tezk

Vipassana OR Kriya Yoga?

11 posts in this topic

I've been practicing Vipassana for around 3-4 months consistently. I have completed 1 10-day retreat, and just recently served a 10-day retreat. Felt like my first 10-day retreat was rather introductory and surface level, and good for just establishing myself in the technique. I've managed to maintain on average at least an hour and 40-50 minutes a day of Vipassana meditation since my first course in June. In terms of results, they definitely seem to be slowly trickling in. My concentration overall has clearly improved, and in general, I am slightly more equanimous, however I intuit that in order to deepen my practice I must strengthen my samadhi - thinking of running a self-course of strictly anapana until my samadhi is strong. At the moment I am lacking guidance, so I am going to purchase either Mastering the core teachings of the Buddha or The Mind Illuminated. If you guys have any advice on choosing either of these two books that would be greatly appreciated. I also have the opportunity to do a sit-serve program at a Vipassana centre, where I can stay there for 3 months or longer. That will enable me to sit a 10-day, then have a break, serve a 10-day etc in a fairly isolated environment, where I can keep building momentum. I have been listening to a few of Shinzen Young's talks which have also been deeply inspiring. One idea that keeps me patient is the (apparent) fact that meditation is all about momentum. Results begin to grow exponentially over time. 

I can't help but be curious about other techniques, specifically Kriya Yoga. Leo's video on "The Importance of Real Yoga" definitely inspired me. I also met someone (while serving) who practices Sadhguru's program of yoga, and they strongly agreed with pretty much everything Leo talks about in that video - that yoga is faster, more effective, and more integrated. They also believed that there was nothing dangerous about mixing Vipassana with Yoga - although the person I was talking to didn't seem like a long-term practitioner of either path.

I know in the past I have dabbled around using different techniques, and I certainly don't want to make that mistake again. I can accept that real change and transformation will take time, persistence, patience, and focus.

I am still very young (20). And am grateful to be where I am in life at such a young age. Essentially my goal is to just keep growing spiritually. Purifying my mind, and experience true insights. 

What do you guys think? Should I focus on Vipassana for at least a year - which would give me ample opportunity to give the technique a fair go, or plunge into Kriya Yoga and keep exploring that world? Or is it possible to do both (at different times of the day)? Are there any dangers involved? 

Thank you all. Let me know if you have questions.

Edited by tezk

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I spent a solid 8 months diving into the Mind Illuminating, reaching stages 6-8 consistently and do not regret it at all. May have occasionally peaked into 9 and 10. Then spent some time doing zazen because I had this massive intuition that I needed to let the Fuck go and stop worry about states. Do not regret it at all. Finally, just recently completed a 9 day Vipassana retreat with Shinzen Young using his version of Vipassana, See Hear Feel with labeling, and had a MASSIVE breakthrough experience, like full blown satori state feeling like I'm tripping on psychedelics non stop for a solid 4 days. Yet I believe what led to the breakthrough was the foundation I'd set with TMI, and then the release and surrendering I'd done with zazen. My foundation was primed for a pure dry insight practice like See Hear Feel to really open me up. Plus having Shinzen's guidance on the retreat really helped me understand how to take the technique to an entirely new level I was unable to do on my own. 

My recommendation would be to start digging into TMI and learn how to stablize your attention though. This is a critical skill many meditators don't ever really devote serious time to. You can reach wonderful samadhi states using the techniques outlined and it's quite a powerful system overall. I've had much better immediate and therefore longer term success with TMI than the work I've done with Kriya Yoga. Because my short term success with Kriya was unimpressive compared to the work with TMI, I ended up devoting my efforts towards TMI.

Eventually though, I had to give up the state chasing that's more or less built into the TMI model. I think in a sense, it's really helpful to know where you're gauged, how you're progressing, etc., but I just had to take a break and switch to a do nothing practice like zazen. I may or may not return one day I'm not sure. 

With See Hear Feel it's Vipassana except focusing on every bit of perception, not just body scanning which I believe is the traditional technique taught at 10 day Vipassana retreats. You start dissecting every bit of perception which essentially removes the grounding for the self to exist. For me, observing how my sense of self was primarily an amalgamation of see-in, hear-in, feel-in, see-out, feel-out perception really cracked it open because rather than experiencing the self as a single feeling, I started breaking it apart and untangling it all together. This then allowed me to start observing much more clearly the impermanent and illusory nature of not only the ego overall, but it's specific see-in, hear-in, feel-in, see-out, and feel-out components. 

Anyways, without going too much on a tangent, my vote is to focus on attention stability and accessing Jhana states with TMI. You won't get this with Kriya, at least not that I'm aware. And in all fairness, TMI is actually a Shamatha-Vipassana hybrid system, so you will most certainly be gaining insight into the nature of self, experience, and reality as you work through it. Once you've reached a certain level of mastery with TMI, I think you'll be in a much stronger position on where to take your practice. You'll also probably return to pure Vipassana with a new, more holistic, skillful foundation.  

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Bump. Interested to see more perspectives 

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Kriya yoga needs time, just like any other tehnique. I read from Daniel Ingram's book that the first mystical experience usually leads one to believe that whatever technique one used to achieve the mystical state, is the right one for him. My inuition tells me there's not a whole lot of difference, but then again I haven't tried everything. It might not be about any speicific technique but just your own feeling guiding you. and telling you this is right for you.

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33 minutes ago, Tarzan said:

It might not be about any speicific technique but just your own feeling guiding you. and telling you this is right for you.

Yeah, thats exactly how I'm making this decision. For now, I will focus on meditation, concentration, and developing a good sitting posture. And if I ever feel like it's ripe to try out Kriya Yoga or any other techniques, the skills I learn from meditation will help in those other techniques anyway. 

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I've sat two vipassana retreats and practiced vipassana daily for 1.5 years.  For the last 2 years I've mostly been practicing kriya yoga and I've found it to be the strongest spiritual practice (outside of psychedelics).

 

I feel like kriya yoga combines many elements of other forms of meditation so you develop your concentration skills AND rewire your nervous system.

 

Of course, this is my own subjective experience and everyone is different. I have friends who tried Kriya for months and they did not gain much from kriya.

 

This may be of help to you - what I like to do is dedicate 3 months to one meditative technique. While 3 months is not enough to gain a deep understanding, it is enough time to  see how you react and if you enjoy the practice.

 

Ultimately, you want to find a practice you enjoy the most.

 

Edited by herghly

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I just spoke to my fav VIP teacher about this - knowing that VIP is my path, but also found pranayamas and Breaths of Fire can  kickstart a VIP session, esp when lost in monkey mind. She said, surprisingly, a little yoga is fine, just not as a full-on technique - so don't do an hour every day of each and mix up their strategies. I agree with herghly, dedicate some time to each technique fully, and see which one speaks to you. Then concentrate on that one, but still test out other things don't limit yourself. Don't waste too much time collecting everyone's opinion. Here's my opinion - I like Kriya because it involves conscious control and it's enjoyable, whereas VIP is releasing control and accepting when it is NOT enjoyable without trying to change that, so I want to be careful, because I love control and crave that my meditation brings peace - that's why I feel VIP is right for me, at this time, and I don't want them to cancel each other other in some way. Keep me posted how it goes!

Edited by laurastarla

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Maybe Vipassana & shaktipath transmissions...

It is enough to just watch this every morning...

 

 

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