Step Into A New Day
"As a fire blazes brightly when the covering of ash over it is scattered by the wind, the divine fire within the body shines in all its majesty when the ashes of desire are scattered by the practice of pranayama."
– B.K.S. Iyengar
“All right, if God is love, if He is peace, if He is bliss that will satisfy all desires of heart and soul eternally — as every great saint tells us — then I must be able to prove this through my own experience. I cannot be satisfied with mere beliefs about God.
Apply not only the mental approach to God, but the pranayama approach to God....Then you can disengage the mind from the senses and race toward God.
If you would know God, you must practice pranayama.”
P R A N A Y A M A
Inspiring Quotes About Pranayama By Sri Daya Mata, Previous President of the Self Realization Fellowship
"Yoga is scientific. It needn’t even be thought of as a religion (in the narrow denominational sense); though in truth, real religion is science. The scientific facts of yoga are based on universal laws. Its truths can be proven by anyone who will apply those laws. That is why yoga thrills me so much. It appeals not only to my heart, but to my sense of reason, because I see it truly is a science."
"Most of you know, as taught in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, that the path is eightfold. First come yama and niyama, the do’s and don’ts that must be observed for spiritual progress. Next is asana, mastering the proper posture for sitting in meditation with a straight spine and complete physical relaxation. Then we are ready to practice pranayama, life force control — which leads to pratyahara, interiorization of the mind, and the higher states of concentration, meditation, and ecstatic God-union: dharana, dhyana, samadhi."
"Let me say a little about pranayama, because this is one of the most important milestones on the path to Self-realization. Some yoga books and instructors teach that it only means breathing exercises. No. It is much deeper than that. Prana means life energy; ayama means control. Pranayama works with the breath, mind, and subtle life energies in the body to bring the nervous system and senses and attention under your conscious control."
"In ordinary consciousness, one’s energy, mind, and concentration are externalized, pouring outward through the senses and other instruments of the physical self. When one is so identified with the world and with the flesh that the mind is always absorbed in desires, moods, physical activities, habits, he really does not know himself, his true nature as a soul. The soul is all-wise, the soul is all-blissful, the soul is all-loving."
“So long as you keep your mind on the surface of life, so long you will never know what it is to enjoy that blissful state of the soul.” ~ Paramahansa Yogananda
"Pranayama is the bridge that one must pass over to get from physical consciousness to this divine awareness within."
"You cannot think your way into God’s presence. You have to experience your way into God’s presence. Merely thinking about God or reading books about higher states of consciousness can never give you the personal experience of divine ecstasy. You can come to that state only through application of the psychophysical laws that govern man’s consciousness. Yoga teaches you step-by-step how to free the mind from the constant distractions of sensations and from the restless thoughts roused by sensations. You learn to calm the breath and heart. When the heart is made calm, then sensations will disappear of themselves."
"Be patient, and persevere. Before you can reach the state of complete mental focus in which the mind is absolutely riveted on the technique, there is a long preparatory period when you are just practicing. Sometimes it takes years of regular practice, sometimes not so long — depending on your determination and your past-life karma — until you develop that power of single-pointed concentration. It is like trying to saw a piece of wood. At first the saw will tend to slip one way or another from the line you are trying to cut. But eventually it will start to make a groove, and then it will go deeper and deeper into that one groove."
"In the interiorized state that comes from successful practice of pranayama, one feels first a tremendous peace, which is so satisfying. The soul that has felt so parched for so long suddenly feels, oh! such satisfaction, such fulfillment — ”the peace that surpasseth all understanding” that the Bible speaks of. And then from that peace comes a sense of expansion, because you have withdrawn your energy from the senses that make you identify with the finite body. You feel expanded beyond the body; your consciousness is no longer restricted to this little cage of flesh that has for so long confined the soul."
"By pranayama meditation, what you are actually doing is pulling away the obscuring veil of maya, so that you realize yourself as the soul. In that state there is no consciousness of the little ego. Ego is tied to the flesh, to mundane desires — fame and glory, name and position, and so on. But in soul consciousness all those cravings vanish. You see yourself as a reflection of the Divine Spirit, complete and perfect and whole. And you naturally feel great love and reverence for all other beings, for you perceive that what is divine within yourself is also within every living thing."
"One should not indiscriminately speak of one’s inner experiences, lest they leave and are lost; but I have such desire to awaken within each one of you deeper faith in God, deeper love for Him, deeper understanding of the way that leads to Him. That is why I speak this way. Believe this — if you never believe anything else from Daya Mata, believe this: If you steadfastly follow this path, regularly and faithfully practicing the techniques with love and longing for God, you will find for yourself what an incomparable treasure Paramahansa Yogananda has given you through these teachings. You will find God." (source)
C L O S I N G T H E C Y C L E
By Paulo Coehlo
One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters - whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.
Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents' house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden?
You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won't take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.
None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us. What has passed will not return: we cannot for ever be children, late adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back.
Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away. That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home. Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts - and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place.
Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.
Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the "ideal moment." Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person - nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.
Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are. (source)
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