BAD NEWS AND GOOD NEWS IN YOGA MEDITATION
Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
There is bad news and good news in the inner journey of enlightenment
through Yoga Meditation. The bad news is that some unpleasant
obstacles naturally come. The good news is that there are ways to
deal with those obstacles. However, two things are needed:
1) We need to understand those methods.
2) We need to actually practice them!! :)
With gentle, loving persistence those practices become easier and
easier. We need to be ever mindful of these principles and allow them
to become a part of our daily lives. Admitedly, this is much easier
to say than to do. Still, it is true that gently, lovingly,
patiently, and persistently practicing brings the fruits, along with
remembering that, in a sense, there is nothing at all to do other
than let go of our attachments and aversions, and allow the pure
consciousness, truth, purusha, atman, or light to come shining
OBSTACLES AND SOLUTIONS
(Yoga Sutras 1.30-1.32)
The "bad" news:
Nine kinds of distractions come that are obstacles naturally
encountered on the path:
1) physical illness
2) tendency of the mind to not work efficiently
3) doubt or indecision
4) lack of attention to pursuing the means of samadhi
5) laziness in mind and body
6) failure to regulate the desire for worldly objects
7) incorrect assumptions or thinking
8) failing to attain stages of the practice
9) instability in maintaining a level of practice once attained.
More "bad" news:
From these obstacles, there are four other consequences that also
arise, and these are:
1) mental or physical pain,
2) sadness or dejection,
3) restlessness, shakiness, or anxiety, and
4) irregularities in the exhalation and inhalation of breath.
The "good" news:
To prevent or deal with these nine obstacles and their four
consequences, the recommendation is to make the mind one-pointed,
training it how to focus on a single principle or object.
STABILIZING AND CLEARING THE MIND
(Yoga Sutras 1.33-1.39)
More "good" news:
In relationships, the mind becomes purified by cultivating feelings
of friendliness towards those who are happy, compassion for those who
are suffering, goodwill towards those who are virtuous, and
indifference or neutrality towards those we perceive as wicked or
The mind is also calmed by regulating the breath, particularly
attending to exhalation and the natural stilling of breath that comes
from such practice.
The inner concentration on the process of sensory experiencing, done
in a way that leads towards higher, subtle sense perception; this
also leads to stability and tranquility of the mind.
Or concentration on a painless inner state of lucidness and
luminosity also brings stability and tranquility.
Or contemplating on having a mind that is free from desires, the mind
gets stabilized and tranquil.
Or by focusing on the nature of the stream in the dream state or the
nature of the state of dreamless sleep, the mind becomes stabilized
Or by contemplating or concentrating on whatever object or principle
one may like, or towards which one has a predisposition, the mind
becomes stable and tranquil.