yoga sutras – introduction

This ongoing path from here to Here has centered around my first formal introduction to an investigation of consciousness: the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. I began yoga in 1978 for physical fitness but soon discovered that it was more deeply about consciousness. Sri Rajagopalan, my teacher, was a man from Madras (now Chennai) who started each yoga session with some reflections on how our consciousness affects our lives, and often he would base these reflections on one of the Yoga Sutras. These reflections began to change the way I viewed the world and my own life: I began to sense how essentially I was responsible for my every experience. From then on over the years I delved more and more deeply into this study with the Yoga Sutras as my guide.

This is a short introduction to tell you a bit about the Yoga Sutras and Patanjali.

“In (the) basic literature of Yoga, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali stand out as the most authoritative and useful book. In its 196 Sutras the author has condensed the essential philosophy and technique of Yoga in a manner which is a marvel of condensed and systematic exposition.” I.K. Taimni, The Science of Yoga viii Continue reading

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yoga sutras – first exploration — yogas chitta-vrtti-nirodhah

I AM THAT

‘I am That’ is a core statement that carries the implication of the impersonal Being as identical with my own true Self. It implies that I see myself not limited to the individual physical-biological and psycho-somatic organism to which my parents gave the name Thomas.

My purpose at the outset of this exploration was to transcend the conditioned and limited experience of the person-hood that is the conventional mode of identity in this culture.

After being introduced to the exploration of consciousness by my teacher, Rajo,  in 1979, I began to experiment in various ways.  Rajo spoke often about the yoga sutra that defines yoga: yogas chitta-vrtti-nirodhah (Yoga is to still the patterning of consciousness.) Continue reading

Connection To Silence

I met my teacher in 1979. I was living in Germany at the time and was taking a yoga class at the local Red Cross Family Center. The instructor, Roswitha, was a student of a man from India, Sri S. Rajagopalan. She invited Rajo, as he was called, to our town for a weekend seminar. I signed up for the weekend and arrived early Saturday morning to meet Rajo in the dressing room, preparing for the seminar. The moment I saw him I felt he was my brother, because he was so familiar. In short, I fell in love with yoga as Rajo presented it to us and became close friends with him. I worked with him for over 20 years and eventually taught his style of yoga for many years in Germany, as well as in other parts of the world. When asked by my students what kind of yoga I teach, I tell them that I teach  a form of yoga that allows me to access an experience of silence as the underlying substratum of existence. Continue reading