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WHAT IS SHUNYA YOGA ?

Individual and social well-being in the world depends less on outer situations, and more on whether or not the human being is capable of coming to a deeper understanding and insight into the human mechanism itself. When there is a lack of insight into one's own being, what is its nature and programming, suffering is a natural consequence. This is the understanding of yoga -  that it is because of avidya (ignorance) that all of man's sufferings in the world are born.

Consciousness is not something fixed and defined, but can be stretched and expanded beyond its present limitations through a process of deepening one's attention. What the human being normally perceives through the body, mind, and five senses is only a small fragment in the fullness of what we call the universe, and it is only because of limited perception that the nature of reality has remained hidden from view, both one's own nature and the entire creation. A combination of Tantra Yoga (the Yoga of transformation of life energies) and Raja Yoga (the science of meditation), Shunya Yoga is an inner science for the expansion of consciousness towards freedom from suffering and realization of one's true nature. Through the use of asanas (physical postures), pranayam (control of life energies through breath control), mudras (seals), bandhas (locks), and kriyas (purification processes), the first stages of Shunya Yoga involve transformation of the energies of the mind and body as preparation for sitting meditation. As there are no sharp dividing lines between the mind and body, physical health is an important part of the science of yoga, but physical well-being alone is not enough and cannot truly bring human happiness. This is why it has been said that "man cannot live by bread alone". The causes of human suffering are have roots in the mind and it is through a more penetrating awareness into the mind itself that hindrances are seen, understood, dissolved, and inner transformation is possible.

Having cut through several physical and mental obstacles (kleshas), then begins the next phase of Shunya Yoga - the science of dhyana (meditation). It is through meditation where one enters deeper into the process of observing the mind from moment to moment. It is creating a small distance in your experience between the Witness within you and that which is witnessed, the observer and the observed, so that there is a clear discrimination between your own nature and the activities of the body and mind. In this meditative quality, the mind becomes like a clear mirror, simply reflecting things as they are, and the activity of the mind gradually comes to a stillness. Once the mind's lake has become totally still, yet still the fire of awareness continues, then there comes a direct perception of one's that which which lies at the source of one's being. Timeless and boundless, birthless and deathless, it is this state of consciousness of the finite merging with the infinite which is the state of Yog (“Union”) or self-realization.

 After coming to a glimpse into one's inner nature (nirvikalpa samadhi), the second half of Shunya Yoga is to bring one’s enlightenment into action in the world, integrated as a moment to moment experience. In this communion with your own Buddha Nature, life becomes a blissful expression of being in communion with the universal source. This is the state of sahaja samadhi (spontaneous enlightenment).

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