Advanced Yoga Practices
Lesson 138 - Would You Like to get Reconditioned?
Date: Thu Mar 11, 2004 0:18pm
Q: (On lesson #35 – Enlightenment Milestones) Re your triad of Silence, Bliss and Harmony, in your discussion of milestones are they close or similar to the description of Brahman as Existence-Consciousness-Bliss (Sat-Chit-Anand)? Is the body-mind purification process another name for reconditioning or unconditioning?
A: Satchitananda (existence-consciousness-bliss) is what we contact in deep meditation and it is what rises in us as silence, also called the “witness state,” and stabilization of this transcendent reality as our sense of self 24/7 is the first stage of enlightenment. The phrase “pure bliss consciousness,” used often in the lessons, is synonymous with satchitananda, inner silence, and witness. Bliss is a key word in this. The immutable inner witness is a blissful one, and so are we when we become it, and there is much more to come after that.
Ecstasy is the key word in the second stage of enlightenment, caused by the movement of prana (kundalini) in the nervous system. With refinement of inner sensory experiences, devotion (bhakti) rises, and we accelerate in our neuro-biological transformation toward permanent divine experience. Technically, the movement of prana/kundalini is movement of satchitananda, because all is that, but we make a distinction between the bliss (of pure consciousness) and the ecstasy (of the body) for the sake of the coming union of these two aspects of our nature in the third state, unity, which is where the word “harmony” comes in, and the rise of outflowing unconditional divine love. Then we are a channel of the divine on earth, and loving every minute of it.
None of this would even be mentioned, except for the experiences that come up with practices. There is a need then for a framework of understanding (and milestones), so it is discussed for that reason. Otherwise, who needs all this mumbo jumbo? With the experiences, the mental framework and metaphors (shiva, shakti, etc.) describing what is happening inside are helpful to inspire continuation of practices.
“Reconditioning” or “unconditioning” are a bit vague for me on what is happening. I like purification and cleansing better. Once cleansed, the nervous system becomes a clear two-way gateway to the infinite within us. It is semantics really. Whatever words work for you are okay, as long as you understand your experiences clearly on your own terms and don’t misinterpret what is happening. Misinterpretation (and fear, when experiences get way out there) can lead to a loss of motivation to practice, so having an understanding of what is happening is important. Always, the main thing is that we are motivated to be doing our practices and getting reconditioned!
The guru is in you.