So, in Autobiography of a Yogi, the author repeatedly talks of the practice of kriya yoga but never tells you how to do it. When I was going through a rather rough time, I went over to the Lake Shrine in the Pacific Palisades to do some kundalini yoga, writing, and meditation. I found it so refreshing I came all the way home and returned to the Sunday services the next morning. I only found one woman I felt like talking to there afterwards, an Indian woman who lived out near Fullerton or Pomona or someplace (and I thought the drive from Hollywood was far!). She’d been practicing the kriya yoga meditations seriously for several years, and told me she had a job, but really lived to do the kriya yoga. I asked at the bookstore about what it was and how to do it. They were evasive, to put it mildly. Finally they dug out an application form after I persisted. You have to pay $40-50 to receive the weekly lessons to learn it. The form went into the yoga papers and manuals pile.
Recently, one rainy Sunday morning, I decided to visit the Hollywood Self-Realization Fellowship temple that the autobiographical Paramahansa Yogi established. I’d stumbled upon the Autobiography of a Yogi in books-on-tape form at the La Cañada public library sale rack for a buck, and have been engrossed in them ever since. Suddenly nothing else is very interesting, spiritually speaking. I got another copy of the application form. “Is finding God the most important thing to you?” read one of the questions, or something similar. Well, frankly, no, but I’ve really been feeling like there isn’t much choice in life anymore. Or perhaps I’m deceiving myself.
I started digging around the web for information on Kriya Yoga. Some Christian organization in Europe had a site that ragged on Self-Realization Fellowship a bit, and there was this YouTube link, but it wasn’t really clear if it was the same Kriya Yoga or not.
This site seemed more promising, although again it isn’t clear if it’s the same Kriya Yoga or not. Then I got side-tracked into some silly YouTube videos of people telling the world what yoga is. But I revisited the last site yesterday.
The layout of the site is frankly, off-putting. All the ads and childish doo-dads make it hard to take it seriously. But the information seemed worthwhile. It uses a six chakra model, as opposed to the seven chakra model we use in Kundalini yoga. So I printed out the instructions, and it has some information relating to the aphorisms of Patanjali. There’s a god yoga meditation, chanting, “Dear God, please love me free.” Yesterday I couldn’t sleep again, and finally was in bed, starting to meditate on that. As I focused on it, moving down the chakras from the crown chakra, which isn’t actually how you’re supposed to do it, I felt myself relax completely, and the tension in my belly released, resentment slipped away, and it moved down my legs to my toes. What was this? It was interesting, that’s for sure. But then I was asleep.
Today I’ve found myself trying to recall that stupid silly phrase, with it’s bad English. I have to keep looking at the instructions again to remember it. I tried before the Kundalini meditation to do it again, but it didn’t do much. So we’ll see where it leads.
Perhaps I’ll send the application in to Self-Realization Fellowship for their lessons soon.