There is a vast universe of consciousness to explore within us, say both saints and scientists. After you have completed the beginning meditation class with Ananda, you may wish to study further. Ananda offers a series of classes that will take you deeper into your practice, with time to meditate weekly with others in a supportive environment. There are 6 steps that lead to Kriya Yoga initiation beginning with Meditation 1: Learn to Meditate.
Step 2: Focusing Your Energy
Pre-requisite Step 1.
The secret of success in life, and in meditation practice, is to be able generate energy at will and direct it toward your goals for success. Yogananda developed the Energization Exercises, which you will learn as an integral part of this 3- or 4-week series, as well as deepening your practice of the techniques in “Learn to Meditate.”
- Develop calmness and clarity of mind.
- Increase your powers of concentration.
- Overcome obstacles to meditation.
- Explore your inner universe. Learn about the chakras and how they influence your life and health.
The Energization Exercises are a powerful tool for recharging the body with energy at will, thereby driving away fatigue and disease. More importantly, it is an invaluable tool for developing divine awareness in its most subtle aspects.
Both science and yoga tell us that our physical bodies are made of energy, so potentially, we have vast reserves of energy we can draw on. Yogananda said, “There is enough energy in one gram of flesh to keep the city of Chicago supplied with electricity for a week.” Through your practice of the Energization Exercises, you will learn to become aware of the flow energy within you, and how to direct that flow.
Step 3: Opening Your Heart
The Guru Disciple Relationship
Pre-requisite: Meditation Steps 1 & 2
As meditation deepens, we begin to feel something greater than ourselves. Whether it is called the higher self, the soul, or God, it is another dimension of awareness. How do we relate to it? What is its role in our lives? Explore meditation as a means of inner communion, the awakening of the heart, and the beginning of what Yogananda calls the “divine romance”.
- How to know what spiritual path is right for you.
- The guru-disciple relationship—not a blind, passive relationship, but one requiring courage and dynamic will.
- How to deepen your inner connection with God.
- The subtle nuances of meditation practice, especially the breathing techniques and the techniques of increasing the flow of energy, into and throughout the body.
Step 4: Discipleship Initiation
Pre-requisite: Meditation Steps 1-3
If a student wishes, he may become a disciple of Yogananda. In a simple ceremony, a vow is taken asking the help of the guru in finding our way to inner freedom. Says Yogananda, “The purpose of a guru is not to weaken your will. It is to teach you secrets of developing your inner power, until you can stand unshaken amidst the crash of breaking worlds.” The practice of discipleship is a central part of most spiritual traditions, including early Christianity.
Inquire for the next scheduled initiation: (916) 361-0891.
Step 5: Expanding Your Awareness
Pre-requisite: Meditation Steps 1-4
Meditation has often been called “the listening part of prayer.”
After we have done our share of talking, meditation leaves an opening for the Divine to respond. Learn how to expand your awareness to embrace much more than you thought possible, with techniques especially designed to cultivate devotion and heart qualities.
- The AUM technique; concentration on inner sounds.
- Chanting and other techniques for opening the heart.
- Bringing meditative awareness into daily life.
- Talking with God; prayer made practical.
- Meditation as receptivity and listening.
Step 6: Explore Your Chakras and Preparation for Kriya Initiation
Pre-requisite: Meditation Steps 1-5
Babaji declared that Kriya should be given to “all who humbly ask for help.” Some preparation is necessary, to make the body and mind ready to receive the power created by the practice of this technique. At Babaji’s request, Yogananda brought the Kriya meditation technique to the West as “an instrument through which human evolution can be quickened.” Yogananda wrote that Kriya is “the most effective device of salvation through self-effort ever to be evolved in man’s search for the Infinite.” Yogananda writes more about this technique in “The Science of Kriya Yoga,” in Autobiography of a Yogi.
- Practice the foundational techniques with experienced meditators.
- Study Yogananda and Kriyananda’s writings on Kriya.
- Experience the energy of the chakras.
- Explore your readiness for Kriya initiation.