Kriya Yoga brings together the most effective elements of all systems of yoga including the step by step meditation methodology of raja yoga with its eight limbs of practice; the surrendered devotion of bhakti yoga; the focused self-inquiry pathway of jnana yoga; and the importance of selfless service that is karma yoga. The emphasis in this Kriya Yoga tradition is placed on healthy, purposeful, conscious living, supported by superconscious meditation practice.
It is an intentional, universal approach to Self-realization and spiritual enlightenment. Enlightenment is not only the goal for every person; it is considered the certain destiny. Since we are already spiritual beings, enlightenment is the revelation of that, waking up to it.
Bringing Yoga to Life: The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living
Knowing it. Living it. There is no spiritual condition to create and no enlightenment to attain. Only the realization of what is so. Kriya Yoga offers the timely and time-tested perspective that enlightenment is natural. It occurs when the mental obstacles to it are removed. When the mind becomes calm and quiet, it is illumined by the radiance of the Self. Then the truth of what we are is naturally revealed.
It is experienced. This experience transforms us because it changes our point of view. We are no longer a person identified with the body and mind who thinks they might have a soul. We now know we are the soul, we are That. We are the divine Self, expressing through the body and the mind. This system of Kriya Yoga reflects the teaching emphasis and specific procedures of the Kriya Yoga tradition brought to the West by Paramahansa Yogananda.
Swami Yogananda came to America in with the blessings of his guru, to spread the liberating teachings of Kriya Yoga in the West. He initiated thousands into the spiritual practices of Kriya Yoga and inspired seekers worldwide to discover the liberating truth of their spiritual nature and their relationship with the Infinite.
His seminal book, The Autobiography of a Yogi , remains a bestseller today and continues to attract seekers to the path. Yoga in this tradition has been passed on through the centuries from guru to disciple in this way—through instruction, initiation, and transmission. I met my guru, Roy Eugene Davis , in and was initiated by him into Kriya Yoga the following year.
After initial training, Mr. Davis ordained me to teach in this tradition in I have been teaching Kriya Yoga meditation methods and lifestyle wisdom now for over three decades. Kriya Yoga is a spiritual path, not a religion. It is a way of life, open to all who seek to live a spiritually balanced, wholesome life. Whether I am teaching at our Kriya Yoga Meditation Center in California , or speaking at other centers or retreats across the US, or around the globe, it makes my heart sing to meet people from such diverse backgrounds—different faiths, ethnicities, cultures, economic status or vocations—joined by the common goal in the heart of every seeker of truth.
The goal to awaken. Seeing lives transform—hearts blossoming with compassion and minds illumined by inner wisdom; watching people discover lasting happiness and inner peace that cannot be taken away by circumstances—gives me great hope for our world. A sustainable way to live in harmony with nature and with one another can only arise from an awakened heart and mind that recognizes our oneness, our common humanity and shared divinity with all of life.
I am not shy about holding the vision of an awakened world. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that Source in you. Let us work together for unity and love. If you choose to see everything as a miracle, then where you are right now is perfect. There is nowhere to run to; there is nothing else to do except be in this moment and allow what is to be.
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From that place of radical acceptance, major change can happen. The first step in any transformational experience is acceptance and surrender to the present moment, the way that it is. From that place we have the awareness, humility and power to change what is. Wisdom is knowing we are all One. Love is what it feels like and Compassion is what it acts like. Have only love in your heart for others. The more you see the good in them, the more you will establish good in yourself.
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Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes. In meditation and in our daily lives there are three qualities that we can nurture, cultivate, and bring out. We already possess these, but they can be ripened: precision, gentleness, and the ability to let go. Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.
Follow your nature. Rest deeply in Savasana every day. Always enter that pratyahara withdrawn state every day. And just enjoy yourself. For many years I mistook discipline as ambition. Now I believe it to be more about consistency. Do get on the mat. Practice and life are not that different. Be a lamp to yourself. Be your own confidence. Hold on to the truth within yourself as to the only truth. For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it. For every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it.
For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it. Start to see competition as inspiration — without envy. Accepting means you allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling at that moment. It is part of the isness of the Now. Well, you can, but if you do, you suffer.
Yoga is a dance between control and surrender — between pushing and letting go — and when to push and when to let go becomes part of the creative process, part of the open-ended exploration of your being. Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way.
You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now… And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love. The best thing you could do is master the chaos in you.
You are not thrown into the fire, you are the fire. The very heart of yoga practice is abhyasa — steady effort in the direction you want to go. Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. Close your eyes and imagine the best version of you possible. What does matter is who you are when you get there. Well, neither does bathing. First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective.
Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end. When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. The true miracle lies in our eagerness to allow, appreciate, and honor the uniqueness, and freedom of each sentient being to sing the song of their heart.
The ultimate goal of yoga is to always observe things accurately, and therefore never act in a way that will make us regret our actions later. May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are.
Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us. Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.
Yoga is possible for anybody who really wants it. Yoga is universal…. Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built. My sole literary ambition is to write one good novel, then retire to my hut in the desert, assume the lotus position, compose my mind and senses, and sink into meditation, contemplating my novel.
Yoga is about clearing away whatever is in us that prevents our living in the most full and whole way. With yoga, we become aware of how and where we are restricted — in body, mind, and heart — and how gradually to open and release these blockages. As these blockages are cleared, our energy is freed.
We start to feel more harmonious, more at one with ourselves. Our lives begin to flow — or we begin to flow more in our lives. Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
When you are looking in the mirror, you are looking at the problem. But, remember, you are also looking at the solution. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings, as something separated from the rest— a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state. A photographer gets people to pose for him. A yoga instructor gets people to pose for themselves. Anyone who practices can obtain success in yoga but not one who is lazy. Constant practice alone is the secret of success. Exercises are like prose, whereas yoga is the poetry of movements.
Once you understand the grammar of yoga; you can write your poetry of movements. Yoga is really trying to liberate us from… shame about our bodies. To love your body is a very important thing — I think the health of your mind depends on your being able to love your body. The peace of God is with them whose mind and soul are in harmony, who are free from desire and wrath, who know their own soul. It works every time, and not just in yoga.
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When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all of your thoughts break their bonds. Your mind transcends limitations; your consciousness expands in every direction; and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person than you ever dreamed yourself to be. One of the fundamental principles of yoga: a small action done repeatedly can make an enormous difference. Anyone can practice. Young man can practice.
Old man can practice. Very old man can practice. Man who is sick, he can practice. By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and disregard toward the wicked, the mind-stuff retains its undisturbed calmness. Crying is one of the highest devotional songs. One who knows crying, knows spiritual practice. If you can cry with a pure heart, nothing else compares to such a prayer.
Crying includes all the principles of Yoga. The success of Yoga does not lie in the ability to perform postures but in how it positively changes the way we live our life and our relationships. Yoga, as a way of life and a philosophy, can be practiced by anyone with inclination to undertake it, for yoga belongs to humanity as a whole. It is not the property of any one group or any one individual, but can be followed by any and all, in any corner of the globe, regardless of class, creed or religion.
Remember the emphasis on the heart. The mind lives in doubt and the heart lives in trust. When you trust, suddenly you become centered. The purpose of life is to watch and experience living. To enjoy living every moment of it. And to live in environments, which are calm, quiet, slow, sophisticated, elegant. Just to be. The ideal purpose of your life is that you are grateful — great and full — that you are alive, and you enjoy it.
The harmonizing of opposing forces is a key aspect of yoga — hot energy is united with cool energy, strong with soft, and masculine with feminine. The places where you have the most resistance are actually the places that are going to be the areas of the greatest liberation. The aim of yoga is to eliminate the control that material nature exerts over the human spirit, to rediscover through introspective practice what the poet T. Yoga does not remove us from the reality or responsibilities of everyday life but rather places our feet firmly and resolutely in the practical ground of experience.
Practicing yoga during the day is a matter of keeping your eyes on the road and one ear turned toward the infinite. Yoga is the unifying art of transforming dharma into action, be it through inspired thought, properly nurturing our children, a painting, a kindness or an act of peace that forever moves humanity forward. Mountain pose is an affirmation. You can conquer anything with your natural boldness and resolute strength.
Only you can reach the peak of your success. I was in yoga the other day. I was in full lotus position. My chakras were all aligned. Concentrating on poses clears the mind, while focusing on the breath helps the body shift out of fight or flight mode. When you do yoga — the deep breathing, the stretching, the movements that release muscle tension, the relaxed focus on being present in your body — you initiate a process that turns the fight or flight system off and the relaxation response on.