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Five Reasons Why You're Not Progressing in Kriya Yoga

There are five reasons why you may not be progressing in Kriya Yoga. These include tamasic Kriya, concentrating too hard, constructing states, premature focusing on the kutastha or crown, and breaking the precepts. Learning how these relate to your practice will save you considerable time in fruitless effort and quickly lead to spiritual development and awakening.

How to Overcome Restlessness in Kriya Yoga

Overcoming restlessness in Kriya Yoga or any meditation is not about concentration and absorption, but rather about learning how to let go. In the case of restlessness, this is the letting go of the hindrance of restlessness through Right Effort and Right Collectedness and then returning to a wholesome state of mind. This will result in the spontaneous deepening of meditation and progress towards awakening.

Kriya Yoga and the Five Hindrances

The hindrances of sensual craving, aversion, restlessness, sloth and torpor, and doubt are common experiences in meditation and Kriya Yoga. Often Kriyabans attempt to deal with these hindrances through concentration and absorption. However, this merely suppresses the hindrances temporarily. Instead, if one uses Right Collectedness and Right Effort, one will be able to let go of the hindrances and prevent the arising of further karma.

How to Attain Samadhi in Kriya Yoga

Samadhi is considered by many to be the pinnacle of attainment in Kriya Yoga. However, many Kriyabans have trouble transitioning into samadhi due poor habits learned in some Kriya Yoga lineages. Understanding the meditation process and best practices for attaining samadhi can empower students to reach the highest levels of meditation.

Kriya Yoga, Reincarnation, and Rebirth

The idea of reincarnation is a key aspect of the cosmology in Kriya Yoga, Vedanta, and other spiritual paths. This idea rests on the fundamental assumption of a permanent lasting self or soul (atman), which is used to interpret one’s inner experiences in meditation, especially bliss (ananda). While many have identified with these inner experiences as being proof of the soul, deeper investigation reveals that these experiences are transitory, subject to change, subject to suffering, and are not a permanent lasting self. Instead, seeing the true nature of these experiences leads to realization and awakening.

Kriya Yoga and Overcoming Anger

Anger (krodha) is a major impediment in spiritual development. Anger is one of the defilements (upakilesas) rooted in the taints (asavas) that color one’s consciousness and lead to reactivity. By learning to see the aversion, ill-will, and anger as they arise, one can let them go to help to nullify old karma and avoid perpetuating new binding karma. As well, through Kriya Yoga, one can use meditative states to develop a better understanding of the links of Dependent Origination and the mechanism of karma, thereby leading to one’s awakening.

Kriya Yoga and the Seven Enlightenment Factors

The perspective that one takes in Kriya Yoga, or any meditation, is crucial for meditative success. The default perspective for most students is an ego-centric one where one makes an effort to progress in meditation. This usually leads to suboptimal results. However, if one realizes the impersonal nature of the meditation process and uses the Seven Enlightenment Factors, the meditation process will unfold naturally on its own, leading to awakening.

How to Progress in Kriya Yoga

To understand progress in Kriya Yoga, and meditation in general, it can be helpful to consider the factors of body, breathing, and mind. Having the right asana (posture for meditation), right pranayama (life force control through intentional breathing), and right samadhi (collectiveness of mind) are essential for meditative success and spiritual development.

Kriya Yoga, Self-Realization, and Awakening

The idea of self-realization is a prevalent one in Kriya Yoga circles. This realization of oneness with the soul or atman is seen as an essential component of spiritual development in preparation for oneness with the Paramatman or God. Many yogis identify with bliss states in meditation as if they are a permanent self. This is problematic and does not lead to true awakening. Only seeing the true nature of phenomena and existence allows one to awaken.

Kriya Yoga and the Origin of Suffering

Kriya Yoga can be an effective practice for understanding the origin of suffering and taking practical steps to mitigate karmic effects. If practiced correctly, Kriya Yoga allows one to move deeper up the karmic river to see the origin of one’s karmic seeds (samskaras) and gives one the opportunity to let go of one’s attachment. If combined with everyday mindfulness practice, Kriya Yoga can greatly accelerate one’s spiritual development.

Kriya Yoga and Mastering Virtue

The ancient sage Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras gives a clear recipe for virtuous conduct with others. Drawing on the wisdom of the Brahma Viharas (divine abodes), Patanjali counsels the spiritual adept to develop the virtues of loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. Kriya yogis can learn to experience these virtues in deep meditative states and then apply them in their daily experiences to accelerate their spiritual development.

Kriya Yoga and Celibacy

Although some Kriya Yoga schools advocate strict celibacy for their students, this is neither advisable nor was it required for the direct disciples of Lahiri Baba. Instead, the great master advocated for sexual moderation that balanced a householder’s responsibilities with their Kriya Yoga sadhana. Enforced celibacy does more harm than good at it represses sexual desires without dealing with the underlying craving that perpetuate those desires.

Are Samadhi and Enlightenment the Same?

In Kriya Yoga and other yogic paths, samadhi is often used as a synonym for enlightenment. Although an experience of samadhi can make a significant impression, it does not in itself constitute enlightenment. Much more is involved for final awakening than reaching transitory states of bliss.

Kriya Yoga is Easy

Although Kriya Yoga has many layers, the essence of it is simple, easy to learn, and provides immediate effect. By engaging in diaphragmatic breathing (belly breathing), ujjayi, and keeping the breath rate below seven breaths per minute, you can immediately begin experiencing the effects of meditation

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