Yoga and Meditation: What Is the Philosophy Behind It

Some see yoga as a kind of cultural physics, often confused with stretching; others think only asanas are yoga. They are not considered unfair. Because the asanas have been the most visible aspect of yoga. Physicians recommend to their patients a few basic starting actions of yoga as a kind of support activity in solving some health problems. There are also those who recommend only certain asanas, as it allows the muscles, bones, and joints to gain strength and flexibility.

The benefits of yoga are emphasized in many aspects, from postoperative convalescent periods to the improvement and regulation of the lymph system, from gymnastics and ballet training to the means of prevention and treatment against arthritis, and even to its positive effects on the work of the endocrine glands.

In addition to all of these, we have started to hear the discourses such as “heart yoga” and even “face yoga” recently. In short, it can be mentioned that there are too many benefits of yoga; moreover, all of these are scientifically proven facts… Health with Yoga, Relax with Yoga… Stay Fit, Even Young… books continue to fill the shelves by diversifying; however, none of them are yoga in the sense that we understand, and the benefits will not go beyond just material or physical unless they concentrate on the basic philosophy and main purpose of yoga.

However, when applied together with the basic philosophy it, there will be many more positive effects and benefits of yoga that beginners cannot guess in any way in terms of spiritual, astral, etheric and cosmic aspects, apart from the physical body and life, along with many more visible benefits listed above. Moreover, all this can be achieved as a result of evaluating your potential with some intelligence, but more sensitivity and creativity. As long as you have succeeded in shaking off the dirt and dust of those years that have taken place in your mind.

What Are Yoga and Meditation?

Especially in the advanced stages of yoga, thanks to the stages to be reached with meditation, the doors of a completely different world will be opened in front of you. The most beautiful thing a person can experience in life is meditation.

Recently I asked a somewhat foolproof person I know of meditation, “Master, what is this meditation different from drugs? It seems to me that they are both the same and addictive… ”The answer was simple:“ You use drugs because you are not happy with life. When you take drugs, maybe you can see everything very well for a short time with its effect, but when you get out of it, life looks worse than before. Moreover, after a while, the dose is insufficient, you want more, the damage increases gradually. “You start meditation only in a much more positive environment, as you progress, you become more free and aware, you feel this positive and you reflect it. It does not cause any destruction and protects your personality and consciousness in a natural way; When you get out of meditation, your life will become more beautiful and gain meaning.

Sogyal Rinpoche, one of the yoga teachers, says: “Learning how to meditate is the greatest gift you can give yourself during your lifetime. Because you can only embark on the journey of discovering your true nature through meditation… Meditation is the way to enlightenment… meditation is to bring the mind home… Relax in the Great Natural Calm… ”It is really difficult to explain and try to explain the meditation in the words we use in daily life. It is alive, but not easily explained… One day when they asked the great master Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche about how to perform meditation, they received the very simple, surprising, but unmatched answer: “Look, what you have to do is: when your previous thought is in the past and your next thought is not born yet, there is a gap in between them; here you have to extend that time.

In your yoga programs, you will say hello to meditation at any stage, according to the method you follow. In fact, this is a necessity, it can even be called a requirement, and if it cannot be done, you can neither discover your inner world nor perceive the physical world with the right view and the correct angle. Because meditation means to live fully and to be aware of what is going on. It is a journey that complements yoga and the main purpose of this journey is to find yourself, to meet yourself, to be yourself. But the truth to remember is that meditation, which means a more comprehensive and broad state of consciousness, cannot reveal anything that is not really in anyone; on the contrary, it provides access to an already existing place and something there. But this issue should never be rushed. Your teachers and masters will determine the right time and the technique that is right for you. You can not teach the seventh grade to the elementary school second-grade student, nor can you explain their subjects. The source of awareness is deep in all of us, and the task of the teacher is not to try to impose a certain belief under any circumstances but to enable students to find it in themselves.

Learning Yoga and Meditation

As we all know, teaching is a difficult but important and sensitive job. One of the yoga masters called out: “A teacher who is not aware of himself cannot be a teacher. He cannot teach others that he has not yet reached. Another great master, Jiddhu Krishnamurti, says: Living comes before teaching… Meditating without knowing the process of thinking is a dream, an illusion and has no reality… Thinking is an answer to memory. Thoughts become slaves of words, symbols, ideas. It is necessary to see the subtle differences and the emotions that accompany them right here. Meditation is to get rid of all this, that is, from thought and mind. ” It could not be described better than this.

One of the points that yoga masters frequently mention in their speeches is that: Yoga provides the person with the ability and habit of doing analytical work on himself, without turning to introspection. After that, it will be easier to analyze and observe the mind and it will be seen that the skill is turning into talent. Because now, once we set off, we are in much communication with ourselves, which cannot be compared to the old us. Self-analysis is the key to accurate and realistic communication. The critical point here is how objective and impartial can we become when analyzing ourselves; in other words, can we actually be a good observer? Otherwise, it will not be true “self-awareness”. For example, in the first stage, we begin to recognize our physical body by perceiving the function, strength, and effects of breath. What we need most at this stage are courage and patience.

A very unique aspect of yoga is that it does not have to be related to any religion or belief. All believers and non-believers can practice yoga without questioning such postponed burdens and virtual discrimination barriers in the human mind; then everyone can go their own way. Because there is no conditioning in yoga, and there is no concern to see the beliefs of someone superior. On the contrary, true yoga cannot be achieved unless we go beyond any condition. Because yoga is universal; in a way, to greet existence and infinity. That is why I advise you to stay away from the so-called yoga venues where a certain religious belief (recently, Hindu-based yogism is to be popularized) is being imposed. True yoga cannot coexist with religious or belief-related conditioning.

As a result, you will soon realize that you are moving towards a more conscious and sensitive life with yoga. It is not right to denigrate any belief for no reason. But as we said, yoga is universal; the dimension of belief is subjective and your choice is entirely up to you. On the contrary, you can enjoy your religious freedom in the best yoga venues; well, you can continue this effort as a Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jewish or zen lover.

Historical Process of Yoga and Meditation and the Philosophy Behind It

One of the great Sufis of the recent period, Hazret İnayet Han, sprouting in the Indian – Islamic culture, says following about the yoga and meditation: “… Our troubles, disappointments, weaknesses, and dislikes arise from the fact that we have not grasped our real self enough. We are only aware of our false self, not our real self. What we need to do is to reveal our true self. All yoga practices, meditation, and mental concentrations are meant to reveal this true self.” I’m asking now; how does this discourse differ from the discourses of the Gautama Buddha and the Dalai Lama? Did Yûnus, Mevlânâ, Ferideddîn-i Attâr, Hallâc-ı Mansûr say different things from this? In other words, it does not matter from which society the culture arises… Is there meditation in Islam? As a matter of fact, Islamic sharia always looked cold to Sufis and mystics; They constantly excluded them and even persecuted them.

Masters of yoga always said, and told their students and friends like this; This is natural religiosity: Awareness in love… Neither a Sufi nor a real yogi can have a job with so-called sacred concepts that are contaminated by organized religions. Because he lives life freely, with love and compassion, with maturity and most importantly with awareness. Dear friends, a true yogi never needs false gurus; because its light is in itself.

However, we see that recently outdated, out-of-date, irrational gurus have appeared around recently. I don’t know if there are still those who sell ‘mantra’ for a fee. If you surf the Internet a little, you will see with regret that such fraudsters, most of them of Hindu origin, or their supposed followers, have settled all over the world. One of the real yogis should also be determined to combat these abusive people with determination. Unfortunately, the bigotry of Hinduism, which has been the cradle of great civilizations and all kinds of free thought, has spread to the whole world.

Transcendental Meditators, Hare Krsnacians, Sahaja Yogis… all of these are the wrong gates that have been reached during searches due to confusion and lack of consciousness. These bays sheltered as a calm harbor where the person can live freely while living in a stormy sea, are actually very shallow, and in fact, in such places, the situation is like when you escape from a prison, you fall into another type of prison and you just sentence your mind to another captivity; that’s all. Some of them took their heresy so far that in their broadcasts and lessons, they were able to assert that they could have superhuman powers according to their development stages (for example, that they could make themselves invisible, touch the stars and the sun, and even revive a dead in the most advanced stage). Employees in these centers, which can find a large number of followers, can explain what they have accomplished, for example, levitation (defeating gravity and rising the physical body from the ground) in media organs.

Yoga, Meditation and Religions

You can easily see the nobility and sophistication in the face of Sufism, the laziness in the face of mysticism, the bigotry in the face of free consciousness, by looking at the life and goals of these miserable people. Whatever you do, but never give credit to these self-seekers and exploiters… Although our starting point may be similar to them, it is misleading. The important thing is the difference in goals… A very important criterion is this: If anyone suggests you to draw hands and skirts from this world and to be isolated from social life, get away from it quickly.

Such religions are already dead. Because they are organized; moreover, as in all human history, today they are in close cooperation and interest relations with despot administrations and their politicians. The common feature of all is that they are based on mutual interest based on eternal servitude-slavery as if they are feared to death, personified virtual existence or beings… Natural religiosity, on the basis of love, is gratuitous gratitude for existence.

Even their prayers are always to demand something in response to this voluntary slavery. The meaning of most of them is in essence as follows: “God put me, my family, and my child, before all other people, keep us superior, whether we deserve it or not”. That is, their prayers, like their beliefs, are so contaminated. Yoga related prayers are about love, no demand, no response; they are just an expression of gratitude to the eternal existence we are a part of. But look, the ideals and beliefs of frauds are already unrealistic, so they are unnecessary; they cause waste of life energy, moreover, they are the cause of pain and discrimination. Ritual words, mantras, and repetitive prayers make people numb, mechanize the mind, make the person closed to the outer world; they even make a person a fatalist by condemning it to an ordinary mind. They take away people’s freedom and therefore all their creativity; and turn them into second-hand machines or a simple voice recorder, preventing awareness.

In meditation, it is not aimed at any purpose, or rather, it is not conditioned to the result; it is the journey to the center of your being and testimony there. This is only possible with an inside view. But the truth to remember is this: Meditation, which means a more comprehensive and broad state of consciousness, cannot reveal anything that does not actually exist in anyone; on the contrary, it provides access to an already existing place and something there. For this reason, as we mentioned above, meditation should never be considered as a means of achieving a certain purpose; then, aside from the fact that these efforts will not work, what is already attempted is not really meditation.

Meditation will cause consciousness to be perceived correctly after the mind and therefore to rediscover intelligence; Because, thanks to it, perceptions are improved and even the size and function of perceptions change. Meditation is not a state of mind, or because it cannot be reached with the mind, it is natural for the results to be achieved at that time to differ. That is why it is only possible to be aware of true liberation in this closed state of the mind. One thing we should especially mention is that meditation is not an escape from the world, but rather an understanding of life. Love blooms there.

Meditation: Absence of Thoughts

Meditation is the absence of thought. Just like the blue sky can be seen in all its glory when there are no clouds, we can begin to recognize what is hidden by thoughts when there is no thinking. As thoughts disappear, our consciousness awakens, our true self gradually emerges. Meditation allows a different dimension to being perceived beyond time and space with the end of the thought. When this dimension is reached, the free movement of true love is observed. For this reason, it is said that it is inevitable for a heart that does not know meditation to turn into a dry desert over time.

We think that every cell has a memory just like a seed. Even when asked, we define it as “the code of existence and the codes of creation are hidden in every cell”. What we mean by that is that universal consciousness. Who knows what we will turn into tomorrow and find a new body, so how, where and in what way? Don’t be fooled, but our argument is that it is for this reason only that those who meditate are smarter than other people because they are more sensitive, lively, creative and compassionate in some way. Osho, who is one of the famous and contrary mystics of our age, is in this direction. Because meditation is a state of mindlessness and real vigilance that is reached in a way when the whole body falls asleep and goes into deep relaxation.

After reaching a certain stage in meditation, you will observe that the quality of your yoga exercises increases, they become easier and more refined; because this is an interactive and integrated process. Concepts such as walking meditation, or sleep yoga, which many of you may find strange today, then will seem extremely natural to you. In short, yoga is the name of a transition to a correct and quality life; The meaning of Sanskrit also points to this, “integration”; but, see, do not get it wrong, there is not “integrating” as it may be written but rather “uniting”. Because it is now a state of being “one” that the separation, the sense of self (ego) disappears and cannot be created again.

Yoga Methods: The 8 Step Patanjali Plan

Almost all yoga methods follow the eight-step or eight-stage plan of Patanjali, albeit with minor differences. The first five steps can be briefly described as “external yoga” and the next three steps as “internal yoga”. While the steps are all interconnected, the fifth step among them, Pratyahâra, acts as the main big bridge between external and internal yoga and is the most important stage in the transition to internal yoga. So much so that the first four are almost preparations for the general practitioner.

The meanings, partly definitions, of these eight stages can be given in the most concise way possible like this:

1) Yâma: It is to direct the energy of life (and hence the life itself) by dominating oneself. It is the beginning of being conscious and building a bridge between yourself and others.

2) Niyâma: It means making the right observation for a regular and disciplined life. If this cannot be achieved, yoga cannot be successful. When applied correctly, students will begin to feel the positive effects of yoga even in the first steps, and these effects will show themselves in one’s view of life, attitudes, and behaviors. Anything to be done without a virtuous life is only fooling yourself. You should learn the five elements of Yama and Niyama from your teachers.

3) Asâna: It means “posture” and it meant “relaxed posture” in the old language. Unless there are regularity and tranquility in your life, you cannot go to the right position. Niyama and Asana are about the body.

4) Prânayâma: It is the regulation of breathing. It is something that can be ‘discovered’ rather than taught … and essentially is preparation for the inner journey. It starts with the absorption of prâna, which means universal energy. Only the first half of the yoga journey has been reached with the Prânayâma, which is the link between body and mind.

5) Pratyahâra: It is the beginning phase of abstraction and means “going back home” and “going inside”. Its essence is that attention is directed from the outside world to the inner world. But first, you will know the path and procedure (Prânayâma) and follow it correctly so that you can return home. Chakras and kundalini are among the subjects of the Pratyahâra. When you are in the early stages, please stay away from fraudsters who “open your chakras” and set their kundalini into action, provided that you attend a certain number of courses.

6) Dharâna: You approached the door using the existing prânayâma connection and the bridge of the pratyahâra. Now you can reach the concentration of your mind with dharâna. The thing that follows the direction of the mind is the stage of fixing it when desired, that is, in a way, being the master of the mind. When the mind is fixed, thoughts stop. Pratyahâra and dharâna are the steps to consciousness.

7) Dhyâna: If the thoughts can be stopped after concentrating on one point and fixing the mind with Dharana, dhyâna can be started. Because meditation is not concentration; concentration is only one step, it is a state of mind, abstraction, and disconnection. A concentrated mind cannot meditate unless it is freed from this transition state. In other words, since meditation means the movement of the unknown, meditation can be started only by getting rid of that conditional-knowing state, which is a mental activity. Because you will no longer be “the person you know”. Because meditation, in a sense, means being free from thought and “exceeding time”. If the mind can be freed from thought and, therefore, time, the infinity of truth can be reached quietly. There, incredible things are discovered and an entirely different meaning of life is reached. By narrowing the point (object) (or “exceeding” in other words), you are now concentrating completely in the center without going anywhere.

Dhyâna is pure subjectivity. So it is meditation. Although dhyana, which is a Sanskrit word, does not have an exact equivalent in Western languages, the most commonly used word to replace it is meditation, although it is seriously wrong in terms of semantics (Since Buddha used Jhana, the Pali language equivalent of Dhyana, the Buddhists called it “Jhana”; it passed to China as “chan” and its equivalent in Japanese became “zen”). Now everything has been thrown away, everything has been abandoned, the mind has been emptied and an intense “awareness” stage has been reached. At this stage, there is no ego anymore, it has completely disappeared, and the person should be able to stay here without difficulty.

Concentration is a state of mind, and meditation is mindlessness. Concentration is outward orientation, meditation is inward orientation. Unfortunately, even some ambitious yoga experts, whose name is ‘professor’, confuses concentration and meditation all the time, while others are mistaken to define concentration as “focus” and meditation as “deep focus”. These people do not know meditation precisely and have not lived for their lifetime. In addition, these serious mistakes are always errors that result from the deliberate and wrong translations of Veda and Upanishad and disrupt the whole yoga system.

Meditation is the highest level of awareness and witnessing. This is why it is sometimes called the ‘mindless consciousness’. “The mind is your sleep, wake up to meditation,” says Osho. While many more can be defined in different ways, as you will notice, every definition will inevitably be missing. In summary, in the original pristine yoga systems, “mind and body are combined”, then “the person goes beyond the mind” during the meditation phase. Unless the merger is achieved, transcendence cannot go beyond; “Integration” is the “final stage” after going beyond.

8) Samadhi: It is the ecstatic state that occurs when you even forget that you exist. It is “going beyond”… You can be here, but now your home is in a completely different place. It is the ultimate stage of yoga that can be achieved through meditation; is to identify with universal consciousness.

In Samadhi, man lives in this world, but the world does not live in him. Such a situation cannot be further explained; mentioning more is already useless, even objectionable and/or harmful. The reason is that the probability of the state being mentioned by those who do not know or experience what actually happened is quite high; the real sense of yoga is that there are no standard goals that are pre-conditioned, defined, coded or detailed for everyone. It should not be so, otherwise, uniformity or conformity will occur; even though it is not desired, it shifts to dogmatism, ordinariness, bespoke; Contrary to such a stereotypical and conditional sense of expectation, it then creates an obstacle to the final stage. In other words, it is not the yoga of which the outcome is obviously predicted, or foreseen, for everyone, so that those who walk on the road are also conditioned to such a goal beforehand.

The first four stages are relatively easy. But these four steps are unlikely to proceed correctly unless each of them is perfected respectively. Just as it is not possible to build a solid structure on a weak foundation. In fact, at every step of yoga, a person evolves a little more. Starting from the fifth step, the role and importance of the guide and the master increase. But now that a stage has been reached according to everyone, where there are relative differences for everyone, there must be and must have been, since then, it is largely the soundness of the baseline at the beginning, and the knowledge and experience up to that time being correctly understood and correctly resolved; walking on the road with humility and persistence will depend on his faith and determination. The most important danger at this stage is “haste”.

Yoga is, of course, an “inner journey” above all, and as yogis never set a static goal for themselves on this journey. So the important thing is to be able to walk on the road without stopping. Siddhartha Gautama, also known as the “Historical Buddha,” identifies four types of monks: “The one who wins the road, the one who shows the road, the one who lives on the road, and the one who walks on the road.” Acquisitions and reflections of the ones who walk on the road will be noticed in the external world as well; by whom if you say, of course, those who set off and those who know how to look. A yogi can never be conservative or dogmatic. He is tolerant, kind and loving; he is libertarian, compassionate, courageous and creative; his intuition had improved; In short, he is a discreet and loving person who lives with awareness. So much so that nothing needs to be reminded of, for example, about social order and personal rights; because he is doing and will do what is necessary. This is because, over time, he first reached a meditative mind and then meditation consciousness.

We now know that there is no mistake in the mind itself, the mistake is in those stored there. So when the mind is overcome and the center is reached, the confusion of the mind will also disappear. In other words, when you go deep into the mind, the mind will disappear. For this reason, meditation (dhyâna) is called the “state of mindlessness”. Mindlessness also naturally means “egolessness.” And only then can samadhi be reached. One point here is that it needs to be opened up a bit to be understood correctly is that the mindlessness does not mean being against the mind or making an effort against it; it means going beyond the mind. All in all, the mind is necessary. It is a thinking and reasoning tool that collects information, makes it known and understandable and designs what is known, processes them together with intelligence, draws new conclusions from them and enables new data to be accessed.

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Savaş Ateş

I like meditation and yoga. I read a lot of books about them. I applied them in my daily life. I want to write about my experiences.

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