Ever since I had known about Paramhansa Yogananda, I have always longed to be “enlightened.” By “enlightenment” I do not mean in the usual intellectual sense, but as a state of “yoga” or union with one’s higher Self, which is very much in tune with the truth and with the manifested creation we all dwell in.
I am not saying or implying that I am enlightened as a “Buddha” or “Krishna” would be. I am far from perfect, and if I was perfect, why would I even bother aspiring to anything? However, I have been very interested in the subject for many, many years, and no doubt learned much about the higher yogas and everything that the task of achieving enlightenment implies in all my own serious and sincere “trial and error” attempts.
I have fasted for days, lived on 100% raw food diets, been on long mountain retreats with dozens of other yogis, meditated the entire night until dawn outside in the cold non-stop, done yoga postures until I felt like a pretzel, been initiated by gurus into complex yogic exercises and various forms of meditation, and tried celibacy for as long as I could stand it.
So it seems very, very difficult at times, having to seemingly go against one’s very own instincts, and practice hours and hours of sadhanna (yoga and meditation) every day which seemed to use up much more than just my spare time! No matter how hard I tried, no matter how much self-discipline I had, no matter how determined, I simply could not get anywhere. In fact, the only thing that changed was that my anxiety and depression (unfortunate tendencies of mine) gradually got worse! In the end I simply became too tired to do anything! I had to quit, otherwise there would not even be any time or energy left over for basic survival activities!
I really had to redefine where I was coming from, why I wanted “enlightenment” so badly and what it really meant to be “enlightened.” I was coming from a state of desperate longing and a basic discontentment with my life and physical or earthly surroundings. I felt very limited, restricted by time, short on money, and especially limited by my body’s needs and by my 100% frustrated emotional and psychological needs. It felt like I was an unwilling victim of life, and I often truly regretted being born into this side of “hell” where life on Earth definitely seemed to be at times.
“Enlightenment” as far as I was concerned, meant to be a way out of the drudgery and pain of physical existence or at least a novel perspective on life that would help me see things in a new light and gain answers to the numerous serous problems that had plagued me for years and made my life miserable. “Enlightenment” also meant having a lasting and reliable source of inner joy, bliss, guidance and love. I longed for a personal relationship with the Divine. I longed to find out whether Paramhansa Yogananda’s “Divine Mother” really existed or not. Is there a part of ourselves that is immortal? Is there a life after death, and if so what it is like?
It has turned out that the kind of “enlightenment” I have been longing for requires far more elements that I ever imagined and its requirements far more complicated than I ever dreamed. Therefore I experimented with all that I learned and picked up from various sources, personal experiences, teachers, books, etc. I decided to start a journal and write down all I could regarding those aspects of yoga and meditation that worked for me. I even invented new ideas, ideals and techniques that seemed to finally provide some answers. What I have learned so far includes the following very important principles:
1 – Cultivation and redirection of sexual desire, and the expansion of sexual energy into absolute bliss, joy, inspiration and love. I have never been able to get anywhere without some form of celibacy! However simply stopping up all one’s physical cravings would do more harm than good. One must carefully redirect the sexual energy upward through the spinal centers into an expanded bliss using adaptogenic herbs, short water fasts, infusion of body cells with prana (life force energy), and be sure one is eating at least one, complete, whole meal every day, otherwise this delicate process could get disrupted.
2 – The diet and supplements taken must be perfect for the person. In order to succeed at yoga, one’s metabolism must be optimized and balanced perfectly. The right supplements, the right herbs, the right food, and the right amount of daily water fasting, must be included every day so that when one sits down or simply pauses, one should feel absolutely relaxed and content. This “pleasant state” is absolutely essential just to begin yoga.
3 – Don’t go vegetarian if your metabolism can’t handle it. Vegetarianism works fine for most yogis, however some still need to include “meat” such as sardines, salmon, turkey, and chicken, otherwise there could be some difficulties in many areas of one’s life. Avoid red meat (pork, lamb, beef…) if possible.
4 – Always include many raw nuts and seed such as almonds, pecans, peanuts, sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seed; and enjoy plenty of raw fruits and vegetables, raw sauerkraut, vegetable juices, rice and beans, etc. Avoid cheese, fried food, bread, sweet desserts, dried fruit, or any flower products, because at best, these foods only take up room for more biologically valuable food, and at worse, can drain vital energy and lead to illness.
5 – Know for sure that there is life after death and that the spirit is a real entity. Just having no doubt whatsoever about the reality of Spirit and that there is a universal, eternal justice changes everything in the way one feels, acts and behaves toward life. Life no longer seems like an utterly unfair and nonsensical “hell” but is rather an opportunity to learn from mistakes and grow toward becoming a finer and finer human being.
6 – Know without a shadow of a doubt the oneness of all life! There is only one consciousness or one observer who lives in all sentient beings. One can love others unconditionally (very important), because one now knows that all people everywhere are simply aspects of one great Soul, which means one will have to experience eventually everything one does to another person. “Enlightenment” consists mainly of a constant state of unconditional love.
7 – Meditate regularly by focusing all one’s attention at one spot one inch inside the forehead (third eye) or heart center in middle of chest. Also learn how to deep relax and at least visualize the self leaving the physical body behind. Astral projection provides first hand proof that one is not the body. The body is only a physical vehicle to get around in and the physical brain is needed for the interpretation of all events within the physical dimensions of time and space. One’s true nature is space, ecstasy, love, and knowledge all embedded within a unified, but location-free, “quantum” consciousness. Identify with consciousness instead of the physical body.
8 – Fast for as long as is comfortable on loads of fresh (preferably ionized or alkalized) water between meals instead of snacking. Exercise regularly in an external, natural environment with intent to absorb as much prana as possible into every cell of the body. Also bathe or shower regularly to keep the skin pores open to finer energy, and try to wear only clean clothes everyday because old particles tend to block the absorption and enjoyment of prana.
“Enlightenment, ” as you can tell, is anything but simple to accomplish, but well worth all the trouble and difficulty once achieved. There are no short-cuts, however it is possible to discover and use more effective and direct methods. I follow all of the above steps and as a result am enjoying a lifestyle very similar to one who is considered “enlightened.” However, I still am far from perfect, and have much more to accomplish. Discovery and growth is what makes life so exciting.
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WHY NOT BASE YOUR ENTIRE DIET ONLY ON HEALING RAW FRUITS AND VEGETABLES?
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There is so much to learn however. I will describe all the phases, stages and difficulties to avoid while attempting to reach such high levels of perfected eating for the lasting enjoyment of wholeness that you would never, ever want to return to the old ways of eating again. One must first learn, understand and overcome many of the hazardous food and drug addictions plaguing our society and gradually replace all one’s deleterious habits and toxic substances with only wholesome, organic fruits and vegetables completely free of all cell-damaging gluten, lectins and other miscreant substances. Organic, raw fruits, herbs, and vegetables are indeed the greatest healers of all time. Why not base a diet entirely on them?
Did you know that nature only intended humans to eat 100% raw food? Are you aware that even some of the most natural seed-based foods such as nuts, seed, whole grains, and legumes all contain potentially inflammatory substances such as lectins and gluten resulting in the eventual development of all manner of chronic degenerative diseases such as depression, anxiety, fatigue, diabetes, arthritis, heart failure and cancer? And if any so-called food needs to be cooked to make it palatable and/or less toxic, it should not even be considered as “food” in the first place! Multiple diseases of all kinds and years of incredible suffering can be avoided just by knowing this truth.
One may think that after eliminating these foods there would be none or far too few foods left to choose from. This assumption is far from true as there are countless varieties of super foods, herbs, fruits and vegetables to choose from that contain complete protein and are fully nourishing for the body, especially if you include raw, organic, pasture-raised eggs, algae, and edible fungi along with the vast variety of organic fruits, herbs and vegetables now being grown throughout the world. Learn which vegetables can be used to directly replace all toxic high-gluten whole grains and deadly high-lectin legumes and enjoy the amazing health benefits of living on a completely seed-free, 100% raw food diet supplemented with several tantalizing and delicious superfoods such as chlorella, bee pollen, pine pollen, and pasture raised eggs. Discover which fruit is a perfect replacement for all nuts and seed.
Just as vital as making sure only the correct foods go into your mouth, you also need to allow only the most constructive and helpful thoughts of prosperity and goodness to enter your sacred heart, mind and spirit. Once you have mastered your diet, one also needs to understand and master one’s relationship with vital, subtle energy and learn how to use that energy, correct eating, plenty of mineral water and herbs to blissfully transmute the sexual energy which would uplift you into an even higher state of fulfillment and well-being far more valuable than anything you ever experienced before.
You will learn how this diet and lifestyle of wholeness can lead you toward living more and more on the prana from nature rather than calories from solid foods. You will find that you will feel gradually less hungry and more blissfully energetic, opening up new avenues of inner experience through ecstatic dreams and deep meditation into the realms of samadhi, astral travel and the afterlife. You will find out that there is actually a wonderful life after death and that God (unconditional love and everlasting joy) can be realized and discovered as your true nature within your self.
The vital “Seven Steps to Wholeness” include:
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