Yukti strives to understand who Saint Thérèse was and why Mother would have modeled herself off of her. Not only does Yukti study and read the autobiography left behind by Saint Thérèse, but she wastes no time in modeling her own actions after those of Saint Thérèse.

Yukti’s effort to learn from the “little way” of Saint Thérèse (making small sacrifices in mundane things in order to love God) by incorporating it into her own daily life activities shows us a very concrete example of this shift that each one of us can work towards making within ourselves. In fact, in a variety of examples in this Testimony we can clearly see how Saint Thérèse must’ve completely shifted her own mind again and again, not allowing the mind to follow the ways of its own ideas, its likes and dislikes, and, in her case, offering up everything of herself only to God—her Spouse. As we read Yukti’s article, we can see in her example so evidently that this shift is also followed by Yukti. The “little way” of Saint Thérèse is nothing grandiose, it is a most practical training for anyone, anywhere, and certainly by seeing the example of how Yukti takes that “little way” and brings it to life in her daily circumstances, we can see just how accessible and practicable working towards shifting the thoughts of our minds and our resulting actions really can be. And—we must say, that this example is not to be taken just as something to do once or over a short period of practice, but rather, with having a clear aim, the consistent discipline over a long period of time that is needed, along with positive willingness, becomes possible.

Beyond that, we are once again so inspired to catch a glimpse of the way Yutki strives to learn. She stops at nothing and is constantly assessing within herself where she sees a lack, comparing her ways to the ways of the saints and then trying to raise her self, her lifestyle and her understanding to match those of the saints more and more precisely.

To read more about Yukti’s own life and journey, please read Echo From the Cave: 138. And to read about her previously published article series—”Living on the Words of Mother,” please see Echo From the Cave: 125, 127 and 131.

Echo From The Cave: 150

Saturday February 13, 2021 NYC


Announcement:
Online Program Disarming the Mind for Freedom 3

Part 3 Friday Feb. 19th, 7-8pm
Part 2 Friday Dec. 4th, 7-8pm
Part 1 Friday Nov. 20th, 7-8pm

Mahayogi Yoga Mission presents Part 3 of its online program “Disarming the Mind for Freedom,” from its series: Positive Transformation in Times of Change. Information about Part 1 and Part 2 can be viewed as follows:

Part 1: Nov. 20th (see Echo from the Cave: 141 and 145)
Part 2: Dec. 4th (see Echo from the Cave: 148 and 149)

To see recorded excerpts from the Dec. 4th program, please watch our YouTube videos:

Program Description

With our eyes fixed on the external world, internal observation of the mind is more challenging than ever before. Glimpse just beyond the realm of our immediate perception, to the battle waging constantly within our own minds that keeps us in an un-free state, and seek together with us to disarm its factions in a step towards Freedom.

In Part 3 of this program, the layers and entanglement of the mind that have been presented in Part 1 and Part 2 will be brought together to understand and learn the way to move forward towards what comes next.

All are welcome to attend. No prior experience or knowledge of Yoga is necessary. Attendance to Part 1 and 2 is not a requirement, however we request that all attendees view the two YouTube videos from Disarming the Mind Part 2 in preparation of the event.

Date: Friday, February 19th
Time: 7 – 8pm
Speakers: Ekanta and Sadhya

Required: Please watch the two YouTube videos from our previous program:

Register HERE.

  • Tickets will be available for purchase for up to 24 hours in advance.
  • Please note that using Zoom is required for attending this program.
  • You will be emailed a Zoom link on the day of the program.
  • We will be happy to provide technical assistance to anyone who may need it.
  • We will open the Zoom space at 6:15 for attendees to enter and test that Zoom is working properly.
  • We request that all attendees join Zoom by 6:45pm so that we can begin punctually.

Please reach out to info@mahayogiyogamission.org for all further inquiries about this event.

Echo From The Cave: 149

Sunday February 7, 2021 NYC


Announcement: Next YouTube Video Released!
Positive Transformation ~ The Story of Freedom 2: Self-Reflection
   

Mahayogi Yoga Mission New York has just released another new YouTube video to our Project Sahasrara YouTube channel!! Positive Transformation ~ The Story of Freedom 2: Self-Reflection

This video is an excerpt from Mahayogi Yoga Mission’s Dec. 6th 2020 program, “Disarming the Mind for Freedom”, which is part of the online series Positive Transformation in Times of Change. This excerpt is the second of two released from the Dec. 6th program, and is a continuation of the first excerpt.

We recommend that you first watch Positive Transformation ~ The Story of Freedom 1: Recognition and read the blog post that introduces it, so that you are familiar with the stories that are referenced in this second video excerpt.

In The Story of Freedom 2: Self-Reflection, the viewer is taken on a journey of observing the mind. After recognizing how the un-free state of mind may appear in common daily life scenarios (The Story of Freedom 1), the next step in this quest for Freedom is centered on observing how this appears in one’s own self. Through examples of observing and personally reflecting upon the patterns and tendencies of the mind, and with the foundation of one of Buddha’s principal teachings,[1] this video takes us further to arrive at the universal and essential inquiry of “Who am I?”.

[1] —The first of the Four Noble Truths that Buddha taught is: Life is suffering. He further taught that this suffering can be categorized into four types: old age, sickness, death, and the cause of these, birth. And that there are four additional types of suffering: that of being separated from loved ones, that of having to be with those one despises, that of the vain struggle to get what one desires, and that which is the cause of the previous three, an impure body and mind.

Please watch, share with friends and keep an eye out for an announcement about our next online program coming up soon!

Echo From The Cave: 148

Sunday January 31, 2021 NYC


Announcement:
New YouTube Video Released Today!
Positive Transformation ~ The Story of Freedom 1: Recognition Released
                                                              

Mahayogi Yoga Mission New York has just released a new YouTube video to our Project Sahasrara YouTube channel!!  Positive Transformation ~ The Story of Freedom 1: Recognition

This video is an excerpt from Mahayogi Yoga Mission’s Dec. 6th 2020 program, “Disarming the Mind for Freedom”, which is part of the online series Positive Transformation in Times of Change. This excerpt is the first of two that we will release from the Dec. 6th program and includes two of the stories that were presented using narration and hand drawn images.

The introduction to the video is as follows:

The search for Freedom is at the core of all humanity. There must be something within us that knows, consciously or not, that only in the state of Freedom does true happiness arise—happiness that is limitless and without end. We usually think of Freedom as something that can be obtained, or as something that can be given, by a circumstance, by a person, or by having various things. Yet, no matter what we are given or what we obtain, without having Freedom from the mind, we remain in the state of being un-free. In order to be free, each one of us must take action to free ourselves.

In Yoga, Freedom is known to be beyond the mind. But to experience Freedom from the mind, we must first stop and examine the current state of the mind and how it works. We need to recognize precisely what it is that causes the mind to be in an un-free state. We must carefully observe its tendencies and then strive tirelessly against the mind to become free of it. It is the battle of all battles, entirely waged within.

This video, “The Story of Freedom I: Recognition” illustrates the means by which the mind creates its own bondage, the opposite of Freedom. Although these stories took place thousands of years ago, these examples may seem familiar to many of us. These experiences can be difficult to recognize when they occur in our daily lives, but after viewing and introspecting, we may begin to catch glimpses of recognition and insight into how the mind can create an unfree state.

Please watch, share with friends and check back soon for the next video!

Also, another online program in the series Positive Transformation in Times of Change will be coming soon. Please stay tuned for more info.

Echo From The Cave: 147

Wednesday January 27, 2021 NYC

Editor’s Note: Pranavadipa Vol. 74

Believe in One’s Self
Q: Buddha taught his disciples in the last years of his life by saying, “Rely on your Self, rely on the Dharma”; Shri Mahayogi has taught us that the Self is Atman. Vivekananda often said, “One cannot believe in God unless one believes in oneself.” I feel this teaching conveys that if one boldly believes in oneself and sees only God, even if one has an ego, then one will eventually reach God. I feel like Vivekananda is the only holy being who said, “believe in oneself.” What would Shri Mahayogi say about this?

MASTER: Exactly what he said. That self is literally indicating Atman, one’s Self, but the issue here is what is truly indicated by self. If one has not realized Atman yet, then perhaps it vaguely indicates a self that includes the mind and the body. Nevertheless, there is no need to believe superstitions or to simply have religious faith—such as dogma, or blind faith; rather, believe in oneself, carefully discerning these religious faiths as well as other things and come to know the essence. That indicates that at the same time it is a double-edged sword, so you must also confront what your own self truly is. If you indicate “self” to be something vague including the mind as mentioned just now, then you should discern whether or not that is true, and proceed to seek further for the true Self, the essence of the self. Yet, even to do that, since proceeding means you yourself have to move forward by your own self, it is not sufficient just being tinted by influences from other sources rather than your own confirmation; therefore you must step with your own feet, use your own hands and mind, to go forth—that is how it comes down to the true meaning of making your own effort while believing in your self, relying on your self. Therefore, you must not translate the “self” in this phrase just as Atman, meaning the Truth, and then take the phrase simply and only to mean believing in Atman.                                                                              

The above teaching is part of the first question and answer in this month’s Pranavadipa Volume 74, which has all the teachings of the Satsangha section gathered under the title: “Guidance from the Master and Meditation.” This month’s Satsangha is actually coming from two different Satsangha, both of which took place in Kyoto, Japan in 2014. And, this one answer from Shri Mahayogi above, contains the essence of all the questions and answers that follow throughout the content of this volume’s Satsangha.

“Rely on your Self, rely on the Dharma—you might have read these words in a past volume of Pranavadipa, in which several practitioners asked Shri Mahayogi questions about these words. But if not, you may be familiar with the teachings of Buddha, in which case these are well-known words of Buddha himself. Let’s ask ourselves—when we read or hear these words, what do we try to learn from them, what is Buddha actually teaching us?

A practitioner, who is aiming for the realization of Satori—the realization of the true Self—and who had learned from Shri Mahayogi or from the teachings of Yoga that “the Self” is neither the mind nor the body nor the ego, but rather Atman, asked Shri Mahayogi how he should understand the essence of what these two phrases, “Rely on your Self—Atman,” and “Believe in oneself,” really mean.

In response to that practitioner, Shri Mahayogi began by saying: “That self is literally indicating Atman, one’s Self, the issue here is what is truly indicated by self.

If we stop here and think what Shri Mahayogi is pointing out right at this moment, then we might interpret, in other words, that Shri Mahayogi is saying that we may be understanding that “self” means Atman,[1] however, that is just knowledge, so we should not feel content as if already understanding, but rather we need to go beyond our own knowledge or preconceptions and seek what it really means for ourselves—for whether it is the path of Yoga or the path of Buddha, it is an empirical path.

[1] Soul, Self or spiritual Essence in Sanskrit, however there is no equivalent word or concept in English.

Then Shri Mahayogi continued to expound on this, and as if by spiritual magic, put “Rely on your Self—Atman,” and “Believe in oneself” together, taking us further and teaching us about the importance of discernment in relation to many things, including of what we think or believe—indeed, we are to come to know the essence by using our own feet, hands and mind. And, all of this to inspire us to practice, so that we can confirm the meaning of “what your own self truly is” for ourselves.

In any field, when we aim to attain a goal, passion and training are important, or rather they are a necessity—we know that from our experience, don’t we? If so, when it comes to working towards attaining the state that is beyond the mind—Yoga, or Satori—passion and training are even more indispensable, which Shri Mahayogi always speaks about, and it is also written in the Yoga Sutra. That also means that having the yearning to seek the Truth is a prerequisite for discrimination.

 

“You see, you have to apply the teachings of this ‘nothing is permanent’ realistically to the things closest to you in your daily life; for it is not just mere intellectual knowledge.”                                                            – Shri Mahayogi

In Pranavadipa (Vol. 74), Shri Mahayogi specifically breaks down the way of discrimination in several concrete and practical examples, including the discrimination of Buddha’s teaching that “Nothing is Permanent” and the discrimination one can use to transcend one’s own likes and dislikes, as well as the sanskara (psychological subconscious latent impressions) from which these arise—all of which naturally results in mauna (spiritual silence). He also teaches that the pain-bearing obstacles or attachments (which obstruct one from seeing the true nature of the Self, the Truth, or God) can disappear by filling the mind with bhakti (devotion to God), an important component for those of us who might find it difficult to practice thorough discernment—and perhaps most of us need to apply bhakti, unless we are truly ardent and clear enough to practice only discernment, like Swami Vivekananda was able to do.

Now, going back to the goal, we know that when we aim to attain a goal, passion and training are important. And if the aim is the perfection of Yoga, or Satori, or the true Self, which is beyond the mind, then because this State is beyond the mind, we can see that it is of great importance to find and learn from those who are already in that State, for they are the only ones (as Awakaned Ones) who can safely guide others to that same State. Those who can do this are called Satguru, true Masters.

You might find that you may not necessarily be aiming to perfect Yoga or Satori, but even if that is so, the state of true Freedom is nothing different from the state of Yoga or Satori. And “true” means unconditional. This Freedom that does not rely on any condition might not be far off from what we are all seeking in whatever we do, because in whatever we do, the search for real Happiness or Freedom may be what is beneath all the desires of our souls. And then at some point, sooner or later, we might come to realize that unless we approach our own mind—for, although the activities of the mind may be productive if they are used for something positive—the mind’s activities can also cloud our vision. If our vision is clouded, we will not be able to find real Happiness or Freedom, because the mind follows wherever we are or go, and real Happiness or Freedom can only be found when we stop seeking for it externally, and shift to seek for it within. Awakened Beings all say that in one way or another that is where the true Self, Atman, the state of true Freedom—the Truth—can be found.

If we aim for Satori, or if we just want to be free of the cloudiness of our minds, we need to hear the Truth or hear about Atman from the ones who are in that state, and then reflect upon and meditate upon It. As the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad states:

“The Self should be realized—should be heard of, reflected upon, and meditated upon. By the realization of the Self—through hearing, reflection, and meditation—all this is known.”                                     – Shri Mahayogi

Then next comes training:

By going through habitual erroneous actions due to ignorance or by taking in erroneous impressions, the mind has made the attachments bigger. Spiritual discipline of practice is the task of revamping the incorrect sanskara or memories through telling the mind the correct wisdom, or teachings of the Truth.”

 “What is of utmost importance is to educate the mind with the teachings of Truth.”                                                                                              – Shri Mahayogi

Nowadays, when we hear the word “educate,” we may automatically conjure up a variety of images and ideas, perhaps related to our schooling or our upbringing, perhaps involving ideas of reading, study with notetaking, memorization, or mastering a test of our knowledge.

But when it comes to Yoga and to the teachings of Truth, what does it mean “to educate the mind with the teachings of Truth”? Certainly, it can’t have to do with suddenly thinking that we know because we have read it, nor with simply telling ourselves that the teaching is true again and again and that now we should believe it, nor can it be about memorizing words or engaging in academic study. We must not forget that the path of Yoga, or the path of aiming to attain or to know the true Self or true Freedom is an empirical path. The practice is about approaching our own minds and purifying or clearing the clouds from it; practice must be applied in daily life because it is certainly not only about sitting for meditation—our daily lives are the practical grounds for our practice. Shri Mahayogi emphasizes that in order to educate the mind, we must try to understand and apply the teachings using the most realistic means, the everyday situations and circumstances that are nearest to us, and no matter what the teaching is that we may read or hear, we must make efforts to try to prove it using our own self.

So then how do we train our minds—how do we “educate the mind with the teachings of Truth”? In this month’s Pranavadipa (Vol. 74), there are many clues and hints in the Satsangha that we can pick up for our training, not only from what Shri Mahayogi answers to those seeking his guidance, but also from what the questions reveal about what the practitioners themselves are doing to try to educate the mind.

Besides all the clues that Shri Mahayogi gives us as he responds to those attending the Satsangha, it is also evident in many of the attendees questions that they themselves are in the process of trying to educate the mind according to the teaching of Yoga by sincerely trying to follow and practice what Shri Mahayogi is teaching so that they can come closer to understanding the true meaning through their own experiences. It’s inspiring!

One example of this is a practitioner, Yohei (who later received the spiritual name, Gopala) who is the one who asked the question at the very beginning of this blog. Actually, these two Satsangha are from July and November of 2014, and as we read his questions, we can sense how his practice progresses. You may definitively find that he takes genuine and concrete efforts to educate and train (discipline) his mind to continuously apply the teachings he has received into his actions (practice). From his attitude, we can also learn the importance of having the clarity of an aim for practice. We must keep seeing the goal or the aim—and it is because we want to attain the goal, that we educate our minds, by moving our feet, hands and minds:

Yohei (Gopala): After this year began, I’ve begun to want to stay in the consciousness of the Seer, and when I asked Shri Mahayogi how I should practice in order to attain this, Shri Mahayogi taught me to practice mauna (spiritual silence), for I have to eliminate the mutterings of the mind. As I try to work on eliminating them, I have come to think that unless I thoroughly make my own mind learn the logic behind “nothing is permanent” [from the teaching of Buddha], I will not be able to remain in the consciousness of the Seer. Would Shri Mahayogi please teach this to us again?

                                                                                                   —July 2014

Yohei (Gopala): Lately, there is a stronger awareness that memories are not my self. For a long time, somehow my attention went toward sanskara all the time, but I saw that there is an ego-consciousness that thinks that the mind is my Self, deeper within, and I thought that as long as that ego-consciousness is not exterminated, I will never awaken to Atman. Please teach me how I should practice so that it will lead to the elimination of ego including in daily life, how I should discipline myself in practice.

MASTER: It all comes down to selfless service. To act and think for others.

                                                                                        —November 2014

More importantly than anything else, all of this is possible because of the existence of the Satguru. We learn, and we can also confirm through our own experience, that when we merely read or hear the scriptures, our understanding inevitably remains in the realm of the limitations that our minds already have, and that to truly open ourselves up to learn and begin to understand more deeply, stimulation from the outside, from a Satguru, is a necessity.

Shri Mahayogi teaches the unparalleled “education” of the mind that takes place in Satsangha: the hearing, thinking upon and meditating on the teachings that takes place effortlessly during Satsangha.

Indeed, in the company of the Master, this “education” is beyond what most of us can even imagine, yet if we have had that precious opportunity, surely we have sensed it in one way or another, not knowing what it is. And we can also sense this in Shri Mahayogi’s answers right here on this blog.

From beginning to end of this Satsangha, in reading, in reflecting and in trying to grasp what Shri Mahayogi is expressing and teaching, we are humbled once again to be reminded of the vastness of Shri Mahayogi’s grace and the preciousness of the opportunity we have to learn from him. Words cannot express what Shri Mahayogi generously and compassionately gives us just through his Being—we bow down in gratitude, in quietness, and offer our highest honor.

Om  Tat  Sat, Om!

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The Testimony, titled “Yoga in Daily Life (Family Life)”, is a translation of a writing by Sananda, a disciple of Shri Mahayogi in Japan, and was originally contributed to Paramahamsa (Mahayogi Mission Japan’s monthly magazine for members). Yoga is not for any one type of person or any one type of lifestyle, but truly it can be practiced by anyone, anywhere and within any circumstance. The Testimony of Sananda, who himself is a family person, is an excellent example of precisely that! In this article, Sananda breaks down how Yoga can be practiced in some of life’s most mundane circumstances and situations. It is an excellent guide and resource for how Yoga can be applied by anyone, anywhere. His example shows us concretely that there’s no need to wait for anything, as “perfect conditions” can be found anywhere and everywhere—let’s follow Sananda’s example and take every opportunity to begin shaping our daily lives to Yoga right away!

Echo From The Cave: 146

Saturday January 2, 2021 NYC

Happy New Year & Editor’s Note: Pranavadipa Vol. 73

“The Truth is One.
However the Seers, that means the Awakened Ones, call It variously.”


To our Revered Satguru, Shri Mahayogi:
Our hearts pour gratitude to be able to start this new year with you at our side, near or far, guiding us eternally through the immeasurable blessing of your very Existence. Your presence among us calms all fears, worries and doubts, and brings us the great strength needed to face all that life places before us.

To All:
We wish you a very Happy New Year!! We pray for the end of Covid-19 throughout the world and for true harmony and peace to come through touching the wisdom of Yoga and living based on the Universal Truth. May all of our hearts and minds be filled with sacredness and keep turning again and again, in every moment, to the one unchanging Truth!
The beginning of this year also marks the beginning of Mahayogi Yoga Mission’s 25th Anniversary year of its establishment in New York!


It is a new year and a fresh opportunity to clarify and renew our resolution towards the aim of Yoga! What better way to start off than by filling ourselves with the words of Truth that will elevate our minds and hearts? If you have not yet subscribed to our monthly online subscription publication, Pranavadipa, we highly recommend that you do so, as this is a source of inspiration for our minds, nourishment for our hearts, guidance on our paths, and study material for our learning. Pranavadipa, which is a one year subscription plan, is published on the 8th day of every month, so having a subscription sets us up to make sure that each month we are proactively bringing the teachings of Truth into our lives.

For now, we would like to take this opportunity to introduce the latest issue of Pranavadipa (Vol. 73). The primary messages throughout this volume are centered around CONCRETIZING OUR IDEAL and the IMPORTANCE OF EKAGRATA (single-pointed concentration) as the underlying foundation.

In December, there are a few dates that are quite significant. December 8th, the day that Pranavadipa (Vol. 73) was published, marks the day that is said to be the day that Buddha Awakened. December 24th, Christmas  Eve, is the night that Swami Vivekananda gathered with his brother disciples and together they declared to renounce the world, and become monks—and coincidentally, this is also the anniversary of Mahayogi Yoga Mission’s official recognition in New York from the government of the United States.   

In a reflection of  these  significant dates, the Satsangha in Pranavadipa (Vol. 73) begins with much wisdom and many teachings from Shri Mahayogi about the connection and correlation between Buddha and Vivekananda. It is awe-inspiring to read how Shri Mahayogi understood them, and therefore how Shri Mahayogi teaches us to feel and go closer to their spirit.

Through the examples of Buddha and Vivekananda, Shri Mahayogi teaches us what it means to concretize our ideal, and encourages what it is he hopes for from us: to raise our ideal to continuously work for the good of all humanity, seeing not just the limited scope of our own selves and lives, but to expand beyond that to the whole world and even beyond our limited view of time and space, which we so often confine to what is most relevant to only ourselves at any given moment. And, as an integral part of concretizing the ideal, Shri Mahayogi emphasizes the necessity and aim to transform one’s own way of thinking and being, towards that which aligns with the Truth, through each individual taking concrete and practical action in the circumstances and conditions that we find ourselves in, whatever they may be.

Going beyond that, Shri Mahayogi then teaches about the essence of religion. From Judaism, to Christianity, to Hinduism, and to Islam, Shri Mahayogi details for us the essence common to all and how that essence comes to be revived and reestablished in times when the religion itself starts to degrade into mere formalities. He teaches us about the sacred vibration of OM, and how this primordial vibration is also referenced in the Bible, and in the Shinto shrines of Japan. And he clarifies the meaning of Ramakrishna’s words—“As many faiths, so many paths”—and the importance of holding the faith of each individual in the highest respect, that each individual has their own auspicious timing when it comes to religion and the path towards its essence.

In tandem with these teachings about the greater Awakened Beings and their mission, and the essence of religion, which truly have the power to raise our minds to an ever-heightening ideal, Shri Mahayogi also provides many practical teachings for daily life that each individual can act on. From teaching about how the whole of Yoga is simply for the purpose of training the mind, to a clear example of discrimination of the mind’s attachments, to the way one can and should feel the hearts, both joys and sufferings, of others, to the way in which one can approach karma yoga and deepen in its practice, to the transformation of the mind through simple and daily actions, to improving one’s health, to acting in humbleness and more. Even Shri Mahayogi teaches a young high school-age captain of the swim team about the meaning and purpose of life as well as what the true meaning of being a leader is—to cultivate the minds and hearts of humanity. Truly there is so much for us to learn and try out for ourselves without a moment to lose, be it in our families, in our jobs, with friends, or alone—the opportunities to put Yoga into action are in every moment of our day!

This is certainly a time of year that calls for deep reflection on what the immense value and blessing that such Awakened Beings bring to each of us and to the world and how we can continue the work they have begun.

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The Satsangha in Pranavadipa (Vol. 73) is quite a long one, with a number of subtitles. Below are listed the main titles and subtitles of the Satsangha:

The Manifestation of the Awakened Ones and Their Mission
—The actions that must be taken can be learned from their great feats

      • Vivekananda Understood the Incomparable Existence of Buddha
      • The Actualization of the Universality of Yoga
      • The Mission of Shri Ramakrishna and His Beloved Disciple Vivekananda
      • The Essence of Religion
      • The Sacred Sound of Om
      • Training the Mind
      • Actual Practice

Live Based on the True Ideal

      • What One is Challenged with in Life, Whether the Winner or Not
      • Hitting the Bullseye of the Real Ideal
      • The Actualization of the Ideal
      • Resolve

Indeed, it is evident that Shri Mahayogi is impressing upon us the importance of elevating our ideal to the highest level, to the level of humanity itself, in the present and for the future, as the responsibility and duty of one who has encountered the teaching of Yoga, and the teachings of the Awakened Beings. Through the examples of Buddha, Ramakrishna and Vivekananda, Shri Mahayogi teaches us the importance of working with our utmost effort and strength for the good of humanity, to take all action and means to ensure that as many people as possible have the invaluable opportunity to come in contact with the Truth. At the same time, hand in hand, with this elevated ideal is the individual work that each must do, concretely, with whatever is in front of us at the moment so as to be best prepared to participate in the work of the higher ideal. These two, the individual practice and transformation each must do, along with the aim towards salvation and liberation for all, seem to go hand in hand. In a way, Shri Mahayogi is showing us that these two are inseparable from one another, as focusing only on one’s own practice towards liberation is mere self-satisfaction, yet focusing only on a high ideal, without the cultivation of one’s own self, too, is in vain.

As we read, it may seem that at times Shri Mahayogi is talking about separate topics, but truly these two themes are woven together in each moment, no matter the angle from which Shri Mahayogi is teaching or the topic he is speaking about. Shri Mahayogi’s vision however expansive it may be, is all contained in even the smallest detail of what he says or does. If we want to understand him, or any of the Awakened Beings, surely we must strive to remember this and bring our own minds and views to expand more and more, without limitation.

Like Shri Mahayogi always says, it is important to first hear the Truth, then ponder upon it, and then meditate on it. Using the content of this Satsangha, surely we can continue to expand more and more what falls within the scope of our view and what we understand to be the work that the Awakened Ones are pointing out to us.

As this new year begins, the year of the 25th Anniversary of Mahayogi Yoga Mission in New York, let’s bring our minds to focus on sacred things, whatever our life circumstances are, and let’s raise ourselves up together in the footsteps of the great Awakened Beings and make concrete and real action towards the highest ideal of Yoga!!

“The following words too are one of the very ancient teachings in India: “The Truth is One. However the Seers, that means the Awakened Ones, call It variously”—this phrase is recorded in its oldest scripture, the Veda.
Therefore, we tend to see the larger object, saying this religion and that religion, but actually it’s not about that. Truly, it is one human being, such as Jesus Christ, Buddha, Shri Ramakrishna, a single human being clarifies the ultimate Truth, and at the same time, leaves teachings to cover all of it. More than anything else, Yoga clarifies the deepest psychology that modern psychology hasn’t been able to clarify or reveal yet, therefore it is precious, revealing something which may not be easily found in other teachings.”

—Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahamsa

*

Q: I cannot attend class [since I don’t live in Kyoto]. Please teach me what I should keep in my mind and aim to do, or what I should really take care of as I continue to practice Yoga alone.

MASTER: What I’ve been telling everyone in Kyoto lately is about ekagrata (single-pointed concentration). The period of initial enthusiasm in Yoga is a process in which, while there is much karma and many habits of the mind still remaining, you are gradually awakening to sacred things that are in opposition to them. And as you continue the practice, attachments and karma caused by ignorance gradually and visibly disappear, leaving only the Truth. The state of mind that is fixed solely towards the Truth is called ekagrata. Now, about advice—concretely, in order to make the state of ekagrata steady, have strong faith, and always, every day, think about sacred things. That is sufficient.

Above are Shri Mahayogi’s words from Pranavadipa (Vol. 73). The Testimony in this month’s volume, “Living in Yoga: The Single-Pointed Concentration of a Yogi”, is written by Satya, a disciple of Shri Mahayogi living in Kyoto, and is centered around ekagrata (single-pointed concentration).

“100% Passion—that is Ekagrata, single-pointed concentration!
It is crucial for Yoga. For Satori, it is all you need.
If you have that, then the rest, the power to put it into action will naturally follow.”

—Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa

While taking in Shri Mahayogi’s words, in Satya’s Testimony, we have the opportunity to glimpse the strong yearning she has and the way in which she strives to discover and understand what ekagrata really is, along with her discrimination process, which shows up all along the way as she searches to learn and understand ekagrata, as well as bring her own state to it.

It is so inspiring to see Satya’s mind of learning in this Testimony. Rather than set out with a specific idea of what ekagrata is and then try to make this a reality in her life, she willingly and actively digs deeper into her own understanding, her own experience, then shifts and tries new ways of developing that understanding and her own state in a way that is concrete and detailed. When she realizes that she has a lack of concentration, then she does not let this drag her down, but she thinks about what she can work on in herself, setting a concrete goal in front of her, thinking and analyzing deeply about the way to work on it in a very concrete manner so that she can actually achieve it. For example, she doesn’t just focus on practicing asana daily, but rather, her focus is more specific, and detailed to what she needs to put her attention on during the time that she practices, as well as the quality of the practice itself—then she brings this same practice to her daily life, tests it using her actions and trains herself—then through that experience, she analyzes what is lacking or what may be needed to accomplish the goal, learning from the experience and then going to whatever is next…continuing in this way to whatever then comes after that, and so on.

So then, what is the definition of “single point” in the “single-pointedness of a practitioner of Yoga”? Depending on the person, it might be expressed with the words “God”, “Truth”, “Brahman (true Existence)” or “Shri Mahayogi”; but I thought that was still vague. I felt that because the object was vague, single-pointedly concentrating was not happening in me. Then a thought started to arise in me, if the target of concentration is clear, then I should be able to concentrate focusing on a single point. …How do I bring all of my focus down to a single point…I felt that it comes down to, “seriously asking myself what I want to become.” Because, I felt that this single point has to be something that is more important than anything else, it has to be something I want to know so much as to exchange my own life for it, it has to be something I want to become—I felt that unless it was such a single point, I wouldn’t be able to stake my life on concentrating on it.

Because of this mind of learning, coupled with her yearning, her thoughts are naturally drawn to continuously fix themselves towards the Truth. We can see her continuous aiming towards the Truth as we read, and in the end, discover where this leads her.

Her example demonstrates to us the importance of having a strong yearning to seek out what we really want to know, and the willingness to learn through concrete details in the process. We can learn and take much from her example, and cultivate the willingness in ourselves to move forward through the mind of learning, being ready to leave behind whatever ideas and thoughts we have already formed, so that we can open ourselves to experience ekagrata and a continuous alignment of ourselves to the Truth.

Echo From The Cave: 145

Thursday Nov 26, 2020 NYC

Announcement & Report:
Online Program Disarming the Mind for Freedom

Part 2  Friday Dec. 4th, 7-8pm
Part 1 Friday Nov. 20th, 7-8pm

Mahayogi Yoga Mission presents Part 2 of its online program “Disarming the Mind for Freedom”, from its series Positive Transformation in Times of Change. Part 1 was held on Nov. 20th (see the report below for more details).

Program Description:
With our eyes fixed on the external world, internal observation of the mind is more challenging than ever before. Glimpse just beyond the realm of our immediate perception, to the battle waging constantly within our own minds that keeps us in an un-free state, and seek together with us to disarm its factions in a step towards Freedom.

All are welcome to attend. No prior experience or knowledge of Yoga is necessary. Attendance in Part 1 is not required to participate in Part 2.

SPEAKERS: Karuna and Sadhya

Register HERE.

* Tickets will be available for purchase for up to 24 hours in advance.
* Please note that using Zoom is required for attending this program.
* You will be emailed a Zoom link on the day of the program.
* We will be happy to provide technical assistance to anyone who may need it.
* We will open the Zoom space at 6:15 for attendees to enter and test that zoom is working properly.
* We highly encourage you to connect early to troubleshoot any unexpected issues and then return just before 7pm.
* On the day of the event, we will post a contact number here for any technical issues that may arise.

Please reach out to info@mahayogiyogamission.org for inquiries about this event.

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Report: Disarming the Mind for Freedom Part 1

What might “disarming the mind” mean?
What might it mean to have a “mind that is armed”?

Each and every one of us perceives and experiences this world through our own veil, a veil that colors that perception and often leads to our own limitation and our own struggle. But due to the nature of the veil, it is incredibly difficult to even see that there is a veil that we are always looking through, to examine its coloring, to step aside and try to see something else, to test what we hold in our mind to be certain and true.

Rather, it is commonplace that we hold a certain ideal—an ideal of who we are, an ideal way of being, an ideal way of thinking, an ideal way of acting in the world. But just because we have that ideal, even if it’s based in Yoga, it doesn’t mean that that ideal is what actually is the foundation upon which we live our day to day lives, no matter how much we believe it, speak about it, or try to live by it.

Between the veil through which we see and the contradictions that lie ever-so subtly hiding under the surface of the ideals about ourselves or the world that we hold, it seems that we stay tied up, intertwined and bound by the mind itself. A state that does not allow us to actually transform ourselves, to align with the ideals we strive for, or to open ourselves up to learn a new way, something that might possibly be unknown, and rather keeps us going around and round through an endless cycle of nothing but the same things in varying appearances.

Part 1 of MYM’s “Disarming the Mind for Freedom” program attempted to reveal the workings of the mind, its structure, the way in which it arms itself, and the state of being un-free that comes as its fruit. Through the personal examples of Karuna and Sadhya, along with the help of some visual diagrams (Echo From the Cave: 141), attendees explored and tried to glimpse the nature of the “armed mind” and were encouraged to look within themselves to reflect deeply upon what and how this “armed mind” looks in the details of their own lives and experiences.

The recognition of this “armed mind” within oneself may perhaps be very challenging, as Karuna spoke about from her own experience of coming to face this, yet this frank and honest recognition is an essential first step and the preparation that attendees were asked to take on before Part 2, which will be more focused on the “what’s next” aspect of actually disarming this “armed mind”.

Taking that first step of recognition, is in and of itself the start of one’s own transformation, and we look forward to seeing how that transformation can begin to grow in Disarming the Mind for Freedom Part 2!