Maehle's New Book on Meditation Spills ALL Yoga Secrets

You know how people say that yoga used to be "secret" with its techniques kept safely away from the eyes of common people like me?

And you know how, in contrast, today people say that this is no longer the case?  Well, I call B/S on that!

YOGA IS TODAY AS MUCH A SECRET AS IT HAS EVER BEEN

I just finished reading Gregor Maehele's last book Yoga Meditation.  In it, he spills ALL the secrets of meditation as intended by Patanjali and his eight limbs, all the way to how exactly you can access the mystical states of samadhi. One by one,  They are all there.

BUT to learn about it we would need to read the book, and further, to understand it we would need to read his previous book as well: Pranayama The Breath Of Yoga (as he refers to it often and directs to it for techniques), and even further back, we would also need to look into his first two books in which he talks about asanas (describing the poses of the first and second series of Ashtanga Yoga as well as the Yoga Sutras and the yamas and niyamas, etc).

But even beyond all of that! Yoga is a living science that needs to be practiced not just read about. Therein lies the secret!   

The techniques maybe accessible and in book form giving the illusion that the secret is out, but the gatekeeper is still present, it lives in our distracted minds and dispositions.

That being said, if there is one book that FINALLY comes together for us modern-aspiring-yogis explaining Patanjali's yoga in a practical and attainable way, with a clear plan towards the goal of the mystical states,  this is it!

Take this for example: from page 178:
"This is a scientifically precise engineering manual for meditation. Using this method with precision, predictable outcomes can be achieved. Do not leave meditation to chance. Like asana and pranayama, yoga meditation is an exact science!"
Maehle has done his research by looking at hundreds of ancients texts,  he goes on to correlate each one of his findings to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and he has burned through the fire of his own intense practices as he has visited a great number of living sages of our times and learned under them.

This book is, for those who are ready for it,  nothing short of the greatest gift a yogi could ever hope for.

TWO THINGS I LEARNED JUST BY LOOKING AT THE COVER:

1- Lotus Flowers of Each Chakra Are Facing Up:

Every drawing of the chakras out there has one thing wrong and that is that the petals of the lotuses associated with each center of energy are never facing upwards.  You may have seen plenty of two dimensional representations, and it is actually quite rare to even see the petals in the drawings (try a Google image search).  But, Gregor says, visualizing the petals facing upwards helps with directing the energy in the direction in which it has to go for success.

Just by looking at the cover you will see that this is perhaps the first graph to have the depiction done right, so that whomever looks at it can start visualizing the chakras in a more conducive way.
Kundalini raising, a nice visual
2- The Popular Colors We Associate with the Chakras are Wrong:

In the same way, every drawing of the chakras out there has been heavily influenced by artistic liberties. For example, the third chakra (navel)  has petals that are blue in color, not yellow, and the fourth chakra (heart) has red petals, not green.  From page 160:
"...The correct colours of the petals have been described in the yoga shastra called the Shat Chakra Nirupana, which the great Swami Kuvalayananda has declared to be the authority on chakras.  Respected scholars such as Sir John Woodroffe ... have confirmed these are the correct colours"
YOGA MEDITATION IS DIVIDED INTO 3 PARTS:

And within each of the three parts there are "laws" that grow in level of refinement, and enchantment.  I could not help but get more and more inspired as the pages kept turning.

Part One contains The Laws of the Physical Dimension of Meditation.

And it feels like a recap of previous works. For example:  (a) meditation is made possible by raising kundalini, (b) right conditions for meditation (pose, position of hands) (c) prana and apana understanding (d) oceanic breathing (e) alternate nostril breathing (f) extending the time in your inversions, etc.

There is talk about having the right attitude, the right intention, the right motivation as well.

Part one is the ground fertilization, the first part o yoga, the getting healthy so to speak.

Part Two contains The Laws of the Mental Dimensions of Meditation


This part clearly explains  how to  go about pratyahara, the fifth limb of yoga where the senses go within, and it does so sense by sense.

For example Chapter 11 is called: "Pratyahara is the simultaneous binding of the audio visual, kinesthetic tactile, olfactory and gustatory components of the mind to their respective places"

Gregor then goes on to show how exactly to send each sense into their "respective places". Take for instance the gustatory sense, how to send it in? Jhiva Mudra (bending the tongue upwards, eventually swallowing it as the yogi becomes more advanced) and , more inversions, very long stays in shoulder stand and headstand.

Then there is the mantras for each of the six chakras (bija mantras) which are:  Lam-Vam-Ram-Ham-Yam-Om and the brilliant explanation of what happens as you a) visualize them b) repeat them in increasing amounts decreasing your respiratory rate (for which pranayama helps) and well, you really need to read the rest as I cannot possibly do it justice

Part Three contains the Spiritual Dimensions of Meditation and has one of the best explanations of the chakras I have read.

Gregor rightly feels that the chakras as overdue for a new interpretation. He says:
"I am offering here a new map of the chakras. The reason for creating this new map is that the existing descriptions do not satisfactorily explain the evolution of human society up to this point in history"
Yes, true that!

This is then followed by the most profound description of exactly what happens in meditation, how it is done, how the prana (life force) is invited to flow up the shushumna nadi (central channel of energy responsible for mystical states).  How samadhi (or what some call enlightenment) is reached, etc.

Why Only Six Chakras?

The six chakras mentioned in the book are accessed through the breath, says Gregor, but not the other ones, the seventh on for example, the Thousand petaled lotus is accessed "outside of the breathing cycle".

The chakra does make an appearance in the book, in fact it has its own chapter dedicated to it towards the end.

Let me leave you with this from page 247:

WHEN THE WARNING READS LIKE THIS...
"You will soon notice that if you follow all of these instructions properly it is hard not to enter very quickly into a spiritually exulted state. It is important, however, that you do not jump ahead but master each component of this most powerful meditation technique one step at a time. Otherwise its fruit will not reveal itself"


WILL THIS BOOK GO ONTO THE BOOK CLUB?

Some of you have been following the book club on which we have been reading his previous book, Pranayama Breath Of Yoga.

I thought that this could be a good follow up, but as I read and re-read I realize that it would be more appropriate for me to practice.  I feel inspired, and I want to work with it, re-read, observe, try, practice.

Perhaps that is where the secrecy part kicks in, whenever an aspiring yogi/student like me gets inspired to just roll out that mat and practice!



Follow me on Twitter or subscribe at: ClaudiaYoga.com
StumbleUpon

8 comments:

  1. i'm not sure that i agree that there's a right and wrong when it comes to the chakras.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Have you tried any of the methods? I really need to start sitting more regularly again, but it's so hard with a full-time job :(

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have looked at his Pranayama book before, and I have wanted to get it. I do wish it was available for Kindle. I think I would get it. It's the kind of book that I pick up and put down a lot, taking time to think about or reread sections. I would prefer that on my Kindle so I could have it with me all of the time.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very interesting about the lotus flowers!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes Tosia, it was very interesting to me too. Very different way of seeing it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agree with you. He says he did not do the kindle version of the pranayama book because of the heavy amount of footnotes... But the technology to make books into kindle is so easy now-a-days maybe he will, I sure hope so too, this one, just like the pranayama one is a definite candidate for re-reads and to have handy

    ReplyDelete
  7. Barely starting with pranayama which is hard! tempted to try it all out of course, you know me, which is totally NOT what we are supposed to do. So, maybe adding one method at the time, one chapter at the time... I will definitelly keep reading this one, there is just so much here, it is a delight to read.


    The full time job is addressed in the book, he talks about it. He talks about progressively getting more into pranayama at around our age and to start practicing the meditation part...


    The higher practices are not even supposed to be done until like 75 or older, when our purpose for helping the world, whatever that is, is fulfilled...


    Interesting really...


    Good to hear from you Linda.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for posting this. Very nice recap of some of the key points in my talk. I hope you and your readers find it useful! Thanks again

    I invite All to view this video
    ===>> Yoga for Beginners <<===

    ReplyDelete

Anonymous comments can no longer be accepted (I was getting enormous amounts of spam)... But I hope you guys still continue to share your views, I welcome the conversation

Follow Me on Twitter