Advanced Yoga Practices
Lesson 109 - Bhakti, Meditation and Inner Silence
Date: Fri Feb 6, 2004 8:18am
Q: Is it possible for kundalini to let’s say for lack of a better word talk to you? Let’s go back… after reading the bhakti lesson I have been working on redirecting desires towards spirit-sometimes not so well, but at others I feel as if my steps and thoughts are where they should be. At one point I asked God to direct me through the divine kundalini energy to let me now what is spirit and what is just ego pretending to be spirit. At times I get guidance from the energy in a way of blissful feelings and surges if I am working in a spiritual way. So my question is can kundalini speak to us with her energy, or is this a direct answer form god/angel thoughts? Is this Bhakti? Are there any techniques that we can use to help purify old habits and desires and redirect them with bhakti?
A: Yes God can speak to us, and does all the time. It can come through kundalini or any other God-channel we choose. By choosing and focusing on a spiritual ideal, we can filter out the noise in us and receive guidance constantly. In time, we become one with the guidance, for the guru/God is in us, and is us. It is not so much in the mind. God does not speak to the intellect, so be careful about the mind games we can play with ourselves — we can build castles in the air in a hurry with the intellect. He/She speaks to us in the heart with feelings and intuitions. This is also how we speak to God, with our heart, with our feelings. If we are intense in our bhakti to our ideal, our needs will be communicated automatically and we will know what to do next. It is like that, a very intimate process that emerges as a oneness inside us on the inner levels of feeling.
We experience a knowingness deep inside before we know. If that is how it happens you can be sure it is divine guidance, and not some trick of the mind.
The best way to cultivate bhakti is to purify the heart, which is done through all the advanced yoga practices we have discussed to date — especially meditation. A purified heart is a blissfully silent heart. Meditation brings up the “silent witness” in us, which is the deep heart awareness that enables us to choose what direction our emotions will go in. Before the witness, we were dragged every which way by our thoughts and emotions, because we were identified with them as our self. With the silent witness we experience our self beyond all that, so thoughts and emotions become like objects we can redirect before they manifest outwardly. We can pull an ongoing “inside job” on our thoughts and emotions and avoid problems that come up when everything flying around inside us shoots out. In essence, working from the level of the silent witness, we are able to develop the habit of redirecting thoughts and emotions deep in the mind before they reach the surface. This was mentioned in the first lesson on bhakti (#67).
This inner process of bhakti is more about feeling than about thinking. Deep inside us there is a fine line between feeling and thinking. The line is where mind and heart meet, and that is the point of stillness. Functioning at that blissfully silent balance point between heart and mind is the destination of yoga, living in union with God. Meditation and the other advanced yoga practices are for cultivating that.
There are more practices coming (mantra enhancements, samyama and physical techniques) that will expand our silent presence in the heart, and these will make our witness (pure bliss consciousness) and bhakti much stronger.
If you want to do more now, favor an attitude of service, and be mindful about surrendering desires/emotions to that. All emotions can be redirected in that way. It is a path of surrender, and is something we can do anytime, anywhere. Very good for the heart. But don’t get too carried away with it. We don’t want to do it at the expense of sitting practices. The best bhakti is the bhakti that puts us in practices every day.
The guru is in you.