Author Topic: last 3 limbs of yoga  (Read 6540 times)

David Williams

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last 3 limbs of yoga
« on: September 10, 2007, 03:47:57 PM »
Hi David,

Can I ask you something? I have spoken to a few teachers about this,
but I did not get any straightforward answer. My question concerns
the last 3 limbs of ashtanga yoga... (concentration, meditation, and
samadhi)... If you practice only asana and pranayama, will you be able
to "acquire" those last 3 limbs automatically or are some other practices
(like zen for example) necessary?

Thank you for answer,

Robert

David Williams

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Re: last 3 limbs of yoga
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2007, 03:55:33 PM »

Dear Robert,
Nice to hear from you again.  From this and your previous letters, I can see that you are a sincere student.
Yoga means meditation.  Yoga and zen are synonyms.  Yoga is zen consciousness.  I think that I mentioned to you before, "What's important is what's invisible."
Meditation is simply the space between the last thought and the next thought.  Yogis pass their days in a state of yoga.  That's why they are called yogis.  Yoga is way more than physical exercises.  Like Guruji said when we went to the circus, "These people can bend, but they are not yogis."
Make your asana practice a moving meditation.  Then, in "corpse", get into a deeper state of yoga.  When you get up and walk out the door, continue into your activities in your "state of yoga".
A yogi is in a state of yoga all day long.  Again quoting Guruji, "A yogi is "always happy".  Your consciousness while practicing asanas, pranayama, walking, working, playing, etc., determines whether you are a yogi or not.  One may practice exercises which mimic the exercises that yogis do, but the consciousness of the practitioner determines whether one is actually practicing yoga or not.  However, we can't judge others.  Only Shiva knows his own.
You can practice Zen sitting, if that appeals to you.  There are 1008 paths to the same place.  Asanas are helpful, though.  As long as there is disease, there is no ease.
Good luck, Robert.  You would really enjoy one of my workshops, if you could ever work it out to come.  The whole weekend is spend on all of these subjects which interest you, and me, so much.  I know it is a stretch since you live in Poland, but remember, yogis are flexible.
Aloha,
David