Friday, November 6, 2009

Yoga and Self Realization

About to years ago I read a book called Autobiography of a yogi. The book was about the life of Paramhansa Yogananda, and Indian yogi that came to the US to bring the teachings of ancient wisdom of India and self realization through Christianity. He has written many books about living like Christ and being of Christ conscience, as well as, analyzing the teachings of Jesus and how they relate to model day lives of man.

My interest in the practice of Yoga began around 5 years ago now when I took a yoga class with some friends. The teacher was actually from Russia I believe and the class was very hard. At the end of the class there is a posture where you lay down on the floor after about an hour of intense work and the teacher walks around the room and he presses your shoulders down and lifts your head into alignment. Some teaches will even anoint your head with oil.

I remember the touch of this teacher. I had never been touched by such soft hands. And in an instant it felt like I was literally floating off the ground like I was not within myself. I had studied a few books on Tao and Yoga before this and read about yogis who float in the air and all these other strange things when I was in high school. All that stuff seemed so surreal.

But at this moment I don’t ever think I had felt so close to God. It was really an amazing spiritual experience. After the class ended and I came back to my senses I suddenly vowed that I would always practice yoga.

The next week I started attending Maya Yoga in downtown Kansas city. I remember be surrounded by vegans and vegetarians and I was on the Atkins diet. I had a few other spiritual experience but non like the first. My body was slowly be sculpted though in to the very agile body. After a while I ran into some financial problems I couldn’t go anymore but I bought books and practiced at home and them soon after that I went away to school.

Then while I was away in NJ and working at Mada Design I started occasionally getting audio books and listening to them. I was going not only through financial problems at the time but also through a purification process of some sort. It was so not voluntary lol. I found myself being tortured by my former experiences, many of them bad. These past memories suddenly flooded my life and I was having daily mental warfare with myself. Not to mention my external battles and coming to terms with the behaviors of others around me. Often I found myself near tears as I walked daily to and from work. I felt like I was under the greatest attack of my entire life. And then I found the audio book Autobiography of a Yogi.

This book helped me through one of the biggest mental hurdles I had gone through since high school. Like most teens high school was like the dark ages to me. I remember at one point asking my boyfriend if Satan really existed because I honestly felt like I was being attacked. (Satan has always been a little obscure to me cause I never really understood who or what Satan was but I do know what demons are.)

Anyway, I really enjoyed the Autobiography cause it was inspirational beyond belief. Because Yagananda lived between the 1920’s and like the 1960’s here in the US it was even more surreal. Actually there was a point when he came to Kansas City Missouri and he had a devotee here that he trained in Kriya Yoga and this man founded a church here that is called Self Realization fellowship I am thinking about attending a service to see what it is like.

I think it was one of the second branches founded here in the US; the first was founded by Yogananga on the west coast.

Some of the miracles described in the book are really otherworldly; especially his stories about meeting other modern day saints. It felt like a story that could only be told during biblical times. Even in my studies on Gandhi I find it strange to know that this man lived in my life time as well as martin Luther King.

The thing that brings all these thoughts of the eternal and human spirit was yesterday while working I was watching this video about a model day Buddha, Ram Bahadur Bomjan. He is saint from Nepal that is practicing something that I had heard about in the Autobiography. He plans to meditate for 10 years without eating or drinking. Him body is fueled purely by the spirit of god.

Before reading this book I was very skeptical of the idea that a man can live without polluting the body with food or drink. Then when I saw this I was really inspired cause I thought maybe these were things that did not happen in today’s time. He started meditating when he was I believe 11 and his goal is to meditate on the salvation of the world that we do not plunge into an even more desperate time of war and hatred. That man kind can ascend from the daily chaos and troubles of the world that we create and manifest from our own mind. To stop killing and eating meat so we can live on the fruits that God readily provides us.

This past summer I grew some of my own food and it was the most spiritual experience I had had in a long time. I remember feeling that is was nothing short of a miracle that anything could thrive on water and sun alone and I blessed and thanked my tomatoes as they grew and still grow in abundance. What a miracle it is to watch a small seedling grow into the monster that dominates my front porch and provides me with nourishment so I can live.

Anyway today is a blessed day. Give thanks for all things in your life whether good or bad even if only for the lessons they can teach.

God Bless,

Arie's Sketch Dump