The Koshas and Infinity: Physical, Energetic, Mental, Contemplative and Spiritual Implications.

Infinity operates in all facets of existence. Look at the symbol; it reveals one circle transitioning into another circle. The symbol is diagrammatic of the constant unfolding and evolving of beginning and ending into one another. Infinity interacts within the make-up of all beings on earth. Koshas are conceptual, metaphysical components that existing within the individual on five levels. They are the physical, energetic, mental, contemplative and spiritual components. They are the successively finer layers of one’s being and they exist within the context of the principle of infinity. If these aspects of one’s being were not operating on a continual basis, all beings on earth would exist as soul-less, thought-less, life-less shells.

The beginning is the end, the end is the beginning.
This is a Fractal Representation of Infinity.



The proper names of the Koshas are as follows, Annamaya-Kosha: Physical Sheath – The solid aspects of the body, i.e. organs, bones, muscles and the substances that sustain these; Pranamaya-Kosha: Energetic Sheath – The subtle energies of the, prana, chi, N/um Manomaya-Kosha: Mental Sheath – The Brain, its’ support of the body, its’ interacting with the surroundings and its’ acquisition of knowledge; Vijnamaya-Kosha: Contemplative Sheath – The attained knowledge is a vehicle for self exploration; Anandamaya-Kosha: Spiritual Sheath – The point of realizing one’s unique oneness with the Source of all Creating / Sustaining / Dissolving. In this post, the Koshas will not be referred to by their traditional names.



Walk wherever you can, Walk whenever you can.
Walking is the simplest form of exercise
Physically, the world is a continual series of beginnings and endings. Everything on earth displays ebbs and flows as a result of activities that individual engage in. There is eating, breathing, drinking, moving and, as a consequence of these acts, production of by products. These various by-products are then taken up by other organisms that utilize them for building up their own molecular constituencies, i.e. grasses, edible plants, trees bearing fruits and nuts and the like. These, in turn, are eaten by humans or other animals. When this process is properly nurtured and maintained, it can sustain itself into perpetuity.


Extending form the hips
This techniques is used to uproot/destabilize the opponent
Energetically, there are many examples of the principle of infinity. The endless crash of surf as it assaults the beach then recedes, only to come in again. Also, the migrations of air currents from highs to lows and from hot to cold. These are only a couple of examples. From a human perspective, the cycle of full and unhindered breath, inhalation to exhalation / exhalation to inhalation, is a cycle that goes on ad infinitum. Breathing provides fuel for the various systems of the body. This endless cycle of breath, when properly utilized, connects the individual to the Boundless Source that is beyond themselves.



Study and show thyself approved . . . .
Knowledge is power . . .
We interact with the world on mental and emotional levels. Feelings of hatred and love, jealousy and compassion, depression and joy, along with the Ego, are part and parcel of living as a human in the earth plane. The acts that one undertakes come back to them. The universe gives to us what we give to it. Do you smile at people, do you help others? Surely then, you have experienced others smiling at you or lending you a hand. ‘We are, told, to do unto others as we would have them do unto us’; however, this does not stop at people. Animals, lands, waters and the earth and its resources – humans interact with all of these things. If we were to treat all as we would like to be treated, humanely, civilly and sustainably, then these actions would be continuously and most graciously returned to us. Mentally, this knowledge exists within each and every human.



To live is to die to one's fears, apprehensions and setbacks . . . .
Contemplations on Life and Death
Contemplation brings harmony to the mind / body complex. Through contemplation, one can more effectively interact with and relate to their surroundings and gain insights into themselves. Contemplation / Self knowledge illuminates the path leading to that which is greater than the individual. Seekers on the contemplative / self knowledge path, by sharing their knowledge, can illuminate the path for others. Contemplation / Self-Knowledge is an journey that feeds itself. The more people know about themselves, the more comfortable they become with the limits of knowing while they simultaneously understand that knowledge is endless. Contemplation / Self-knowledge reveals the path to the true limitless, endless self.



Be still and know that I am GOD . . . .
The act of meditating is the process of realizing that mental activity drowns out the presence of GOD
Spiritually, people are one with creation. Oneness with creation exists within the human body, energies, thoughts and interactions and extends into the microcosmic and macrocosmic universes. By realizing and actualizing this, the positivity of one’s being will be evidenced in their actions. Creation is in each and everything on this earth. Every atom in this earth plane continuously vibrates in unison with the cosmos. Humans have the ability to extend beyond the trappings of the earth plane and experience the spiritually eternal dimension sof creation. Creation experiences us as well. When someone plant trees, when someone is kind to animals, when someone gives thanks for what they have, when someone selflessly helps others, their vibration rises. When one prays, sings, chants, or meditates, vibration rises. Thus, the connection to infinity is part of the human experience of spiritual essence.



Understanding the interactions between the body / mind / spirit complex and infinity means that one must explore the manifest and un-manifest aspect consciousness. That is to say that one must bring the un-known realm of their being into the realm of the known. Bringing up the un-known can exacerbate the swings between stress and calm, fluctuation and stability; thus, causing individuals to experience, great distress, immense uncertainty and instability. The degree of oscillation between the extremes can be normalized by engaging in activities and practices intended for those purposes.



These are suggested practices and activities that will improve the aspect of infinity within all of us: Physical, good nutrition, exercise and rest, Energetic, the flow of bodily energy can be maintained by practicing yoga or tai chi, Mentally, the mind can be stimulated by reading, puzzles, and social activities, Higher knowledge comes from contemplating the presence of that higher power or energy, realizing divinity is the realization, through prayer, mantra, singing, and meditation, that one is but a microcosm of the macrocosmic, spiritual reality. These activities and practices can bolster the corporeal / cerebral / divine aspects of the individual. It is an eternal quest. Animals are already there because the live in harmony with natural law and universal order. Humans must work to re-establish, within themselves, their alignment with the principle of infinity.

A Cleanse and Detox adherent speaks.

The changing of the seasons is symbolic of the cyclical nature of the heavens. In temperate climates, there are the seasonal rains that come and wash the earth during spring and autumn. The rains are a sort of announcement, a prelude, to the ensuing summer and winter seasons, respectively. It also during these times that some individuals commit themselves to seasonal cleanses and detoxes. Cleanse is short for Colon Cleansing. Detox is short for Detoxification Diet. In addition to setting the stage for enjoying a more vibrant life, cleanses and detoxes engender a higher degree of psycho-energetic sensitivity. People then can be more in tune to the seasonal vibrations.

Can you feel the change??
The changing of the seasons is symbolic of the cyclical nature of the heavens.

Cleanses and Detoxes can be very beneficial to the body. They allow the body to slow down and recuperate from the abuse that results from overindulgence in nutritionally devoid foods, overindulgence in improper drinks (alcohol, soda pop, etc.), exposure to chemically laden foods, and lack of dietary fiber. “Despite all of our best efforts, we may not be able to prevent toxic substances from entering our body and affecting our well-being. Pollution, packaged foods, caffeine, smoking, drinking, and etc, over a period of time can, impair our immune function and affect our health”.

We can always work toward better health
Despite our best efforts, we may not be able to prevent toxic substances from entering our body and affecting our well being.

To the individual who initiates and undergoes the process, the benefits of improved digestion, greater energy and immunity, and a slimmer, more vibrant appearance can be the result. Honestly though, cleanses and detoxes are only, can only be, a part of a true effort to live a more healthy lifestyle. It has been said that many people care more about their cars than they do their bodies. Given the recent statistics concerning health in the U.S.A., that statement seems to be ‘Dead On Point’. However, it does not have to be. If they are undertaken with caution and awareness of what one’s body is ready for, cleanses and detoxes can be a part of the initiative to reverse the trend of ill-health.

Do you know how good you can feel??
If they are undertaken with caution and awareness of what one’s body is ready for, cleanses and detoxes can be a part of the initiative to reverse the trend of ill health.

Lately, attention has been focused on cleanses and detoxes as a way to lose weight. This method of weight loss is totally counterproductive to a ‘healthy lifestyle’. Cleansing and Detoxing can most certainly result in weight loss. However, because of the intense and drastic manner in which it occurs, the weight loss is usually short-lived. Remember, the reason for the cleanse is to purge the colon of catarrh and built up waste material while the detox helps in purging impurities and toxins from the body. Lifestyle is what will really enable people to maintain a ‘healthy weight’. Cleanses and Detoxes can really only be a compliment to a healthy lifestyle. They can only be a means to an end as opposed to an end unto themselves.

For me, spring and autumn are optimal times for this. It is a chance for me to cleanse my body and be in communion with the Source of All Creating/Sustaining/Dissolving (my concept of GOD). I use cleanses and detoxes to prepare for deeper meditation and other physical/spiritual practices in lieu of bringing in more of the new seasonal energies. On a personal note, I have been blessed to see 52 years of age and, as of last year’s (2011) check up, I had no polyps in my colon. I think that my observing a healthy lifestyle has helped. However, I think that my spiritual practices, to include the recent addition of cleanses and detoxes, since 2009, have enabled and will allow me to maintain much of my health, vitality and positive outlook.

Intense Seated Forward Bend
This pose is great for taking breath into the backside of the body. Even so, there must still be breath going into the front side of our body as well.

We can all be healthier, if we so choose . . . .

Be Healthy, Be Ageless, Be You!!!

Sources:

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/122748-benefits-detox-colon-cleansing/#ixzz26eUtwxZO

Read more at Suite101: Health Risks of Cleansing Diets: Harmful Effects of a Detox Diet | Suite101.com http://suite101.com/article/health-risks-of-cleansing-diets-a99438#ixzz26eW2lqhF

Christianity and Yoga – Commonalities

Religion and spirituality are part of the everyday lives of people across the face of the earth. However, they are often seen as being mutually exclusive of each other. Barriers are often erected between the two and serve only to bury, under the opacity of dogma and doctrine, their commonalities. Commonalities between religious doctrine and spiritual practices can be bridges that lead to a more expansive and grounded realization of The One Source (TOS). Specifically, yoga practice that incorporates the precepts of yama/niyama can be a supporting aspect of the Christian journey.

TOS is an acronym for The Source of All Creating/ Sustaining/ Dissolving. As mere words cannot really encapsulate the immensity of this concept, the term GOD is what many Christians find easy to grasp. TOS, for all intents and purposes, is a more expansive and encompassing concept that references the religious and spiritual acknowledgement that everything comes from TOS. Within the context of Christianity, the Bible states that TOS created the heaven and the earth and the sea and ALL that in THEM is. TOS did this by SPEAKING reality into existence. In the case of Man, TOS formed the matter (the dust of the earth) and put the spiritual essence (the breath of life) into man (spirit and matter). From the standpoint of yoga, TOS-GOD is actually a whole that exudes the duality of nature. (i.e. subjective and objective, spirit and matter). It is this duality that is perceived as everyday reality.

The practice of yoga, to include various concepts and methodologies, promotes the observance of certain precepts. These precepts are: Yamas – Asetya, Asteya, Aparigraha, Ahimsa, Brahmacharya and Niyamas – Ishvara Pranidhana, Tapas, Santosha, Shaucha, Svadyaya. These are Sanskrit (Ancient East Indian) terms which translate to Avoidances – Non-Lying, Non-Stealing, Non-Greed, Non-Violence, Non-Sensuality and Non-Avoidances – Attunement to a GOD Principle, Austerity, Contentment, Purity, Self Study, repectively. Yama (avoidances or conduct which is controlled) are those habits that should be minimized in one’s life. They are stated in a negative sense. Niyama (Non-avoidances or conduct which is cultivated) are those practices or acts that one should increase in their lives. These same precepts and the practice of them can be found in the KJV Bible.

These precepts, yama and niyama, can be the conduit through which the Christian can find common ground on which to explore the practice of yoga. Christians (sic) approach their salvation through observing a philosophy of monotheism. Yogis strive for self-realization by harmonizing the duality that comprises existence in this plane of reality. This plane of reality is that which emanates from TOS-GOD. By one being grounded in Christianity, the connection with observing non-greed, non-violence, non-lying, non-stealing, non sensuality, purity, self study, contentment, austerity, Attunement to a GOD Principle can be a place to more comfortably see that there is an inter-connectivity between all of life on earth. One can utilize the yamas and the niyamas as a way to bring yoga into a Christianity and yoga, via , to make the practice of yoga a practice that supports and even bolsters one’s Christian beliefs.

The idea being exposited here is that neither, religion nor spirituality, has to have dominion over the other; that they can be wholly supportive of each other. Unfortunately, in a world of wrong or right, the side of the fence where one resides is usually viewed as the correct side. By allowing the commonalities between the two to bring about a melding of ideas, there could be great beneficial results from this. When practicing (true yoga), one’s breath is always, should always be, at the forefront of the practice. The breath of life is what energetically and spirituality sustains the body in the body in this earth plane. If the practice of yoga can assist in the developing the ability to breath fully and completely, then why not practice it. It is the breath of life, as was bestowed upon humankind by TOS, that connects us to that all encompassing power. The precepts of yama-niyama can serve as a source of ideological common ground between religion and spirituality, between Christianity and yoga. One can, then, more confidently stand on their religious ideals while engaging in a spiritual practice.

The Cycle of Breath and Energy


This is a question that was posed to me about one of my comments on LinkedIn.

Question:
Hi, Would you tell me (Yoga begins at the ending and ends at the beginning) in detail? I could not understand the exact meaning and sir I would like to communicate though my email – abc.vwxyz@gmail.com. Would you please?

The beginning is the end, the end is the beginning.
This is a Fractal Representation of Infinity, a continuous cycle of energy.

Answer: Yoga is about union, my friend. Through yoga, the practitioner works to unify their essence with the Source of All Creating, Sustaining, and Dissolving (‘GOD’). It is through unifying with ‘GOD’ that our practice “Begins at the ending and ends at the beginning”.

Yoga is breath and breath is a gift from ‘GOD’. It is the gift of the breath that sustains us. One breathes as they enter into their practice, they utilize the breath, perhaps by engaging in ujjayi breath
or in various pranayamas, to sustain themselves during the practice, and they finish the practice with the natural breath. However, breathing does not stop at the conclusion of the practice: daily activities are carried out in the usual manner. In conducting daily business, one, hopefully, ascribes to the initiating, sustaining and finishing of the breath. The breath, as we know, does not end: it is a cycle of endless inhalation, pause, exhalation, pause . . . . . How fully one breathes is a reflection of the depth of their practice.

Artistic depiction of ajna chakra
Ajna Chakra: Point of unification/differentiation of energy

Through one’s yoga practice, they come to realize that there is no ending or beginning to the breath. The breath is not created or destroyed. The end of breathing for one person, one being, is the beginning of breath for another person, another being. As Einstein so eloquently stated, ‘energy can be neither created nor destroyed’. Breath is the ‘GOD’ Given Manifestation of Energy. Breath is the link through which beings on the earth connect with and are connected to ‘GOD’ (Genesis 2:7, KJV); It is this energy that sustains us. Were it not for this energy, contained within the air that we breathe, we would cease to exist.

This Manifestation of Energy is bestowed to all beings on earth by ‘GOD’, the Source of All Creating, Sustaining and Dissolving. This is not stated as Creation, Sustaining and Destruction because that would imply an Ending. There is no ending. If you look at all natural processes on earth, there is Creating, Sustaining and Dissolving and it is through Dissolving that the process of Creating evolves and manifests. One’s yoga practice is a reflection of this natural process.

It is from here that I say that ‘Yoga begins at the ending and ends at the beginning’

Brahmacharya – temperance in a gotta-have-it world.

GOD Realization

Brahmacharya is a precept in yoga that covers the practice of observing and mastering the senses. The senses, the urges, and the actions that they give rise to, are like a team of powerful wild horses. The senses and urges naturally want to go in their own directions. You, as the individual, end up unconsciously riding in which ever direction they choose to go instead of being the director the journey. In order to harness this raw power, one must be aware of it. Awareness of the pulling of the urges and the senses allows for development of the ability to channel them. It is this channeling that leads to the beginning of mastery.

Brahmacharya is often associated with abstinence; as it is sensual pleasures that impede the mind from extending into pure awareness. When the mind gravitates toward pleasures, the senses, on an energetic and spiritual level, become less discriminatory and the higher goals of the spiritual practices are not easily attained. Forces and desires, that draw us away from the spiritual path, can be assessed and addressed with less internal turmoil through the practice of brahmacharya. From this practice, in addition to acquiring morals, one attains higher levels of mental and spiritual clarity. One can then be more in-tune with the reason behind the spiritual practices: One can be more in-tune with GOD.

Sexual abstinence, as it is often associated with brahacharya, has merit; however, sex is not the only sensual pleasure that humans have at their disposal. Drinking, drugs, food and video games are just some of the activities that can stimulate the senses in an addictive and sensual manner. When the centers of pleasure are stimulated, the effect is euphoric and most people are unconscious of it. The feelings and the sensations that are elicited by this stimulation often need to be repeatedly experienced, as the individual is, for all intents and purposes, addicted. However, anything that can addictively stimulate the senses of sight, sound, taste, touch, or smell can be observed, directed and controlled.

Overindulgence in pleasurable diversions detracts from the totality of the mind’s quiet and broad beauty. Excessive indulgence in pleasures dulls the senses, weakens the resolve and brings about enslavement to the passions that run amok within us. The indulgence in pleasures can take away from focusing on life’s greater purpose, i.e. Our Connection to GOD. To deepen this connection requires us to slow down, avoid overt hedonism and become more aware.

Many people relate to life in ways that involve attachment to pleasures and anxiety about things (i.e. I want this and I want it now, I’ve just got to have this or I will die, etc). This attachment makes us more apt to submit to passions, lusts and sense pleasures. Although our spiritual practices and focuses can leave us feeling refreshed, invigorated and bring us closer to GOD, they cannot be fully realized when sense pleasures hold sway in our lives. Awareness, then, is key for realizing the most from our spiritual practices.

To observe brahmacharya is to cast one’s gaze toward GOD. One does this while aligning the desire to minimize the effect of the proclivities (toward sense pleasures) with all that striving to attune one’s self with GOD entails. We are asked to be more aware of the thoughts, actions and speech which keep us bound to this earth plane. Awareness, of our tendencies to veer towards indulging in pleasures of the senses, sometimes to excess, is mandatory. Without awareness, observing brahmacharya would be nothing but an effort in futility.

GOD, here, is defined as what the individual (reader) defines as the highest level of the essence of creation/sustaining/dissolution that one could ever imagine. One a real level, humans are bound to this earth plane. Responsibilities, cares, obligations, desires, longings, lusts and the like keep us fettered to this plane. By ascribing to a view, a Concept of the Ultimate Source of All Creation/Sustaining/Dissolving, the proclivities that bind us to this earth plane have minimal influence over us. This is a view that is universal to all religio-spiritual disciplines throughout the world. GOD cannot be encapsulated in anyone’s one dogmatic representation. Be it Allah, Jehovah, Jesus Christ, Krishna, Ardhanarishvara (my personal favorite), the Tao, Nothingness, the Great Spirit, Odin, Zues/Hera, Assur/Aset, etc. Whatever the human personification of the Ultimate Source, efforts must still be put forth to minimize the rift betwixt humans and that same Ultimate Source.

This is not only about moderating extremes or being more moral, this is about guiding the thoughts, speech and actions into a more wholesome state. By applying moderation, temperance and by being more aware, of what we think, say and do, one can avoid the extremes of overindulgence. ‘Wanting’ can be kept in check. We find solace with our current state as we work to attain our goals. To live in the realm of incessantly wanting more is to live life unfulfilled. Moderation and temperance are keys to overcoming the tendency of wanting more and overindulging the senses.

Heaven/perfection – Nirvana/liberation can be attained through the practice of brahmacharya. This is outlined in the King James version bible: ‘And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible’. I Cor 9:25. That is to say, that mastery is achieved by knowing what is going on, within one’s self, at all times, in order to achieve that Oneness with the Ultimate Source of All Creation/Sustaining/Dissolution, with GOD.

By observing brahmacharya, one can greatly augment the spiritual journey by minimizing the effects of force, anger, greed and lust. Brahmacharya can minimize, if not negate, the internal strife that one experiences when presented with sense pleasures and open the door for the development of joy and bliss. We can then, more easily, loosen the bonds of sensuality, selfishness and the hunger for power as we develop the abilities to love unconditionally, to think and see fluently, fluidly and clearly and to reconcile the polarities within ourselves.

Observing brahmacharya stimulates our higher spiritual energies and leads us to a deeper connection to GOD. Pleasures, then, cannot hold sway over us. As we master them, they become simple experiences and not a means to an end.

Harold Rose
RYT200, Scottsdale, AZ
http://www.absutrafitness.com

Take a deep breath today . . . for the rest of your life.

These are the directions that the breath can actually extend to throughout the body.
Where is your breath.

And the Lord GOD formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Gen. 2:7

In today’s society, there is little time to experience anything other than the rush of rushing. As we run from here to there and from there to here, the sense of connectedness to one’s self is lost. The act of rushing becomes one of normalcy. As rushing becomes more ingrained into our hectic routines, we do not take out time to even catch our breath. I would dare surmise that few of us even realize what comprises full and complete diaphragmatic breathing

Breath and breathing fully is the birthright of every human on the planet. Yet, as Esau sold his birthright for a mere bowl of food, many of us have tossed aside the fullness of our breath capacity for other things that we deem to be important: i.e. – tight-fitting clothes, developing poor posture, holding in our stomachs, etc. What could be more important than breathing consciously and fully? What could be more important that taking in the energy laden air that animates our bodies down to the very organelles of every cell?

Most of us are not aware of our poor breathing habits. The quality of our breathing can either bolster or restrict the quality of our life. The consequences of poor, incomplete and inadequate breathing can range from headaches to heart disease and sundry common maladies in between. Many people do not understand how they routinely impose restrictions and distortions upon their breathing. For example, habitually breathing high into the chest, breathing shallowly and breathing too fast are grossly endemic today. A trained eye need not be employed to grasp the extent of these patterns in ourselves and others: tight bodies, tight belts, tight schedules and the like are leaving us ‘breathless’.

This need not be the case. Bad breathing does not have to exist on the endemic level that it now does. Although we may be breathing poorly and inadequately 24 hours a day, 365 day a year, respiratory actions are completely malleable. Breathing is involuntary which is part and parcel of why many of us breathe badly. Breathing is also voluntary. Respiratory action and the associated musculatures are controlled by somatic motor neurons. As we give more awareness to posture and breath, we can bring more life-sustaining energy into our bodies and thereby circumvent many of the complications that can result from breathing poorly.

The most direct physical manifestation of the presence of and connection to GOD that all humans can experience is the fullness of the breath (Read Gen. 2:7). We need not stumble around wondering if GOD is present in our lives. We have a daily reminder with us, at all times . . . all we need to do is breath.