Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

Weekend with Swami Ritavan & Pandit Dabral

by Lynnda Sharp

“To Reveal the Light within Your Path to Freedom”, Jan 25/26, 2014

What a privilege it was to hear the ancient teachings of the yoga lineage through the experience of these wonderful teachers in this Himalayan Tradition at our annual New Year’s retreat in Edmonton.

The key to this freedom we all seek is our health, physical, spiritual, and psychological.  How do we get there?  As Swami Rama often said:  “Not will power, but power of will.”  These words made a huge difference in my energy body.

The Himalayan Tradition encourages a daily practice, and every year when our teachers visit us they give us an assignment.  It was a moment of relief when Pandit Dabral said:  “No new practices!”  Make a sankalpa (commitment) saying to yourself with a firm faith, a firm trust; “I will, I must, I’m going to” however, with Prayatna-shaithilya (easing off the effort we make) with Sahaj (making it natural).  Preparing for the same time each day and making your asana (sitting posture) so there is no urge to move (firm, comfortable and steady).

The suggested practice (adjusting according to time available):

  1. Morning ablutions neti & prayers.
  2. 30 minutes asana, being intuitive to the movement your body requires on a certain day.
  3. 2 minutes savasana.           
  4. 15 minutes pranayama 3 rounds each of kapalabhati, bhastrika, and brahmari.
  5. 5 minutes savasana.
  6. 10 minutes nadi shodhanam, then ujaayi
  7. 40 minutes meditation with your mala counting your personal or universal mantra.

Freedom guaranteed if CONSISTENT FOR A LONGTIME WITH LOVE, JOY, DEDICATION, AND SURRENDER.  This practice then goes wherever you go, whatever you do.  With that attitude you will be able to help others.  This is the goal of yoga and will bring us freedom.

Ahimsa is required.  Don’t be too hard, harsh or rigid with yourself.  Whew, that was nice to hear.  Accept where you are and do not hurt yourself.  “Sthira Suhkum Asanam” (Steady, comfortable, relaxed posture). Simply do it with confidence.

In the Bhagavad Gita, chapter 2, verse 54, Arjuna asks Krishna for the description of a stable person.  It is interesting to read Krishna’s reply in the Perennial Psychology of the Bhagavad Gita  (Swami Rama).

In India people will ask you:  “Are you Swasthya today?”  This means, “Are you in good health today?”  Dwell in yourself, be aware of yourself atma tattva avalokanam (watching, seeing, looking at your own self), be in your own nature. Then, surrender to all (Atman). Everything is a posture, even sleep.  Practice karmasu kaushalam, (skillfulness in all action).  Write on the mirror, “I AM TO PRACTICE SWASTHYA”. 

Health in all aspects of life, especially mind.  Mind will be strong, clear, alert, awake.  Finding the purest part of mind “Buddhi”.  We sometimes spend too much time in “Manas”, the part of the mind that gives instant gratification of desires whether healthy or not.  If we take time to check in with Buddhi our intellect kicks in and we make swasthya (healthy) decisions.

Practice, practice, practice and yoga will become the eliminator of all sorrows and pains.  Eventually your mind will not be disturbed.  Be patient and keep working to move through the obstacles.
Your practice will be so joyful; you will never get bored.  Every day you will rise above and every day will be a different asana.

Meditation is you, not something you do.  It is not an activity.  It is you, no separation.  It is like breathing, seven days a week, all day every day.  It is the same as your need to eat, your need to sleep.  Feed yourself with spiritual food.  Meditation makes time for meditation. You will enjoy doing it.  You will fall in love.


Our path to freedom is working through our karma (movement or action) by karmana (physical action), vaacha (speech), manasa (thought).  All karma leaves a samskara (imprint) on the mind field (chitta).  Our practice stirs these samskaras.  We are born for this purpose to pay the debts of our own karma.


Sadhana (commitment to practice) is the ointment with which you will heal your wounds.  Never be against your practice.  Do not judge yourself.  The Yamas and the Niyamas will get you through the ups and downs.

If you achieve the first three purusharthas (virtues) dharma, artha, and kama, the fourth one is yours, moksha. 

  1. Dharma – To do right things.  If not come back and contemplate by self talk (internal dialogue) and ask yourself how you use your prosperity in your daily life.
  2. Artha – Prosperity in spiritual life and whatever helps us feel secure.  Prosperity in every field of life.
  3. Kama – Streamline your desires.  Balance them.

SIGNS OF PROGRESS on the path include the atma-devika external (how we respond to nature, how we interact), in our relationships (our influence on others and how they respond to us), and internal intra personal.


  1. Passion – Regulate your senses.
  2. Anger – Developing compassion through the practice of kindness and understanding.
  3. Attachment – self-reflection/meditation, contemplation.
  4. Fear – Understanding our deeper self.  “My body is hurt, I feel the pain in my body.”
  5. Imbalance – Vata, Pitta, Kapha principles of Ayurveda

When you feel stuck understand that going inside, will help you to find anything that is not spirit and will give understanding to change choices.

Renunciation of that which does not serve your purpose is an attitude.  It begins here and now.  Not when you get to Minneapolis, not when you get to India.

SIDDHI’S to help your Sadhana:

  1. Natural contemplation
  2. Understand and gain knowledge from a reputable source of information.
  3. Enjoying study (The answer will seem to jump out at you.)
  4. Gaining friends with which you might discuss this path,
  5. Self purification (The mind wants to be purified.)

ABHYASA – Practice again and again

Leads to:

VIAIRAGYA – Non-attachment to sensory objects

Leads to:

MOKSHA – Liberation Freedom

From the notes of ttp student 2nd year
Lynnda Sharp
Edited by Keely Scott (Mentor)

Editor’s Note:

East-West Yoga Society in Edmonton, Canada, is an AHYMSIN affiliate center. We invite you to visit their website: http://www.ewyoga.com/  Keely Scott is president of the society.

Swami Ritavan Bharati and Pandit Hari Shankar Dabral are mantra initiators, senior teachers, and members of the AHYMSIN Spiritual Committee. Swami Ritavan has served as Spiritual Director at The Meditation Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA (http://www.themeditationcenter.org/jnana/index.php), and Pandit Dabral is the Spiritual Director of The Himalayan Yoga Meditaiton Centre (HYMC) in Calgary, Canada (http://himalayanmeditation.com/) .



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