Paramhansa Yogananda Meditation
Paramhansa Yogananda was a Hindu Guru. Although he has passed on into Mahasamadhi he was a great teacher, who’s writings are still beloved by thousands of people.
Hinduism, shares much in the way of belief, with Buddhism. One of the main factors that separates them, is that Hinduism is a belief in God. God is a very strong reality to the Hindu. Whereas in Tibetan schools of Buddhism, God is denied.
In the realm of meditation, there are a series of steps, like in Tibetan Buddhism, but with a lot less ceremony.
Since this is a Guru – this type of meditation is not throughout Hinduism, it is a specific teaching handed down from Yogananda to their followers. I learned from Ananda – a group of followers of Yogananda, who teach the lineage to this day.
This is a great template for meditation, if you like the Eastern teachings, but you also believe in a Divine Source of some kind.
As with Buddhism, we have body postures, such as Half Lotus, Full Lotus or sitting in a chair. The average member of Ananda sits in a chair, with their back away from the back of the chair, so that nothing is touching the spine. The back is straight like an arrow. The head erect and straight.
Hands are specified to be upturned, and at the place where your hips join the trunk of your body. If you have a big stomach (like me), you might not be able to get this exactly. In which case you can move your hands further down.
What I find about this position is that it opens the heart center. This is especially good if you need to open your positive feelings. It also represents the Ananda community very well – as they are deeply compassionate and ever caring for others.
When the hands are placed this way, it causes the chest to move out a bit, and pulls back the shoulders. This is what opens the heart.
When you have the ability to chant, it can uplift the spirit. So opening with a chant or song can help prepare you for your meditation.
Eyes closed, go ahead and breathe in and out through the nose only.
Breathe in for a count of 8, hold your breath for a count of 8, breathe out slowly for a count of 8. Repeat.
Do that breathing for several minutes. This is where having an application would be of benefit.
This is a form of pranayama. It is very effective and moving energy around, and relaxing the body as well as the mind.
Hong Sau (“Hong Saw”)
There is a secret aspect to this teaching. I can not relay it, as it’s not mine to relay. I learned it after spending time in the coursework of Ananda. If you wish to learn more than what I’m going to relay here, I would suggest researching the links at the end of this section.
The basic form here is you mentally say the word “Hong” draw out along your in-breath. Without holding your breath, you breathe out and mentally say the word “Sau” (sounds like Saw) along the out breath.
In practice it would be like this:
There is no restriction of breathe now.
Keep doing this for a few minutes.
The words Hong Sau have meaning. If you are curious, you should seek out Ananda online and ask them about more information.
Ananda has open meditations. These can be found online, and they will be very visual. They might describe seeing yourself expanding, and expanding, getting larger and larger, till you expand beyond the universe.
But, in my work with Ananda, the goal of Ananda is to use several dedicated spiritual meditation and yoga practices.
While I can’t get into any details, if you seek them out, you can learn these techniques relatively quickly and easily.
While I can’t get into any details regarding the secret techniques, I can discuss the open ones.
What you can do at this point is put your attention on the point between your eyebrows (and slightly up.) It’s the area known as “the 3rd eye” you will often see Hindu’s paint a dot here. Hold your attention here and feel it. Keep in the feeling and try and release any thoughts that float up in this space. You want to just focus on this point. Relax the forehead, the muscles in the face. Relax your eyes.
Stay in this state for as long as you can. When I do this, I feel a “tingling” sensation at the point between the eyebrows. What you are doing is putting attention on the pineal gland area. It’s also known as the Ajna Chakra.
It feels great. I feel great and positive emotions when I put attention here.
You can also move your attention to the heart center and feel it out as well. The heart center is your solar plexus (not your physical heart.)
For me, I prefer to concentrate on the 3rd eye (point between the eyebrows.)
What Can Occur
I have noticed that over time (after many months), I was able to see light here. I kid you not. This was talked about by my teachers, but I never saw it. Recently, in a dark room, I closed my eyes, and put attention here and saw a bright light.
It is through this vehicle that you can communicate spiritually to other beings, or send messages.
Communion with the Guru
This would be of more benefit to those who have become a disciple of Yogananda (or a Guru.) For those that are not a disciple but wish to commune with his presence, read on:
In reviewing my notes from Ananda’s courses, I see I wrote this about communing with Yogananda, “visualize him in the spiritual eye. Mentally call to him. Imagine his eyes looking at you. Invite his consciousness into the heart. The heart is the reception part of us. The broadcasting aspect of us, is the spiritual eye. Once you feel the guru in the heart, broadcast ‘Introduce me to God.’”
Ananda’s traditional meditation of Yogananda is more of a multi-part meditation. There is less set up and less ceremony, then with a traditional Tibetan meditation.
If you would like to know more, I would recommend Ananda’s online resources. They have a very strong online presence and community. They also have physical teaching locations through the country. Lastly, Swami Kriyananda (previous leader
of Ananda, until his death in 2013) has authored many books you will find at your local Barns and Noble, as well as on Amazon.com
Here’s the links –
Ananda’s Main Site: www.ananda.org
Ananda LA’s Main Site: www.ananda-la.org
Ananda’s Online Course Work: www.anandaonlineclasses.org
You can find all the courses necessary to take you through to Kriya Yoga initiation, via their online site. They also have classes on stress, emotions, music, cooking, and much more.