Practice of the Straight Path: Initial Methods

Hatha Yoga

People with unstable emotions as well as those who cannot concentrate or have unpleasant obsessive thoughts will benefit from taking a course of Hatha Yoga lessons. Exercises of this stage were developed in ancient India, and their performance teaches one concentration of the consciousness in various parts of the body, as well as relaxation of the body and mind; they also contribute to elimination of many bioenergetic defects within the body and can heal one of some chronic diseases.

The mechanism that is at work here is as follows: maintaining postures of Hatha Yoga for a long time causes accumulation and redistribution of energy in the energy structures of the organism, which results in their development. The following dynamics of sensations is typical when mastering new asanas. For the first few days of practice, one may not feel anything out of the ordinary, only a regular adaptation of the body takes place. During the next few days, there appears absolutely new “mysterious” and pleasant sensation of energies “flowing” inside the body, which “flow” in meridians like streams of liquid; one may even hear a babbling sound at times. But in one or two weeks they suddenly disappear, to one’s regret, which in fact means that the asana has fulfilled its role at the current stage. But what was taking place is the following. As a result of doing the asana, the corresponding meridian started to function. While its conductivity was still low, one had interesting murmur-like sensations. When the meridian had opened fully, the energy started to move freely inside it and the “murmuring” stopped.

At the initial stages of mastering the exercises of Hatha Yoga, the necessary condition for doing asanas is performing shavasana after the whole set or after particular asanas, which are performed separately (except for relaxation ones). This is needed for the leveling of energetic strains that may develop due to the low conductivity of meridians. If this condition is not fulfilled, neurotic symptoms (liability of mood, sleep disturbances, and many others) and even visual impairments or disorders of other systems of the organism may develop.

Description of relaxation asanas will be given in the next chapters. Other exercises are described in specialized literature.

Practicing Hatha Yoga without switching to the killing-free diet always results in the coarsening of the consciousness of the students. Subjectively it may be perceived as attainment of power. But it turns out to be a terrible trap: by possessing coarse power of the consciousness we program ourselves for living in hell.

Apart from exercises of Indian Hatha Yoga some systems of Chinese dynamic gymnastics can be used for the same purpose. For example, those, where the development of the meridians with images of light (small “sun”, etc.) is performed during smooth and slow “roll-overs” from one foot to another.

Visualization

Hatha Yoga practice (or other trainings) can be supplemented by exercises, which develop the ability to create visual images. This will prepare one for mastering the highest forms of meditation as well as create prerequisites for attainment of clairvoyance.

We can start with simple things: let us imagine a tomato, an apple, a juicy pear, then let us imagine that we examine them, smell them, bite them, enjoy their flavor and swallow them with great pleasure…

Let us get carried to the morning silence of a lake: in a boat, surrounded by reed… Small tender dewdrops are hanging from every leaflet… Fish splashing, sound of duck’s wings… Reed warblers start singing their songs…

Or we may imagine that we are lying on a beach in the morning sunlight… Warm and tender light pervades our bodies and souls, saturating them with bliss…

Or let us visualize ourselves picking mushrooms: cutting and plucking slimy black milk-cups out of wet autumn foliage…, admiring a big and solid cep…

We may visualize numerous similar images. They must attune us to subtlety, beauty and bliss. They must teach us sattva.

Later on we may make the training more complex in the following way: we may imagine ourselves to be some imaginary sattvic object — a sweet juicy pear, a strawberry, a tender fragrant flower, or a caressing sun. We may learn to place these images filled with our own consciousness, with our self-awareness, into the chest — into the anahata chakra.

When this ability is well developed, it will be easy for us to invite into anahata a Divine Teacher, Whose Image we know very well from photographs. And He will “come alive” there: He will start smiling and speaking…

But it will become possible only if we deserve it: if we keep an impeccable life, become established in sattva, study the Teachings of God intensively, and transform ourselves in accordance with them.

Work with images has another name — visualization, which was borrowed from Buddhism. But it is important to warn the reader against having a non-critical attitude towards specific recommendations for visualization that one may find in literature or lectures of some ignorant Buddhist specialists.

Some authors recommend surrounding the body with images of “wrathful gods”, i.e. devils and demons, for “guard magic” purposes. Such images also “come alive” by getting filled with corresponding hell beings…

A famous mystic and doctor from Saint Petersburg, who was not “overburdened with intellect” and possessed grossest ethic vices while being a good extrasensory diagnostician, started to study these “black magic” methods with a group of his students.

The effect was that people were getting sick having just talked with him.

And when that entire gang visited other esoteric groups to stare at people practicing — students were fainting there.

Coarsening of him as a consciousness reached a tremendous level, and he turned into a devil in the flesh, but he continued to teach extrasensory healing and to “heal”. Although it is clear that people like this cannot heal anyone; they can only do harm by “putting an evil eye” on people.

He ended up becoming a knife-victim, murdered in his own bathroom. It was most likely one of the victims of his “healing” or one of a victim’s friends.

But hell is not what we need! We prepare ourselves to becoming God, not devils! Therefore, seeing this sad example of spiritual degradation as someone else’s tragic experience, let us turn away from it and go to the abodes of Purity, Light, Tenderness, and Love — in order to attune to them and to become one with them.

* * *

If you already possess some skills, which could be of use to other people, — gather some of your friends and teach them what you know. Your knowledge, abilities, and efforts will combine, and you all will grow together, preparing yourselves to the next stages of spiritual growth.

Ecopsychology >>>
See film:  Psychical Self-Regulation

Vladimir Antonov
Ph.D. (in biology)

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