Frequently Asked Questions
No. Depending on the person, it typically takes many years to reach the higher stages of meditation and even then only a few have the right aptitude to teach. Until then you would not be qualified to teach.
Another quality that I consider essential is life experience. Perhaps you are a parent or in your middle age. This gives one essential maturity to work with students. In India, younger people are allowed to teach, but always under the umbrella of the older Guru or teacher.
My students come to me, primarily, because they wish to progress within themselves. Teaching is a major commitment and can be a destructive distraction. If one is not ready to teach, then one's primary goal of self-realisation also becomes tamasic (soiled) and much harder to attain.
Finally, if you see teaching Kriya as a livelihood or a source of income, then your teaching cannot be pure or selfless.
Just learn and start practicing. Proper execution will change your life and make you a happier and more efficient and focused person.
If you really are that busy, then you may be heading for health problems. Perhaps it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate your options and priorities.
Yes, you can practice whenever you are not under the influence of any drugs or chemicals that alter ones normal state of awareness.
If you are medically certified as having a serious mental health issue such as Schizophrenia, Paranoia, Bipolar Disorder, Psychotic Disorders, Personality Disorders or Dissociation and dissociative disorders, you may need frequent supervision and in many circumstances, meditation is not recommended.
If you suffer from issues such as Eating disorder, Mood disorder, Anxiety Disorder, PTSD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Depression (mild to medium), Panic Disorder, Phobias, Behavioural and emotional disorders (in children) or family related issues, then meditation can be extremely beneficial.
Since Covid and given the increasing climate, economic, political and social ills, there has been an increase in overall anxiety, stress and unease. I highly recommend meditation for such anxieties.
In my opinion, it is also very important and beneficial to focus on the basics:
- eating healthily (not too much meat, small portions, avoiding industrially modified foods such as breakfast cereals, pre-cooked trash (mostly fat, salt, sugar and flavouring) and eating a wide variety, eating according to one's ayurvedic constitution)
- exercising (muscle gain exercises, flexibility exercises, aerobic exercises and getting out in nature - all are necessary),
- sleeping just right
- managing ones desires
- socialising (there are many avenues) and maintaining/improving family ties
- be a part of one's local community - it is after all your extended family!
- living within ones' means and most importantly
- feeding all five senses with a lot less and with better quality (i.e. less social media, violent movies etc)
The above are foundational keys to getting back into balance, to being and feeling human. When the basics are maintained in a good way, people, young adults especially, will bounce back with a renewed zest for life, a desire to do things and indeed to tackle the many issues humanity and this planet faces right now.
Finally, I make no moral or ethical judgement of my students; there is no need. Spirituality and practicing meditation is not based on some man made set of narrow ethical or moral constructs.
It is the search for one’s inner self which is also the root of all existence whilst understanding that the Self cannot be defined or described using man-made constructs.
It is not a mental activity e.g. Bible Study or memorizing the Koran will lead you down a narrow “exclusive” path, not a spiritual one. Eventually, blind emotional faith leads to either frustration or a fundamentalist and dogged acceptance of the mental beliefs in an attempt to justify them.
It is not an emotional activity. Christians believing that Jesus has come into their life is an example of an emotional belief. Place a group of such people on an island with no modern amenities or food and at some point they will act according to their basic survival instincts, resorting to violence if necessary.
True devotion is effortless and a state that has no involvement of the “mind”. It is also spontaneous and with full surrender.
Any other form of devotion is couched in mental and emotional constructs, requiring effort. It is based on expectation, whereas true devotion has no expectation.
Spirituality is based only on one thing - your internal subtle prana. Everyone has it (or they would be dead). It has no colour, ego, logic, mind, physical attribute etc and as it is the root of all life, it is “fully inclusive”. The experience of true spirituality is bliss.
Exploring spirituality, means probing the nature of existence and therefore the nature of “birth”, “death” and “re-birth”.
If you wish to truly understand the deepest teachings of your religion, yes, you should meditate!
Religion blindly and narrowly followed is a cult. You have delegated your power and authority to someone else and to a man-made idea. Spiritual progress is not possible under such circumstances.
Religion, practiced correctly can be a wonderful source of strength, understanding, empathy and humility. Religious prayer, however, is different from true prayer. The first requires effort and is emotional; the latter is spontaneous and couched in acceptance and humility.
Assuming Kriya Yoga Meditation has been taught correctly, below I list the key differences.
Kriya has a consistent lineage going back thousands of years. It was not invented by a guru or yogi in recent times.
Kriya Yoga is focused on ones internal prana. The techniques have remained largely unchanged and the 6 (Sri Yukteswar) or 4 (Sri Lahiri baba) levels provide full support for beginner to advanced. This technique has existed for thousands of years, whereas when we see virtually every other technique, we see a constant evolution and refinement which to me is evidence of building the train as you are driving it.
Note that in some schools such as the Self Realisation Fellowship (SRF), Paramahansa Yogananda introduced a mandatory one year remote course on basic Vedic philosophy as well as some physical energisation exercises, to be completed, before receiving 1st Kriya instruction. He also modified the technique to suit the largely sedentary American audience of the 1960s and 70s. I cannot comment further on how the SRF teaches.
Many techniques contain dozens of different "meditations". There is a meditation for feeling happy, for physical health, for anxiety etc. and new ones are added regularly. For example take at look at the Art of Living, Calm or Headspace apps and you will be overloaded with long lists of meditations to choose from. These are not meditation techniques; they are auto-suggestion and relaxation techniques.
In Kriya, there is only the technique, the practice and the ongoing support. There are no rules of behaviour and the books that Kriyabans typically read are well established scriptures and books based on the same.
Art of Living (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar), "Isha Kriya (Sadguru)" and many other channels come with costly "add-ons" such as hatha yoga, devotional singing etc. They also sell cosmetic, ayurvedic medicines, gems and other products. In fact, these organisations are large corporations. The moment, an organisation starts building temples, meditation retreat facilities, ayurveda treatment centers etc there is a maintenance cost which is then met with a focus on sales. Spirituality is no longer the primary goal.
Kriya by comparison is just Kriya because it is ONLY focused on spirituality. The benefits of Kriya spring from the depth of your soul, because Kriya progressively bypasses the mind and the emotions. The idea is to live your unique, individual life in a fulfilling manner, not for you to adopt a "new-age" lifestyle.
Kriya is fully balanced. Techniques such as mindfulness and vipassana, work at the level of the mind through internal observation. This is a passive approach. Recordings on apps such as Headspace and Calm, are really auto-suggestion and relaxation attempts. Kriya Yoga Meditation alone works all the chakras in a structured, active manner and Kriya bypasses the mind.
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