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-   -   The Autobiography of A Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda (http://www.shirleymaclaine.com/encounter/showthread.php?t=214538)

Norma Rae 09-20-2013 02:24 PM

The Autobiography of A Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda
 
Hello Friends!

Although Autobiography of a Yogi is often "required" reading for yoga teachers, my yoga teacher training with Tias Little at Prajna Yoga did not "require" (but does recommend) the book. I've picked it up several times in the past and something inside me said "too soon."

Now that I've got a few more years under my spiritual belt--as it were--by reading more Sitchin, Cayce, Castaneda, etc., and listing to more IE Radio interviews, I've picked the book up again and, this time, that higher voice inside me said "yes!" And I can see why. The book jumps right into metaphysical revelations like levitation, "miraculous" healings, remote viewing, magical amulets, swamis projecting their body to exist in two places at one time (however you define time and place), swamis with the ability to make themselves invisible to photography. I wasn't ready for all of that before, and I think many young yoga teacher trainees who are "forced" to read it may miss much of its depth . . . but maybe not. Everything usually happens just as it should, no?

Have any of you read this book? If so, what did you take away from it?

Here are a few passages I've underlined so far to which many here may relate:


  • "It was an amazed photographer who discovered that the plate, which had clear images of all the disciples, revealed nothing more than a blank space in the center where he had reasonable expected to find the outlines of Lahiri Mahasaya."
I find this passage interesting because it was the intent of Lahiri Mahasaya to not be photographed. Because of that intent, he was invisible to others attempting to capture his image. When he changed his intent to allow someone to photograph him, he would appear in the image. I believe there is only one existing photograph of this saint.


Some of it reminds me of the story I believe I've heard SM relate in some of her interviews about how when she goes out with the intent to not be seen by the public/press, not a soul will recognize her, but when she changes her intent and goes out as "SM the star," people recognize her immediately.

Have any of you experienced this? Is this a manifestation of the law of attraction?

  • " . . . 'spiritual skyscrapers' may occasionally be encountered by the wayside, even by worldly men . . ."
Aside from the lovely imagery of a "spiritual skyscraper," this also brings to mind the warning from the Dahlai Lama to beware of the beggar and the garbage collector for they are the wisest of souls. Something like that.


Namaste from the Big Easy (traveling for work),

Steph

Norma Rae 09-23-2013 11:02 AM

East/West - Yin/Yang?
 
Hello Friends. I just encountered a passage related to J. Chandra Bose in Autobiography of a Yogi, and I'm pretty certain (although I do not have the book close to me right now and cannot confirm) that there is also a chapter in Baxter's book The Secret Life of Plants that addresses Bose's discoveries. Here is a passage that, I believe, captures a ying/yang relationship of Eastern philosophy and spirituality with Western Science. It's a topic Shirley often touches on in her interviews.

What are your takes?
---
"I was educated at Cambridge. How admirable is the Western method of submitting all theory to scrupulous experimental verification! That empirical procedure has gone hand in hand with the gift for introspection which is my Eastern heritage. Together they have enabled me to sunder the silences of natural realms long uncommunicative. . . . Love, hate, joy, fear, pleasure, pain, excitability, stupor, and countless appropriate responses to stimuli are as universal in plants as animals."
---

Actually, this passage gets into the yin/yang (East/West) interplay and also what Baxter explored in The Secret Life of Plants--that is, plants also have the capability to experience the whole range of human emotions (on a sometimes much subtler level that we've forgotten thanks to our conditioning--conditioning by whom or what, though? What do you think?).

In regards to the first question, it is interesting to hear someone grounded in Eastern philosophies and spirituality to find the usefulness for that Western scientific characteristic of skeptical questioning. However, if you think about it, Buddhism is very much an Eastern philosophy that, I think, advocates healthy skepticism. I believe the Buddha quite often encouraged and expected his disciples not to take his word as inherent Truth, but to test and apply it in their own lives and see for themselves. Or perhaps my understanding of Buddhism is too colored by writers like Stephen Bachelor who wrote Buddhism Without Beliefs? (A great book, too!)

Namaste from the Autumnal Midwest,
Stephanie

Norma Rae 09-23-2013 11:38 AM

Another thought from Autobiography of a Yogi to investigate: "All creative scientists know that the true laboratory is the mind, where behind illusions they uncover the laws of truth."

What do you think?

Namaste (again) from the Midwest,
Stephanie

patswife 09-24-2013 04:42 PM

Steph, I have always wanted to read this book and for whatever reason, just haven't. So, I cannot comment on it at all. I intend to read it and when I do, I can then make an intelligent (hopefully) comment on the book.
I'll get back to you.
Love,
Joanne

Norma Rae 10-03-2013 04:24 PM

Experience in Cosmic Consciousness
 
Joanne and All Friends,

Reading chapter 14 right now titled "Experience in Cosmic Consciousness." Don't you want to join me? Come on everyone!...dust off your copy of this book (I know you all have it somewhere) and "cognize the center of the empyrean as a point of intuitive perception in your heart." (p. 144).

Namaste from the Midwest,
Steph

Norma Rae 10-03-2013 04:53 PM

P.s.
 
Would still love to chat with anyone about Chapter 14, but now on Chapter 15, which is called "The Cauliflower Robbery"! What this could be about, I do not know! Aloo gobi gone bad? (Sorry. Bad joke!).

Namaste from the Midwest,
Stephanie


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