First, discard menial methods and bad societies surrounding the methods you might like to try, and don't give up your freedom for any of it. Seek to get allied with solid research to help yourself to the most beneficial meditation method available to many. Transcendental Meditation, TM, is the generally best method, as far as measured results go. There is very much research done on the more common effects of TM. Brain waves is one key to study its immediate effects. Other results are cumulative in that they build up over time. [◦A summary of beneficial results of meditating the TM way, by the David Lynch Foundation]
Now, there is also a gentle way of breathing and surrounding exercises termed kriya yoga. The researcher team Das and Gastaut found in the early 1950s that kriya (most likely not Yogananda's and SRF's simplified version of it - worked very well for at least one person among those investigated. One major drawback with kriya yoga as taught in SRF, is that it is not free. You get much bound.
It often comes down to Transcendental Meditation, also known as TM. TM works very well, according to many studies. It may well be the most beneficial, rewarding way of available meditation for a great many people.
Then there is kriya yoga and its adherents, its cultlike fads or falls, binding oaths, and very bad, possibly misfit-making teachings - as well as other teachings and claims surrounding it.
After venturing into these matters first-hand and for long, should we keep silent about sham and gold we find, or share the gold? It depends on how tall or small we are. It may not work well to give a lot indiscriminately, but as the end of life closes in on us, give away something is something we find fit to all the same.
Teachings. It is not always as simple as the caption proverb (above) tells, although there are grains of truth in it. Allow for some middle ground in your classifications too; that is often helpful:
1. A flatterer may stop at being an admirer, a copying guru devotee, and not glide down into becoming a guru's hypocritical enemy, for example. Let us hope that.
2. As for those who rebuke us, some are friends, others so-so, and others not friends, roughly said. Some offer valuable rebukes, and others think they do, in a passion.
So, the Jewish proverbs serves to indicate that flatterers seldom are real friends, and some rebuking ones are. Which is which is for you to decide, it seems to me.
It would be nice
It would be nice if those who set out to teach good yoga stuff were straight. A happy beginner may imagine it is always so. However, an Indian caution is that only one out of many are good gurus. That does not exclude there is genuine gold among fool's gold, but it does call for good investigations before committing or submitting.
Alerts for those at risk and some others. These five essay collections take us into issues and topics of pervasive fields of advances. The different essays are barely knit together, and may be read quite independently of the others, with a few exceptions. There are tables of contents to browse for those who care to.
If you heed well the hint on another page, and the first lines of this article, you see it matters to get onto a good track. Then you do not have to be warned so much against succumbing to guru-dictatorship. [Tip: Run!]
The Americanised guru Yogananda (1893-1952) once set up a society that profit from gilding his fractioned teachings, but not by forging his signature -
Then, "What guidelines are to be trusted now? Which rabbit is pulled out of the top hat this time?" You have to think a lot if you have succumbed to oratory and self-contradictions. You have to think your way above it. Hard-looking sayings might be the nuggets a gold-digger is after. If you can discern which are gold it could be good for yourself and those near you.
It helps to identify a source of error too. The guru known as Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952) is referred to here and there. There were several good aims in the US church he started also, while other aims were too bad for people allergic to nuts, for example. [Eating nuts, part of a Yogananda aim]
The current aims and ideals of SRF derive from older sets of aims and ideals, and the articles of incorporation that Yogananda furnished and/or sanctioned when SRF was registered as a church in California in 1935. [◦SRF Articles of Incorporation] These articles were amended soon after Yogananda had died. On December 5, 1954, a "Certificate of Amendment of the Articles of Incorporation" was signed on behalf of members and directors by the vice-president then, Dr. Minott Lewis. One ideal is "To conduct charitable and philanthropic activities of all kinds." - "Of all kinds". The deep trick has been to remove wrong guru guidelines, then want to idealise what is left over as flawless wisdom, and hanker for much that is regarded as less than ideal among sound yogis. [Letter of flawless guru wisdom] [◦A Sanskrit Classics Survey]
Just to make it clear: If you are allergic to something the old Yogananda goes for and SRF has not become reasonable about - not yet, at any rate -, the proper procedure is to do away with suffering. If that is not possible, lessen it by suitable means at hand. If that is not possible, be glad you are living still, and so on. If you are on the other side after choking on advocated food as a result of allergy to nuts and the early Yogananda's "eat nuts", is it right to say he killed you unwittingly, inadvertently, and raise a cry? Hardly. And in any case you do not have what it takes for a law case. Maybe those you left have it, and maybe not. It depends.
There is good reasons to remedy wrong ideas and harsh mistakes as soon as you can, before their effects rise over your head and you get engulfed. A bit organisational psychology and management theory could perhaps help - good education may help many, and a lot. Besides, some things crystallise over time, based on experience. Such learning may be all too costy, though. And it is a source of error that some persons do not learn the right sort of lessons - they may distort and resort to many more defence mechanisms also. Take that into account as well. Abraham Maslow found that good testimones may be had from clarified individuals, also called self-actualised ones, plus-variants, self-realised persons.
Lesson: If something clearly wrong is professed, shun it a lot.
Do not get strained. In sports and otherwise, you should not exert yourself to the utmost unless you are in great trouble, for you may be injured or damaged by overexertion, even deformed. Where a cult wants to you strive and strive for their goals, you may end up quite constrained by your own doings, your own efforts. Thus, beware of exhortations like, "Meditate! Meditate!" from followers.
It is sensible not to get encouraged to foolish and steady i>overreaching in the name of God and guru. It seems to bring on slavery - cultishness, that is.
There is good yoga and good meditation around too. Alertness is encouraged, lax alertness helps a long way.
If you want advice, consult an experienced guy and good, relevant literature by doctors and the like. One may get ample funds of experiences to draw on against facades, brimming propaganda, hype and further. Why? A part of the long answer is: "Mistakes are painful when they happen, but years later a collection of mistakes is what is called experience. The cost of dire mistakes is not a blessing, though. There is that risk."
What is at stake encompasses both experiences and our reactions to them, and also what we in turn make out of them - money, good jobs, or other good things on top of hard experiences we survived for some time. There are many sorts of experiences, and not all are for the telling.
We can learn from some of the mistakes of others and improve our lot if we learn to handle information well. Then we may also learn something from the mistakes of many others and be spared a lot, and thereby sparing one's assets and getting to be well spent too. And time well spent is in part individual.
Dietz, Margaret Bowen Dietz. Thank You, Master. Nevada City, CA: Crystal Clarity, 1998. -- On-line.
Satyeswarananda Swami. Babaji O Tnar Parampara (Bengali Version of Babaji and His Legacy). Kolkata: Swami Satyeswarananda Trust, 2004.
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