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The Natural Yoga

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http://www.onewithlife.com/p3/nisargayoga.html

 

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From ‘I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta’
Maurice Frydman, 1973

Nisarga Yoga (nisarga: natural state, innate disposition), the 'natural' Yoga of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, is disconcertingly simple - the mind, which is all-becoming, must recognise and penetrate its own being, not as being this or that, here or there, then or now, but just timeless being.

This timeless being is the source of both life and consciousness. In terms of time, space and causation it is all-powerful, being the cause less cause; all-pervading, eternal, in the sense of being beginningless, endless and ever-present. Uncaused, it is free; all-pervading, it knows; undivided, it is happy. It lives, it loves, and it has endless fun, shaping and reshaping the universe. Every man has it, every man is it, but not all know themselves as they are, and therefore identify themselves with the name and shape of their bodies and the contents of their consciousness. 

To rectify this misunderstanding of one's reality, the only way is to take full cognizance of the ways of one's mind and to turn it into an instrument of self-discovery. The mind was originally a tool in the struggle for biological survival. It had to learn the laws and ways of nature in order to conquer it. That it did, and is doing, for mind and nature working hand-in-hand can raise life to a higher level. But, in the process the mind acquired the art of symbolic thinking and communication, the art and skill of language. Words became important. Ideas and abstractions acquired an appearance of reality, the conceptual replaced the real, with the result that man now lives in a verbal world, crowded and dominated by words. 

Obviously, for dealing with things and people words are exceedingly useful. But they make us live in a world totally symbolic and unreal. To break out from this prison of the verbal mind into reality, one must be able to shift one's focus from the word to what it refers to. 

The most commonly used word and most pregnant with feelings, and ideas is the word 'I'. Mind tends to include in it anything and everything, the body as well as the Absolute. In practice it stands as a pointer to an experience, which is direct, immediate and immensely significant. To be, and to know that one is, is most important. And to be of interest, a thing must be related to one's conscious existence, which is the focal point of every desire and fear. For, the ultimate aim of every desire is to enhance and intensify this sense of existence, while all fear is, in its essence, the fear of self-extinction. 

To delve into the sense of 'I'—so real and vital—in order to reach its source is the core of the Nisarga Yoga. Not being continuous, the sense of 'I' must have a source from which it flows and to which it returns. This timeless source of conscious being is what Maharaj calls the self-nature, self-being, swarupa. 

As to methods of realizing one's supreme identity with the self-being, Maharaj is peculiarly noncommittal. He says that each has his own way to reality. But, for all the gateway to reality, by whatever road one arrives to it, is the sense of 'I am'. It is through grasping the full import of the 'I am', and going beyond it to its source, that one can realize the ultimate, supreme state. The difference between the beginning and the end lies only in the mind. When the mind is dark or turbulent, the source is not perceived. When it is clear and luminous, it becomes a faithful reflection of the source. The source is always the same-beyond darkness and light, beyond life and death, beyond the conscious and the unconscious. 

This dwelling on the sense 'I am' is the simple, easy and natural Yoga, the Nisarga Yoga. There is no secrecy in it and no dependence; no preparation or initiation is required. Whoever is puzzled by his very existence as a conscious being and earnestly wants to find his own source, can grasp the ever-present sense of 'I am' and dwell on it assiduously and patiently, till the clouds obscuring the mind dissolve and the heart of being is seen in all its glory. 

The Nisarga Yoga, when persevered in and brought to its fruition, results in one becoming conscious and active in what one always was unconsciously and passively. There is no difference in kind—only in manner—the difference between a lump of gold and a glorious ornament shaped out of it. Life goes on, but it is spontaneous and free, meaningful and happy. 

Maharaj most lucidly describes this natural, spontaneous state, but as the man born blind cannot visualize light and colors, so is the unenlightened mind unable to give meaning to such descriptions. Expressions like dispassionate happiness, affectionate detachment, timelessness and causelessness of things and being—they all sound strange and cause no response. Intuitively we feel they have deep meaning, and they even create in us a strange longing for the ineffable, a forerunner of things to come, but that is all. As Maharaj puts it; words are pointers, they show the direction but they will not come along with us. Truth is the fruit of earnest action, words merely point the way.

 

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Posted (edited)

I misread this sorry.  Being lazy.  The I and me need to part in order to be fluid, but the I that understands will need to be intact in order to appreciate that it is witnessing something.  I imagine its like a roller coaster ride where you have no control, and have to allow whatever happens to take place.  Imagine being in this state eternally- like a television that wont shut off, and never being able to sit an ponder to grow, but having to grow in the direction of the momentum that was happening when you were placed here.  Imagine if you were a wicked person, and got put somewhere to see what the result of your wicked path would become.  I suppose people that enjoy being wicked wouldn't mind, but for those of us that like softer gentler things, it would be hell.  I wonder if you can change the narrative in this state?  

Edited by Mskied
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Posted (edited)

So simple, yet so many don't like it, as it is bereft of any "Methods" :)

There are no "recipes" and no elaborate activity/ritual associated with it. This is the direct path...but not everyone is ready for it due to lack of mental clarity (chittashuddhi). 

 

In traditional vedanta circles, there is something called Adhikāra/Adhikārī Bhéda. This means that there are some qualifications that a seeker must have before s/he can use the direct path (or even Advaita Vedanta teachings in general). There are of course other qualifications for practice of any path (e.g., Tantra, etc).  Varyingly, I find that it is relevant to some people and doesn't matter to some. It has to do with the degree of chittashuddhi/antahkaranashuddhi of an individual. 

 

I'll give an example of a student of mine. When I first told him about the direct path, he wasn't ready yet. He could understand intellectually what I was telling him, but not really 'get it'. After about 2-3 years of working with me, he was able to clearly 'directly grasp' what the direct path tries to teach points to. Entirely to his credit, he diligently practiced tai chi and taoist neigong as his sādhanā, to purify his mind and intellect. 

 

Edited by dwai
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Posted (edited)

Sorry, I edited my comment.  The me needs to dissolve.  Its like dreaming- you experience a scenario with no real control over it.  Once you have control, it becomes encumbered.  You do interact, based upon your life choices- the scene will unfold.  What kind of journey do you want to take?  What I meant to say is that it doesn't matter, because you wont know it really, you will live it, but you wont be able to pause it.  Take away free will and you have experience.  Take away the senses to experience, and you only have consciousness, which is what I was talking about initially, which makes no sense, because there is nothing to know, and so it is like death.  I truly believe this is the destination for all of us- to follow the path we began in life, infinitely moving through the worlds that have been created, travelling and doing what we chose to do.

Edited by Mskied
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40 minutes ago, Mskied said:

Sorry, I edited my comment.  The me needs to dissolve.  Its like dreaming- you experience a scenario with no real control over it.  Once you have control, it becomes encumbered.  You do interact, based upon your life choices- the scene will unfold.  What kind of journey do you want to take?  What I meant to say is that it doesn't matter, because you wont know it really, you will live it, but you wont be able to pause it.  Take away free will and you have experience.  Take away the senses to experience, and you only have consciousness, which is what I was talking about initially, which makes no sense, because there is nothing to know, and so it is like death.  I truly believe this is the destination for all of us- to follow the path we began in life, infinitely moving through the worlds that have been created, travelling and doing what we chose to do.

 

I'd say experience is available. As consciousness is all-pervading, one has the potential of assuming any role, including that of being an instrument through which life seems to do its living... or dying. But even that presupposes an actual other living or dying apart from consciousness.

 

Realizing the source of consciousness, is to be beyond knowledge and ignorance, departures and arrivals, life and death, experience and nothingness.

 

The "I" which wakes from dream or sleep exists prior to the dreaming or waking experiences. That "I" declares it slept well within its source of not-knowing-ness.

 

The direct experience that you are is indisputable. Being that from which this sense arises, is ineffable.

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5 minutes ago, neti neti said:

 

I'd say experience is available. As consciousness is all-pervading, one has the potential of assuming any role, including that of being an instrument through which life seems to do its living... or dying. But even that presupposes an actual other living or dying apart from consciousness.

-what you are saying here is that you are God, and if that is so, then I ask you to make me walk outside and take off my pants.

 

5 minutes ago, neti neti said:

Realizing the source of consciousness, is to be beyond knowledge and ignorance, departures and arrivals, life and death, experience and nothingness.

 

The "I" which wakes from dream or sleep exists prior to the dreaming or waking experiences. That "I" declares it slept well within its source of not-knowing-ness.

 

The direct experience that you are is indisputable. Being that from which this sense arises, is ineffable.

 

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Posted (edited)

Without your being aware that you are, there is no God. Thus, consciousness is itself God. And thus, "God is my devotee."

 

As a self-identified body-mind complex you shall only do as you are so led, in accordance with your particular inclinations; free-balling, or otherwise. -_-

 

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"The most commonly used word and most pregnant with feelings, and ideas is the word 'I'. Mind tends to include in it anything and everything, the body as well as the Absolute."

 

Edited by neti neti
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Ok then how about you come into my body and watch me take off my pants :)

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11 minutes ago, Mskied said:

Ok then how about you come into my body and watch me take off my pants :)

 

Hmmm. Tempting.:blush:

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, Mskied said:

Ok then how about you come into my body and watch me take off my pants :)

The conflation of Awareness and Mind is the cause a result of this misunderstanding. 

  1. Knowing oneself as Pure awareness is a result of the direct path and is called awakening.
  2. Being able to enter another's mind and possess them is a result of attaining a yogic/tantric siddhi (para-kāya pravêsh). This has no bearing on the previous. 
Edited by dwai
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