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Books > Yoga > Meditation > In Search of Mind
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In Search of Mind
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In Search of Mind
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About the Book

The interest and eagerness in meditation as an experience is growing. Although there are so many disciplines that show us different means to such a state of mind, the underlying philosophies seem to share the same approach and outlook.

Yoga is one of those disciplines that recommends the pursuit to reach meditative states. Through its very simple, yet practical approach yoga points out a disciplined way to such an experience. In fact yoga texts and great yogis have proclaimed that a yoga state of mind is one that is in a State of meditation.

Is meditation just a series of techniques? Can we reach the state of meditation just by following a routine of techniques? Will the technique that worked for my friend work for me as well? Will it work for me even if am from a different culture or country? Should | change myself or the technique? These are some of the questions that arise repeatedly when talking about meditation. Where can one find the answers to these mysteries?

This is where the insightful teachings from yoga comes in handy. Through its open and universal teachings, yoga provides precisely the answers to these questions. It reveals that meditation is an inward journey. each step revealing a bit more than the previous one. This little book by one of the leading authorities on yoga explores these issues in the form of a dialog.

The compilation of lectures given by Desikachar, "In search of mind" will keep the reader in rapt attention and open their eyes to the experience of meditation.

Preface

Questions on the subject of meditation have bothered me for a long time:

"Do you meditate?"

"Have you got enlightened?"

"Can you meditate for others?"

"How about group meditation?"

"Can you organize meditation retreats?"

And, of course:

"Will you teach me how to meditate?"

As a teacher of yoga who did not initially think much of meditation, who even shunned it, I had a hard time facing students who asked these questions. As for my own teacher, he was always emphasizing that yoga is not yoga if it does not develop the mind towards meditation and link the practitioner to the Divine.

All the yoga texts speak of different forms of meditation. Yet, many practitioners in India and the West lead very disturbed lives, not consistent with what yoga is supposed to promote. My own exposures to eminent persons in the field of yoga and spirituality taught me that they did not always confirm to what yogis are supposed to be like. Yet, my respect for my teacher helped me to pursue this path, and I slowly began to see some meaning in terms and failure, encouraged me to change my attitude. I am grateful to all those who have taught me, on the pretext of studying with me.

When my friends in Europe recently asked me to share my search, I agreed. In the interaction that resulted, you will not find answers. But, perhaps, some question can be clarified, and some doubts cleared.

Vasantha Surya has felt that there is something valuable here which a young mind could be seeking. She has put in the effort to bring some shape to these exchanges.

I dedicate this work to my wife Menaka, who continues to wake me up from my false dreams of clarity, vision, and ‘yoga states’!

Foreword

Yoga is perhaps the oldest and most enduring system of psychology. Its place is ensured in the future of psychotherapy, religious practice and holistic medicine all of which, across many cultures, are currently evolving towards a synthesis. As the means for this synthesis, yoga, while being psychology of great antiquity, is at the same time the psychology of the future.

T.K.V. Desikachar, descended from a long line of yoga teachers dating back to the ninth century, offers one of the most authoritative interpretations of yoga available to us. His father and teacher, T. Krishnamacharya was acknowledged in India as the most accomplished practitioner and scholar of his time. We are fortunate to have the wealth of Krishnamacharya’s knowledge embodied in the living teachings of Desikachar, who has made his father's work, and the rich cultural heritage that sustains the principles and practices of classical yoga, accessible to both Indians and Westerners. Desikachar points out how in yoga, ‘mind’ is synonymous with ‘experience. Mind is always something other than itself. Through the practice of yoga, one comes to see how the form of the mind is the same as its object. By projecting itself onto its objects, the mind becomes shaped and molded by them to the point where the impressions of the objects begin to hinder clarity of perception. The point of yoga is to keep the mind clear of the build-up of impressions. Once we understand that the mind assumes the form of its experience, we have the opportunity to choose the objects that shape our minds. Yoga is the practical application of this ancient, yet simple insight. Without negating the importance of the intellectual quest, yoga stresses that theoretical knowledge on its own is of limited value unless itis concretely applied to personal development. In other words, the practice of yoga is not a detached academic enterprise, but an attempt to cultivate and enhance perception at its very source: the latent invisible foundation that sustains our sensory world. Hence, yoga is always a return to beginnings, a perpetual openness.

Introduction

This book is based on audio-tapes and transcripts of an unusual interaction at Antony (Paris, France) in October 1933, between T.K.V. Desikachar and students and teachers of yoga. Desikachar is the inheritor of a great tradition of yoga from his father, Sri T. Krishnamacharya. On this occasion, he talks on certain central concepts combined with some practice sessions, at the same time some fundamental aspects of yoga practice were set forward.

Here is what Bernard Bouanchaud, one of the participants, has to say on what happened that week in Antony:

"Perhaps his listening very attentively to each word, each attitude, each individual can explain it, or his simple practices which gave us the opportunity to have a very personal experience. We did not soar to the heights of intellectual concepts or fall dizzily into the depths of mystical ecstasies. Here we simply had to face our own minds and recognize how heavily conditioned we are, and also, thankfully, that we do sometimes have some refreshing flashes of lucidity."

Catherine Gruneberg, who was also present at Antony, says:

"At first, the atmosphere was stiff, formal, and constrained. People were amazed that Desikachar was teaching something so simple! Then, they just relaxed and stopped feeling that they had to prove something. What was remarkable was the constant concern Desikachar showed about people's need to go back to their own roots, and to flourish and grow from them. It’s like asana, which must have a comfortable and firm foundation. Only then can you be free to move without fear."

While interest in yoga has been growing steadily all over the world, there is and perhaps always has been a certain hesitation, sometimes amounting to fear, in approaching any spiritual tradition which calls for awareness of body and mind. I think many people have an intuition that it will help them live better, but are afraid they might have to change themselves too much. Desikachar understands this hesitation about meditation. As a result of his genuine openness to others’ ideas and state of mind, as well as to their tradition and culture, he inspires trust, so the attitude, approach, and practices which he suggests are possible.

This book is meant for anyone, particularly for the younger generation, who wants to listen to a yoga teacher who neither preaches, punishes, nor dishes out quick fixes. In editing this material, my endeavor has been to bring out something of the quality of the communication, as much as the ideas themselves.

It has been a privilege for me to put together this book. I am happy that East West Books (Madras) Pvt. Ltd. have evaluated it as a fitting complement to Desikachar's rendition of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, also brought out by the same publisher.

The Yoga Sutra of Pataiijali describe all yogic practices as preparatory for meditation: the crown of yoga. The human condition is inherently meditative; but the build-up of emotionally-laden sense impressions, that we accumulate during the course of our lives, can cloud perception from its intrinsic openness. Thus, while meditation is natural to humans, it is paradoxically the most difficult thing for most of us to practice.

**Contents and Sample Pages**







In Search of Mind

Item Code:
NAW851
Cover:
PAPERBACK
Edition:
2018
ISBN:
818652190
Language:
English
Size:
8.50 X 5.50 inch
Pages:
80
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 0.1 Kg
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$18.00
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About the Book

The interest and eagerness in meditation as an experience is growing. Although there are so many disciplines that show us different means to such a state of mind, the underlying philosophies seem to share the same approach and outlook.

Yoga is one of those disciplines that recommends the pursuit to reach meditative states. Through its very simple, yet practical approach yoga points out a disciplined way to such an experience. In fact yoga texts and great yogis have proclaimed that a yoga state of mind is one that is in a State of meditation.

Is meditation just a series of techniques? Can we reach the state of meditation just by following a routine of techniques? Will the technique that worked for my friend work for me as well? Will it work for me even if am from a different culture or country? Should | change myself or the technique? These are some of the questions that arise repeatedly when talking about meditation. Where can one find the answers to these mysteries?

This is where the insightful teachings from yoga comes in handy. Through its open and universal teachings, yoga provides precisely the answers to these questions. It reveals that meditation is an inward journey. each step revealing a bit more than the previous one. This little book by one of the leading authorities on yoga explores these issues in the form of a dialog.

The compilation of lectures given by Desikachar, "In search of mind" will keep the reader in rapt attention and open their eyes to the experience of meditation.

Preface

Questions on the subject of meditation have bothered me for a long time:

"Do you meditate?"

"Have you got enlightened?"

"Can you meditate for others?"

"How about group meditation?"

"Can you organize meditation retreats?"

And, of course:

"Will you teach me how to meditate?"

As a teacher of yoga who did not initially think much of meditation, who even shunned it, I had a hard time facing students who asked these questions. As for my own teacher, he was always emphasizing that yoga is not yoga if it does not develop the mind towards meditation and link the practitioner to the Divine.

All the yoga texts speak of different forms of meditation. Yet, many practitioners in India and the West lead very disturbed lives, not consistent with what yoga is supposed to promote. My own exposures to eminent persons in the field of yoga and spirituality taught me that they did not always confirm to what yogis are supposed to be like. Yet, my respect for my teacher helped me to pursue this path, and I slowly began to see some meaning in terms and failure, encouraged me to change my attitude. I am grateful to all those who have taught me, on the pretext of studying with me.

When my friends in Europe recently asked me to share my search, I agreed. In the interaction that resulted, you will not find answers. But, perhaps, some question can be clarified, and some doubts cleared.

Vasantha Surya has felt that there is something valuable here which a young mind could be seeking. She has put in the effort to bring some shape to these exchanges.

I dedicate this work to my wife Menaka, who continues to wake me up from my false dreams of clarity, vision, and ‘yoga states’!

Foreword

Yoga is perhaps the oldest and most enduring system of psychology. Its place is ensured in the future of psychotherapy, religious practice and holistic medicine all of which, across many cultures, are currently evolving towards a synthesis. As the means for this synthesis, yoga, while being psychology of great antiquity, is at the same time the psychology of the future.

T.K.V. Desikachar, descended from a long line of yoga teachers dating back to the ninth century, offers one of the most authoritative interpretations of yoga available to us. His father and teacher, T. Krishnamacharya was acknowledged in India as the most accomplished practitioner and scholar of his time. We are fortunate to have the wealth of Krishnamacharya’s knowledge embodied in the living teachings of Desikachar, who has made his father's work, and the rich cultural heritage that sustains the principles and practices of classical yoga, accessible to both Indians and Westerners. Desikachar points out how in yoga, ‘mind’ is synonymous with ‘experience. Mind is always something other than itself. Through the practice of yoga, one comes to see how the form of the mind is the same as its object. By projecting itself onto its objects, the mind becomes shaped and molded by them to the point where the impressions of the objects begin to hinder clarity of perception. The point of yoga is to keep the mind clear of the build-up of impressions. Once we understand that the mind assumes the form of its experience, we have the opportunity to choose the objects that shape our minds. Yoga is the practical application of this ancient, yet simple insight. Without negating the importance of the intellectual quest, yoga stresses that theoretical knowledge on its own is of limited value unless itis concretely applied to personal development. In other words, the practice of yoga is not a detached academic enterprise, but an attempt to cultivate and enhance perception at its very source: the latent invisible foundation that sustains our sensory world. Hence, yoga is always a return to beginnings, a perpetual openness.

Introduction

This book is based on audio-tapes and transcripts of an unusual interaction at Antony (Paris, France) in October 1933, between T.K.V. Desikachar and students and teachers of yoga. Desikachar is the inheritor of a great tradition of yoga from his father, Sri T. Krishnamacharya. On this occasion, he talks on certain central concepts combined with some practice sessions, at the same time some fundamental aspects of yoga practice were set forward.

Here is what Bernard Bouanchaud, one of the participants, has to say on what happened that week in Antony:

"Perhaps his listening very attentively to each word, each attitude, each individual can explain it, or his simple practices which gave us the opportunity to have a very personal experience. We did not soar to the heights of intellectual concepts or fall dizzily into the depths of mystical ecstasies. Here we simply had to face our own minds and recognize how heavily conditioned we are, and also, thankfully, that we do sometimes have some refreshing flashes of lucidity."

Catherine Gruneberg, who was also present at Antony, says:

"At first, the atmosphere was stiff, formal, and constrained. People were amazed that Desikachar was teaching something so simple! Then, they just relaxed and stopped feeling that they had to prove something. What was remarkable was the constant concern Desikachar showed about people's need to go back to their own roots, and to flourish and grow from them. It’s like asana, which must have a comfortable and firm foundation. Only then can you be free to move without fear."

While interest in yoga has been growing steadily all over the world, there is and perhaps always has been a certain hesitation, sometimes amounting to fear, in approaching any spiritual tradition which calls for awareness of body and mind. I think many people have an intuition that it will help them live better, but are afraid they might have to change themselves too much. Desikachar understands this hesitation about meditation. As a result of his genuine openness to others’ ideas and state of mind, as well as to their tradition and culture, he inspires trust, so the attitude, approach, and practices which he suggests are possible.

This book is meant for anyone, particularly for the younger generation, who wants to listen to a yoga teacher who neither preaches, punishes, nor dishes out quick fixes. In editing this material, my endeavor has been to bring out something of the quality of the communication, as much as the ideas themselves.

It has been a privilege for me to put together this book. I am happy that East West Books (Madras) Pvt. Ltd. have evaluated it as a fitting complement to Desikachar's rendition of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, also brought out by the same publisher.

The Yoga Sutra of Pataiijali describe all yogic practices as preparatory for meditation: the crown of yoga. The human condition is inherently meditative; but the build-up of emotionally-laden sense impressions, that we accumulate during the course of our lives, can cloud perception from its intrinsic openness. Thus, while meditation is natural to humans, it is paradoxically the most difficult thing for most of us to practice.

**Contents and Sample Pages**







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