Contents at a glance~extracts
Chapter 1: Beginning.
“I can’t believe that!” said Alice.
“Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone.
“Try again: draw a long breath and shut your eyes.”
Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying” she said: one can’t believe impossible
“I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was
your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed
as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
“Through the Looking Glass.” Lewis Carroll. Penguin Books.
“Existence” is a concept based on a particular subjective “packet” of information relevant to a specific structure. There are innumerable millions of existences currently interacting; from the earth itself to a lizard in the Kalahari Desert to a stockbroker in Tokyo to a child on a swing in Australia, to a yogi standing on one leg in the centre of busy Delhi .......
Chapter 2 : Moving on & Outwards
Ordinary human love is capable of raising man to the experiece of real love
Hakim Jami (1414-1492) The Way of the Sufi. Idries Shah Penguin Books.
The mystic understands that there is one underlying energy, vibration, current, which pervades and influences all realities, eternally and constantly.
Chapter 4: Awareness of Energies Within the Body.
When your body, mind and soul are healthy and harmonious, you will bring
health and harmony to those around you and health and harmony to the
world - not by withdrawing from the world but by being a healthy living organ
of the body of humanity. The Tree of Yoga : B.K.S. Iyengar -Thorsons.
The following guide to practice can be achieved by almost anyone. What we are aiming for in this section is to be able to maintain the physical body in a fixed position for a short period of time to enable the flow of prana, life force to move along the set channels or nadis in the body in an uninterrupted flow. Once the nadis are purified and correctly aligned, prana is able to move through the body in a free energetic way, stimulating the physical and mental aspects ............
Chapter 5: The Way ~ Tao ~ T’ai Chi and Chi Kung.
The way that can be spoken of
Is not the constant way;
The name that can be named
Is not the constant name.
The nameless was the beginning of the heaven and earth;
The named was the mother of the myriad creatures.
Hence always rid yourself of desires in order to observe its secrets;
But always allow yourself to have desires in order to observe its manifestations.
These two are the same
But diverge in name as they issue forth.
Being the same they are called mysteries,
Mystery upon mystery -
The gateway of the manifold secrets.
Lao Tzu - Tao Te Ching Penguin Classics
How to encompass the concepts of four thousand years of philosophy and over a thousand years of martial arts practice which has evolved into hundreds of different forms and styles in a few chapters? Almost as impossible as knowing the mind of the author of the Tao Te Ching which could loosely be translated as “The Way of Virtuous Power.”
But that is no reason not to start the journey ..
Chapter 7: Meeting the Mind
FIVE SENSES MEDITATION.
Hazrat Inayat Khan defines meditation as an attitude; more specifically, the right attitude towards God and our attitude should be to first seek God within,then to see God outside. The word meditation has been used to cover a wide variety of various mental exercises in many different spiritual disciplines such as Buddhism, Taoism,Yoga as well as Christianity and Islam.
The techniques range from simply sitting quietly with the eyes closed to chanting and swaying to music like the Hari Krishnas. For the Sufis it can be in the chanting of La ilaha illa ’llah hu . There is no god except God. The physical benefits of meditation are de-stressing the mind and by slow calm breathing to bring life giving oxygen to the lungs, enabling the enriched blood flow to cleanse the organs.
The true concept of meditation is the final attainment of the mystic and seeker. It is not achieved easily and is not the glibly used term which is bandied about by quick-fix new-age gurus. Some Tibetan Buddhists may spend up to four years in solitary retreat in a small enclosed space, sleeping in an upright position to obtain calmness of the mind. The Satsangis suggest a tenth of each day to be devoted to meditation as the tool to conceptualise reality.
The entire practice of meditation is understood by the mystics to begin with CONCENTRATION, move on to CONTEMPLATION and finally to attain the state of MEDITATION.
Chapter 8: Meeting the Universe.
In a secret place, in solitude, let the yogi be constantly in harmony with his soul, master of himself, free from hope and worldly possessions.
Let him find a spot which is clean and pure and sit on a seat that is firm, neither too high nor too low, covered with layers of cloth, deerskin and with sacred grass.
Seated there, let him practice Yoga for self purification, with a concentrated mind and with his organs of perception and actions under control.
With his body, neck and head erect, immovable and still, with his vision withdrawn, his sight fixed on the tip of his nose. With soul at peace and fearless, firm in the vow of Brahmacharya, let him rest, with a vigilant controlled mind absorbed in Me as the Supreme.The yogi, whose mind is ever under his control, always striving to unite with the Self, attains the peace of Nirvana - the Peace Supreme that rests in Me.
The Bhagavad-Gita (VI 10-15) also quoted in Light on Pranayama: B.K.S. Iyengar Unwin Paperbacks.
Chapter 9: Looking Into The Void/ Absolute.
Contemplation On No-Coming, No-Going.
This body is not me.
I am not limited by this body.
I am life without boundaries.
I have never been born
and I have never died.
Look at the ocean and the sky filled with stars,
manifestations from my wondrous true mind.
Since before time, I have been free.
Birth and death are only doors through which we pass,
sacred thresholds on our journey.
Birth and death are a game of hide-and-seek.
So laugh with me,
hold my hand,
let us say good-bye,
say good-bye, to meet again soon.
We meet today.
We will meet again tomorrow.
We will meet at the source every moment.
We meet each other in all forms of life.
Thich Nhat Hanh: Living Dreaming Dying - Rob Nairn Kairon Press
THE HERE AND NOW. Illustrating the flow of chi from the void into the now, this graphic is designed to be copied and folded into the form of a paper fan, demonstrating the present (upper) and underlying layers of reality.