Advanced Yoga Practices
Lesson 19 - What Tradition to Follow?
Date: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:08pm
Q: I have been practicing yoga and meditation (a different kind) for five years, and I’m not sure how to proceed. Your meditation is very good. I experienced that right away. I’m not even supposed to be here, as the tradition I follow forbids learning outside practices. What shall I do?
A: As mentioned on the introductory page, this discussion does not promote a particular sectarian view. Neither is it opposed to traditions that may adhere to the teachings of a specific individual or lineage of teachers. Everything has its purpose. It is up to each individual to weigh the pros and cons of the various approaches and carefully choose a course that promises to bring the best results. Everyone is different. At the same time, everyone has the same potential, for we are all spun from the same divine thread – pure silent bliss consciousness. If we are in touch with that on a daily basis, and keep on cultivating it with increasingly more powerful means, we cannot miss.
If your path is serving you well, stay with it. If you are finding fulfillment over time, you are in the right place. However, if your tradition is mostly serving you well, yet seems to be lacking in some way, find the courage and flexibility to try and fill in what is missing. In the end, it is you who will unfold bliss consciousness by your own efforts through devotion and application of the most comprehensive practices you can find. This point of view may fly in the face of traditions that insist we cannot achieve salvation by any other means but theirs. Maybe so, but that approach also shuts the door on further inquiry and scientific investigation into the practices of human spiritual transformation. The methods of Western science can offer much in this regard — highly integrated and collaborative approaches for discovering and applying knowledge. The success of Western science in many fields has been astounding. It is time for these methods of knowledge development to be applied in the arena of spiritual knowledge.
This discussion is the result of an open inquiry into many advanced yoga practices over a long period of time. The fruit of this journey has been an integrated system of practices. If there is something here that helps enhance your progress, it is good. If, at the same time, it creates friction with your current tradition, you will have to sort that out yourself. Ultimately, the answer is in you. Follow your heart. The potential conflict is not a bad thing. It will test your resolve and help lead you to the truth.
The venerable spiritual traditions are of great value. However, times are changing, and today we are seeing the emergence of more open approaches to examining and applying spiritual knowledge that are well suited for wise spiritual practitioners. Ultimately, this will have profound effects on all of humanity. Change is in the air, and it is a good thing.
The guru is in you.