Advanced Yoga Practices
Lesson 134 - Yoga and Western Psychology
Date: Mon Mar 8, 2004 11:01am
Q: I have recently joined your group and I am in strong disagreement of promoting meditation and other practices alone. When people focus on themselves and sensations in their bodies, etc. they are in a very vulnerable position and at the same time they have the opportunity to uncover a great truth. In a situation where they do not have support they will end up in the same position or worse because they have not been able to understand their feelings, heal their pain, and express other emotions that might come along. You suggest that irritability is a result of an imbalance in a practice (note: as in coming out of meditation too fast) and I strongly disagree. I believe that an emotion that arises in meditation has a reason and the only way to work toward a greater awareness in this situation is to focus on that emotion, express it, and understand it. Once a person has gone through this healing process they will achieve a greater awareness. If people pass it of as something else they will be going through the same cycle and maybe for the rest of their lives. In this situation support plays a big role because the helper can guide the person into working through the situation.
A: The part you may have missed about meditation is that when correctly done, the obstructions being released in a particular session are gone. Gone. So there is nothing left to process or analyze, only the inner silence and light coming through from inside where there was blockage before. So let’s be clear about those mechanics. That is effective yoga, a neurological cleansing where the effects of past actions are released, not on the basis of meaning, but neurologically dissolved from the inside by the pure bliss consciousness inherent within us which we access in meditation. It is not a matter of belief or analysis. It is a mechanical process. It will work for anyone who does the procedure, even for someone who is a skeptic.
It sounds like you are involved in western psychology, where thoughts and feelings coming to surface awareness are analyzed on the level of meaning — psychoanalysis. This has some value, but is far removed from yogic methods that go much deeper where analytical processes do not exist in the mind. Western psychology is like analyzing the waves coming up on the surface of the ocean, while yoga (deep meditation especially) is like cleaning the ocean from the bottom up, at levels where analysis is not possible. Only the procedure of cleaning is there. Obstructions are energy, thinking is energy. Yoga deals with these at their root by going beyond the energy to pure bliss consciousness. Meaning is a less fundamental form of neurological energy, found near the surface of the mind. Meaning is the tail on the dog of thought energy, so to speak, and we all know that using the tail to wag the dog is not very effective. We can still use it if it helps us feel better in some way. If we are flexible, we will meditate daily also, which will be like having our cake and eating it too. It is not wise to try and do both methods at the same time, as neither will be served.
Anyway, yoga is not only about cleaning up the psychology. That is a byproduct. Yoga is about enlightenment, a direct pathway to the level of attainment of Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Lao Tsu, Rumi, etc.
Compared to yogic methods, western psychology is still embryonic in that respect. Keep in mind that psychoanalysis has been around for a little over a century, while yoga has been around for something like fifty centuries. Not that “time in the business” alone qualifies something as being more advanced, but it is a pretty good indicator. The experiences of modern practitioners support the conclusions of the long history of yoga. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
From the standpoint of yoga, revealing “great truth” is not primarily about intellectual understanding or the resolution of emotional difficulties. It is about becoming the truth itself. This is done through systematic purification on every level in the vehicle of experience, the human nervous system. It is the divinity of the human being we are opening up here, using time-tested methods.
Logic indicates that western psychology can learn a lot from studying the methods of yoga in an open-minded way. Carl Jung realized this late in his career.
The guru is in you.