Meditation is a transformative experience. In meditation, we turn the attention inward, resting the mind and bringing it to a state of tranquility. There are many methods and practices that can be used to help quiet the mind and lead the meditator within. While even the beginning student of meditation will observe the benefits of meditation, such as increased focus, reduced stress and a heightened sense of joy, peace and contentment, with consistent use of such methods over time, meditation’s full benefits can be revealed.
Our courses are taught in the ancient Himalayan tradition of yoga meditation. At present, yoga’s physical exercises are often mistaken to be the entirety of yoga. However, the true essence of the ancient system first described as yoga was meditation and the physical component of that system (hatha yoga) was a tool used to prepare the body, breath and mind for meditation. Traditional yoga is therefore not just a series of physical exercises, but a complete system of posture (asana), breathing exercise (pranayama) and meditation (dhyana) leading to a dynamic state of health and the total integration of the human personality.
This comprehensive traditional system of yoga is called Raja Yoga, the Royal Path of Yoga. Raja yoga is the original yoga described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the single-most authoritative work on yoga, written ca. 200 BCE. The Yoga Sutras defines raja yoga as an eight-fold system of personal transformation (astanga yoga) which prescribes meditation (dhyana) as the way to become free from mental pain (kleshas) and achieve self-realization (moksha). Raja Yoga encompasses all of the meditative practices from the various traditions of the world. It is considered one of the six schools of traditional Indian philosophy, closely associated with the Samkhya system of philosophy.
Superconscious meditation is the tradition of meditation practice, which is taught at the Himalayan Yoga and Meditation Center. It is a centuries old living tradition of meditation and has been passed down from teacher to student for thousands of years.
Below is the progressive series of meditation courses offered at HYM.
An Introduction to Meditation in the Himalayan Tradition
This beginning level course includes instruction in the fundamentals with the goal of providing students with all the tools necessary to begin practicing meditation. The course is a combination of lecture, discussion and in-class guided practice. Students will learn how to sit comfortably for meditation, to use breathing as a means of focusing and quieting the mind, and relaxation practices which are helpful for calming both body and mind, all as a preparation for meditation. Students learn how to use a simple mantra as a tool for accessing and deepening the meditative state.
Suggested reading (optional):
Rama, Swami. Meditation and Its Practice. Honesdale, PA: Himalayan Institute Press, 1992, 1998
Meditation II: Sadhana – Establishing a Daily Practice
Meditation is learned over time and the experience unfolds with regular practice. This course is designed to help students find ways to integrate meditation into their lives and to strengthen and deepen their practice. It introduces students to the underlying philosophical and psychological concepts within the meditation tradition and to the eight-fold path of yoga as outlined in the Yoga Sutras. Longer in-class practice sessions will help students strengthen their commitment to practice and more fully integrate meditation into daily life.
Suggested reading (optional):
Rama, Swami. Sadhana, The Path to Enlightenment. Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India: HIHT Press. 2011
Meditation III: The Art of Joyful Living
As meditation practice develops, deepens and becomes integrated into the daily life of the practitioner, there are subtle changes that take place both while sitting and in the meditator’s day-to-day experiences. This course includes discussion on the power of meditation to transform the personality and some of the specific areas of change, with the goal of facilitating this transformation. Discussion topics will include transforming negative habit patterns and emotions and developing intuition and willpower.
Suggested Reading (optional):
Rama, Swami. Art of Joyful Living. Honesdale, PA: Himalayan Institute Press