Monday, March 6, 2017

RELATING, Yogeshwar Muni

All of life is made up of relating.  Even when you are alone in your room you are still being alone in relationship to others.  Being alone is actually a form of relating because the fundamental relationship you have with others is still there.  If you were alone in your room you might be reading a book, and this would be relating to the author of the book.  Or you might just be thinking.  This thinking is a form of relating with others because it would not occur if your fundamental relationship with others did not exist in the first place.  The activity of this fundamental relationship is what we call relating and it is far more than just the exchange of ideas, although it certainly would include that exchange.  Relating has to do with our whole interaction and becoming conscious of each other at every level, from the most mundane to the ultimate, final union.  In fact, our relating is all that is going on in life. Talking with each other, going to work, raising kids, being alone, writing books, washing dishes, going to war, praying, worshiping, loving and hating, and living and dying are all forms of our relating with each other.  Because of the fact that all there ultimately is is you and another, or otherness, or God, this relating goes on in all its forms which, when taken altogether, we call life.  This fundamental relationship we have is life, and the sole activity in life can be called relating.  Therefore, relating is certainly the central issue in one's life and spiritual endeavor.

It is useful to begin to recognize the extent of our relating with each other.  It is easy to see that you are relating when you call a friend on the phone or when you are out on a date with someone.  But you are also relating with others when you are driving down a street which has other people driving on it.  When you are asleep in your room you are involved with others when you dream.  If it were not for your fundamental relationship with others you would have nothing to dream about.  Even if you aren't dreaming you are relating with the people who built your house because you are in it.  You are relating with the people who manage the electrical generator which keeps your alarm clock going while you sleep.  If the roof of your house suddenly caved in, you would probably call up the builders and change the form of your relating with them.  Instead of sleeping in the house they built and not thinking about it much, you would be talking with them to find out what happened and who was responsible.  You see, you were relating with them all the time anyway.  These are all examples of relating in one form or another.

Because we are already in a relationship with each other, we are relating all of the time.  You cannot be in a relationship and not be relating.  There are many people on earth whom you have never met but nevertheless you are relating with each one all of the time because that potential for increased contact is always there.  Your contact with them now may seem very slight, but it is there, along with the constant potential for more.  This is what is meant by the phrase, "the whole world is one family."  We aren't trying to be one family, we are one family.  This is the nature of our relationship.

Relating, when taken in this light, is a big project.  It is a big project because it is the only project that is going in life.  It is the only thing we are up to and it is going on whether or not we like it.  Therefore, since relating is going on anyway, one will make the best progress in life by recognizing this and beginning to relate in a way that is consistent with our true nature and the inherent direction of life.  The inherent direction of life or of our relationship is that we are becoming more conscious of each other, which is another way of saying that we are becoming more conscious of God, or more in union with God.

The 21 Maxims of Understanding which are given below are consistent with our true nature and the on-going direction of life.  These maxims will give you a frame-work in which to begin to improve your ability to relate with others at the down-to-earth, people-to-people level.  One can spend a lifetime working at improving his mastery of applying these principles.  They provide, also, a good basis on which to begin.  If one cannot relate at the simple, down-to-earth, person-to person level, then there is little hope of progressing much in life, of being successful or satisfied, or of reaching the deeper levels of fulfillment which are available in the process of spiritual practice.

First, read these maxims and my comments and try to understand why they are the way they are.  If you do not understand them, or just have questions about how they apply to your life, get these questions answered from your course instructor.  Once you understand or have a sense of why these maxims are the way they are, it will be easier for you to apply them to your life.

The 21 Maxims of Understanding

1.  Be conscious that understanding is the only way to resolve interpersonal relationships.

Knowing that understanding provides the only resolution to human relationships will help you a lot, because then you will not try other ways.  You will not try to manipulate, bribe, cheat, or force people.  You will know that, in the end, interpersonal relationships can only be resolved through understanding.

2.  Be conscious of what understanding is.

Understanding is the result of communication.  Communication is when the state or thought originated by the person who is trying to communicate is received in the consciousness of the person to whom he is trying to communicate.  Then, understanding is achieved.

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to achieve understanding.  No one can understand something that is beyond his own inner or personal experiences.  For example, if you have had a personal experience of God then no matter what words you use or how long you persevere you will not be able to get another person to appreciate that experience until he has had one like it.  Only after he has had one like it will he say, "Oh, that's what you are talking about."  The state of enlightenment is another example.  These ultimate states can be presented but they cannot be successfully communicated unless the other person has had an experience like it himself.  Therefore, do not try to resolve everything by communication or try to force an understanding.  If others have not had that inner experience, then there is nothing you can do; there is no bell to ring in the other person's consciousness.  The bell has to be there first, then you can ring it.  That bell is the other's own experience in that general area of life.  If another's response indicates that he has some experience of what you are talking about, then understanding is possible.  If there is nothing there, it is pointless to go on.  You have to let go of your urge to be understood and allow others to grow in their own time.

3.  Consider the other a non-physical entity.

Consider the other as a conscious being, not just a body or a thing.  Communication is only possible if you do this.

4.  A non-understanding brought up between individuals can now be resolved.

There are a lot of misunderstandings between people.  In fact, most things are not understood.  However, an issue will only be resolved if you bring it up.  You will never reach an understanding by avoiding an issue.

People often think, "I used to get along well with him but now we don't understand each other."  The truth is they never did understand each other and this is just now coming to light.  In the beginning there may have been some love, attraction, and affection, which is all to the good, but they did not truly understand each other.  Once understanding is achieved, to that extent it cannot be removed.

5.  Put yourself second.

Let others have their turn first.  You be the listener.  Do not insist on getting your point across first.  If two people have understood this principle, there is no problem.   Each one is willing to wait for the other, so one of them just goes ahead.

6.  Face the crisis.

Once you make up your mind that you are going to stay with something until it is complete, it goes much more easily.  Once you make the decision and stay with it, then you start to make progress.

7.  Watch to see if the other is understanding you.

Do not leave it up to the other to acknowledge an understanding.  Watch him and see whether he understands what you are communicating.  Ask him what you said, if necessary.  The reason frustrated teachers give tests all the time is not because they want to see how much you know, but because they want to find out how much they have gotten across to you.  They are trying to find out whether they are communicating or not.  Watch and see if you are succeeding in getting your communication across.  If not, then do what would be effective.

8.  Do not go on to another word, sentence, or idea, until the one that you are on is understood.

If you keep stacking one incomplete communication on top of another, soon you will just get a jam-up of communication with no understanding.  This is typical of husbands and wives, and people who live together.  They constantly interrupt each other before a communication is complete.  The verbal part of most close relationships can be straightened out by simply getting the people to stop interrupting each other.

For example, one says, "Now listen, Betty, the reason why our relationship is not working is because every time I start to talk to you, you start blaming me."

Betty says, "No I don't!"

He says, "Yes you do!" She says, "No I don't!"

This kind of interruption goes back and forth.  Whenever anyone starts to blame someone, the other one immediately starts to defend himself, and an understanding is impossible to reach.

An alarm clock can be used effectively for two people to communicate without interrupting.  The clock should be set for five minutes.  One person gets to talk for the first five minutes.  When the alarm rings then the roles are reversed and the clock is again set for five minutes.  The listening partner may be sitting there burning, blaming the other for saying all these untrue things.  He automatically wants to defend himself.  However, if he will not interrupt - and sometimes to do this the person will have to grip his chair until his knuckles turn white - then he will see what the other person is trying to say.  He will see what is behind their blame.  Then he gets his turn, and the other person will not interrupt him.

The verbal part of a relationship can be straightened out by effectively invoking the non-interruption rule.  A therapist might just sit there with them, and make sure they did not interrupt each other.  That is all he would have to do.  After awhile, the communication will start to flow in a realistic manner because each detail would be understood before going on to the next point.

9.  Do not go off the subject until it is completed.

When I was a teenager, we used to have regular family dinners; the whole family sat down and had meals together.  I used to try to bring the conversation around to the original subject because I wanted to finish it.  I ended up getting furious, slamming down my fork, and stomping off.  I was upset because the subject was not being completed, and we were not getting anywhere.  As it turned out, they did not care to get anywhere, and were not trying to arrive at anything.  It was just a social scene.  It was my mistake to think that they were actually trying to communicate with each other.  I went outside to find someone who wanted to communicate as I did.  I was fortunate enough to find a few such people.

If you are sitting around the dinner table, and you are just chit-chatting, talking about whatever - the President, the water shortage, and whatever the conversation wanders to - then it is fine to wander.  However, when you are trying to communicate, stay on the subject until it is understood and completed.

10.  If a person is critical of you, he feels that there is something that you should understand that he has not communicated to you.

A person may withhold a communication or it may be that you have been very resistant about understanding it.  In any case, he is trying to communicate something to you.  He is trying to get something across.  Maybe he is afraid to mention it.  However, whatever it is, he still wants to have it be communicated.  If that communication does not occur, he will get frustrated and become critical of you.  He will think you are no good, dumb, and not what you say you are.  He will start putting you down.  It may not necessarily be your fault at all that the communication is not being made.

For example, suppose a private in the Army has been trying to get a message to the lieutenant colonel.  Now there is usually no way for him to get the message across because the private has to tell the corporal who has to tell the sergeant, who has to tell the lieutenant who has to tell the major, who has to tell it to the colonel.  After awhile, he is going to start calling the colonel stupid, "He's an ignorant fool.  He won't listen to anything."

Criticalness comes from thinking you should communicate and not having that happen, no matter whose fault it is.  Fault has nothing to do with it. Teachers in school are normally put down by their students because the students are trying to get some communication across to their teachers, and they are not able to do it, for whatever the reason.

When people are free to communicate and do, criticalness goes away.  It is a marvellous way to get rid of negativity.  In our spiritual community, every once in awhile I ask those who live there to write down all the things they did that they think they should not have done, or did not do that they think they should have done.  These are the things they think they should have communicated, and have not.  They write me these things, I read their communications, and for a week or two, the negativity decreases.  Then, it starts building up again.  After awhile it occurs to me that I need to tell them again to write down the things that they feel they should communicate.

11.  Be willing to take forever.

The willingness to take as much time as is needed will melt away the resistance to communication.

12.  Space your times, but do not give up.

Do not try to communicate everything totally, at once.  Take the time, the right time, when it is likely that you will get your communications across.

13.  See what background thoughts the other needs to have in order to understand the key thought, but do not lose the key thought.

Suppose you tell someone, for example, that you are working on a 704 computer.  This is the key thought, but to get that message across you have to give them the background information that a 704 computer is an IBM computer that uses punch cards.  It is not one of those sophisticated electronic computers.  It is just a simple computer.  You must give them the background and then tell them you work on one of those 704 computers.  Always get back to the key thought after having given the background.

The danger in giving background is that you get lost in it.  Remember what you are trying to communicate.  If you have your own thought clear on what it is that you are trying to communicate, then you will not get lost in giving background information.

14.  Separate the individual from the way he reacts.

Keep your attention on the individual.  No matter what he does, keep your attention on that individual as a conscious being.  Ignore the reaction.  Do not pretend reactions are not there, but ignore them.  Just go right on with what you are trying to accomplish.

15.  It is your responsibility to see that the understanding is complete even though the other has choice.

The other can refuse to receive a communication, but if you want communication to take place, it is up to you to see that it happens.  Do not put the blame on the other by thinking, "I told him, and if he didn't hear it, I can't help it.  I left a note on the chair, and he didn't see the note.  I did my job."  No, you did not do your job.  If you want the communication to occur, it is your job to get it across.  Yes, the other has his choice, and can refuse the communication.  However, if he refuses, he refuses, and he knows he has refused.  It is up to you to get the communication right into the center of his consciousness.  Do not put the blame on other people for communications not happening.

This also holds true for receiving communications.  If you want to receive a communication, then you see to it that you understand what it is that they are trying to tell you.  It is up to you to get the message.  If you take that approach, your communications will go much better.

16.  Be exact.

Say what you mean, mean what you say.  People are often very sloppy and indirect because they are afraid that a direct communication will be rejected.  It might be.  You might not always be able to be completely direct, but you should be exact.  You should know what you are trying to communicate.

If necessary you can say, "I have a direct communication to make but if I say it to you, I am concerned that you will take offense. What do you suggest we do?"  In this way you invite the other's cooperation.

Since his curiosity is aroused at this point, the other person will usually say, "Go ahead, tell me." You say, "What are we going to do?  If I tell you, I am afraid that you will take offense, that you will be hurt, and I do not want to hurt you."

The other person says, "Look, if you care about me that much, how could I take offense?  I would appreciate it if you would tell me because I want to know."

In this way you have prepared the way.  Now you tell him the exact communication.

17.  Acknowledge to the other often that he is relating to you by choice.

People do not have this internal certainty that they are in life by their own choice.  They often feel that they are being forced, pressured, and pushed.  In my spiritual community, I have this problem sometimes.  A person will feel like he has to do his work.  The truth is that he has his choice.  I always remind people that they have their choice and can do anything they want to do.  However, if they choose to do whatever they want to do, then the choice would be to leave the spiritual community.  But that is truly a choice.  When people realize that you know that they have a choice, your community will go much better.

18.  Acknowledge when and what you have understood.

When you have understood something, you should acknowledge it.  You should only acknowledge what you have understood.  Do not acknowledge more or less than what you have understood.  If you have understood something, then let the other person know that you have understood that.

19.  Use all the communication channels possible to receive everything the other is presenting.

The verbal channel is one channel.  Also include inflection, gesture, emotional states, and whatever other channels are real to you in receiving communication.  Use whatever channels possible, but do not exclude the verbal channel.  For example, if you could communicate by telepathy with your eyes closed, fine.  However, you should not rely solely on that channel.  Include all channels:  verbal, mental, telepathy, emotions, and any others possible to you.  Be willing to use all channels.

20.  Seek to be conscious of the other in all his communications.

Seek not only to be conscious of another's communications, but seek to be conscious of that being.  In the end, that being is the only message there is.  The message of the being, and all the various aspects of that being, is the only message there fundamentally is.  What you are really trying to communicate is you.  Others are trying to communicate who and what they are.  Therefore, when you are communicating with people, be open to understanding or communicating with the being.  In the end, that is all there is to communicate.  This is a powerful principle.

21. Realize that potential contact is always there with all individuals.

People always want to communicate.  They may say they want you to leave them alone and then lock themselves in the bathroom.  They may say they do not want to talk to you, but they do.  They are doing it right at that moment.  They are saying that they do want to talk to you.  That is their communication.  Even if they are dead silent in a schizophrenic coma, they are saying, "I'm in this schizophrenic coma.  Look at me.  Look at this.  Look at this state I am in.  Look what has happened.  This is what life has brought to me."  They are communicating intensely.

Realize that the possibility of contact is always there.  No one ever refuses in the end.  They may drag things out a bit, but in one way or another, they are always communicating, and they always want to communicate.  If you have that certainty in your own heart, there is no one who can turn you away.  Sometimes you may choose not to bother with some people because they are so difficult to communicate with.  That is all right.  But know that you could; know that the potential is always there.  If they are in life, no matter what they say, they want to communicate.  Otherwise, they would not be in life, and you would not even know about them.

These are the twenty-one maxims of understanding.  There are probably more, but these are important ones that I found through my years of research.

Communication is a sacred trust.  People do not normally look at it that way, but the fact is that it is.  If you respect the choice and beingness of the one with whom you are communicating, whether he is the sender or the receiver, then communication can take place.  If you violate that, you are violating the two basic things that he is trying to communicate:  that he is a conscious being, and that he does have choice.  It becomes a sacred trust because communication is the fabric of which life itself is made.  Without it we would have no consciousness of anything.  Consciousness, life itself, comes from the interaction between beings.  Without it, you are in a void.  It is sacred because what you really want is to have that interaction.  It is sacred because that interaction must be at the highest level to be satisfactory.  People do not really want interaction that is at the lowest level.  If you abuse it, then you will withdraw yourself from it, and isolate yourself.  If you treat your communication in a sacred manner, then your life will be much better.  I know this is not the human way, but I think it is time that we humans respect not only each other, but our relationships.

To help you begin to apply these maxims to your life, we have a dyad exercise called Relating Exercises.  One of the biggest barriers people have in relating, especially in the beginning, is that they themselves do not feel understood or received by others with regard to the things in their life which really mean the most to them.  These Relating Exercises are a powerful tool; one which has been worked out through extensive research.  They give a person the structure and situation in which he can actually get himself understood.  In addition, because of the dyad structure, there is also the opportunity to improve your skills at listening and trying to understand what others have to communicate about themselves.  Once you have a good measure of this actual state of affairs in which you are understood by another, as well as having opened up in your own understanding of others, then you can begin to apply the 21 Maxims of Understanding to your everyday life with observable, significant results.

When you make real progress in your ability to relate with others, it effects every other aspect of your life.  Because every aspect of your life is in one way or another involved with your relationship with others. Relating is fundamental to all aspects of life.  It is even more fundamental than our own survival.  Many people have thought that we relate with each other so that we may survive.  In fact it is the other way around:  we survive in order to relate.  As you proceed in your course material this will become clearer and more real to you.

When you do these Relating Exercises, apply yourself as well as you can.  You may well come up against a crisis where you don't feel you can go on with the exercise.  You may think, "It's stupid," or "I can't think of anything to say."  You might begin to feel emotions welling up.  You might not.  The point is that the more you involve yourself with these exercises the more you will be exposing those things you have been holding back:  communications, emotions, willingness to be in contact with another, and who knows what else.  Let the power of these exercises work for you within the safe structure of the dyad format, and then when you are outside of the structure you will find you can relate more easily and successfully.

ASPECTS OF STUDY, Yogeshwar Muni

What I am going to give you here is the important data that you need to know in order to do an excellent job of studying any subject.

First of all, I make a distinction between studying something and doing research.  Research is looking directly into the nature of something by the most direct means of perception and communication that you can manage.  If you are going to research Maple trees then you would find a Maple tree yourself and deal with it directly, looking into the nature of what it is, how it grows, how it behaves and so on.  Study is a different activity.  Study is the activity of learning the information about Maple trees that someone else has researched and organized for you; then you are studying as opposed to doing research.

Through the study of material that has been researched already you can make tremendous use of the inherited knowledge of the last ten thousand years of recorded history.  This information is valuable.  It is also very important, of course, that you do your own research work and checking and investigation; but here is also a tremendous fund of data that has been gathered through the last ten thousand years which is at your fingertips if you know how to study.

When you are studying, that which you are studying is data.  Data is a plural word, the singular of which is datum.  A datum is not a first hand experiencing of something.  A datum is second-hand.  When you are looking at a photograph of a volcano in a textbook on geology, and beside the photograph is a diagram of the volcano's structure inside and out, what you are looking at is data because neither the photograph nor the diagram is the actual volcano.  One is a photograph of it and the other a drawing of its structure and how it works.  Neither one is the original but a representation of the original, and this is what makes each of them a datum.

If you have a collection of datums then you have data.  Data is different than knowledge.  If all you have is a collection of representations:  pictures, diagrams, words, even a motion picture or television recording of a volcano erupting, all of this would be data.  Even the word "volcano" is a datum.  It represents the thing itself.  But if you take this data and put it in order, into some sort of pattern that is structured about the data itself, then you have knowledge.  For example, if you take a collection of photographs of a volcano erupting and you put them into a time sequence showing the volcano at rest and then erupting, and then continuing to erupt, and then flowing lava out down the sides and finally subsiding, now you have some knowledge.  When you order the data in some way you have knowledge.  And there are many ways to order data.  One way is to put the most important thing first and the next most important thing second and third most important thing third, and so on.

You could order a collection of data that way and this makes it into knowledge.  Or you could set up the order of the data in a sequence of what must be understood first and what must be understood second, and so on.  This is a common way of ordering data.  It would be difficult,for example, to gain any knowledge of algebra without first learning mathematics.  But if you were to take a textbook on algebra and cut that book up into each separate little word and throw it all into a box, you would not have any knowledge, you would have a bunch of data.  So there is great value to ordering data and you should appreciate the work that has been done by others in this regard.  In this course you will gain the ability to order data yourself.

Now suppose you have a textbook on Algebra sitting on the kitchen table.  The textbook, being ordered data, is knowledge.  But suppose you have never opened the book.  It sits there for a hundred years and you live and die and there is still all that knowledge over there on the table.  The knowledge itself is not useful unless used.  It is not useful unless studied and this takes us into the subject of what study itself actually is.

First, there are degrees to which you can study something.  Suppose you take the Algebra textbook and flip through, looking at a few formulae and equations, and close the book back up.  From this you will have a little bit of an idea of what Algebra is but not very much.  You could also pick up the book and read it all the way through but not really understand it, and on the basis of that reading pick up a few ideas and a few phrases with which to impress people and have them think you know a lot about Algebra.  This is the approach of the diletante, the person who just looks into the subject to pick up enough of the key words and to make an impressive appearance in social conversations.  All such people do is collect data; they never actually gain the knowledge or practice the information that is being offered to them, and therefore they never really become very useful with regard to it.

What we are aiming for in this course is not diletantism but mastery.  Mastery of the knowledge that is contained in the Energy Mastery Course, the knowledge of life.  Mastery is this:  it is a state of being wherein the individual has sufficient facility with a datum that he does not need to refer to any source to successfully apply that datum.  When this is a fact, then you have mastered that datum.  You are not a diletante, you are a master, of that datum.  In other words, there is a state which an individual can be in with regard to a datum in which he can apply that datum in his life wherever and whenever it needs to be applied, without any reference to any other source such as a book, a teacher, a technique, or even a thought process.  He can just come right out with his application, from himself.  He is the source.  He does not have to be careful or precise about it, he just comes right out with it from himself because he has this datum studied so well.  He's got it down.  He is completely familiar with it, he knows it inside out and he knows all the examples.  Moreover, a master is in a state wherein having any knowledge on the subject becomes unimportant.  In fact, the datum ceases to be a subject of study; it just becomes a direct conscious quality of the individual.

For example, if you know the five steps of study and have studied them so well that you have mastery of them, then you would not ever have to refer to them again, you would just apply them smoothly and beautifully and successfully to any subject you choose to study.  You would be a master of study, a master scholar, a scholar so good that you could perform, you could demonstrate your knowledge.  In the same way, a master engineer can not only design a bridge that works but he can bring it into existence, without referring to any other source.  If you have ever watched a master do something, you know that he does not have to keep referring to information all the time or outside sources in order to do it.  He does not think, "Well, now, let's see here, how do I go about this?"  He just does.  That's mastery.

Now let's put this all together.  Studying is the action of communicating ordered data (which is knowledge) from the source of the data to a student, so that the student is in a state of consciousness wherein he does not need to refer to any source to successfully apply that data (which is mastery).  Studying, therefore, is an action.  It is an action of transferring ordered data - that is, knowledge - from the source of the data, whether it be a book, or a tape recording, or a film, or whatever it is, to the student, so that the student ends up in a state of mastery.  That is study.  If that does not occur, you have not been studying.  You have been doing pretend, fill in time, socializing; you have been doing improving your relationships or get the degree, but you have not been doing study if you have not ended up in a state of mastery.  Remember, study is an action, a transferring, so when you are studying there must be a transfer from the source of the data to you as a student, so well that you do not need the source any more to apply it successfully.  Beautiful!  The process of study contained in these lessons on study are so designed, and you are so advised, that if you follow them you will end up there.  That is what study is all about.

Once in a while you will come up against a datum that is so removed in its representation from the original thing which it represents that the datum is not clear.  So you have to first define the datum, which is the representation.  Here is an example.  Suppose we use the word "mesa."  Now to a person who does not speak Spanish, who only speaks English, "mesa" is a datum that stands for an original something but it is so removed that it has to be defined.  The definition of "mesa" in English would be "table."  Now, once he has the definition, "mesa" is very easy.  He can begin to study "mesa" because to him it is now a useful representation.

When you are studying, if you come across a datum which you do not see what it represents, clearly and fully, get a definition for it, before you go on.  This is the key datum here on this particular subject:  if the datum is so removed from what it represents, from the original, that the representation is not clear, get a definition for that datum.  Now there are several types of definitions.  One type is a statement of characteristics.  That is a descriptive definition.  You say, "It's black, it's two feet long, it weighs 28 pounds, it's 10 inches high, it goes around and around in some parts of it, the rest is square, and it costs $250."  I am describing the characteristics of a reel-to-reel tape recorder, but that did not give you a very good definition.  So you see, sometimes a descriptive definition is useful and sometimes it is not.  Here is perhaps a more useful descriptive definition:  there is light coming out of it, it's round, it has a screw base on it, it's made out of glass and has a wire filament inside of it.  This is a more useful definition.  It gives you a pretty good idea of what this thing is.  So when you are making statements about the characteristics of something, you are giving a descriptive definition.

Now, if you just gave descriptive definitions of things, you would be very limited, so you need other types of definitions.  Here is another:  a statement of the differences and similarities of something with respect to something else is a relationship definition.  In other words, a relationship definition would be to say, "This tape recorder costs $250 and that one costs $150.  This tape recorder works very well and that one doesn't work so well.  This one weighs more than that one."  You talk about the relationship, particularly the differences, so that what you are defining becomes itself rather than being connected with other things.  It is often less useful to give similarities.  To say, "Well, she's very much like her mother," seems like a useful definition but it is not because it sticks things together, and when you stick things together then they tend to become undifferentiated.  To define something you have to state its limitations.  To "de-fine" something means basically to separate it out.  To differentiate is very important and relationship definitions are valuable for this.  They point out the similarities and differences of something with respect to something else.

Another type of definition is an intention definition.  An intention definition is a statement of purpose of something.  It is also quite useful.  You say what its purpose is:  "The purpose of a tape recorder is to record sound magnetically so that it can be reproduced."  Or, "The purpose of an automobile is to transport bodies from one location to another."  That kind of a definition tells you quite a bit.  Or you could say, "One purpose of a body is to act as an instrument with which to express yourself."  This does not tell you how big it is and how old it is or how much it weighs, which would be a descriptive definition, but it would tell you its purpose; it tells you the goal, the intention.  This also is a useful kind of definition.

The last definition is, in the final analysis, the most valuable, and you do not really have something fully defined unless you have this kind of definition.  But if you have this one, along with others, you have really got what it is you are defining surrounded.  It is a derivative definition.  A statement of the creation of something is a derivative definition.  A statement of the creation of something is how it is created and who can create it, but you are not describing what has been created.  If you had a complete statement of how to create an automobile, you could actually build an automobile.  So, a derivative definition is a statement by which you can create what it is you are defining.  And if you have something defined with a descriptive definition, a relationship definition, an intention definition, and a derivative definition, you would have that thing surrounded and defined completely, inside and out.

Another aspect of study which is important is that when you treat something as datum which is not a representation of something, you will end up with an arbitrary.  For example, there is a statement by some Buddhists that the moment Buddha was born he took three steps to the north, three steps to the east, turned around twice and said, "This is the last time I'm going to be born."  That is a statement of fact in certain sects of Buddhism and it may or may not be a representation of an original happening.  If that did not in fact occur then the representation is representing something which is not so, and you have introduced an arbitrary into the subject.  If that event did occur as represented, then you have a datum.  One way to deal with this situation in which you do not know, is to mark the representation as an assumption so you can go ahead with your study without adding an arbitrary.  You can make something a presupposition, but this is different from a datum.

One final aspect of study:  look for the ordering factor in any subject, the main principle, the thing that relates all the data in a subject together.  You find that, for example, in the study of electronics there is one main thing you need to know and - that is the nature of an electron.  If you know what that is, everything else is simple and makes sense.  If you want to understand Enlightenment Intensives you have to first understand the Enlightenment Technique.  The whole Enlightenment Intensive is built around the Enlightenment Technique.  So when you study a subject, look for the key element which connects the whole subject.  Once you grasp that, everything else falls into places as you study.

Now you have been armed with the five steps of study and these aspects of study, and with a knowledge of the pitfalls of study.  With these tools you can go forth into any subject and master it.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

INTRODUCTION TO ASANAS, Jack Wexler

The first task in doing asanas is to connect with your body.  You will need to be able to take your attention into your body, perceive the position and condition of each part, and then consciously take each part toward the position required by each asana.  You will also need to be able to allow an energy flow into and through each part.

You will not be able to do this immediately.  It takes considerable practice and persistence to accomplish the above.

Everyone wants to do asanas perfectly right away.  To do this we propel our bodies in the way of least resistence and try to throw ourselves into the position.  This will not bring the desired results and is about as reasonable as expecting oneself to evolve into a perfect being over night.  It is possible, but not likely.

It does not matter whether or not you can do the asana.  What matters is that you take time to reconnect with your body and work in a correct way toward doing the asana.  When you can move with complete consciousness and ease into an asana, then you will be able to do the asana perfectly and you will achieve the desired results of health and well-being.

Doing an asana is similar to aiming an arrow.  If the bow is drawn with consciousness and ease, the arrow automatically hits its target.

Most of us are out of touch with our bodies to a greater or lesser extent.  As soon as our bodies fully develop they start to die, or become less alive.  The life energy available to us at puberty, survival, relationships with others, work, environment, the inherent condition in which we arrived in life, and many other factors have shaped each body in its own particular way.  Our past and current mental and emotional states are also reflected in our bodies.  This is what we have to work through in order to perfect asanas.

However, each body has as its essence a divine form.  The divine form is not unlike the physical form which we know, but it is without the limitations which we ordinarily function with in life.

By practicing asanas we come closer and closer to reflecting various aspects of God or divinity.  Through this reflection, purification gradually takes place and we are able to live more in accordance with Truth.

Preparation for Doing Asanas

Have a set time and place that is quiet and undisturbed.  Wear clean, comfortable, free-moving clothing.

Do not eat before asana practice.  Allow 1-4 hours depending on what and how much was eaten.

After asana practice wait atleast one hour before eating.

As possible, empty bowels and bladder before practice.

Place yourself on a blanket, towel, or mat to practice asanas.

Do not wear contact lenses for practice if there is any irritation.

Do not practice asanas during the menstrual period.

Do not practice asanas while on heavy antibiotics.

Do not practice asanas after the fourth month of pregnancy or before three months after delivery.


Method of Practice

Begin each practice period by taking up Easy Pose and taking atleast three deep breaths to take your attention inside, relax your body, and steady your mind.  Then offer your practice to Guru or God.  At the end of your practice period give thanks to Guru or God.

Do each asana three or four times, or hold one to three minutes, depending on the asana and your ability.  Relax and breathe between asanas.

Keep a balance in your movements.  Do approximately two forward movements to one backward movement; one left to one right movement.  It takes slightly more forward bending than backward bending to bring about a balance.

Do asanas slowly and breathe as you move.  It is as if your breath moves your body.  Keep your attention in what you are doing.  It is as if the mind goes into the body and takes the shape of the body.  Allow your movement, mind, and breath to flow together.

Work thoroughly and correctly in each position, but do not strain.  If you are not breathing evenly, or if within three breaths your body does not begin to relax into the posture, then you are forcing.  By forcing positions no real progress is made, and injury is possible.  By breathing and relaxing into the postures, deeper, more beneficial progress will take place.

Body, mind, and spirit will all benefit from the practice of asanas.

Extend your practice of hatha yoga into your daily life by practicing awareness of body position, breathing, and relaxation in everything that you do.

Visualize each asana as you read about it.

ASANA means to be present, to abide, to remain.

 
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