Part 1 of 5

Various forms of meditation and inner concentration have been developed by most cultures and systems devoted to human health, harmony and evolution. The concept of coming into contact with an inner power, an inner voice, an inner knowledge or an inner guidance is common to all spiritual systems and religions.

These techniques, however, were used in the past mostly by the priests, monks, mystics and those with deeper inclination for spiritual growth. The most scientifically developed and effective system of inner concentration is probably the system called Yoga.

There is much confusion concerning the meaning of the word, and what exactly a person who practices yoga does; why he does it and what effect it has on him and his environment. Some believe that it is another religion. Others claim that it is a science of human harmony, while still others praise its wonderful healing powers on the body and mind.

The truth, of course, for each one of us is relative depending on our experiences, childhood programming, desires and needs. I will express to you the truth as I see it after 25 years of studying and practicing yoga and 20 years of teaching it. My association with yoga has also brought me into contact with thousands of other teachers and students of this system in America, Europe, England, Australia, India, the Middle East and Greece.

YOGA IS NOT A RELIGION

It is a science of human development and improvement that can be used in any religious setting, and along with any particular dogma. It is a system of techniques designed to aid an individual in creating a world of inner and outer harmony, health and happiness.

These techniques will help each to benefit more deeply from his own religious path. A Christian will become a better Christian, a Christian in spirit and not only in name. A Hindu will become a better Hindu, a Moslem a better Moslem.

The same techniques of yoga, which will help a Christian focus more deeply, and clearly on the Christ, will help a Hindu to focus more deeply and one-pointedly on Krishna or Rama.

Yoga embraces the concept that there is ONE GOD who is worshiped through all the religious paths. It never asks a man to change his religious beliefs or worship some other God.

Yoga has no particular form of God or type of worship. Yoga is a system of techniques, which help each man and woman worship more efficiently, independent of his or her religion.

Yoga is like a car that is at the disposal of all. I can use it to go where I want, and you to go where you want. The same car takes each of us to where we want. Each chooses his own direction.

YOGA IS NOT RETREATING
FROM THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF LIFE

Rather it is a preparation of the body and mind so that one can perform his duties more efficiently, more happily, more harmoniously, and more creatively. Any employer who would make a study of the efficiency, honesty and consistency of his employees who do yoga, would find that these qualities are present in them to a greater degree than the average of the society.

WHAT, THEN, IS YOGA?

There are many ways to describe yoga. It is something different to each person according to his needs and goals.

1. It is a Science of Human Development, offering techniques for the harmonization and mastery of the body, bioenergy, senses and the mind.

2. It is a way of life which creates a state of inner harmony, as well as harmony with the environment around us. These guidelines for living are similar to the Ten Commandments of the Bible and will be discussed later.

3. It is a method for the transcendence of human suffering, leading to freedom from illness, pain and unhappiness.

4. It is a system for the development of the inherent mental and supermental powers, which are at present latent in man. (We use only one tenth of our brain - evolution has not stopped). We continue to evolve and yoga is an efficient system for accelerating human evolution.

5. It is a path to Self - Knowledge beyond the changing reality of our bodies and personalities.

6. Its ultimate goal is the transcendence of the mind and union with God, the Universal Spirit living in all beings.

From the book "The Art of Meditation"
by Robert Elias Najemy

Author's Bio: 

Robert Elias Najemy, a life coach with 30 years of experience, is the author of over 20 books, 600 articles and 400 lectures on Human Harmony. Download wonderful ebooks, 100's of free articles, courses, and mp3 audio lectures at http://www.HolisticHarmony.com . Find 8 of his books at http://www.Amazon.com.