- I’ve heard of other kinds of meditation. How is Sahaja Yoga meditation different?
What makes Sahaja Yoga meditation unique is that it involves the awakening of a conscious, spiritual force within us, the Kundalini energy. One’s own energy is united with the all-pervading power around us. In this way, we have a direct experience of connection with a higher power. In addition, the goal of Sahaja Yoga meditation is to attain the state of “thoughtless awareness,” meaning one is completely aware of what’s happening around them, but without the constant unwanted chatter of the mind. Other meditation practices may have different goals, such as watching the contents of the mind or focusing on a peaceful image.
- How do I know when I have reached thoughtless awareness? How does that feel?
Thoughtless awareness is a specific state of mind in which one is completely alert and aware of what is happening around them, yet there are no intrusive thoughts or reactions. It happens when practicing Sahaja Yoga meditation. We are free to think about something if we want, but we don’t have unwanted thoughts in our mind at all. Some have described it as peaceful, joyful, blissful, powerful, or free. Some feel a connection with a higher self or a higher power. Many report a feeling of being beyond time, or being still, like a lake without any ripples. Sometimes we spontaneously enjoy the thoughtless state outside of our regular seated meditation practice. When this happens, we retain complete control over our mind and can go about performing tasks in our daily lives efficiently.
- What are the benefits of Sahaja Yoga meditation in my daily life?
Sahaja Yoga meditation benefits include an increased feeling of separation from the stressful things of life. It’s easy to feel anxious or irritable thinking about the pressures of work and family life. Meditation helps you to witness that which is stressful. It helps you to see things clearly, as if from a distance. You will also see certain positive changes in your behavior over time. For example, as the communication powers of the fifth (“Vishuddhi”) chakra are strengthened, you are less likely to react angrily to the behavior of another person. As the creativity of the second (“Swadisthan”) chakra is empowered, you are more easily able to come up with innovative solutions at home and at work.
- How long does it take before I begin to experience the benefits of Sahaja Yoga meditation?
Positive effects begin happening inside you as soon as the Kundalini energy is awakened, usually during your first Sahaja Yoga meditation session. Some people feel those effects right away, and for others it takes time. It depends on the state of your chakras when you begin. We all start our journey in Sahaja Yoga with varying degrees of energetic blockages. Even if you don’t feel immediate benefits, be assured that this living energy is working within you to nourish and balance your energy each time you meditate. With daily practice, gradually you feel your meditations improve and you will notice the beneficial changes.
- How can I maximize the benefits of Sahaja Yoga meditation?
The best way to benefit is to allocate time to practice your meditation at home daily. It may be difficult at first as you figure out where a daily meditation fits into your lifestyle, but without a daily practice, you are not going to be able to realize the full potential of your personal evolution. Meditating once in a while may work to temporarily reduce stress, which is surely useful, but the real growth happens gradually over time with sustained practice. Instead of using meditation to calm down after a stressful situation, daily practitioners may no longer perceive the situation as stressful to begin with. In addition, we sometimes find that newcomers to the practice want to read about Sahaja Yoga more than they want to sit and meditate. Gaining conceptual knowledge is useful and recommended to some extent, but it is not going to “fast track” a person to higher levels of consciousness. That can only come through meditation practice. It is worth the effort!
- Is meditation in Sahaja Yoga similar to mindfulness?
While mindfulness can be a useful tool to promote wellness and relaxation, it is different from meditation. With mindfulness, one passively observes one’s thoughts. With true meditation, there are no thoughts to watch at all. It is a state of complete mental silence. Some people find practicing mindfulness helpful to calm the mind before they reach mental silence. Specifically in Sahaja Yoga meditation, the Kundalini allows mental silence to occur spontaneously and effortlessly, while mindfulness involves continuous concentrated activity. Sahaja Yoga also has the benefit of gradually transforming us, with continued practice, into joyful, peaceful beings as our chakras become nourished and strengthened.
- Is it safe to practice Sahaja Yoga?
Sahaja Yoga meditation is completely safe to practice with no known adverse effects. The awakening of the Kundalini energy within us is a spontaneous, natural event that every human being was uniquely designed for. The effect of this awakening, and the meditative state it brings, has been described as peaceful, joyful, and free.
- How do I meditate at home?
Find a comfortable, quiet place in your home or outside in nature. Sit on a chair with the spine straight, or sit comfortably on the floor or ground with your legs crossed. The idea is not to be too rigid or too loose—just be comfortable so that you can meditate without being distracted by the body. An experienced instructor can help you learn the affirmations used to balance the chakras and channels. Until you learn them, you can just sit with your hands open on your lap with the palms facing upward. Ask your Kundalini to rise and help you become thoughtlessly aware. You can also awaken your Kundalini and then try other guided online meditations .
- How do I work on my chakras when they are blocked?
There are several ways one can work on their own chakra blockages. With your attention or your hand on the chakra, you can say an affirmation relating to the chakra’s specific spiritual quality. You can also recite mantras associated with the chakra. Another way is to place your right hand close to the chakra and make clockwise circles (the natural spin direction of a balanced chakra). For more details on these methods as well as to learn other specific techniques, it is helpful to attend a group class or ask for help from a practitioner of Sahaja Yoga.
- What does Sahaja Yoga meditation have to do with physical yoga?
The term “yoga” means “yoke,” which refers to the union of one’s individual energy with the divine energy all around us. Thanks to the awakening of our Kundalini, this union happens spontaneously with Sahaja Yoga meditation. There are many other kinds of yoga, such as those involving postures. Most of those practices have their roots in ancient Eastern traditions, where the goal was also uniting with the divine power. Some of those practices retain that goal, although in the West, many focus more on proper physical alignment within poses or connection with one’s breath. If one’s goal is to experience the true “yoga,” Sahaja Yoga meditation is a safe and effective way to do so. It is performed without any physical demands on our bodies.
You will notice that many of the terms listed below, and used throughout this website, are in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India where much spiritual wisdom was born.
|Angya||The sixth chakra, located at the level of the forehead|
|Anahat||The fifth chakra, located at the level of the heart|
|Aum||The primordial sound of energy in the universe also used as a mantra during meditation to increase the flow of energy and balance our chakras and channels|
|Chakra||Centers of energy, spinning in a clockwise direction within the body, that govern physical, mental, and spiritual well-being|
|Ida Nadi|| “Left channel” – the pathway that carries our subtle energy running along the |
left side of the spine
|Kundalini||Residual evolutionary energy residing in the sacrum bone in each human being|
|Mantra||A spoken word or group of words uttered during meditation, designed to enhance the flow of vibrations and balance our subtle system. |
|Mooladhara||The first chakra, or root chakra, located at the base of the spine|
|Nabhi||The third chakra, located at the level of the upper abdomen|
|Nirvichara||Sanskrit term for the state of thoughtless awareness|
|Pingala Nadi|| “Right channel” – the pathway that carries our subtle energy running along the right side of the spine|
|Sahasrara||The seventh chakra, or crown chakra, located at the top of the head|
|Sahaja||Sanskrit term meaning “spontaneous” or “born with”|
|Self-Realization||The spiritual event where one’s Kundalini energy awakens and pierces through the top of the head, uniting one with the primordial energy all around us. |
|Sushumna Nadi|| “Central channel” – the pathway that carries our subtle energy that runs along the spine|
|Subtle System|| The network of chakras, channels and Kundalini energy within each person|
|Swadisthan||The second chakra, located at the level of the lower abdomen|
|Thoughtless Awareness||The state of consciousness in which one is mentally silent|
|Vibrations||The gentle physical sensations a self-realized person feels as a manifestation of the flow of energy throughout the subtle system|
|Vibratory Awareness|| The ability one develops after self-realization to physically feel the flow of energy throughout the subtle system|
|Vishuddhi||The fifth chakra, located at the level of the throat|
|Yoga||Derived from the Sanskrit word “Yuj” or “yoke,” meaning the union of one’s energy with the primordial energy all around us.|
Sahaja Yoga is practiced worldwide. Meditation classes are offered free of charge at various locations. Classes are run by experienced meditation practitioners who volunteer their time to share the knowledge they have received.