Exerpt from an intermediate seminar in Southern Germany
Participant: Hello Aaravindha, I’d like to begin my question by first saying am so deeply thankful to have discovered this depth of knowledge you pass on so eloquently and effortlessly. I’m a moderately new participant in these Amartya seminars. Prior to this seminar, I previously studied with a few of the Sambodha teachers. During that time, I came to experience some curious phenomenon that occasionally arises when meditating with a few of your more advanced teachers. I’m a healing practitioner. Having practiced a variety of healing systems for the last twenty years, I’ve witnessed, and have experienced a wide range of physical and energetic releases, ranging from emotional surges, body trembling and shaking, and sometimes noticeable shifts in breathing. I understand how these releases can come about… as a necessary part of a client’s healing. But the releases I watched with those teachers seem to be different. After meditation, they seem clear and balanced, maybe even a bit more inspired than before. Not emotionally distraught, or in any way jumbled or unsettled. They seem completely at ease with the wiggling and shaking that happened, but won’t directly talk about it. It seemed there was something secretive about it. Can you tell me a little about what’s going on there?
Aaravindha: I understand why those advanced meditators might appear secretive. We have asked most all of them to be carefully reserved about speaking about experiences that are not yet in reach for new people. Those teachers don’t so much work to keep them secret. It’s more an effort to be responsible. Although it’s not all that responsible for them to be exposing those releases in the company of new meditators who have no inkling of what’s going on. Some of them, and similarly some advancing students, can’t seem to help themselves. They tend to indulge too much indiscreetly, even when newer unaware students are taking part. But, that’s also understandable. Those advanced techniques that can lead to those movements can be very attractive. They’re often bliss filled. Although from a novice onlookers’ perspective they might seem a bit strange. Releases like that are mainly because of the practice of the advanced techniques that can have profound purifying effects on their psyche and the body’s energy meridians. You’re correct, these releases are typically different from the kind you see in body healing or common trauma therapies.
Please help me understand how those releases differ from normal healing practices?
Aaravindha: In most healing practices, trembling or other corporeal movements are actually quite common. Shaking, particularly if the meditation practices are deeply transcendental, is also normal and common. When the psyche grows more expanded and relaxed in transcendence, the tensions the mind normally buries or controls tend to break loose, which can lead to any number of releases. Some of which may be physically oriented, and others that can be broadly emotional. In either case, a good meditation teacher will teach you to be mindfully distanced from those releases, to best let the tension or stress break away. There’s no way to know for sure what kind of stress or trauma may have caused the tension. There are many reasons that the body or mind stored a tension. But most often the stored stress is the result of a mentally mechanized survival effort to protect from a threat or overload. Either way, there’s typically nothing to worry about. The important thing to remember is that you are clearing, and no longer holding on to it.
What I’m talking about so far are releases that are very similar to the general releases we might see occurring during a mainstream healing session… say with acupuncture, massage therapy, or psycho-therapeutics. There’s a different kind of release that can sometimes come about in the more advanced meditation practices. These are likely the kind you’ve observed in the teachers. Many of the more seasoned teachers occasionally indulge in some of their advanced practices during meditation, which can trigger Shakti releases. Some of which are mild and others that might seem rather robust. These can involve body shaking, breathing bursts, and so on. Those are triggered by the amartyata or deep samyama practices. Amartyata is an immortality technique, involving long-life practices. Samyama is a very profound and ancient practice that leads to the development of siddhis.
Samyama: I believe that’s the last and most advanced step in Raja yoga… Is that what the advanced students of TM practice? Or the practices the author Yogani writes about?
Participant B: I’ve heard a few teachers mention samyama. I believe that’s the last and most advanced step in Raja yoga… Is that what the advanced students of TM practice? Or the practices the author Yogani writes about? Is that what they’re practicing.
Aaravindha: No! There are some similarities, but the samyama techniques our Sambodha teachers and students are practicing are different in some very significant ways. Maharishi Patanjali was too cryptic in his sutras to be adequately reliable in providing the whole knowledge on the Raja Yoga samyama practices. TM was certainly on the right track, but they’re missing some very important aspects of practice. The TM siddhi program only presents a very small fraction of the actual Samyama knowledge. Considering the impact the full knowledge can have, it’s understandable why it’s so very difficult to attain. Samyama is the natural result of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi experienced in a single moment of awareness. But there’s much more to Samyama than that simple level of understanding. We begin our teaching of samyama in a very simple way, which is most like those other common approaches, but on that level the samyama practices are of very little use. We begin similarly. But… By the time our third seminar on Samyama comes about, the real knowledge begins to emerge. It can then take a few more years to bloom into its best form of practices, none of which are taught in any of the institutes presently trying to school or explore them. Even in the most esoteric reaches of the East, true Samyama knowledge is very difficult to find, — if not impossible. It’s a highly sophisticated and rarely understood practice among ancient siddhas and yogis involving a very advanced expansion of meta-abilities, developed in cultured states of deep transcendence. A primary reason for this practice being so very esoteric, is due to its higher methods of practice having been carefully guarded by those very few who knew, or know, the means to master them.
What about those teachers that say you should not pursue or practice the siddhi-powers?
Aaravindha: The teachers that will tell you that don’t know why they’re of such great benefit, or more often, simply don’t know how to do them. It’s true that the siddhi-powers should not be the goal of advanced practice. But their practice is all the same very valuable in opening the student’s awareness to more expanded non-local states of consciousness. In other words, it can quicken the process of enlightenment substantially. But, if the siddhi-powers become the goal, it can actually slow that process.
So why do the teachers never talk about them or just keep them secret?
Aaravindha: Like I said before, the teachers are committed to being responsible. The amartyata and deep samyama techniques are very powerful. They can be seriously life changing. Thousands of years of tradition have proven samyama to be a practice delegated to the sincerely advanced, to those who are ready to set ego conflicts aside and do the deeper work. It takes time and a deeply humble commitment to come to that. The first one or two samyama seminars predictably determine if the student is ready. If not, those students typically fall away, or we ask them to wait a bit longer and practice more with their previously learned techniques. Then, the real journey begins.
I’ve read Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. The third pada…, I mean the third chapter, is on the siddhis. Are those the siddhis you teach in the Amartya tradition?
Aaravindha: Only in part. The siddhis listed in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is just a small peep-a-boo look at something much more powerful, complex and profound. Jumping on that bandwagon will not be of much use. Patanjali was of that old school thought. “Don’t reveal the real teachings that easily.” A book of simple sutras can never serve as an adequate source for knowledge like that. On that level of learning, a real master-teacher is required.
Can anyone learn the Samyama siddhis?
Aaravindha: True Self Knowledge belongs to everyone. It’s all a matter of timing, sincerity and dedication. But I should also note here, practicing the overall Amartya techniques just to procure the siddhi-powers is not the right path. The goal is always self-Realization and Self Actualization. The Samyama practices are a powerful means to establish awareness on higher levels of consciousness. They are in themselves not the goal.
Text taken from a German seminar transcript from Aaravindha Himadra. Edited for clarity.
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