Advanced Yoga Practices

Main lessons

by Yogani

Note: For the Original Internet Lessons with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons Books. For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books, Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.

Lesson 103 - Destiny and free will

New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, “Why This Discussion?”

From: Yogani
Date: Tue Feb 3, 2004 11:49am

Q: I have been practising yoga and meditation for many years with slow and steady improvement on the “experiences”. Only problem i presume is i keep trying out many techniques without sticking to one for long. Is it one’s own karma that prevents progress in meditation? Should we give it up and allow things to happen or should we use our free will to make things happen? To me it’s sometimes free will and sometimes destiny that takes over… well, sort of confusing! Please comment.

A: I think your question on free will is covered in part in lesson #84 – “The art of doing nothing.” If we allow ourselves to become part of evolution, we will be doing something. All of nature is doing something. To consciously not do something is still a doing. The trick is to be doing something that is very little that facilitates the natural opening of our nervous system to pure bliss consciousness and divine ecstasy. We want to hand the process over to our nervous system’s natural abilities. To do that we have to nudge a bit here and there with efficient levers. That is what advanced yoga practices is about.

Karma/samskaras/obstructions embedded in our nervous system are what stand between us and divine experience. Spiritual practices are for stimulating the nervous system to purify itself, removing the obstructions. Not doing that and leaving it to “destiny” prolongs the journey, leaving the house cleaning to be done later. There is free will in this. We all have the freedom to choose. We can do it now or do it later. That is the choice we have. If we do it later, we may have an easier time of it due to the efforts of others and the position of the stars. Most prefer to pitch in, rather than sitting around in the dark waiting for someone else to turn on the lights.

You might find the following lesson interesting, #93 – “Changing times.” It discusses how the rise of this “new age” relates to the spiritual choices we make. Bottom line: “Destiny” is in the stars. The rest is up to us.

As for trying many methods, the “digging the well” analogy applies. If we dig in one place long enough, we will eventually find water. If we dig here, there, and over there, maybe it will take longer to find water. So, in general, sticking with a practice is better; assuming it is a tried and true one.

In these lessons we talk about a full range of tried and true practices, and put them together in order in a building block fashion, to be undertaken by each person on their own reconnaissance according to their unique capacity and time line. For those already on another path, it is all offered as “food for thought.” That is the approach.

The guru is in you.

Note: For more on divine attraction, see the AYP Bhakti and Karma Yoga Book, and AYP Plus.

These lessons on yoga are reproduced from