Self-Realization through Yoga Meditation of the Yoga Sutras, the contemplative insight of Advaita Vedanta, and the intense devotion of Samaya Sri Vidya Tantra

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Center of Consciousness
Under, or beyond all of these levels is the Center...

Yoga meditation is the art and science of systematically 
observing, accepting, understanding, and training 
each of the levels of our being, 
such that we may coordinate and integrate 
those aspects of ourselves, 
and dwell in the direct experience 
of the center of consciousness.

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(To tour 16 aspects describing Yoga Meditation practice, click Next
in the line above, or click on one of the words or phrases above.)

What's in a Name?

The phrase "Center of Consciousness" simply means that core of our being which we each intuit as being our deepest true nature. This may be thought of this as Soul, Spirit, Self, or any other name which matches one's personal preference. Two commonly used words are Atman for the true Self, or Purusha for pure consciousness.

Yoga meditation has to do with systematically thinning out the clutter over this Center of Consciousness, so that we may experience the deepest aspect of our being, and strive to become free from all pain, misery, and suffering.

However one conceptualizes this Center of Consciousness is okay, though it may be beyond conceptualization. The name that one uses to refer to this center is also not important for one to benefit from the practices. There is plenty of room for all people to practice yoga meditation.

By thinning out the cloud cover,
you experience the Center, the Self.

The center is like a light under several lampshades

Imagine a light bulb with a lampshade over it. The nature of the lampshade determines how the light looks in the room, although the light coming directly out of the bulb is exactly the same, regardless of the lampshade.

Imagine that your light bulb was covered by several lampshades, not just one. Each of the lampshades adds a new layer of filtering which makes the light look different. The lampshades would all work together to change the color and density of the light. 

Humans are constructed the same way according to yoga. We are like a light bulb (consciousness) covered with several layers, levels, or lampshades. The lampshades, or sheaths are called koshas

The yogis speak of five sheaths or koshas:

  • Annamaya kosha = Physical body; literally the food sheath
  • Pranamaya kosha = Energy sheath, made up of prana
  • Manomaya kosha = Sheath or level of mind, as sensory-motor mind
  • Vijnanamaya kosha = Level of intellect, knowing, or mind in its witness form
  • Anandamaya kosha = Sheath of bliss or ananda, where mind and thoughts are still.

The task of sadhana (spiritual practices) is to gradually know ourselves at each of these levels, and to go ever deeper with awareness, until we have gone past all of the lampshades, sheaths, or koshas, and experienced the center of consciousness. 

To do this, we work with each level or kosha, not repressing or denying it, but making it strong and flexible. We make a friend out of each level of our being, all the way to the center.

The Self behind the paint and the canvas

The ancients used the metaphor of a painting on a Canvas, as a map to describe how we may return to the direct experience of our True Self. Our True Self is just behind the Canvas, on which we paint countless false identities.

Where it is located: We come to see in direct experience that the Truth we were seeking is behind all of the other layers:

  • Truth is behind our external world and conscious thoughts. 
  • Truth is behind our unconscious process and the subtle realm.
  • Truth is behind the sketch marks of our samskaras that form our individuality. 
  • Truth is behind even the Canvas of creation or manifestation itself. 

The way to get there: However, we also come to see that the only way to get to the Truth or Self that is behind the painting is to go through all the layers of the painting, so that we can first find the Canvas.  (See the article on the Self behind the Canvas)



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This site is devoted to presenting the ancient Self-Realization path of the Tradition of the Himalayan masters in simple, understandable and beneficial ways, while not compromising quality or depth. The goal of our sadhana or practices is the highest Joy that comes from the Realization in direct experience of the center of consciousness, the Self, the Atman or Purusha, which is one and the same with the Absolute Reality. This Self-Realization comes through Yoga meditation of the Yoga Sutras, the contemplative insight of Advaita Vedanta, and the intense devotion of Samaya Sri Vidya Tantra, the three of which complement one another like fingers on a hand. We employ the classical approaches of Raja, Jnana, Karma, and Bhakti Yoga, as well as Hatha, Kriya, Kundalini, Laya, Mantra, Nada, Siddha, and Tantra Yoga. Meditation, contemplation, mantra and prayer finally converge into a unified force directed towards the final stage, piercing the pearl of wisdom called bindu, leading to the Absolute.





Yoga Nidra Meditation CD by Swami Jnaneshvara
Yoga Nidra CD
Swami Jnaneshvara