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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.