The videos below provide insights into many misunderstood subjects and esoteric teachings in meditation, Kriya Yoga, Daoist Internal Alchemy, yoga, and related practices. If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com.
Which Kriya Yoga School is Best?
Many students wonder which Kriya Yoga school is best. It is often thought that the original Kriya Yoga must be the superior version. Hence, there are many schools that claim their version is more authentic than others. Other schools claim to have an improved version of Kriya that is more powerful than the original. All of this speculation tends to miss the fact that Lahiri Baba shifted his way of teaching Kriya Yoga during his lifetime. Understanding the reason for this can help to give us insights into how we can apply Lahiri’s approach to improve our own Kriya Yoga practice.
Spirituality and Hierarchy
Many spiritual traditions are organized hierarchically in an attempt to provide some structure to their teachings. The drawback with this approach is that hierarchy and social order often become more important than the purpose for which they were created (i.e., spiritual development). This leaves students of these traditions in an awkward position where they are expected to make efforts to progress, but are at the same time held back by the hierarchical structure of their tradition. This is why at Modern Kriya, we focus on a skills based approach to spirituality that allows students to undergo a custom process of development that supports their spiritual goals.
Kriya Yoga and the Myth of Delusion
In some Kriya Yoga schools, the idea of phenomenal existence as being Maya or delusion is a prominent concept. While this concept can help to provide one with a spiritual perspective on life, it is often mistakenly used to negate all worldly existence and leads to spiritual isolation and stagnation. This latter interpretation is the opposite of true spiritual development, which is about transformation and integration.
Kriya Yoga and Patanjali's Yoga Sutras
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras contain foundational principles of meditation and inner development. Kriya Yoga as taught by Lahiri Baba adheres to these principles. A clear understanding of the sutras is important for those practicing Kriya Yoga to help ensure they are making optimal efforts to support their spiritual development.
The Five Elements in Kriya Yoga and Daoist Internal Alchemy
The five elements are understood and used differently in Kriya Yoga and Daoist Internal Alchemy. Whereas in Kriya Yoga, we talk about the five tattvas (elements) as a linear progression from the Om vibration, in Daoist Internal Alchemy the five elements are understood as five phases of the one life force (chi or prana). Understanding the differences between these two approaches can help to provide insight into the process of meditation and inner transformation.
Enlivening Your Kriya Yoga Practice
Since Kriya Yoga is a fairly intensive practice involving many parts, students often get bogged down in the details of the techniques and may end up sacrificing quality for quantity. As a result, students may get limited results and have a tendency to plateau in their meditations. A remedy to this is for students to bring in an authentic presence to their practice that creates a tremendous potential for inner experiences and spiritual unfoldment.
Kriya Yoga and the Chakras
Although the chakras are widely referred to in Kriya Yoga and other yogic traditions, they are not always well understood. While many have considered the chakras as expressions of the pancha tattvas (five elements) in yoga, it is helpful to understand chakras as nodal points along a larger energetic circuit called the Microcosmic Orbit. By learning to balance the Microcosmic Orbit, one can effectively restore equilibrium in the chakras in improve one’s meditations.
Overcoming Challenges in Kriya Yoga
There are several common challenges that students face when practicing Kriya Yoga. While some teachers have counselled students to simply keep working at it when they encounter a challenge, an intelligent evaluation of the principles of the practice will illuminate solutions for students and help them progress rapidly. This is the approach we take at Modern Kriya.
Kriya Yoga Modifications: Good or Bad?
Many Kriya Yoga schools have made modifications over the years to the Kriya Yoga techniques that were originally taught by Lahiri Baba. There is a tendency in the discourse among Kriya yogis to talk about the purity of their Kriya Yoga lineages and to cast aspersions on those schools that have made modifications. However, this does little to provide clarity on the effectiveness of these modifications. To be able to assess whether these modifications are useful, we need to understand how Kriya Yoga works and to evaluate the modifications objectively. That is the approach we take at Modern Kriya.
Satguru in Kriya Yoga
The concept of the Satguru, the student’s one permanent spiritual teacher is a common idea in Kriya Yoga and other yogic paths. While having respect and reverence for the teacher is helpful, slavish devotion to that teacher to the exclusion of all other legitimate forms of information in the name of loyalty is misguided. It can limit the development of both the student and the teacher. At Modern Kriya, we support the development of students’ spiritual skills that will empower their transformation and lead to lasting positive change.
Why Yogananda's Energization Exercises Don't Work
Paramhansa Yogananda’s Energization Exercises are regarded by SRF/YSS and Ananda as a form of pranayama (life force control). However, this assertion is not correct since the function of pranayama is to prepare one for pratyahara (internalization). The Energization Exercises actually do the reverse and stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, which leads one away from pratyahara and interferes with one’s efforts to meditate. At Modern Kriya, we teach effective means to help prepare students for meditation and powerful meditation practices for internalization and inner transformation.
Hong Sau, Kriya Yoga, and the Tranquil Breath
Some Kriya Yoga schools teach the Hong Sau Technique of Concentration as a beginner meditation practice and advocate for including it at the beginning of one’s meditation. However, Kriya Yoga pranayama is a much more effective practice than Hong Sau. Understanding the meditation process, in particular the emergence of the Tranquil Breath, provides insight into how best to apply Hong Sau and get the most leverage from this practice in your meditation.
Kriya Yoga and the Om Vibration
Some erroneous notions about the Om vibration (and subtle energies in general) have crept into Kriya Yoga over the years and caused a fair degree of confusion for students. This confusion has led many students to disregard the subtle experiences they were already having in favor of culturally prescribed concepts about the flow of life energy or prana. There are simple methods from Nada Yoga and Daoist Internal Alchemy that you can use to become aware of subtle energies and leverage this awareness to maximize your results in meditation. We teach these and many more no-nonsense approaches to meditation at Modern Kriya.