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93

I am no stranger to yoga.  I have done an hour of motionless sitting and e.g. 20 10 pranayama sat on a stool for an hour (hello Space) but I am slowly recovering from a weekend of hobbling around and I couldn't walk properly early this week.  I thought I had done damage to my feet and ankles as I was doing vrajrasana every night the week prior, I got it up to a 15 minutes session.  It hurt so bad in the final session/sitting that my whole body was shaking.  Not shaking with tremors but pain- induced shaking. 

Anyway is all this pain right?  I pride myself on not being a masochist.

Surely yoga should be  about discovering our own personal limitations without forcing or straining, slowly working sensitively, feeling our way and gradually building up a greater physical self awareness, thereby avoiding over exertion or injury?.

No pain no gain is for the hair-shirted saints of the old blackened aeon, surely?

Whilst we're on the subject, this Crowleyan god-asana, it's crushing my testicles and the ache from the inner thighs is like some sort of hernia.  I have to tuck my testicles up as my inner thighs squeeze in and when I push my diaphragm down it drags my testicles up, stretching them.    I mean 10 minutes of this can't be healthy, right?  Let alone an hour.


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jamie barter
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"david" wrote:
I am no stranger to yoga.  I have done an hour of motionless sitting and e.g. 20 10 pranayama sat on a stool for an hour (hello Space) but I am slowly recovering from a weekend of hobbling around and I couldn't walk properly early this week.  I thought I had done damage to my feet and ankles as I was doing vrajrasana every night the week prior, I got it up to a 15 minutes session.  It hurt so bad in the final session/sitting that my whole body was shaking.  Not shaking with tremors but pain- induced shaking. 
[...]
Surely yoga should be  about discovering our own personal limitations without forcing or straining, slowly working sensitively, feeling our way and gradually building up a greater physical self awareness, thereby avoiding over exertion or injury?

You make it sound, david, as if, although no stranger to yoga, you have tried it out for a grand total of two and one quarter hours in all together!  That would indeed be some achievement (he noted sardonically.)  But I’ll assume you did not mean that!

There is bound to be physical discomfort initially with some exercises, but sorely nothing which should incapacitate you or feel like a hernia.  I will leave it to those Lashtalians more proficient in the arms (and legs) of Yoga than myself to possibly give you any further practical advice; as far as I can, it would be to say that it should only be considered a means towards an end: and that end is succinctly described by A.C. in his 8 words on the subject in his similarly sublimely short book on the same matter (which I would advise you to check out if you are not already familiar with them, as they may possibly save you some considerable time and effort!)

"david" wrote:
[...] Whilst we're on the subject, this Crowleyan god-asana, it's crushing my testicles and the ache from the inner thighs is like some sort of hernia.  I have to tuck my testicles up as my inner thighs squeeze in and when I push my diaphragm down it drags my testicles up, stretching them.    I mean 10 minutes of this can't be healthy, right?  Let alone an hour.

Mmm, does sounds painful! (*winces and crosses legs instinctively*).  I seem to remember Ian Fleming in You Only Live Twice describing some operation whereby suma wrestlers are able to sort of tuck their testicles back up inside themselves to avoid problems of a similar crushing nature – maybe you might care to do some further follow-up research along these lines if you think it might help?

"david" wrote:
Anyway is all this pain right?  I pride myself on not being a masochist.
[...]
No pain no gain is for the hair-shirted saints of the old blackened aeon, surely? [...]

Is any pain "all right" is the question?  (Unless one is a sadomasochist, perhaps!)  Don’t you also feel that one - or 2 - must strive so that our existential pain of existence is as nought? 

And yes, black hair-shirts are out of the question!

“No Pain, Know Ain”?
Norma N Joy Conquest


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93

Hello, thanks for your response.  Here is an an update.  Re god-asana I have solved the testicle crushing problem it would seem.  There's no need to tuck it up that much, it should be ok , the soft tissue should not suffer damage I just did half an hour and it was fine, without any inner-thigh cramp either.  I changed the surface the chair was resting on and made sure the back of my head and the shoulder blades were firmly against the wall therefore I could do the pranayama without restriction.


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"jamie barter" wrote:

There is bound to be physical discomfort initially with some exercises, but sorely nothing which should incapacitate you or feel like a hernia.  I will leave it to those Lashtalians more proficient in the arms (and legs) of Yoga than myself to possibly give you any further practical advice; as far as I can, it would be to say that it should only be considered a means towards an end: and that end is succinctly described by A.C. in his 8 words on the subject in his similarly sublimely short book on the same matter (which I would advise you to check out if you are not already familiar with them, as they may possibly save you some considerable time and effort!)

93

In "8 Lectures" AC says, in the past, that it took him 10 minutes of pain, to straighten his legs out after each session.  He is pretty clear about what success in asana comprises of also.

thanks


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Michael Staley
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So what are you hoping to achieve from maintaining the God asana for an hour or so, david?


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"Michael Staley" wrote:
So what are you hoping to achieve from maintaining the God asana for an hour or so, david?

93

Could we  ammend that,  to what am I hoping to achieve by nailing an hour of tremorless asana?  The answer is in "8 Lectures" boyo, in the asana section and further, go check it out it's all eloquently put.  10 minutes of leg-straightening after each session. 

You're not a Hessleite like Los by any chance are you?. 


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michaelclarke18
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Join a class; much more fun and a better way to learn.


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Azidonis
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"david" wrote:
Anyway is all this pain right?

Yes.

"david" wrote:
"Michael Staley" wrote:
So what are you hoping to achieve from maintaining the God asana for an hour or so, david?

93

Could we  ammend that,  to what am I hoping to achieve by nailing an hour of tremorless asana?  The answer is in "8 Lectures" boyo, in the asana section and further, go check it out it's all eloquently put.  10 minutes of leg-straightening after each session. 

You're not a Hessleite like Los by any chance are you?.

Believe it or not, he was actually trying to 'help' you, not that you need it, of course.

One who has progressed to the lofty point of, "Is this shit supposed to hurt", surely needs little to no assistance at all...


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lashtal
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David,

"david" wrote:
Could we  ammend that,  to what am I hoping to achieve by nailing an hour of tremorless asana?  The answer is in "8 Lectures" boyo, in the asana section and further, go check it out it's all eloquently put.  10 minutes of leg-straightening after each session. 

Forgive me for butting in, but... This sort of links in with your 'AC is the Prophet and we must do what he says' thread...

It's possible that your view of AC as 'prophet', guru or whatever, is getting in the way of common sense. You're getting some sensible advice in all these new threads you're creating; whether it be 'memorising' your selected Holy Books, 'memorising' columns in some bloke's comparative religion spreadsheet or whatever. But you're ignoring the advice and getting grumpy. To paraphrase Douglas Adams: 'AC was just this guy, you know?'

We see this frequently on the Forums here... Someone appears, says they've done the Work and become something special, acknowledges that it's involved only a short period of research and activity, before becoming disillusioned, blaming their guru, and clearing off.

On the one hand, it's dull and predictable. On the other, it's unfortunate and sad that you can't see that things have moved on since AC's day.

The next step, incidentally, is that you either shuffle off away from the forums, irritated by the lack of wisdom here, or you 'discover' the 'solution' to the 'RPSTOVAL' cipher in Liber AL. Followed by shuffling off, irritated by the lack of wisdom here.

By the way: the correct spelling is 'excruciating'.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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Michael Staley
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"david" wrote:
You're not a Hessleite like Los by any chance are you?. 

No, certainly not.

I asked because back in the mid-1970s I used three practices from Liber E - asana, pranayama and dharana - during my Probationary term for what was then known as the Typhonian O.T.O. For the asana I chose the god posture, working up to an hour each time, but never had the problems which you highlighted earlier in this thread. Then again, using these three practices on a daily basis, I would follow asana with pranayama and then dharana, but didn't notice any benefit from the hour-long pose which preceded these practices. However, Crowley's approach to pranayama - timing of the breath ratio to the second-hand of a watch - brought on palpitations when moving up to the next ratio, and left me with a curious, nervous edge to awareness.

Years later I practised asana and pranayama again, but this time in the context of hatha yoga. There was a series of half a dozen or so postures, each maintained for a few minutes, followed by pranayama measured not against a watch but matched to the heartbeat. The effects of pranayama practised in this way were very different, with none of the nervous edge from the earlier period of practise.

For many years now, the god asana has been my favourite posture for meditation, but I don't adhere to it rigidly. I'm familiar with Eight Lectures on Yoga and with the supposed benefit of maintaining a posture rigidly for an hour or so; but on the basis of my own experience it's not an approach which I favour. If your experience leads you to a conclusion other than mine, then fine.


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William Thirteen
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We see this frequently on the Forums here... Someone appears, says they've done the Work and become something special, acknowledges that it's involved only a short period of research and activity, before becoming disillusioned, blaming their guru, and clearing off.

On the one hand, it's dull and predictable. On the other, it's unfortunate and sad that you can't see that things have moved on since AC's day.

The next step, incidentally, is that you either shuffle off away from the forums, irritated by the lack of wisdom here, or you 'discover' the 'solution' to the 'RPSTOVAL' cipher in Liber AL. Followed by shuffling off, irritated by the lack of wisdom here.

Spoiler Alert!


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Anonymous
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"michaelclarke18" wrote:
Join a class; much more fun and a better way to learn.

93

I did, it's an hour of slow stretchy, bendy movements.  I could do that by myself with youtube yoga teachers.


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"Azidonis" wrote:
"david" wrote:
Anyway is all this pain right?

Yes.

"david" wrote:
"Michael Staley" wrote:
So what are you hoping to achieve from maintaining the God asana for an hour or so, david?

93

Could we  ammend that,  to what am I hoping to achieve by nailing an hour of tremorless asana?  The answer is in "8 Lectures" boyo, in the asana section and further, go check it out it's all eloquently put.  10 minutes of leg-straightening after each session. 

You're not a Hessleite like Los by any chance are you?.

Believe it or not, he was actually trying to 'help' you, not that you need it, of course.

One who has progressed to the lofty point of, "Is this shit supposed to hurt", surely needs little to no assistance at all...

93

No, there's a difference between, "hurting " and "hurting excruciatingly".  I think my hobbling around for several days, after daily dragon asana attempts,  is not mere ,"hurt" wouldn't you say?

The best point made in this thread was the guy who said that most hatha yoga teachers say, "no harm" is the golden rule i.e. if it hurts then it's your body's way of telling you to stop.  OTOH we have Crowley, known for a sadistic sense of humour who says, words to the effect of, no agony no gain, he straightened his leg for 10 minutes after each session and he also said agony is a symptom of nearing success.

If we take the premise that some people are stiff in the joints and hips and can be loosened up, in time via popular, high-street hatha yoga then yes, I think Crowley's yoga lectures and writings are lacking because he never accounted for the fact that his students may be stiff and may be able to reduce pain in their yogic aspiration with stretching  and bending and developing flexibility.


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"lashtal" wrote:
David,

"david" wrote:
Could we  ammend that,  to what am I hoping to achieve by nailing an hour of tremorless asana?  The answer is in "8 Lectures" boyo, in the asana section and further, go check it out it's all eloquently put.  10 minutes of leg-straightening after each session. 

Forgive me for butting in, but... This sort of links in with your 'AC is the Prophet and we must do what he says' thread...

It's possible that your view of AC as 'prophet', guru or whatever, is getting in the way of common sense. You're getting some sensible advice in all these new threads you're creating; whether it be 'memorising' your selected Holy Books, 'memorising' columns in some bloke's comparative religion spreadsheet or whatever. But you're ignoring the advice and getting grumpy. To paraphrase Douglas Adams: 'AC was just this guy, you know?'

We see this frequently on the Forums here... Someone appears, says they've done the Work and become something special, acknowledges that it's involved only a short period of research and activity, before becoming disillusioned, blaming their guru, and clearing off.

On the one hand, it's dull and predictable. On the other, it's unfortunate and sad that you can't see that things have moved on since AC's day.

The next step, incidentally, is that you either shuffle off away from the forums, irritated by the lack of wisdom here, or you 'discover' the 'solution' to the 'RPSTOVAL' cipher in Liber AL. Followed by shuffling off, irritated by the lack of wisdom here.

By the way: the correct spelling is 'excruciating'.

93

We're allowed to update traditional Thelema and bend the teachings of AC to suit our own, "common sense"?  That mutation is known as chaos magick.  Whether it's a devolutionary or evolutionary mutation is up to the individual to find out for himself


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"Michael Staley" wrote:
"david" wrote:
You're not a Hessleite like Los by any chance are you?. 

No, certainly not.

I asked because back in the mid-1970s I used three practices from Liber E - asana, pranayama and dharana - during my Probationary term for what was then known as the Typhonian O.T.O. For the asana I chose the god posture, working up to an hour each time, but never had the problems which you highlighted earlier in this thread. Then again, using these three practices on a daily basis, I would follow asana with pranayama and then dharana, but didn't notice any benefit from the hour-long pose which preceded these practices. However, Crowley's approach to pranayama - timing of the breath ratio to the second-hand of a watch - brought on palpitations when moving up to the next ratio, and left me with a curious, nervous edge to awareness.

Years later I practised asana and pranayama again, but this time in the context of hatha yoga. There was a series of half a dozen or so postures, each maintained for a few minutes, followed by pranayama measured not against a watch but matched to the heartbeat. The effects of pranayama practised in this way were very different, with none of the nervous edge from the earlier period of practise.

For many years now, the god asana has been my favourite posture for meditation, but I don't adhere to it rigidly. I'm familiar with Eight Lectures on Yoga and with the supposed benefit of maintaining a posture rigidly for an hour or so; but on the basis of my own experience it's not an approach which I favour. If your experience leads you to a conclusion other than mine, then fine.

93

Thankyou that's great advice.  The testicle thing isn't a major problem in my god-asana now.  I do find that pranayama ratios are so much easier in half-lotus or dragon asana than god-asana but god-asana puts no pain-strain on my instep or lower back or ankles.

What sort of chair where you using for god-asana by the way? 

I just went to a local hatha-yoga class where the teacher told me if I want to do half-lotus I need to practice sitting cross-legged  on two blocks with my back leaning on the wall so I get accustomed  what it is to sit with an erect spine.  Then , in time, if my body doesn't give me pain messages therein,  go on to do the half-lotus sat on the blocks, leant against the wall.   


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93
The other golden rule in hatha yoga is non competitiveness ie no ego driven goals.  Makes me wonder is Crowley boasting about making it through the agony of his asanas?


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Azidonis
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"david" wrote:
93
The other golden rule in hatha yoga is non competitiveness ie no ego driven goals.  Makes me wonder is Crowley boasting about making it through the agony of his asanas?

Yoga itself is an ego-driven goal.

As for the agony of asana, it eventually subsides. Of course, that involves much less talking and much more doing.


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michaelclarke18
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Makes me wonder is Crowley boasting about making it through the agony of his asanas?

Yes, basically, if it hurts, then it's not being done correctly. Most of this business of pain comes from AC, who seems to have been doing it incorrectly. See Neuburg's example.

Has anyone here ever used a teacher i.e. someone who is qualified? I used to do Kundalini classes, and it's tiring, rather than painful.


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michaelclarke18
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Yoga itself is an ego-driven goal.

Not necessarily.


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"michaelclarke18" wrote:

Makes me wonder is Crowley boasting about making it through the agony of his asanas?

Yes, basically, if it hurts, then it's not being done correctly. Most of this business of pain comes from AC, who seems to have been doing it incorrectly. See Neuburg's example.

Has anyone here ever used a teacher i.e. someone who is qualified? I used to do Kundalini classes, and it's tiring, rather than painful.

93

Yes
I attended a hatha yoga class yesterday.  What do you mean, "see Neuberg"?


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"Azidonis" wrote:
"david" wrote:
93
The other golden rule in hatha yoga is non competitiveness ie no ego driven goals.  Makes me wonder is Crowley boasting about making it through the agony of his asanas?

Yoga itself is an ego-driven goal.

As for the agony of asana, it eventually subsides. Of course, that involves much less talking and much more doing.

93
I think you're wrong as some bodies are literally incapable of doing certain positions.


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michaelclarke18
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What do you mean, "see Neuberg"?

I am referring to Neuburg and his time at Boleskine - see 'The Magical Dilemma of Victor Neuburg'.


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Azidonis
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"michaelclarke18" wrote:

Yoga itself is an ego-driven goal.

Not necessarily.

The perceived need for union implies at least two that are not yet united.

"david" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
"david" wrote:
93
The other golden rule in hatha yoga is non competitiveness ie no ego driven goals.  Makes me wonder is Crowley boasting about making it through the agony of his asanas?

Yoga itself is an ego-driven goal.

As for the agony of asana, it eventually subsides. Of course, that involves much less talking and much more doing.

93
I think you're wrong as some bodies are literally incapable of doing certain positions.

What? You need to learn how to read. I'll speak more plainly, and say that if you were busy doing it, and not on the forums whining about it, then you might get more accomplished, no matter which position you choose.


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michaelclarke18
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The perceived need for union implies at least two that are not yet united.

Not necessarily.


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"michaelclarke18" wrote:

What do you mean, "see Neuberg"?

I am referring to Neuburg and his time at Boleskine - see 'The Magical Dilemma of Victor Neuburg'.

Do I have to? Could you not just tell us all, briefly, what you know?


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Azidonis
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"michaelclarke18" wrote:

The perceived need for union implies at least two that are not yet united.

Not necessarily.

Do tell us about the one that has to unite with the one.


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michaelclarke18
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Do I have to? Could you not just tell us all, briefly, what you know?

I don't have the book to hand, so would prefer not to mis-quote.

But essentially, AC incorrectly advised Neuberg about a particular asana...and was misadvised to the point of doing permanent damage to his spine. See ''The Magical Dilemma of Victor Neuburg'' for more explanation.

The whole idea of yoga being ''excrutiating'', if you are doing it correctly is both absurd and rather colonial.


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I don't recall AC saying anything about asanas being excrutiating. I do recall him writing something to the effect that 'you mustn't mind several minutes of agony' when EXITING a posture, as the body readjusts. Seems fair enough to me and matches my own experience. The body is likely to protest until it's whipped into shape by practice, whatever physical discipline one imposes on it, be it yoga, martial arts, or jogging.


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michaelclarke18
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I don't recall AC saying anything about asanas being excrutiating.

I don't think that's what was being said.


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Azidonis
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"michaelclarke18" wrote:

Do I have to? Could you not just tell us all, briefly, what you know?

I don't have the book to hand, so would prefer not to mis-quote.

But essentially, AC incorrectly advised Neuberg about a particular asana...and was misadvised to the point of doing permanent damage to his spine. See ''The Magical Dilemma of Victor Neuburg'' for more explanation.

The whole idea of yoga being ''excrutiating'', if you are doing it correctly is both absurd and rather colonial.

He talks about it in Book 4, Eight Lectures, virtually anywhere he does introductory yoga material. That is, he talks about the pain and discomfort, not excruciating pain. Although, it may seem so in the beginning.

But, a person with a decent amount of logic should be able to tell between "yoga pain" and "real pain" - just as a weight lifter knows how to tell between a muscle that is sore because it has been worked hard, and a muscle that is sore because it has been damaged.

This is really common sense to anyone who has done any asana practice for a period of time. I'm not sure why you guys are playing "Crowley says" about it.

"Azidonis" wrote:
"michaelclarke18" wrote:

The perceived need for union implies at least two that are not yet united.

Not necessarily.

Do tell us about the one that has to unite with the one.

I'm still waiting for you to back up your claim.


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michaelclarke18
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He talks about it in Book 4, Eight Lectures, virtually anywhere he does introductory yoga material. That is, he talks about the pain and discomfort, not excruciating pain. Although, it may seem so in the beginning.

I think trying to learn about something like yoga from books alone, pure folly. The best way is to find a teacher and go from there.


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Azidonis
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"michaelclarke18" wrote:

He talks about it in Book 4, Eight Lectures, virtually anywhere he does introductory yoga material. That is, he talks about the pain and discomfort, not excruciating pain. Although, it may seem so in the beginning.

I think trying to learn about something like yoga from books alone, pure folly. The best way is to find a teacher and go from there.

It definitely helps.

Now, about this union thing... are you going to keep avoiding it?


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William Thirteen
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Yoga : is it meant to be excru[t]iating?

no, but this thread is certainly becoming so.


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michaelclarke18
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Now, about this union thing... are you going to keep avoiding it?

Ah, I think your opening gambit was: 'Yoga itself is an ego-driven goal', a statement which I see as pure projection, as the engagement might not necessarily be motivated in that sense. It can burst into ones life - like that of my teacher - who was not initially consciousness of what they were experiencing. There is a danger that it can be in a highly deterministic way.


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Azidonis
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"michaelclarke18" wrote:

Now, about this union thing... are you going to keep avoiding it?

Ah, I think your opening gambit was: 'Yoga itself is an ego-driven goal', a statement which I see as pure projection, as the engagement might not necessarily be motivated in that sense. It can burst into ones life - like that of my teacher - who was not initially consciousness of what they were experiencing. There is a danger that it can be in a highly deterministic way.

Depends on how one defines 'ego', then.


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jamie barter
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Ah so Mr Bond-san, is it not a great and honorable thing that we show to Mr David-san the words of the master Mr Fleming, concerning the previous

Reply #1 by Jamie barter on: May 02, 2014, 12:48:22 pm:
Quote from: david on May 02, 2014, 12:05:12 am:
"[...] Whilst we're on the subject, this Crowleyan god-asana, it's crushing my testicles and the ache from the inner thighs is like some sort of hernia.  I have to tuck my testicles up as my inner thighs squeeze in and when I push my diaphragm down it drags my testicles up, stretching them.    I mean 10 minutes of this can't be healthy, right?  Let alone an hour."

Mmm, does sounds painful! (*winces and crosses legs instinctively*).  I seem to remember Ian Fleming in You Only Live Twice describing some operation whereby sumo wrestlers are able to sort of tuck their testicles back up inside themselves to avoid problems of a similar crushing nature – maybe you might care to do some further follow-up research along these lines if you think it might help?

to which the following refers?

"Unfortunately you are too old to benefit.  I would need to have caught you at the age of about fourteen.  You see, it is this way.  You know the sumo wrestlers?  It is they who invented the trick  many centuries ago.  It is vital for them to be immune from damage to those parts of the body .  now, you know that, in men, the testicles, which until puberty have been held inside the body, are released by a particular muscle and descend between the legs?”
“Yes.”
“Well, the sumo wrestler will have been selected for his profession by the time of puberty.  Perhaps because of his weight and strength, or perhaps because he comes of a sumo family.  Well, by assiduously massaging those parts, he is able, after much practice, to cause the testicles to re-enter the body up the inguinal canal down which they originally descended.”
“My God, you Japanese!” said bond with admiration.  “You really are up to all the tricks.  You mean he gets them right out of the way behind the bones of the pelvis or what not?”
“Your knowledge of anatomy is as vague as your appreciation for poetry, but that is more or less so, yes.  Then, before a fight, he will bind up that part of the body most thoroughly to contain these vulnerable organs in their hiding-place.  Afterwards, in the bath, he will release them to hang normally.  I have seen them do it.  It is a great pity that it is now too late for you to practise this art.  It might have given you more confidence in your mission.  It is my experience that agents fear most for that part of the body when there is fighting to be done or when they risk capture.  These organs, as you know, are most susceptible to torture for the extraction of information.”
“Don’t I know it!” said Bond from the heart. “[Etc…]”

from Chapter 11 – “Anatomy Class” in You Only Live Twice – Ian Fleming (1964)[/align:bgxu6k1c]

Ah, so!
N Joy


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

I think Asana is best a position that helps you to relax. All that 'don't move' 'sit still' - all this tyrannic commands - are IMHO no good for your body. Forget the script and focus on RELAXING. That's all that matters.


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2964
 
"princediamond" wrote:
I think Asana is best a position that helps you to relax. All that 'don't move' 'sit still' - all this tyrannic commands - are IMHO no good for your body. Forget the script and focus on RELAXING. That's all that matters.

One does not want to relax oneself into sleep. Hence, some tension/alertness is necessary. The degree of tension/alertness can have direct effects upon the practice.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 4119
 
"princediamond" wrote:
I think Asana is best a position that helps you to relax. All that 'don't move' 'sit still' - all this tyrannic commands - are IMHO no good for your body. Forget the script and focus on RELAXING. That's all that matters.

No, it's not "all that matters"; it depends on what you're trying to do. In some contexts one might move through half a dozen or a dozen asanas in thirty minutes or so; in another context, one might strive to adopt the same posture for an hour or so. If you want to relax, then fine. Perhaps others might have different goals.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

Scientific Illuminism isn't an easy process, even with a skilled teacher present to assist. It should be no surprise that this is so, save perhaps to the aspirant who realizes- as if for the first, or first few times- that this isn't an easy road.

It's "Kung Fu", or Hard Work. Great Work.

For the Siddhas and MahaSiddhas, who are in every way Perfect, are always engaging in The Practice of Perfection.

The road never "ends". Its Beyond Humbling to realize this.

There are many ways to practice Yoga, as there are many kinds of Yoga.

Though, if we're to interpret Yoga as "Union With The Divine", it may become suddenly clear what it is we must do in order to achieve it.

Transcend the physical limits, as well as the mental.

In those moments when you push beyond current modes of limitation (mental & physical), something happens; a kind of "door" opens in the way of perception... of What You Are and What You Are Not

of How/Who you thought/think yourself to be, and how that is as if Suddenly Overcome (through Realization) and/or progressively, through states thereof.

This is a process never-ending.

or, to put in Ritualistically-Poetic terminology: to partake of The Eucharist, Infinitely.

.
.
.

If it be your goal to engage in a practice that isn't so physically arduous, you may wish to pursue the mental limits of the art via the repetition of an holy verse (mantra-yoga). There are reports of monks who've engaged in a billion "Om Mani Padme Hum"s, successively.

Or, if it be your goal to remain in the more physical aspects of yoga (which are as equally beneficial as the former), you may wish to attempt less difficult postures- or, as a skilled teacher recommended- practice slowly, from one position to another, in degrees or steps. It may not even be necessary to place one physical posture over another, but to maintain the one, for longer and longer periods of time.

---

Regarding the hint that not all yogic practice is intended for the accomplishment of divine unity. This is so.

There are persons who make the choice to practice for powers.

That being said, there are magicians who can enter men's minds and possess them, or do a series of other awesome things of this nature... but this in no way guarantees Wisdom pertaining to the Subtle events which are occurring, and may lead to the extolment of the ego, and not the annihilation of same.

May or may not lead to an understanding concerning the nature of illusion and reality, or a mastery thereof. In fact, the opportunity to become deluded becomes even more pronounced. And often what a practitioner may consider "success" in this condition, is nothing more than greater and greater levels of self-deceit.

How to guard against this?

One must become Aware.

How to engage in a practice that transcends the illusion, without falling victim to his/her own which arise?

Ah! so Yoga is (or can be) a treacherous path?

Aye.

One must step carefully, and progressively with Awareness in hand. Constantly "on one's guard" against falling off the precipice. Yet, it is expected that the student will fall into the precipice, many, many times... and even from these "failed" experiments manage to learn how to perfect him/herself in The Practice of this Perfect Art.

and yet... You are The Artist, the Rough Ashlar, with hammer and chisel in hand.

Stripping the layers of the onion, successively. To no end.

Because there is no end.

Every moment, Beginning Anew... and so are you. Constantly Realizing It.

but not just to contemplate this from an intellectual stand-point, but to see it, hear it, feel it, experience it without doubt. This is when the cube begins to unfold.

And how marvelous it is to see/hear/feel Continuity, in Infinite Measure.

to experience the body itself "dissolve", for it to be replaced with A Body of Light.

This is what is meant by Transcendental Experience through Yoga, or The Initiatory Act.

and yet this, even this great state of accomplishment (of Union) isn't the end, but a beginning, among countless others; is to partake of A Great Humility in terms of: the amount of Work it took to get there, and the amount yet to come.

This FORCE has also been described as Inertia, and with it, Gravitas.

yet, everyone must proceed at their own pace.

for it may be that there are persons who possess the inclination to arouse this desire for attainment, and to actualize it. Such persons may make THE CONSCIOUS EFFORT to achieve initiation.

just as it may be, that there are countless others who are themselves fulfilling this work, in their own time, via Karmic-Yoga... completely unaware of the path which they, themselves, are walking; even if at a slower pace.

So you see that there's no difference between our duty to ourselves in this regard, as there is to others. And that these "others" are in fact not so far off from ourselves.

Or how it may be, that we are called to assist others in their pursuit of enlightenment

---

the self-serving aspects of yoga notwithstanding; this latter approach to realizing is undoubtedly closer to the central source of the matter (you)... as it is, without obfuscation, Clear.

imho? 🙂

all I may say without absolute certainty, is that The Scientist (you) must endeavour to figure out.

however fortunate or unfortunate, no one can "do it all" for us. This is, and has always been, something we must do for ourselves.

Now, what is "self"?

What is Self, if others- which have come before us- are capable of assisting us with progress on that path?

the transcendental aspect of this practice assures us that many things we used to believe were "separate" from ourselves have indeed dissolved.

Union. Balance. Harmony. Equilibrium.

greater and greater levels to be had. without end.

how "deep", how "far" can we go?

this is the question, without answer, asked eternally of every light-being/star.

The Wonder, Infinitely Unfolding, is Ourselves... and Each Other. Every Interaction and Experience... DIVINE


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gurugeorge
(@gurugeorge)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 456
 

I think AC was partly talking out of his arse, partly trolling (as was his wont in many things), and partly talking about something very genuine that not many people know about.

The postures in Liber E are made-up and not part of any prior tradition.  There is no "Dragon" Asana in any prior tradition (though there is something somewhat similar in some traditions, but paradoxically it's often called "Thunderbolt"!), nor is there is any "Ibis" or "Thunderbolt" (again, there are some vaguely similar postures in yoga, but they're called "mudras") or "God".  Also, any assymetrical posture held with a tensed body is totally useless for meditation, and not recommended for health.  They might be valuable if one's aim were self-mortification or "tapasya" (think of those guys who hold their hands up till they're withered), but you'd have to be either wonderfully eccentric to the point of lunacy, or an idiot, to do stuff like that.

Nor is it possible for the human body to "sit perfectly still with every muscle tense for long periods".  The human body can indeed sit perfectly still for long periods, but not with every muscle tense.  "Every muscle tense" actually refers to a subjective feeling, rather than an objective condition.

However, while the instructions in Liber E are garbage (probably meant as an IQ test), the instructions in Eight Lectures are much better and straightforward, and closer to the truth.  The notion of "wearing out" a posture so that one no longer feels any bodily sensations is about right.

This is very easy to see with a small analogous experiment.  If you sit facing a blank wall, after a short time you get a "grey out" - you literally don't see anything.  This is because the eyes are normally doing something called "saccading" - unconsciously scanning the world all over with tiny movements, so fast that you don't know you're doing it.  But you can sometimes see it in exaggerated form on someone else if you're on a train or tube train, and sit opposite someone who's looking out the window behind you.  Note that if you're the one looking out the window at the station signs as the train slows down, you don't have a sense of your own eyes saccading (at least you won't have had, until you learned this 🙂 ), you have more of a sense of a steady image of the station sign passing.  This is how the visual system works, and how our perceptual systems work in general, in a rough abstract sense: everything is generate-and-test.  The brain questions "what is it?", and throws up its own potential answer, and tests that by means of limited input and sampling from the senses, which limitation is gotten over by taking samples from various positions and angles (so far as it can manage).  It then creates a kind of internal model, and that internal model is the "representation" which is a fairly stable, solid image of the world, or a "seems-to-be"-world, which 9/10, and under normal circumstances, pretty closely matches the way the world is (there are other ways of talking about this philosophically that don't require representation-talk, as it can be misleading, but this is close enough for jazz, for present purposes).  (Hallucination also works the same way: when you take LSD, effectively you are putting the "generate" part of this process into overdrive, while the "test" part goes on holiday - so the brain is furiously throwing out "what is it, what is it", and answering its own question with lots of hypotheses, which float in consciousness as untested seemings.  Hallucinations are most often gotten while being fixated or still, and soon dissolve when you move.)

If you do the blank wall experiment, or even any visual concentration experiment, what happens is that either the lack of variation in the foveal region (everywhere you look on a blank wall is the "same") or gradual relaxation and fixation (looking at a stone) stops the saccading.  And when saccading stops, the noticing of changes and boundaries stops, and when that stops, the modelling of the world by the visual system stops.

Now something analogous happens with Asana (as preparation for meditation - see bottom of this post for a note on what's normally called "yoga").  The body has an internal "kinaesthetic" sense of its own status, position, posture, etc.  Just as with saccading, the body normally micro-adjusts itself constantly in order to get this stable self-image of what's up with itself.  When that constant micro-adjustment stops, the sense of having a body stops.

What "every muscle tense" refers to is a precursor psychological/kinaesthetic feeling that's partly connected with this, and partly connected with what's called "qi" or "prana".  At a certain point just before the desired release from bodily sensation (a "grey out" of the kinaesthetic sense, analogous to the "grey out" you get with the blank wall experiment), you get a kinaesthetic sense of being "rigid" or "solid" in some sense (obviously different people may have different subjective descriptions for this).  There may also be some variation in sense of body "size" (e.g. "like a mountain", or as in the classic definition, like you're bound by a gigantic serpent, Ananta).  This is a variation on the sensation of "qi" or "prana", and is related to the "magnetic" feeling you can get while doing yoga proper or qigong (both basically the same kind of practice).

Again, to get a minor experimental sense of something similar, try this: grip the fingers of one hand (including thumb), straight but bunched, with the other hand, for a minute or so, then gently and slowly release the grip.  You will get a peculiar sensation in the hand that you gripped, which you can "play" with - i.e. once you've gently released the grip on the hand, you can start to almost-move the fingers, and you will feel a peculiar kind of stiffness that also feels like the fingers are being held in a sort of magnetic field.  This is something like the sensation of "every muscle rigid" that's the precursor to what the Japanese author Katsuki Sekida (author of the wonderful book Zen Training) called "body off" sensation.

And that's really all there is to it.  Once you have that body-off sensation, you can start meditation (of whatever kind) in earnest, just as AC says - you've basically knocked out a large source of distraction in one fell swoop.

Some traditions don't have this as a separate explicit, written-down aspect of training - it's part of oral teaching, because you can only get into this area when you've done some fairly serious amount of practice.  Also, while it's definitely a "result" of sorts, it's not necessarily explicitly named as a result - in fact, in most Eastern systems as we know now, it's considered more of a by-product of "just sitting".  i.e., if you do any kind of sitting meditation seriously for any length of time, this will come.

As someone said above, relaxation is key.  This is why the "tense up" advice has to be taken with caution - actually there is some value in alternating tensing with relaxation - you can hardly avoid relaxing if you've tried to hold your body rigid for a while anyway.  You can think about tensing and relaxing the entire body as a macro version of the kind of micro-adjustment one is normally doing - so it's as if one is starting off with "big swings" or "big movements", and gradually getting down to a kind of refined version.  But it's the relaxation phase that's most important.

Now a word on yoga as that's normally understood (i.e. a series of postures held and alternated for health): it's mostly a conscious or unwitting con job (in the sense that there are very few teachers around who know what they're doing or are part of a proper tradition) and even the genuine versions (e.g. Iyengar) derive only from the 19th century, when a particular prince in India (forget his name and the region) commissioned an exercise system for military fitness training, which was cobbled together by some experienced people (IIRC, a mix of his military guys, and some yogis) from various sources (including, indeed, some yoga traditions proper). 

There's a hilarious triple irony here, because part of the what the compilers of this kind of "hatha yoga" took as inspiration was Western calisthenics, popular at the time.  But Western calisthenics was itself partly inspired by a Swede's (or it might have been a Norwegian's, or Dane's - some travelling Scandinavian's anyway) observations of Chinese qigong - i.e. calisthenics is itself a sort of outsider's view on qigong, but sped up into a more aerobic form.  That this was then incorporated back into an Indian form where it was slowed down to static form, with pranayama re-incorporated, is quite an amusing twist.

Essentially, all genuine physical yoga was similar to Chinese qigong: a mixture of stretching, breathing exercises, with some gentle movement, and some held postures mixed in.  Mostly sitting, and often "flowing" (from one posture to another).  The Tibetan systems recently revealed to the world show a more archaic form of it.  Chinese systems generally had more standing postures, and Indian systems (and Indian-derived systems, like the Tibetan) had more static postures and "locks" (postures held with retained breath and throat and/or anal locks); everyone had a slightly different system and "take" on some basic practice principles.

So the beef is that while modern-day "hatha yoga" is a genuine system (i.e. it was compiled by people who knew their stuff, and were combining things with knowledge), and does have some connection (via some of the compilers involved and their own traditions) to the "hatha yoga" in the Hathayogapradipika, you're unlikely to find authentic teaching in it unless you go to India.  I should think even Iyengar's system has pretty much lost its juice by now.  Mostly, it's just stretching and holding postures, a practice which, while certainly good for you, isn't really done from any solid base of knowledge or connection with tradition.  It's rare for the proper breathing to be taught at the same time.  To be authentic, it's got to be connected with Pranayama always (i.e. with breathing exercises), because the point is to condition the fascia (the tough, elastic white integument that contains muscles and gives them leverage, and connects them to bones, and threads throughout the body in various ways, giving the body a holistic integrity), rather like leather is conditioned.  Internal body pressure (from holding breath) and stretching do this (but also literally beating, hanging weights from the genitals, etc., etc., all that good stuff).

This is really an area that Western science knows little about, as the received medical wisdom on fascia until very recently was that's an inert tissue whose function is merely connective "filler" (although the importance of glial cells embedded in the fascia, and their relation to the immune system and general health, may be an area that science will look into soon).  However, that's not to say the Eastern traditions in which these things are embedded knew any better what they were really doing (although some of them did, and knew anatomy pretty well) - they are all practical traditions, whereby if you do certain things you get certain results.  But it's always possible for transmission in practical traditions to fade out, and only the external form to be retained.  The explanations in terms of cosmic forces are often post hoc rationalizations - intelligent people trying to make sense of the practical physiological and psychological results in terms of their cultural proto-sciences and pseudo-sciences.  Noting the variation between, say Chinese and Indian explanations, while there are tantalizing similarities, there's too much variation between systems within cultures, and between systems in different cultures, for any of them to be particularly accurate.  The important thing was always the actual practices, and oral instruction (not in the cosmological explanations or frameworks but) in practices and results.  (Incidentally, this area of breathing practices and fascia conditioning is the same area of stuff that's explored in "internal" martial arts, only in that context it's connected also with clever leverage and use of body weight and gravity, short, high-impulse strikes with no windup, and the concept of forming a single mechanical "unit" with one's opponent, controlled by you, whereby an opponent's energy can be neutralized and little effort used to, e.g., unbalance them, strike where they are weakest, etc.  All these systems were weapon-based in origin, with the hand forms being initially preliminary training and fallback, and coming into prominence only with the increase in use of guns, and consequent decline of the use of cutlery in violencing people.)

In terms of practicality, the most important thing about Asana (qua static, seated postures for meditation) is that the spine should be straight, or only very slightly S-curved.  This is usually attained by having the knees lower than the pelvis, so the pelvis tilts forward ever so slightly, and simultaneously having the feeling of having the skull suspended from a string in a direct line up from the insertion of the neck into the skull.  The point of all this is to have the weight of the body's gubbins (internal organs) more or less resting inside the pelvis like a bowl, and to have no excessive or odd muscular tensions anywhere, and to have good posture for breathing and manipulation of internal body pressure (pranayama).  Modern-day kneeling chairs are good, but a good solid "zen cushion" with a cross-legged posture, or a zen stool (for a "Dragon"-like posture) are also good.  Sitting on a chair can also be good, but only if the height is adjustable so you can get the right pelvis tilt - a Herman Miller Aeron can as as invaluable for meditation as it is for using a workstation comfortably in a work environment.

The primary advantage of the Full Lotus is that it brings on the requisite slight-pelvis-tilt without the necessity for a cushion, so you can do it on flat ground, anywhere, any time.  For most people, it will take several months of gradual adjustment to get there, though, and in the interim, you need a good, solid cushion while your legs are adjusting, to keep the knees low (I can't do this, but I've known a few people who have gotten there over time).

On a personal note, I found that following the out-breath is extremely useful - it might not be useful for everyone, but it worked for me.  It leads to both mental calm and physical off-sensation fairly quickly (a few weeks).  The thing to note about breathing is "tidal volume".  In normal breathing, the lungs always have a "set" volume of air, and muscular work is done by the diaphragm to go above that level (breathe in above the tidal level). To go below that level ("squeeze out" the air below the tidal level) also requires muscular effort.  But breathing out from max level back down to tidal level, takes no muscular effort, and breathing in from maximum empty level takes no effort - both are relaxations. (Again, this is a variation of playing around with the alternation of tension and relaxation.)

So I think, on the whole, the simplest and shortest route to body-off sensation is a few weeks counting breaths, as preparation and limbering up the "concentration muscles", and then a few weeks following the out-breath.  This is extremely common in Buddhist and Daoist systems (across all sub-schools), and probably gets its popularity from its simplicity and effectiveness.  If you're a min-maxer, it's probably the way to go.


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William Thirteen
(@williamthirteen)
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Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 1091
 

thanks gurugeorge and Leviathan, for your posts. Normally when i see posts longer than a few sentences a shudder runs down my spine and i scroll for my life in the opposite direction, but both of these were quite readable and informative. one question for you gurugeorge, when you say "following the out-breath", to what are you referring? Simply observing one's exhalations, or something more complex?


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Los
 Los
(@los)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2195
 
"gurugeorge" wrote:
I think AC was partly talking out of his arse, partly trolling (as was his wont in many things), and partly talking about something very genuine that not many people know about.

I enjoyed this whole post. Thanks, George.


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James
(@james)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 251
 

From my own experience of zazen 'following the breath' is literally what the words point to.

Rather than imposing conscious will onto the breath simply play 'follow the leader' and 'give yourself into the breath'. What comes from this is the meditation of the heart/mind that doesn't settle anywhere. As GG pointed out it is not natural for the heart or mind to become 'fixed'.

As Austin Spare pointed out in one of his pithy phrases in the Logomarchy 'Bollocks to Yoga!' I don't have the text to hand but he points out the problem with trying to 'fix' the mind.

What is problematical is that the heart/mind gets carried away with its own movements. Hence there is a middle way between these two states.

Having a powerful awareness of body (and breath movements count as body), anchors heart/mind as there is no thinking in body consciousness. Being rooted in this a little bit then the mental chatter, feelings etc. can be experienced without identification with them and thus do not carry away. In time they quieten but again my own experience is that they do not stop... or not for very long. There is an old Zen saying which sums up the state: Clouds swirling around the mountain peak do not disturb the stillness.

It is probably no coincidence that in the Satipatthana sutta the Budha gives the Four Foundations of Awareness meditations which start with Awareness of body.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

I think the thing with Crowley's training regime, for which Liber E in all its foot-tingling, breath-stopping, blind-card-sensing glory is the "basics", is that you have the option of systemmatic training. Not expecting a big 'result' from any of the specific practices, just getting your crampons straight before attempting Kachenjunga.

It's too long a haul for some tastes. Naturally it seems more alluring to think one can dip into samasatipatthana without doing a hard slog up the mountain of dharana.

What seem like extreme preparations (to some) are maybe best suited for those who want extreme results. While it is useful to monitor any empirical physical injury and avoid permanent damage, the mind does tend to find a plethora of excuses in imaginings.

As a footnote, important not to mix things. Sitting still without spilling a trickle of Liber E water on your chin or neck for an hour is a skill, not a spiritual achievement. If you then want to sit for two or even eight hours destroying the point where thought arises, expanding your consciousness to the size of the universe or just continuing with pratyahara, at least you know you've got a bachelors in controlling body movement (and breath movement if you finished the course) and so can attack your 'Ph.D' knowing that you at least have the self-discipline for sustained application (and some abilities that come in damned handy later on!)

All the best!


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gurugeorge
(@gurugeorge)
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Posts: 456
 
"WilliamThirteen" wrote:
thanks gurugeorge and Leviathan, for your posts. Normally when i see posts longer than a few sentences a shudder runs down my spine and i scroll for my life in the opposite direction, but both of these were quite readable and informative. one question for you gurugeorge, when you say "following the out-breath", to what are you referring? Simply observing one's exhalations, or something more complex?

It's just what it says - but it's also a bit of a knack that comes with practice.  At first, just "be with" your breath, just notice it, you don't need to do anything in particular, i.e. focus too narrowly on any aspect of the breathing, just don't lose presence, don't lose hold of being there in the moment with your breath.  You will inevitably have "breaks", but just return to the focus, don't worry (and of course if you're following AC's teachings in particular, use beads or something to count the breaks so you can check your progress objectively).  If you've done some counting breaths for a while, that will get your foot in the door re. the right type of "following".  It's your typical "not too tight, not too loose", type of thing, it's a definite groove, but you might have to play with extremes for a bit to find it.  And counting the breaths (it has numerous variations - 1 to 10, 1 to 10 etc. is nice and simple, count point being on the crest of the breath, beginning of the breath, or end, each variation has its fine points) has the virtue that it's an easy way to get into that groove.  (Try a few weeks of 20 mins a day, leading up to 40 mins a day, or an hour; even better if you can do it, several sessions of 20 mins per day, or as much as you can do here and there throughout the day.  Then you're ready to drop the counting and just follow the breath - you will know for yourself by that stage more precisely what "follow" means.)

The nervous system has a dual aspect, or two configurations, which are the opposite of each other.  The sympathetic nervous system is, at one end of its spectrum, what's lightly active in a normal, everyday slightly stressed state of mind and body, and at the other end of its spectrum, what's fully activated in "fight or flight", adrenaline dump, etc.  The parasympathetic nervous system, on the other hand, is what your body uses in rest, digestion , sleep - i.e. generally when it's regenerating itself.

Normally, parasympathetic activation makes you doze off or puts you to sleep.  Calming meditation practices activate the parasympathetic nervous system without putting you to sleep - that's the point of the upright spine, it helps keep you awake, while your body is falling asleep (so to speak).  You can then mentally focus on anything very clearly and calmly.

As you start relaxing, the breath naturally slows down anyway without you having to do anything.  Over time, you start to get more of a feeling for what true bodily relaxation is, and that in its turn helps the breath to slow, and each of these help each other, and help activate the parasympathetic system.  At a certain point, the parasympathetic nervous system kicks in, and this is accompanied by a noticeable shift - kind of a "dropping" sensation, almost a subtle sigh, "aaaaahhhh" (don't try and act this out, it will come of itself and you'll know when it comes), and then you are properly relaxed.  (If you're alert, you can notice that same shift as you're drifting off to sleep too.)

Now bear in mind the thing I wrote about tidal volume in the lungs.  With this kind of gentle breathing practice, you make effort to breath in, but no effort to breathe out; the out-breath is a relaxation back to tidal volume. At that point, as you are following your out breath again and again, the subjective sensation starts to get more and more refined on each out breath - it's like the closer it gets to tidal volume, the more it .... stretches .... out .... (to some extent objectively, but more so subjectively).  Time seems to slow down, and you get into a kind of gelid suspension, like fly in amber.  With practice, the in-breath phase becomes almost "invisible", and you are living in those moments of infinite, subtle exhaustion, which sort of join together subjectively.

After a while, at that point, you may get either "iron mountain" qi sensation in the body, or the desired body-off sensation itself, or you may just start to get a sense that something's about to happen.  Any of these may throw you for a bit, you might get an adrenalin jag.  Don't worry, just go back to the practice, let the parasympathetic system re-activate, don't try too hard, just let it come.

Again, over time, and with practice, this becomes a familiar, friendly sequence, and you can pretty much induce body-off after just a few out-breaths, or even just from sitting down in the right posture in the right frame of mind, as AC says.

Since I'm talking about breathing, I might as well mention another, separate aspect to breath-following meditation.  It may occur that you get a kind of gestalt switch in your mind where you no longer feel it's you that's breathing, but that the breath is just happening.  While this is actually a great result, if you're doing the practice in order to settle into body-off sensation, just ignore it for the moment, stick to the point of the practice and work on getting body-off.  (As AC stresses, it's important to stick to things you sit down to do, even if weird shit happens.  Don't let yourself get distracted from the purpose you sat down with.  Getting the habit of that will give you a kind of unconscious momentum that can can carry you through some hairy moments with other sorts of practices.)

Then when you're in the saddle with body-off, go back to breathing meditation looking for that "non-doing" sensation again.  It could be the gate to something wonderful ... 😉

Once you've done a good solid course of this sort of Buddhist/Daoist use of breathing, you can then learn to have the same kind of diffuse but solid focus on your sensations of the world, or on the world itself, from moment to moment, and eventually off the cushion, out in the world (though whether that will be your goal will depend on other things, what system of experiments you're following, etc.).

(There's another whole class of stuff relating to breathing practices that have to do with Pranayama proper, that mustn't be confused with the above use of breath in meditation - as I said in the last post, those are more vigorous, and more involved with manipulating internal body pressure and conditioning of the fascia, for the benefits that has, which are distinct from helping smooth out the nervous system for meditation. They're related but distinct.)


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William Thirteen
(@williamthirteen)
Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 1091
 

thank you for your generous response, gurugeorge!


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

gurugeorge,

you may find Boddhidharma's transmission (from India to China) fascinating, as He taught the precursory Kung-Fu ("the tendon-change classic") to the monks present, believing that their bodies weren't sufficiently suitable, or conditioned to withstand the force of internal energy exchange.

This "tendon classic" was very bare, and eventually escalated into becoming the various open-handed kung-fu forms and styles; which only later began to employ weapons.

There are also points in forms where constriction and lack thereof are essential to the execution of said forms, requiring concentration of the internal flow, outwardly-extended, via breath-control.

This "internal-tension" arises, as a product of the exchange between positive and negative energy transmission exchange, which occurs naturally via the electro-magnetic force accumulated within the body, by the practitioner.

I'd assert, that, knowing how to build up this force and expel it; is the root of all magic power.

Applications of this exchange between constriction of force and release thereof may be seen (perhaps easiest) in the forms of Rou Quan (Soft Boxing) Kung Fu... being an Internal, as opposed to "hard" or more physical style.

One can see the constriction, and the release. I'd like to share a few videos demonstrating the explosiveness and power of a few very well executed forms from this style to demonstrate this concept as it applies to Kung Fu.

The young man here, is very supple, and quick. Soft (relying on internal energy), but still very explosive physically: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0sp-e08AEQ

We find the same thing with the older man, except his body isn't as supple as the younger man; yet, at definite times, or as I may believe... persistently, possesses a degree of concentration which surpasses the younger man, making his exhalations, or releases of said force more catastrophic and devasting (despite "the physical disadvantage"): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lskXBOfCIMA

The highest form of Kung Fu (and most secretive) is the one by which advanced practitioners don't even have to touch the opponent to beat them. There are magicians who are capable of doing so, without having studied kung fu, because they have studied this technique.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

Just ordered a copy of "Yoga" by JFC Fuller, so it'll be interesting to see if/how he addresses any of these issues.


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Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 5588
 
"Leviathan" wrote:
... advanced practitioners don't even have to touch the opponent to beat them.

Oh, you mean something like this 8th degree Aikidoist?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3viOy-bQSyU

There are magicians who are capable of doing so, without having studied kung fu, because they have studied this technique.

Yes, there are many tales, legends and rumors of martial artists and magicians who can kill or injure with a single touch or at a distance. Much of it is nonsense, but some of it seems to be true. Is this the goal of The Great Work, or is it just another siddhi to be acquired along the way ... or perhaps to be ignored completely?


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