Monday, March 27, 2017

Inner Engineering - Sadhguru

In the book's introduction, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev talks of how a guru is a dispeller of darkness. He expresses unhappiness over the use of four theories that are currently being sold as techniques for better living. They include 'Being in the moment' (where else can you be), 'love' (puerile, existence is human-centric), 'Do only one thing at a time' (why should we when we can do so many things at once), 'positive thinking' (of limited use). He is also critical of self-help and says one should look to transform oneself or aim for self-transformation.

Sadhguru talks of how he experienced life and its mysteries experientially. The first chapter is autobiographical, his early days in Mysore, his trysts with nature and his life atop trees, his questions and beliefs, his playing truant from school and college and embarking on an intense self-learning process. His entrepreneurship, a successful real estate venture that paid rich dividends and finally the day when he experienced enlightenment atop Chamundi Hill. That was the day when Sadhguru felt the 'me' merging with what was 'out there' and everything became one, and alive.

He says that when one says 'I do not know' - the doorway to knowledge opens. By constant yoga practice, self-study and being life oriented, one can experience bliss. Life is the ultimate intelligence. It seeks freedom, continuous expansion. In many ways we desire a state of well being or pleasantness.

All human experience is self-created. He distinguishes between pain (as pain caused by injury in an accident) and suffering (the attached story we build to prolong it all). Sadhguru asks us not to confuse life with accessories to life. Our answers lie in our inner nature when we experience borderless unity. If we turn inward, life becomes an expression of joyfulness. The way out he says, is inward.

"We need to understand that unless we do the right things, the right things will not happen to us."

There is a way to be in full control of your life. You can design your destiny and gain mastery over your life. He uses the word "responsibility" as the magic key to do that. He explains responsibility as our 'ability to respond'. The response is compared to reaction (react versus choice). Reactivity is enslavement and responsibility is freedom. It is not a burden. It offers a choice of action. You can then move from limitation to liberation.

"My ability to respond is limitless, but my ability to act is limited. I am one hundred percent responsible for everything I am and everything I am not, for my capacities and my incapacities, for my joys and my miseries. I am the one who determines the nature of my experience in this life and beyond. I am the maker of my life."

"Responsibility is the simplest and easiest way to express your own divinity."

To gain success - organise the mind to think the way you want, as against your interests. By gaining control over our thoughts we can control our emotions and thereby the energy and thereby the body (and its deeds). He urges us to eliminate self-preservation and explore life. That there should be no self, no esteem. One should be constantly in a state of gratitude and bow down to the other, as many as we can.

We are energy. Our life energy longs to touch the infinite. Karma is our own creation. For any forward movement, break cyclical patterns of karma. Experience life breath with intensity, without thought and emotion. Kriya he says is internal action of mudras and hands. Karma is external action.

"The science of yoga is, quite simply, the science of being in perfect alignment, in absolute harmony, in complete sync with existence." Yoga aligns the body, mind, energy, knowledge. He says getting your body into different postures will elevate your consciousness. You can download the cosmos into your body with practice. "In yoga, we transform the physical body from a series of compulsions of flesh, blood and hormones into a conscious process, a powerful instrument of perception and knowing."

The Body - the very source of creation is working within you. We are morsels of the earth. We can ask our own body what it wants to eat. We can develop greater strength by giving up one meal, or giving when we are most hungry. He tells the story of how his grandmother would feed ants, the smallest creatures. Giving food away strengthens you.

As far as the mind is concerned he says, create a distance between you and the mind. Experience borderless unity. Awareness is aliveness. One should be in a state of knowing without thinking. Believe without self.

He gives the example of how he got seriously injured in an accident and went into a quick surgery without anaesthesia. The doctor asked how he was able to bear the pain and he said he wa sin great pain but he did not want to extend his suffering by talking about it.

Energy - "Life can be tasted and transcended only when there is a distinction between the psychological and the existential." 

Sadhana - exercises

  • At the next meal, be actively conscious to the food you eat, the air you breathe, the water you drink, respond to everything "my responsibility is limitless, I can respond to everything" - the last thing at night and the first thing in the morning
  • Listen to life, sit with your spine erect, Be aware of breath, heartbeat.. for 11 minutes, 3 times a day
  • Breathe in the rhythm of plants, of nature, connect with the plant
  • Sit still, spine erect, still your attention, slow your breath, 7 minutes
  • Establish contact with the earth

  • Eat nuts soaked for six hours, eat a spoonful of ghee before every meal - helps digestion
  • Maintain a no food day once a month
  • Below thirty years of age eat three meals a day, after thirty two meals, body and brain work best when the stomach is empty
  • Approach food with reverence, see if you can manage with 30% of what you normally eat, you will feel more energetic
  • Get to 50% raw and uncooked food (vegetables and fruits) and 50% cooked food
  • Put your hands together and feel the sense of the union
  • Bring awareness before sleeping
  • Pay attention to your thoughts for an hour - if the things that dominate your mind are about people or things, your identification is essentially with the body, if your thoughts are about what you would like to do in your world, your identification is essentially with the mind.
  • Become aware that thought is not intelligence, that all nature around you is intelligence
  • Observe that every forty minutes you go through a physiological cycle - an opportunity to become conscious

In a generation of comfort and convenience we find many are suffering their failure and many more from success. We cannot transform the universe without transforming the individual.
Sadhguru believes his life's work is to empower humans to take charge f their own destinies and bringing them to a state of joyful inclusiveness so that the possibility that we are does not pass us by as a generation. The way out is in.

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