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About iamthat

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  1. So you are 15 and you reckon it will be at least 5-10 years before you can make Enlightenment your priority. The problem with this approach is that you could be saying exactly the same thing in 10 years time. Life has a tendency to get in the way of our plans. But that is OK. Do what feels right for you - no learning experiences are wasted, even if we go down a few detours. If you are clear about what your life purpose is then go for it. If meditation is not a priority for you then so be it. No-one is going to make you sit down and meditate. But one day you might realise that everything you seek in life is already within you, here and now, and meditation is the key to finding it. In the meantime, you could always try reading about Ramana Maharshi and his approach of self-enquiry. This does not require long periods of study or hours of meditation. Simply look within and investigate your sense of "I". And maybe you will find that this "I" does not exist and there is just awareness. Peace.
  2. Your perspective seems very black and white - it is either one thing or the other. Perhaps the reality is neither. If you want to get your material life sorted before going for enlightenment then that could take you the rest of your life. The alternative (for you) seems to be that you get enlightened and then you have no financial resources to live on and no skills, and also no interest in developing resources or skills. Perhaps your concepts about enlightenment are all wrong. They are just ideas in your head. Why would an enlightened person (whatever that might mean) not go out to work like everyone else? Why would enlightenment make them lose all interest in dealing with material existence in all its aspects? The physical body still needs to be fed, clothed, sheltered, cared for. Why would enlightenment suddenly make all that redundant? As the saying goes, "Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water." Nothing changes (yet everything changes). Peace
  3. To be honest, I think that your feelings of repulsion towards your grandfather's physical condition are probably quite normal. It is a natural reaction to the infirmities of the physical body. Few of us have the detachment, compassion and experience to deal with these things with equanimity. Perhaps those who work in hospitals and deal with such cases every day become accustomed to the range of problems the physical body experiences. But for someone who has never come across these ailments, they can be challenging. And maybe it is not just the physical problems which are challenging, but also the unwanted intimacy. I cannot speak from experience as I have never been in such a situation. And nor have I ever had children, so in my 60+ years I have never even changed a dirty diaper, which for me seems a somewhat gross experience but millions of parents do it every day! Maybe we get used to anything. But bear in mind, as you say, one day you could be in your grandfather's condition, dependent on younger family members to do all sorts of things for you. And you will know from your own experience exactly what they are feeling. Peace
  4. Try reading Ramana Maharshi. He addresses all the questions you raise. You may find it easier to start with books about Ramana Maharshi which summarise his teachings about the Self and the illusory nature of the sense of "I", along with the process of self-enquiry to discover the nature of our own awareness. David Godman is a good place to start. Peace
  5. It might help to differentiate between conventional astrology and esoteric astrology. Conventional astrology considers astrology as it relates to the personality. Esoteric astrology considers astrology in relation to the journey of the Soul. Esoteric Astrology by Alice Bailey is worth reading but it is not an easy read. Douglas Baker has a book of the same name which is more accessible, although some of the details are open to question. Peace
  6. A couple of points before moving on to details. Firstly, identifying a basic Kriya Yoga technique is not so simple. Babaji taught Lahiri Mahasaya, but then Lahiri Mahasaya is supposed to have given different practices to different disciples according to their temperament and level of development. So there are many lineages which may teach quite different practices. Secondly, Yogananda is supposed to have modified the Kriya practices to make allowances for Western disciples. We have to bear in mind that he was teaching in the 1920s, when yoga and meditation was less well known in the West. But if you want to know the details of practising Kriya Yoga as taught by Yogananda then try reading Kriya Secrets Revealed by JC Stevens. At the back there are three appendices with extensive details of Kriya practices from different lineages. Appendix 1 - Kriya Yoga as taught by Panchanon Bhattacharya, the chief disciple of Lahiri Mahasaya. Appendix 2 - Kriya Yoga as taught by Marshall Govindan, a teacher with an ashram in Canada. Appendix 3 - Kriya Yoga as originally taught by Yogananda, which supposedly differs from what is currently taught by SRF. I learned Kriya Yoga many years ago from Ananda, an offshoot of SRF, and what I learned is pretty much the same as Appendix 3. But I also learned from Marshall Govindan, and those practices are quite different. Peace
  7. I worked out many of them from the book, but unfortunately I have lent my copy out, so I cannot recall the details. If you are curious about any in particular, then give a brief summary of that guru and I might be able to help. Peace
  8. Have you ever read "Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramhansa Yogananda? He was taught Kriya Yoga by Sri Yukteshwar who was taught by Lahiri Mahasaya who was taught by Babaji. His book is a classic, describing his own journey and his meetings with various saints and sages. The issue with Kriya Yoga is that different lineages teach different practices and even the core practice of Kriya Kundalini Pranayama has variations. Some people have tried to determine which practices are the genuine original Kriya Yoga. However, it seems as if Lahiri Mahasaya taught different practices to different disciples according to their temperament and level of development. They then taught what they had learned, hence the wide variety of practices. Two people who have looked into the varieties of Kriya Yoga are Ennio Nimis and JC Stevens, and they have both written books about it. Ennio Nimis' book is available as a free download from his website (search for Ennio Nimis Kriya Yoga). SantataGamana has also written on Kriya Yoga as well as books on kundalini, samadhi and turiya. I like his style. He is very direct, and his intention is to cut through all the false ideas about these topics and get to the heart of them. Well worth reading for those interested. Peace
  9. And what is your definition of a Yogi? There are people who practice all sorts of different yoga - at what point does such a person become a Yogi? And is it not possible that a Yogi sitting alone in a cave deep in meditation is doing just as much to help humanity as anyone else? Some people help humanity by providing the physical needs of those who lack the basics. Some people help humanity by caring for the sick and elderly. The Yogi deep in meditation helps humanity in a unique way, by elevating the overall consciousness of humanity as a group. The true Yogi provides an example of our deepest potential. If you want to escape life then you will probably lack the willpower and dedication to become a Yogi. As you say, very few of us are ready to take the radical step of becoming a true Yogi, giving up everything. The self-discipline required is beyond the capacity of most of us, myself included. But let us remember that there are many great Yogis who are or were householders, working at a regular job with families to provide for. Perhaps those of us who are not ready for a cave in the Himalayas can aspire to become such a Yogi. Peace
  10. Because I enjoy it. The Self is always present but we have to do something, so why not sit down and meditate? Peace
  11. Indeed. In some ways, nothing changes, and yet everything has changed. The body, the emotions and the mind do what they do, but the knowledge that I am none of them is always present. Peace
  12. Psychedelics? A waste of time (and I did my fair share before I took up meditation). Meditation practice - Shabd Yoga (or meditation on Inner Light & Sound). I was initiated into this in 1979. Meditation routine - when I first began, a lot of meditation. 2 hours every morning and 2 hours every evening plus a 6 hour meditate at weekends. And regular longer meditates, beginning with 12 hours and working my way up to doing a couple of 8 day meditates, sitting for perhaps 16 hours a day. Once you get past the 2 day barrier then sitting for longer periods is no problem (at least that was my experience - others may disagree). Many years ago I wrote down my experiences of December 1986 - the edited details are: In early December 1986 I had been practising meditation for over seven years, including many longer meditations of several days. A few months previously I had left my job in IT in London and moved into my parents’ house while they were living abroad. I lived on my own, with no commitments of any sort, so I had plenty of free time. In recent weeks I had been having various interesting experiences in meditation, and one Sunday afternoon I felt a strong impulse to sit down and meditate for enlightenment. I had no idea what to do or how long it might take, but I was willing just to sit and meditate until something happened. So I sat down to meditate with a commitment and focus I had rarely felt before, just concentrating on the inner Sound and inner Light. The inner Sound was very loud and the inner Light was very bright, and my meditation was filled with energy. I meditated into the evening and went to bed. I spent much of the Monday in meditation. The Light and Sound were very powerful, and energy continued to flow through me. At one stage I decided to have a bath, and my consciousness was flowing out into the bathroom walls; I could not tell where I ended and the walls began. I continued my meditation into the evening. My chakras felt aligned, and the Sound current filled my whole body. It felt as if the entire range of sound was flowing through my spine, from the deepest sound at the base of my spine, to the finest sound at my throat. My head was empty, beyond all sound, and the energy continued to flow. The Light was golden-white and brilliant, and I gazed upon it, every part of me striving to surrender. I had no thought except to lose myself in that Light, when suddenly the Light dissolved. There was just space and emptiness. The flow of energy which had been so strong suddenly ceased. Everything was still and peaceful. I don’t know how long I sat there, resting in the stillness, but then I began to wonder what had happened to all that energy. Eventually I came out of meditation and turned on the light, as the room was now dark. I was the Self and the Self was everywhere. I was the walls, the carpet, the furniture, the space between it all. I speak of “I”, but there was no personal identity. There was one Being pervading everything, and I was that one Being. Individualised consciousness was present, localised in the physical body, gazing out at the Self, but my body was just another physical object sitting in this one Being. Nothing limited me, nothing interrupted me, I was complete Being. I went downstairs to make a cup of tea, and I was not moving; instead my body was moving in the stillness that was the Self. I woke up the next morning, and the Self was still present, I was still everywhere. After some more meditation, I went for a walk outside. I was the pavement and the houses and the trees and the sky and the clouds. I was the cars as they drove through the one Being that was me. I was everyone I saw – we were all physical bodies within this one Being. There was only the Self which existed without limits. And this has been my daily reality since December 1986. The Self never changes, it never goes away. The mind is still present, with all its limitations. Emotions are still present, with all their highs and lows. My personality is still there, with all its strengths and weaknesses, but it is just a collection of habitual patterns. But behind it all, unchanging, always present, there is limitless Being. Hope this has been of interest. Peace
  13. It is not so much a question of time, it is more a question of our inner state of readiness. How long before we are ready to completely surrender and let go of everything? And in letting go of everything, we realise that we are everything. Some people may meditate daily for years without realising. Others may not meditate at all, and it happens spontaneously. But who knows what they had done in the past to reach such a point? (Incidentally, my background is 40+ years of meditation and kriya yoga). Peace