Can you guess what the Secret for success with the Yamas is?


At last, yes this is the final reading from John McAfee’s book, “The Secret of the Yamas.”  Here is a quote from this chapter: ” If we observe ourselves in our relationships – through our actions, thoughts and feelings as they are happening-then we will catch a glimpse of the ego.  In that light of awareness the ego will vanish, and in its place a profound silence will blossom.  In that silence is all beauty.  It is infinite, unknowable and not separate from ourselves.  It is immortality.”

Thanks for being a part of listening to my readings and I hope they have provided some useful food for thought and the quieting of mental chatter.  I do hope you may continue to stop by here on a regular basis as a subscriber.  I also look forward to your comments about your experiences and ideas.  Namaskaram


233 responses »

  1. Like last week, this sums up the conclusion of the ultimate goal of experiencing some sense of ego death. I have always been intrigued by the concept but as i stated previously. The only times i have ever heard of the topic was from psychonauts such as Terence Mckenna, Timothy Leary, and Alan Watts. Dedication to the Yamas may yield the result of ego death, and if it does then the promises might be better then expected.

  2. This audio clip is basically discussing the ego. It delves into how we as humans like to separate ourselves from things and divide our experience. We label things and their relationships, such as the choice and the chooser, act and actor, thought and thinker, perceiver and the object of perception, these things are what compose the ego. The thinker cannot be separated from the thought, as one does not exist without the other. As the process of thinking is the only reality. We momentarily lose ourselves when faced with profound beauty or danger. This is because the individual eye momentarily leaves us and we are left to perceive, act, and be. In those instances there are no thinker, actor, or chooser to hide behind. We are taken off guard and only allowed to experience as only the experience exists. I can understand this, as there has been many situations where i’ve only had time to react, without thinking of the right things to do and say, just perceiving the situation. At any other time thought is constant, planning, dissecting the past. Ego being a fragment of thought must exist in the past but it can project in the future and make plans for it self but it cannot exist in the present. If we observe ourselves and our relationships, we can gain a light of awareness where we achieve a profound silence that is not apart from ourselves. This light is a pathway to immortality, as it is infinite.
    My isha kriya practice is still consistent, more so now because of the change in the weather. I have been saying indoors more and now have slightly more time to relax and focus on myself. My matt work has gotten better over the course of the semester. I feel as if i’m more limber and used to the different positions. The new movements we are doing in class are kind of challenging as we have to switch through various positions ranging from planks to standing stretches and rocking. My lifestyle has remained otherwise unchanged. I look forward to thanksgiving break where i can enjoy my family and free time. Namaste

  3. The final reading covers the place the ego has in our thoughts, actions, feelings. Thinking has been divided into the thought and the thinker, actions into act and actor, perception into the perceiver and the object, the chooser and the choice, but despite these divisions, one cannot exists without the other. The ego is always the thinker, the actor, the perceiver, the chooser, but it does not exist in the present. McAfee states that when one is caught up in the moment of profound beauty or danger the individual I disappears. At that moment only the experience itself exists, the ego appears once the experience has passed. Being aware of one’s actions, thoughts, and feelings in the present one will catch a glimpse of the ego as it can only exist in the past and sometimes in the future.

    Even though I attempted to do the Isha Kriya more than the required amount of times, my schedule made it hard to be consistent. At the beginning of the semester I was doing the Isha Kriya before going to bed but in the past couple of weeks, I did it in the morning as soon as I woke up. This semester I have been trying to regulate my sleeping schedule and wake up early every day. One of my troubles in the morning is fully waking up, I tend to wake up but I end up falling asleep again. Doing the Isha Kriya in the morning forced me to get out of bed and it gave me the energy needed to fully wake up and start my day. The Isha Kriya has helped me improve some of the poses during class when we do baby cobra I have an easier time with the breathing.

    • A good essay, great you have brightened your day and increased your asana breathing as a result of your IK practice. My records show missing parts for Assignments #3,4,6,7,8. Every week 3 parts were due you can send them to my PC email to get credit by Sunday. Thanks

  4. In this final reading, the ego is analyzed through thought and fragmented perception. In us separating ourselves from the world as “I” we have separated the chooser and choice, thinker and thought and the act/actor. The process of thinking is the only reality, and the thinker is controlled and influenced by thought. Only when we experience the extremes of joy and pain, our ego dissappers and we only live in the experience itself.
    But we cannot separate the two and still remain whole, there is no ego without thought. Our thoughts rise from memory and the ego feeds from those thoughts. But if we are able to carefully observe ourselves in the midst of thought we can create a space where the ego no longer exists. Only our awareness of the present moment and living it will allow us to experience blissful peace.

    I would say the secret of success for the mama’s is to eliminate the ego. In us investing time in daily spiritual practice we allow ourselves to be in tune with the universe and remove unnecessary clutter that fuels the ego. The combination of class time and independent Isha Kriya practice has allowed me to have a holistic equilibrium practice that I look forward to daily and weekly. Learning and practicing different techniques, mantra’s and poses has not only strengthened my brain power in meditation but also been a support system to my mind, body and soul. There are still things I need to work on with balance and finding a center without allowing the other energies to sway my center of focus. I noticed during midterms and now during finals, a fatigued body is not the strongest body during yoga practice. Having mat practice every Monday night has added a new level of focus, concentration and peacefulness in me and I look forward to it each week.

  5. This is just summing up the conclusion of the ultimate goal. You must keep yourself away from distractions. When I say distractions I mean entertainment, media, and advertising. All of this keeps us away from finding our inner peace. As well as finding out who we truly are as human beings. We must keep working to keep those distractions out to finally be who we are supposed to be.

  6. In this reading the ego is discussed and if we let go of our ego we will reach a wonderful silence. I like the thought of a peaceful silence within. I know that is it human nature to let the ego drive all that we do. In addition, to doing everything possible to keep the ego well feed we tend to stay away from things that will burse the ego. It divides it between the thinker and the thought, reminds me of our practice in class. Separating ourselves “I am not this body, I am not even this mind.” this was a great way to close out the readings. If we know how to create distance between ourselves and our thoughts and actions to let go of our past. Gaining and better understanding of our present, leaving our ego and its thoughts in the past.

  7. I think in today’s age and era with social media we are constantly self-absorbed and measuring our ego based on likes and comments and yoga is the exact opposite of that. I remember in one of our first classes you spoke about how we are more than this body and more than our problems and we are celestial beings and are in tune with the universe and things are so much bigger and beyond this physical form. It was so inspiring and a great reality check and I feel like this just reiterated that and the importance of yoga bringing in that balance of the egotistical society we live in today. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to take ourselves away from those outside superficial distractions and focus on charging ourselves with the energy of the universe.

    • Also, I’ve been trying to memorize the practices we do in class to do these stretches and poses with my boyfriend to help him out and it’s been really nice to share and take these things outside of the classroom. The IK has now become apart of my life to help with stress or to help me calm down and sleep as well as the finger hold. I find the balance the IK and finger holds bring plus the intense practice has helped me both mentally and physically. This is the first winter where I haven’t gotten sick yet and I feel like I owe that to this practice!

  8. I found it interesting when it was stated that the ego can only exist in the past and also in the future but never in the present. It was interesting the mention of how the ego exposes the desires we possess whether they are ones we want to admit to ourselves or not. However, in this time and age most people have allowed their ego to control their lives for example through social media. We endlessly pamper ourselves in the wrong ways (expensive clothes, the newest technology, the latest trends, etc). However, we must acknowledge our ego, not let it control us. When you learn to acknowledge what you want you either learn to move towards it or away from it. Through our practice, we learn to become more collective and aware of ourselves which is highly important to avoid things such as being possessed by our ego.
    The IK practice has most definitely made me a less stressed and much calmer person than I was. Instead of jumping to panic I simply breath and allow my thoughts to separate.

    – Samantha Diaz

  9. When practicing yoga it is essential to separate the self from the mind and body. The ego if left to run wild will become preoccupied with the past or the future. When we are consumed with thoughts of the past or future we become distracted and cannot focus on the self. Yoga is all about getting in tune with your self, in the moment, and becoming distracted by the ego will prevent insight into the self. The ego is driven by the white noise that fills our minds, caught up in the past or present. The whos, whats, whens, wheres, and whys of our daily lives. Worrying about outcomes. Once we learn to separate ourselves from our egos we will have attained the secret of the yamas. When we reach a place within ourselves where we can be at peace, without worry, we will know the true purpose of yoga practice.

    I have been meditating with my IK every weeknight and have also found myself wanting to do it on the weekends. The difference in my sleep patterns is astounding and I don’t imagine I’ll go back to the way it was. I have a difficult time staying asleep the whole night and struggle in the mornings when I wake up feeling tired. Lately, however, I have noticed a change. I would definitely attribute the change to my meditation and learning certain poses in class that I can do on my own at home. I am noticing improved digestion which is a really great benefit.

    Catherine Halstead

    • Know that one cannot do meditation but acquire meditative qualities from practices. If you have a chance to read about the IK and review the video suggested at the beginning of the semester you would learn what a Kriya offers.

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