Shiva Nata: An ancient yogic system

Shiva Nata – The Dance of Shiva

Transitions from one Asana or Vinyasa to another one are accompanied with the movements of the arms or legs. In general terms, these movements are variations of Vinyasas, as they are synchronized with the breath. But these do not form any particular group of Vinyasas, which is a functional element of the «Universal Multilevel Vinyasa Algorithm», but they comprise parts of these Vinyasa groups used when transiting from one Asana or Vinyasa to another one.

Such arm and leg movements may be done with a number of similar options. For example, if standing upright, start to bend forward with the arms raised above the head and lower the hands onto the floor. During this move, there are a minimum of three optional ways of how the arms will move: forward and down, to the sides and down, and back and down.

In addition, there are a number of special breath exercises that are accompanied by similar movements of arms or legs. The arms are associated with the chest by means of muscles, and the legs are associated with the abdominal cavity, and both participate in the breathing process. This means that breathing characteristics largely depend on the trajectory and movement characteristics of the arms and legs in breathing exercises.

Unfortunately, in many Yoga schools with many progressive technical elements and methods, these movements are performed with extreme simplicity, primitively and without exaggeration. But at the same time these movements largely determine characteristics of energy flows in peripheral channels, it is still necessary to study the main dynamic principles of the limbs and their impact on breathing characteristics. That is why it is important to introduce the nature of such movements into the practice of Yoga, and to make conscious all the movements with arms and legs made during training. This increases the effectiveness of breathing exercises by using specifically selected movements with the arms and legs.

Analyzing a theoretical model of the moving arm or leg, attached to a tentatively immovable body, we can see that these movements may be performed in one, two or three planes. Single-measured movements are performed by «directly» extending an arm or a leg. Double-measured movements are performed by their “plane” ones. And triple-measured movements occur when performing «three-dimensional» spiral movements.

In this connection, there are three groups of limb movement: linear, plane and dimensional.

Theoretically, when performing purely linear or single plane movements, the elements of the skeleton are required to be driven by a single muscle or by several parallel muscles set in the same plane as the direction of the movement. But, since the human body is constructed so as to provide movements in different directions, the limb controlling muscles are attached to the elements of the skeleton at different angles. And observing the natural dynamics of the body, one can see that almost all of its movements are effected by the operation of muscle groups rather than by individual muscles. When a particular movement takes place, the load is completely or partially transferred from one muscle to another. This is accompanied by changes in the angle of the application of the driving effort. Therefore, natural movements can rarely be purely linear or single-plane (only within a short track). Most often these occur upon the abrupt relaxation of the muscles when a particular part of the body falls freely.

To make the technique of liner or single-plane movements more sophisticated and natural, they should be complemented with specific motions that make the movement three-dimensional. So for example, linear bending (unbending) of an arm (leg) may be effected in a «whip-like» way or be rotated around its axis. And in a single-plane radial movement of an arm (leg), it can be simultaneously rotated around its axis.

Compared to linear and single-plane movements, three-dimensional spiral movements have a number of benefits and positive qualities. Firstly, these are the most natural and balanced movements. Secondly, they are performed in three planes and their trajectory consists of both linear and radial motion moments, and subsequently, this implies the ability to perform and control these movements also. Thirdly, three-dimensional spiral movements cover almost all-possible positions «within the Marginal Mobility Circle» of the arms and the legs. This allows one to control this space and link any points inside this space between themselves. Fourthly, performing such spiral movements employs all muscle groups of the arms, legs, shoulder and hip girdle, which results in powerful and comprehensive strengthening effects during training.

Since movements with the limbs include overcoming gravitation, there is a relationship between the force lines of the Earth’s gravitational field and the «inner energy flows». According to the «action equals counteraction» rule, the upward movement of the limbs against the gravitational force relates to actively overcoming energy flows. Or it is possible to say that the active component of the gravitational force is transferred to the channels of the arms and legs. And on the contrary with moving the limbs down, on the gravitational force movement, the activity of energy flows decreases. For all that the activity of gravitational force carries out the work of falling down the limbs and a passive anti-flow is filled in the energetic channels of the arms and legs.

Continuous spiral movements consist of two complete counter-directional sine curves. Therefore, performing such movements sets a series of alternating active and passive fragments of the energy flow. These energy impulses purify energy channels and balance the circulation of energy inside them.

Synchronizing spiral movements of the limbs with the breath creates a constant and intensive energy consumption from the surrounding space, translation of it through psychic-energy structure channels, and accumulation and radiation into the surrounding space.

Such spiral motions were widely used in early Buddhist practices. Initially these were the elements of the Dance of Shiva, a Yogic art which develops conscious control, coordination and the potential abilities of the body, without specialized application in life.

Later, Boddhidharma exported them to Shaolin, and on the basis of these movements applied martial art techniques were developed with the use of one’s own body and various weapons: a sword, a pole, a spear, etc. These techniques became the perfect means for developing the functional abilities of the body, increasing the organism’s energy potential, the controling and coordinating several «sectors» of various body parts at the same time.

It should be noted that having a weapon in the hands promotes an increase of density energy flowing through arm channels, and more intensively develops the strength and endurance of the fighter. But there is another side of using weapons in training: it reduces the requirements to the twisting capability of the joints.

Therefore, the Far East schools of martial arts allowed practitioners to exercise with weapons only after many years of practicing base exercises without any weapons.

Some of these exercises have become widely known today, for example «rotation of cups filled with water» which should not be spilled during radial spiral movements. In the Ancient Dance of Shiva, however, such cups contained oil and wicks, which were burning throughout the dance. And in rotating the cups no oil should be spilled, and the fire should remain burning.

This dance, performed against the background of starry skies, made an inexplicable impression…

The Dance of Shiva uses sixteen principally different basic movements and sixteen positions for two arms. And this number may be neither larger nor smaller.

The helix always has a central axis around which the rotation is effected. When rotating a cup, its upper surface and the palm should always be in the horizontal position, whereas the spiral movements should be around the vertical axis. In this event, the rotation of the cups is done simultaneously, as if in two parallel horizontal planes, and are connected by diagonal fragments of the transition movements from one such plane to another. Therefore, such spiral movements are called «horizontal».

At the same time, such horizontal rotation of the cups consists of two continuous radial movements along spiral trajectories: ascending and descending. Performing such exercises results in the integration of the upper and lower horizontal subspaces.

There are several levels for the practical learning of these movements. But, at the very beginning, it should be noted that the difference between these levels is not in physical complexity. It is in the level of control and coordination, as well as in the ability to follow a preset program for a long period of time, without being distracted. Then, faultlessly changing from one movement to another, performing them with technical perfection. But on the physical level, the complexity of these movements has little difference.

Transition from one level to another requires knowing a greater number of various combinations of these simple movements and supplementing linking movements, which correspond to improved coordination of the arms and legs. And the ability to avoid being distracted for a long time, and faultlessly follow a preset program corresponds to the increased level of controlling various positions of the arms and legs within the «Boundaries of the Marginal Circle» of their mobility.

Mastering the first level is sufficient for introducing the nature of such movements in Asana, Vinyasa sequences and breath exercises. But the first level will not be sufficient for the purposes of special development of control and coordination. Therefore, two development levels in this direction are considered below.

When analyzing the Dance of Shiva, it is required to understand from the very beginning that the word dance is applied provisionally, based solely on the external features of this phenomenon. It is necessary to imagine what happens with the energy body in the surrounding space during the spiral movements with the hands and cups. First of all, a spiral is a three-dimensional sine curve. And, as it is known from physics the movement of the energy media, e. g., electrons, along a spiral conductor creates an electromagnetic field. In this event, the electromagnetic force acts along the central axis around which the spiral movement is effected. Similar phenomena occur in the space around the human body if a man performs spiral movements with his arms or legs. In terms of physic science, such movements are accompanied with a definite movement of the life energy through the channels of the arms and legs. There are respective forces operating along the central axis, around which such spiral movements are performed, which interact with the surrounding space. The pulsating change of the ascending and descending directions of such spiral movements, with the cups being continuously rotated, causes such forces to pulsate and reverse.

Gaining experience in controlling energy flows opens many abnormal abilities. But, despite the temptation of mastering them, it is important to always remember the main purpose of this practice.

Despite the powerful energy-related effects occurring during the Dance of Shiva, these movements cannot be directly compared with Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Zong Shin, Kung Fu and other martial arts of Chinese, Vietnamese or Japanese heritage. It is important to remember that in these techniques, the main accent is made on the development of the energetic results connected with the feeling of movement and the accumulation of Power, and on the development of the strategic and technical qualities of a fighter. But in the Dance of Shiva, the main accent is made on the development of the multi-sector control of the body’s controlling structures, the increases of the speed of the controlling processes, and the forms of the new algorithms of transcendental links in the consciousness. These new links increase the power and generation of the bio-processor.

Of course, these controlling processes may be developed for special purposes through various exercises without the participation of the physical body. For example, the development of mathematical thinking, playing chess games and modern computer games leads to such narrow and lopsided development, and for some people, this narrow and one side development will possibly suffice. But the Dance of Shiva, however, allows the preservation of harmony in the developing of the body and Spirit. Since the body’s physical abilities are more easily developed than the spiritual abilities, the tasks of conscious control in the Dance of Shiva are rather simple compared to the tasks which may be required in purely «conceptual» practices. But, at the same time, these tasks correspond to the real level of the instrument (the body). Here one will never face the situation when the Spirit is ready to fly but the weak body is not even able to crawl, because there is balance between the Sky and the Earth, between the evolution of the ideal and material.

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Gibberish

theory is that the word comes from the name of the famous 8th-century Islamic alchemist Jābir ibn Hayyān, whose name was Latinized as “Geber”, thus the term “gibberish” arose as a reference to the incomprehensible technical jargon often used by Jabir and other alchemists who followed.

Gibberish Meditation

Most people think that meditation is something that needs to done or practiced. Actually, meditation involves doing nothing and resting peacefully. Most of us are busy day and night running after material objects. Not many people devote their time to discovering their true inner self.

Contentment is Here

One need not renounce work and family and retire to the mountain caves to get inner peace. Contentment can be obtained where you are, as it is present in your heart. Meditation is often considered difficult, especially techniques involving concentration. In this article, we present an easy and joyful meditation technique called Gibberish.

Origin of Gibberish Meditation

This technique was evolved by a Christian mystic named Gabar. He had a unique way of answering people’s queries about enlightenment. Gabar would simply make nonsensical sounds. Initially, people wrote him off as crazy. But eventually, Gabar ended up with many followers.

Gabar’s Technique

Gabar would just speak nonsense. He uttered endless sounds that were not inter-connected at all. There were no periods, commas or sentence structure. Gabar enjoyed himself immensely, laughing all the while. Slowly, his followers started to understand the method behind the madness. As they listened to Gabar’s gibberish, their minds started to become silent. The mystic made his followers reach deep into their inner self, where they could find all the answers.

The Monkey Mind

The human mind has been rightly called the monkey mind. It keeps on chattering endlessly during our waking hours, and in sleep too, in the form of dreams. We need to realize how neurotic our mind is. It can become our worst enemy if we become its slave and try fulfill every whim and fancy. So, it is important to still the mind and control the constant mental chatter.

How to Practice Gibberish Meditation

You can practice this technique alone or with others. Just look at the sky or a natural object for a few minutes. Now, start singing and forget everything. Do not sing meaningful songs. Simply pour out all the gibberish in your mind. You can continue for about twenty minutes.

Benefits of Gibberish Meditation

Gibberish gets rid of our mind’s accumulated craziness. The mind needs words to think. Don’t suppress your thoughts, but cast them out using gibberish. As your mind unburdens, it will become less heavy and more clear. After the twenty minutes of gibberish meditation, quietly lie down and be silent. The mind’s chatter would have reduced and you can experience deep inner silence. So, use gibberish and release all your emotional and mental pressures.

Tratak: Concentrate to Transcend

Our mind is always occupied with the incessant flow of thoughts. It is always in a state of disturbance, and has a habitual tendency for distraction. This leaves us feeling so much fragmented that we find ourselves scattered in all directions. It is no exaggeration then, to say that our mind cannot stay still for longer than a few moments, which eventually results in lack of concentration and loss of memory. We are unable to grasp and focus in the present moment.

Now, how do we enhance our power of concentration and strengthen our memory? A unique meditation technique called Tratak is an answer to this. It has many benefits.

Tratak not only brings an end to the mind’s distractions but also enhances the ability to concentrate. It increases the power of memory and brings the mind in a state of awareness, attention and focus.

Tratak is an ideal meditation technique for people of all age groups, especially for students who need to concentrate on studies. Older people who often tend to forget every now and then can greatly benefit from this technique.

As a result of its continuous practice, you will witness an immense rise in your confidence level, stability in your thoughts, and an ability to focus on whatever task you undertake.

Method
Light a candle (or diya) in your meditation room or wherever you are comfortable, three to four feet in front of you. Sit in front of it. Remember, the flame should be at the level of your eyes so that you can see straight at it without being uncomfortable.

Posture
This is the most essential part of any meditation technique. Keep your spine erect so that inner energy can flow easily through the subtle channels of the body and render tranquility to the restless mind.
Sit with your legs crossed or in Padmasana. Sit gracefully, with poise.

Determination
You can derive maximum benefit from this meditation technique only when you are determined to practice it. Keep your gaze fixed at the flame without being distracted with the outer disturbances or thoughts.
Never give up! And do not move your body while you meditate.

Stage 1
This powerful technique of meditation is based on fixing one’s gaze at the flame of a candle or diya. The flame should burn steadily and it will do so only when we calm the air around it.

Begin with slow and deep breathing. As you inhale, let the stomach expand, and breathe out with complete contraction. While you breathe in this manner, keep a steady gaze at the flame.

Keep your eyes focused. Gaze at the flame, not the wick or the candle or the diya; just the flame. Let your vision be at the flame. If thoughts arise, simply ignore them; do not struggle to remove them. It is important to be wakeful and vigilant.

Stage 2
Imagine the flame is entering your body through your eyes and illuminating your inner being. At this stage, it is good to let the eyes close with ease. Now, try to imagine the same flame with closed eyes as you were seeing it with open eyes. If you are able to practice tratak without blinking your eye, it will be easy for you to see the flame with closed eyes.

If you are not yet able to experience the spreading illumination of the flame, open your eyes again, do tratak (fix your gaze at the burning flame), and then shut them. Gradually you will find that your gaze has grown more peaceful and tranquil.

Once you are established within, watch yourself separate from this body, and be distant from your mind. This distance will eliminate the clutter from the mind and make it silent, peaceful, and tranquil.

Tratak is a guided meditation technique which can help you improve your concentration, memory and intelligence. Studies have shown that Tratak meditation can significantly benefit in the following ways:

  • Increases concentration, memory, and mental power.
  • Develops the confidence, intelligence, and patience.
  • Increases work efficiency.
  • Improves motivational power and foresight.
  • Strengthens the will power and decision making ability.
  • Helps in getting rid of many mental, emotional, and physical ailments and diseases.
  • Reduces stress and tension.
  • Leads to Healthy and Balanced living.

It is only when we learn to meditate that we learn to live life meaningfully. Meditation is an experience in itself which enhances the quality of life and helps one discover the exuberant inner bliss.

With mounting pressures and endless pursuit to achieve lofty ambitions, we go on running tirelessly. Amidst all this chaos, take a deep breath and explore the benefits of Tratak meditation, an ideal meditation technique for people of all age groups.

It is highly recommended for students and working professionals for greater efficiency.

Tratak with Sublime Music

In order to facilitate the seeker, the meditation technique, Tratak -A Divine Gaze is available in the form of Audio CD and Audio Cassette. Designed and developed by Anandmurti Gurumaa, this technique is highly apt for students, professionals, and anyone with short memory.

When to practice?

This technique is best done during the early hours of the morning, or in the night when it is natural dark. The idea is to let the flame of candle/diya eliminate the darkness of ignorance which is rooted deep in the mind. If you are doing it during daytime then practice it in a dark room.

Brain’s Waste Removal System More Active During Sleep

James' World 2

FROM

healthy-living

Click link below picture
.

Even our brains need to take out the trash.

Researchers from the University or Rochester Medical Center found that a waste-flushing system in the brain, called the glymphatic system, is most active when we sleep — nearly 10 times more so than during periods of wakefulness, in fact.

Plus, during sleep, brain cells shrink in size by 60 percent to better allow for the removal of waste from the brain.

“This study shows that the brain has different functional states when asleep and when awake,” study researcher Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc., the co-director of the university’s Center for Translational Neuromedicine, said in a statement. “In fact, the restorative nature of sleep appears to be the result of the active clearance of the by-products of neural activity that accumulate during wakefulness.”

The findings, which are published in the journal Science, are based on brain imaging…

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Zentheogens

Disclaimer: The post and its author do not promote or encourage the consumption of alcohol, drugs, psychedelic or psychoactive substances.

An Entheogen, says Wikipedia is  (“generating the divine within”) is a psychoactive substance used in a religious, shamanic, or spiritual context. Entheogens can supplement many diverse practices for transcendence, and revelation, including meditation, psychonautics, psychedelic and visionary art, psychedelic therapy, and magic.

A good article that sums up a lot about entheogens,  has been posted by Ryhen Satch at Entheogen: The power of the forbidden fruit

An entheogen is ritually used to alter one’s perception of reality, to generate god or divinity within. It has found altruistic uses in

  •     Ego death
  •     Egolessness
  •     Faith healing
  •     Psychedelic therapy
  •     Spiritual formation

and so on.

Alcohol has been used by Tantrics and Aghoris for spiritual advancement. Shaivite extremists, pan-india consume Bhang, a preparation made out of cannabis during  MahaShivaratri (the night in reverence of Lord Shiva).

I have not tried any of these for spiritual advancements. There are certain herbs that are known to increase dopamine levels in the brain. I call them Zentheogens. These herbs, are not entheogens, but may be used as ingredients, among others, for preparing entheogens.  The herbs are

  • Periwinkle
  • Ashwagandha
  • Kapikachhu
  • St. Johns Wort
  • Gingko
  • Green Tea
  • Brahmi

Although radical changes in ones perception of reality, can be induced chemically, as there are definitive pharmacological effects during deeper states of meditation. However, I believe the body along with the mind needs to be ready to withstand the effects of such radical changes. Supervision by seers, or traditional practitioners also is necessary to conduct such experiments on the self.

I always say, and I believe that the human body has everything it needs within itself. One should not underestimate the power of a suitable diet, good rest and regular meditation.

Diseases – Part 2

Continued from Diseases – Part 1

Sage Patanjali in his yoga sutra (1:30)  says:
vyâdhi-styâna-sanåaya-pramâdâlasyâvirati-bhrânti-daråanâlabdha-bhûmikatvânavasthitatvâni cittavikæepâste ‘ntarâyâï
vyâdhi = sickness
styâna = apathy
sanåaya = doubt
pramâda = carelessness
âlasya = laziness
avirati = sexual indulgence
bhrânti = false
daråana = vision, perspective
alabdha = failing to attain
bhûmikatva = developmental stages
anavasthitatvâni = inconstancy, instability
citta = consciousness
vikæepâï = distraction, stirring up
te = these
antarâyâï = obstacles

Sickness, apathy, doubt, carelessness, laziness, hedonism, delusion, lack of progress, and inconstancy are all distractions which, by stirring up consciousness, act as barriers to stillness. These are not isolated individual problems tampering the steadfast quality of the citta. Instead, these are all connected and evolve from one to another.

Prevention of disease and thereby distractions, is always better than their respective cures. For a cure, is a process of reverse engineering from analyzing the effect to reach and identify the cause. It is an overhead, it is time consuming, because the effect, may not be a benign one and would steadily or rapidly aggravate whilst the analysis is in progress. Or even if the effect is a benign one, it might not be an irreversible one. Even if it is irreversible, restoring the human body or mind to its original state needs time, this is time required in addition to the time already invested in reaching from the cause to the effect.

Systems like Yoga, pranayam, meditation and others are programmed for nipping the bud of distractions in their early stages. Simple body language techniques reveal,when we think about some event in the past, we tend to look downwards. We access the temporal lobe of the brain. The temporal lobes are involved in the retention of visual memories, processing sensory input, comprehending language, storing new memories, emotion, and deriving meaning.

Similarly a person who is thinking about the future, or the next step of action focuses upwards towards the frontal lobe of the brain. The frontal lobe is associated with reward, attention, short-term memory tasks, planning, and motivation.

Most yoga, meditation and mind control mechanisms are well aware of this natural tendency of the human mind. They are scientific approaches to preventing the mind from wandering and improving concentration.

Research in Ayurveda, goes deeper into analyzing the chemical composition of these lobes and regions of brain at the time of duress, distraction and depression; as well as the chemical composition of the brain in states of ecstasy, happiness, calm and meditation.  Certain Ayurvedic herbs are powerful anti-stress agents and also help induce a sense of well-being and calm.

Having said all that, the benefits of eating full timely meals, avoiding over indulgence, exercising and adequate rest should not be underestimated. They are almost necessary prerequisites for any further developments, physical or mental.