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Inner Engineering: A Yogi's Guide to Joy - Sadhguru

Last updated Aug 29, 2023


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# Highlights

One man’s “magic” is another man’s engineering. —ROBERT A. HEINLEIN (Location 48)

The Four-Letter Word (Location 51)

“Guru” literally means “dispeller of darkness.” The function of the guru, contrary to popular belief, is not to teach, indoctrinate, or convert. The guru is here to throw light on dimensions beyond your sensory perceptions and your psychological drama, dimensions that you are currently unable to perceive. (Location 61)

Love is a human possibility. If you need a refresher course, you can take lessons from your dog. He is full of love! You don’t have to go to outer space to know love. All these puerile philosophies come from the assumption that existence is human-centric. This single idea has robbed us of all sense and made us commit some of the most inhuman and heinous crimes throughout history. (Location 82)

the only solution for all the ills that plague humanity is self-transformation. Self-transformation is not incremental self-improvement. Self-transformation is achieved not by morals or ethics or attitudinal or behavioral changes, but by experiencing the limitless nature of who we are. Self-transformation means nothing of the old remains. It is a dimensional shift in the way you perceive and experience life. Knowing this is yoga. One who embodies this is a yogi. One who guides you in this direction is a guru. (Location 86)

not a precept, but a path. (Location 91)

On this journey, the guru is not the destination but the road map. The inner dimension is uncharted terrain. If you are exploring terrain that is unfamiliar to you, isn’t it better to have signposts? You could find your own way, but who knows, it could take lifetimes. When you’re on unfamiliar terrain, it’s just sensible to take directions. On one level, that is all a guru is—a live road map. GPS: Guru Pathfinding System! (Location 92)

I have never read any of the yogic treatises in their entirety. I never had to. I come from inner experience. It was only late in my life when I skimmed through some of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, those significant yogic texts, that I realized that I had a certain access to their inner core. This is because I approach them experientially, rather than theoretically. (Location 103)

A philosophy or belief system can be old or new. But gurus are always contemporary. (Location 120)

the truth is timeless, but the technology and the language are always contemporary. If they weren’t, they would deserve to be discarded. (Location 124)

the teachers were talking about something that did not mean anything to their lives. (Location 165)

I would often climb to the topmost branch of a big tree, with my lunch box and water bottle. The swaying motion of the branches would transport me to a trancelike state, where I was asleep but wide awake at the same time. I would lose all sense of time on this tree. (Location 172)

I was a diehard skeptic. (Location 184)

Those who destroy that state with beliefs and assumptions completely miss an enormous possibility—the possibility of knowing. They forget that “I do not know” is the doorway—the only doorway—to seeking and knowing. (Location 200)

In the backyard there stood an old well, over 150 feet deep. While the girls played hide-and-seek, the regular game played by us boys was to jump into the well and then climb up again. Both jumping down and climbing up were a challenge. If you didn’t do it properly, your brains could become a smear on the wall. While you were climbing up, there were no steps; you simply had to clutch at the rock surface and claw yourself up. Your fingernails often bled out of sheer pressure. Just a few of the boys could do this. (Location 219)

three months after starting yoga, my body started coming awake at three forty every morning, without any external prompting, as it does even today. After I woke, my practices would simply happen, no matter where I was and in what situation, without a single day’s break. This simple yoga—called angamardana (a system of physical yoga that strengthens sinews and limbs)—definitely set me apart in any group of people, physically and mentally. (Location 229)

if you really want to know spirituality, don’t look for anything. People think spirituality is about looking for God or truth or the ultimate. The problem is you have already defined what you are looking for. It is not the object of your search that is important; it is the faculty of looking. The ability to simply look without motive is missing in the world today. (Location 235)

Until this time, I had completely refused to accept anything in my life that did not fit into a rational and logical framework. Slowly, I began to realize that it is life that is the ultimate intelligence. Human intellect is mere smartness that ensures survival. But true intelligence is just life and life—and that which is the source of life. Nothing else. (Location 310)

it is possible to be ecstatic in one’s adulthood as well. It is possible for every human being because all we can ever experience happens from within us. (Location 322)

I had been practicing a basic set of physical postures, or hatha yoga, since I was twelve years old. Those thirteen-odd years of yoga bore fruit at this time. (Location 325)

In my case, from being a physically intense person, I learnt to carry my body as if it were not there at all. My physicality became very relaxed. (Location 329)

There is something within every human being that dislikes boundaries, that is longing to become boundless. (Location 335)

this longing is not for more; this longing is for all. We are all seeking to become infinite. The only problem is that we are seeking it in installments. (Location 337)

It does not matter how large a boundary we set, the moment you become conscious of it, the longing to break it is instinctive. (Location 341)

It is just because we are unconscious of it that we seek to fulfill it in installments, whether through the acquisition of power, money, love, or knowledge. Or through that other great pastime of today—shopping! (Location 343)

your body and mind function at their best when you are in a pleasant state. It is said that if you can remain blissful for twenty-four hours, your intellectual capabilities can be almost doubled. (Location 389)

The only thing that stands between you and your well-being is a simple fact: you have allowed your thoughts and emotions to take instruction from the outside rather than the inside. (Location 399)

But these past 150 years are proof that technology will only bring comfort and convenience to us, not well-being. We need to understand that unless we do the right things, the right things will not happen to us: this is true not just of the outside world, but also the inside. (Location 412)

bullshit may get you to the top, but it never lets you stay there! (Location 425)

The impending possibility that it will fall apart one day is torture—often worse than the actual disaster. So, as long as your inner life is enslaved to external situations, it will remain a precarious condition. (Location 428)

people are always trying to extract joy from the outside. You may use the outside as a stimulus or trigger, but the real thing always comes from within. (Location 432)

All human experience is one hundred percent self-created. (Location 441)

every kind of pleasantness that we experience—whether peace or joy or ecstasy—is a kind of chemistry. (Location 451)

Peace and joy are the basic requirements for a life of well-being. (Location 458)

Whatever you feel deprived of looks like the highest aspiration. The thing to remember is that none of these will settle you in any enduring way. Human life is longing for unlimited expansion, and that is the only thing that will settle you for good. (Location 467)

Mysticism on this planet evolved only in those places where people learned the technology of being ecstatic by their own nature. (Location 471)

The reason the simple things—like being peaceful, joyful, loving—have become ultimate aspirations is that people are living without (Location 484)

To live in empathy is not some esoteric principle. This is the way a human being is made. If you do not identify with anything you have accumulated over a period of time, including your body and mind, you will be able to experience this. (Location 492)

Enlightenment is not an attainment or an achievement. It is a homecoming. (Location 494)

If we truly have to create solutions that are relevant for all, an experience of absolute inclusiveness has to happen to humanity. And it is possible. (Location 497)

You have been told to love your enemy. If you first label someone your enemy and then try to love him or her, it’s going to be torturous! Once you have fragmented creation like this, there is no way to arrive at a state of absolute inclusiveness. (Location 501)

To attain the ecstasy of borderless unity, which is our natural state, all you need to do is live by the guideline that all human experience is generated from within—either with the support of external stimuli or without. (Location 508)

If you go outward, it is an endless journey. If you turn inward, it is just one moment. (Location 531)

Whatever we do not want to take responsibility for, whatever we cannot make sense of logically, we label “destiny.” It is a consoling word, but disempowering. (Location 556)

Wanting the outside to happen exactly the way you choose is the path of conquest, tyranny, dictatorship. (Location 580)

When pain, misery, or anger happen, it is time to look within you, not around you. (Location 596)

Creating your destiny is about steadily heading toward your well-being and your ultimate nature, no matter what the content of life is around you. (Location 599)

You need to do the right things if you want results. Judgments about good and bad are essentially human and socially conditioned. These are fine as social norms. But existence is not concerned with these conclusions. (Location 610)

Unless you do the right things, the right things will not happen to you. Principles and philosophies are only of social consequence. It is time to wake up to yourself as an existential being, a living being, rather than a psychological case. Then your destiny will be your own. One hundred percent your own. (Location 628)

The quality of our lives is determined by our ability to respond to the varied complex situations that we encounter. If the ability to respond with intelligence, competence, and sensitivity is compromised by a compulsive or reactive approach, we are enslaved by the situation. (Location 660)

Being alive is being conscious. Everybody is conscious to some degree, but when you touch the dimension beyond body and beyond mind, you have touched that which is the very source of consciousness. (Location 665)

It is time to reclaim for ourselves the extraordinary transformative power of this single word: responsibility. Apply it to your life, and watch the magic unfold. (Location 670)

Responsibility simply means your ability to respond. (Location 675)

Taking responsibility is not a convenient philosophy to reconcile you to the way things are. It is simply waking up to reality. (Location 685)

You could simply see the situation the way it is and take responsibility for it. Taking responsibility is not accepting blame instead of assigning it. It simply means consciously responding to the situation. Once you take responsibility, you will invariably start exploring ways to address the situation. You will look for solutions. (Location 691)

If you assume absolute responsibility within yourself for all that is around you, you will become the center of any situation at home, work, or even the universe. Since you become indispensable to these situations, there is no sense of insecurity or incompleteness within you anymore. (Location 695)

Reactivity is enslavement. Responsibility is freedom. (Location 698)

reaction—anger—usually provokes unintelligent action. Anger is fundamentally self-defeating. (Location 701)

it is entirely self-created and self-inflicted. Once you take charge of your inner life, there is no such thing as stress. (Location 709)

your life experience tells you time and again that the reverse is true, that you can never change any situation for the better by forsaking your sense and intelligence. You only mess up your situations by getting angry. (Location 712)

Human beings are in a perennial state of complaint. They carry their complaints with them like a badge of their identity. (Location 730)

The choice is always before you: to respond consciously to the present; or to react compulsively to it. (Location 737)

In a state of conscious response, it is possible to use every life situation—however ugly—as an opportunity for growth. (Location 740)

No adversity is an impediment if you are in a state of conscious response. No matter what the nature of the situation you are in, it can only enhance your experience of life, if you allow it to. (Location 762)

Resentment, anger, jealousy, pain, hurt, and depression are poisons that you drink but expect someone else to die. Life does not work that way. (Location 764)

in your experience of life, the more you are able to respond to everything around you, the freer you are! (Location 774)

The logical and experiential dimensions of life work in diametrically opposite ways. Logic is not without its uses, but these help only to handle the material aspects of life. (Location 775)

Responsibility and action belong to different dimensions. The ability to respond gives you the freedom to act. It also gives you the freedom not to act. (Location 781)

If you are willing, you can respond to just about anything. (Location 786)

When it comes to action, capability could play a role. But when it comes to response, it is just a question of willingness. (Location 798)

But if you are not responsible, you will just sit there like a stone watching someone die before your eyes. (Location 801)

Your ability to respond is the way you are. Only your ability to act is connected with the outside world. Responsibility is not about talking, thinking, or doing. Responsibility is about being. That’s the way life is—not an independent, self-contained bubble but a moment-to-moment dialogue with the universe. You don’t have to work at making it that way. You just have to see it the way it is. (Location 802)

Why is the mind resisting this? Because it is crippled by its own limited logic (Location 816)

Through millions of years of evolution, nature has caged you within certain boundaries—this is the human predicament. But this imprisonment is only on the level of biology. (Location 818)

The life and work of every spiritual guide, across history and across culture, has been just this: to point out that the cage door does not exist. Whether you fly or choose to remain in the limitations of the cage—let that be a conscious choice. (Location 824)

to be loving is simply this: a willingness to respond freely and openly. (Location 848)

Love is not something you do; it is just the way you are. (Location 851)

love then? It is just your own quality. You are only using the other person as a key to (Location 858)

Why are you fumbling with keys when there is no lock, when there is no door, when there is no wall? You create illusory walls and doors and then create illusory keys—and then you fumble with the keys! And once you find the key, you are terrified of losing it! (Location 859)

Once you experience this inner freedom, you will never experience insecurity in your life again. And anyway, when you are a truly blissful human being, everyone will naturally want to be around you! (Location 865)

recognize consciously just this: “My ability to respond is limitless, but my ability to act is limited. I am one hundred percent responsible for everything I am and everything I am not, for my capacities and my incapacities, for my joys and my miseries. I am the one who determines the nature of my experience in this life and beyond. I am the maker of my life.” (Location 869)

responsibility is not a teaching in civics. It is the simplest and easiest way for you to express your own divinity. (Location 878)

the limited identity you have forged, as a result of your own ignorance, and live the way the Creator made you—utterly blissful and infinitely responsible. (Location 880)

Limited responsibility is a way of drawing boundaries. What you think you are responsible for will be within your boundary. What you think you are not responsible for will be outside your boundary. But limitless responsibility extends itself way beyond your present level of understanding and perception. There is more—much more—to life than you are aware of right now. (Location 888)

fact—my ability to respond is limitless—suddenly (Location 891)

Don’t simply believe what you are reading. The only way to find out whether something is true or untrue is to experiment with it. Stop the internal debate and simply put it to the test. The yogic path is not a path of inherited belief; it is the path of experiment. (Location 906)

Respond to food absolutely, with total attention. (Location 914)

Momentarily, you surrender just a little, usually when you need something. Your love affairs are the product of very calculated surrender. But food, which is a life unto itself, gives itself up completely to become a part of you. (Location 918)

Later, without even uttering the sentence aloud, take the simple idea—“My responsibility is limitless; if I am willing, I can respond to everything”—into the entire day. Be conscious of it until the last moment before you fall asleep and remind yourself of it the first thing when you wake up. (Location 920)

If you still believe that everything will be okay the moment you find a new girlfriend or boyfriend, get a raise, buy a new house or car, then it is not yet time for yoga. Once you’ve tried all those things and more, and clearly know that none of it will ever be enough—then you are ready. (Location 939)

The science of yoga is, quite simply, the science of being in perfect alignment, in absolute harmony, in complete sync with existence. (Location 950)

Just a little happiness liberates you from your normal limitations of energy and capability. (Location 955)

Modern science tells us that all of existence is just energy manifesting itself in different ways and in different forms. (Location 962)

But yoga performs an even deeper function than ensuring well-being at body, mind, and energy levels. Literally, yoga means “union.” (Location 973)

the whole process of yoga is to take you, step by step, and stage by stage, from the known into the unknown. It is a hundred percent empirical science. It does not ask you to take anything on trust. It urges you to experiment every step of the way. (Location 983)

But yoga is also the science of aligning these three dimensions so that you reach the ultimate state of ecstatic union with life itself. (Location 1038)

Right now, for most people, these four dimensions are aligned in different directions. Your mind is thinking one way; your emotions pull you another way; your physical body another way; your energy another way. This makes you a potential calamity, an accident waiting to happen. (Location 1069)

Yoga is not about being superhuman; it is about realizing that being human is super. (Location 1085)

Life is one thing, but the source of life is another. In every creature, in every plant, in every seed, this source of life is at work. In a human being, this source of life is even more magnificently obvious. (Location 1129)

Self-preservation needs to be limited to the physical body. If you have the necessary awareness to separate the two, there is no conflict. (Location 1137)

Try this. Sit for a few minutes in front of a plant or tree. Remind yourself that you are inhaling what the tree is exhaling, and exhaling what the tree is inhaling. Even if you are not yet experientially aware of it, establish a psychological connection with the plant. You could repeat this several times a day. After a few days, you will start connecting with everything around you differently. You won’t limit yourself to a tree. (Location 1165)

The sense organs are limited. They can perceive only that which is physical. If your perception is limited to the five senses, naturally the scope of your life will be restricted to the physical. Additionally, the senses perceive everything only in relation to something else. (Location 1178)

If you are really interested in knowing life in all its depth and dimension, it is imperative that you look inward, not out. (Location 1185)

very seat of your experience is within you, but your perception is entirely outward bound. (Location 1188)

The only reason it has been inaccessible is that you are either busy or preoccupied with what is happening outside or far too engaged in your own psychological drama. It is just a lack of attention which has denied people the possibility of discovering what lies within. (Location 1203)

The simple process of paying a little bit of attention to your inner nature will transform the quality of your life in remarkable ways. (Location 1207)

Truth is not a conclusion. If you keep the false conclusions at bay, truth will dawn. (Location 1212)

If you manage to enter sleep with this awareness, it will be significant. Since there is no external interference in sleep, this will grow into a powerful experience. Over time, you will enter a dimension beyond all accumulations. (Location 1215)

The science of using the body to hasten your evolutionary process is hatha yoga. Ha denotes the sun and tha denotes the moon. (Location 1221)

hatha yoga is a way of working with the body, a way of disciplining, purifying, and preparing it for higher levels of energy and for greater possibilities. (Location 1226)

Hatha yoga is not exercise. It is, instead, about understanding the mechanics of the body, creating a certain atmosphere, and then using physical postures to channel or drive your energy in specific directions. (Location 1227)

That kind of posture that allows you to access your higher nature is a yogasana. It is the science of aligning your inner geometry with the cosmic geometry. (Location 1229)

If you consciously get your body into different postures, you can elevate your consciousness. (Location 1234)

To experience pain and still look beyond it takes an enormous amount of strength, which most people do not possess. (Location 1240)

Once you are flexible, you are willing to listen. It is not about hearing someone talk; you are willing to listen to life. Learning to listen is the essence of intelligent living. (Location 1243)

As you move into deeper dimensions of meditation, your energies will surge upward, opening up more profound dimensions of experience. It is very important, therefore, that the pipeline of the body is conducive. If it is blocked, it will not work. And so, preparing the body sufficiently before one goes into more intense forms of meditation is very important. Hatha yoga ensures that the body takes the upsurge of energy smoothly and joyfully. (Location 1249)

Today, the hatha yoga that people are learning is not the classical form in its full depth and magnitude. The “studio yoga” that you see today is largely the physical aspect of the science. Just teaching the physical aspect of yoga is like having a stillborn baby. It is not only inefficient; it is a tragedy. (Location 1256)

But you are looking at yoga as a means of transforming yourself into a receptive possibility beyond the five senses, the hatha yoga needs to be approached in its classical form. (Location 1264)

If you sit for just a few hours a day with your spine erect, you will see that it will have an unmistakable effect on your life. You will now begin to understand what I mean by the geometry of your existence. Just the way you hold your body determines almost everything about you. (Location 1269)

Choose any one thing about yourself: your breath, your heartbeat, your pulse, your little finger. Just pay attention to it for eleven minutes at a time. Do this at least three times a day. Keep your attention on any sensation, but feel free to continue doing whatever you are doing. If you lose attention, it doesn’t matter. Simply refocus your attention. This practice will allow you to move from mental alertness to awareness. (Location 1273)

If we get the geometry of the human body right, it becomes capable of reflecting the larger geometry of the cosmos within, and making the cosmic available for our experience. In other words, the human body is capable of downloading the entire cosmos. (Location 1295)

Sit in any comfortable posture, with your spine erect, and if necessary, supported. Remain still. Allow your attention to slowly grow still as well. Do this for five to seven minutes a day. You will notice that your breath will slow down. What is the significance of slowing down the human breath? Is it just some respiratory yogic acrobatics? No, it is not. A human being breathes twelve to fifteen times per minute, normally. If your breath settles down to twelve, you will know the ways of the earth’s atmosphere (i.e., you will become meteorologically sensitive). If it reduces to nine, you will know the language of the other creatures on this planet. If it reduces to six, you will know the very language of the earth. If it reduces to three, you will know the language of the source of creation. This is not about increasing your aerobic capacity. Nor is it about forcefully depriving yourself of breath. A combination of hatha yoga and an advanced yogic practice called the kriya, will gradually increase your lung capacity, but above all, will help you achieve a certain alignment, a certain ease, so that your system evolves to a state of stability where there is no static, no crackle; it just perceives everything. (Location 1299)

If you want to know effortlessness, you need to know effort. When you reach the peak of effort, you become effortless. Only a person who knows what it is to work understands rest. (Location 1311)

Zen involves tremendous activity because it is not divorced from life in any way. For example, a Zen monk may take weeks to simply arrange pebbles in a Zen garden. In performing such activity, you reach a state of non-doing, where you transcend the experience of being a doer. It is in such states that you have a taste of the beyond. If you achieve such states through intense activity, as Nijinsky and many others have, those moments will always be cherished as magical. But if you arrive at the same state through the intensity of inactivity, then it is a yogic posture, and it is a state that can be sustained longer. (Location 1322)

If your humanity overflows, divinity will follow and serve you. It has no other choice. (Location 1334)

with careful observation of my own body and what was around me, I discovered the most fundamental mistake that most of us make: the fact that we view the ingredients which constitute our body, like earth, water, air, and food, as commodities and not as an organic part of the life process. (Location 1355)

If it is to rain today, some change will happen in your body. Most urban-dwellers cannot feel it, but many rural people all over the world do sense this. Most insects, birds, and animals can feel it. A tree for sure knows it. (Location 1360)

These are the two fundamental ways in which the spiritual journey can be approached: you can either go slowly, step-by-step, accepting all natural assistance available to you, or you can ignore all the steps and take the inward leap. The second entails a withdrawal from external life situations; the first makes involvement mandatory. Every human being is free to choose the path more suitable to his or her temperament. In the times in which we live, a balance between the two is usually best. Sadhana (Location 1380)

The body responds the moment it is in touch with the earth. That is why spiritual people in India walked barefoot and always sat on the ground in a posture that allowed for maximum area of contact with the earth. (Location 1385)

This contact with the earth is a vital reconnection of the body with its physical source. This restores stability to the system and enhances the human capacity for rejuvenation greatly. (Location 1388)

If you tend to fall sick very easily, you could just try sleeping on the floor (or with minimal organic separation between yourself and the floor). You will see it will make a big difference. Also, try sitting closer to the ground. Additionally, if you can find a tree that looks lively to you, in terms of an abundance of fresh leaves or flowers, go spend some time around it. If possible, have your breakfast or lunch under that tree. As you sit under the tree, remind yourself: “This very earth is my body. I take this body from the earth and give it back to the earth. I consciously ask Mother Earth now to sustain me, hold me, keep me well.” You will find your body’s ability to recover is greatly enhanced. Or if you have turned all your trees into furniture, collect some fresh soil and cover your feet and hands with it. Stay that way for twenty to thirty minutes. This could help your recovery significantly. (Location 1395)

Those who do surya namaskars regularly find that their batteries last longer, with less need for recharge or replenishment. Additionally, the surya namaskar aids the balance or reorganization of inner energies, in terms of right and left, or lunar and solar dimensions. This produces an innate physical and psychological equilibrium that can be an enormous asset in one’s daily life. (Location 1410)

The surya namaskar is essentially about building a dimension within you where your physical bodily cycles are in sync with the sun’s cycles, which run about twelve and a quarter years. It is not by accident but by intent that it has been structured with twelve postures. If your system is in a certain level of vibrancy and readiness, and in a high state of receptivity, then naturally your cycle will be in sync with the solar cycle. (Location 1415)

Young women have an advantage because they are also in sync with the lunar cycles. (Location 1418)

The physical body is a fantastic stepping-stone for higher possibilities, but for most people it functions as a roadblock. The compulsions of the body do not allow them to go forward. Practicing surya namaskar maintains physical balance and receptivity, and is a means of taking the body to the edge, so that it is not a hurdle. (Location 1423)

Anything that is physical, from the atomic to the cosmic, is cyclical. Either you ride the cycle or are crushed by it. (Location 1429)

Now, it is left to individual human beings either to remain trapped in the cyclical, or to use these cycles for physical well-being, or finally to go beyond the cyclical entirely. (Location 1435)

There are variations of this practice, depending on an individual’s aspirations. Someone who seeks muscular fitness can practice a basic process that is known as surya shakti. Through practice, if one attains a certain level of stability and mastery over the system, one could be introduced to a more powerful and spiritually significant process called the surya kriya. While the surya namaskar is about balancing the two dimensions of sun and moon (or masculine and feminine) within the human system, the surya kriya is about connecting these two fundamental divisions for further spiritual growth. (Location 1442)

Raghavendra Rao, the yoga teacher I met as a boy, led a life that would be considered superhuman by conventional standards. (Location 1448)

For every patient who came, he had a joke to tell. People would forget they had come for treatment. It was less like a doctor-patient interaction and more of a festival! (Location 1458)

in yoga both the human body and the cosmos are based on the magic of only five elements—earth, water, fire, air, and ether. (Location 1468)

Whether your physical body is a stepping-stone or a hurdle on your path to well-being, essentially depends on how you are able to manage these five. If they do not cooperate with each other, nothing significant ever happens to you. But with their cooperation, your life—from the basic to the highest aspects—suddenly becomes a tremendous possibility. (Location 1483)

They say how long a minute is essentially depends on which side of the bathroom door you are! (Location 1487)

When you achieve a level of expertise in your yogic practice, you approach what is called bhuta siddhi, or mastery over the elements. With this mastery, life opens up its bounty to you. Health, well-being, clarity, enlightenment—none of these can be denied to you anymore. (Location 1494)

Life is a bit like that. It is a complex web, but there is one simple pin. And that is your identity. The play of five elements is highly evolved and complicated, but the key to freedom is your limited persona. If you pull the plug, it just falls apart and you are free. (Location 1506)

If you want to maintain the body in a certain way, it is important to pay attention to the various activities of the body, in relation to food, sleep, and sex. (Location 1551)

It is important not to keep eating through the day. If you are below thirty years of age, three meals every day will fit well into your life. If you are over thirty years of age, it is best to reduce it to two meals per day. Our body and brain work at their best only when the stomach is empty. (Location 1555)

What kind of stuff you put into it determines the quality of the body and how comfortable it is with itself. (Location 1562)

When you cook the food, generally eighty to ninety percent of the enzymes are destroyed. So the body is struggling to reconstitute these destroyed enzymes. The enzymes that you destroy in cooking can never be totally re-constituted, so generally, for most human beings, about fifty percent of the food that they eat becomes waste. (Location 1580)

Eating natural foods, in their uncooked condition, when the cells are still alive, will bring an enormous sense of health and vitality to the system. (Location 1585)

Ask the body what kind of food it is most comfortable with, not your tongue. The kind of food your body feels most comfortable with is always the ideal food to eat. You must learn to listen to your body. As your body awareness evolves, you will know exactly what a certain food will do to you. (Location 1587)

Most people can bring down the quantum of food they are eating to a third and be much more energetic and not lose weight. It is just a question of how much receptivity you have created within yourself. Accordingly your body receives. (Location 1596)

As far as possible, soak the nuts that you intend to consume in water for six to eight hours, especially if they are dry nuts. All seeds have a certain natural chemical self-protection. Soaking in water will flush out these toxic substances and bring them to the surface, and these can be eliminated by peeling off the skin of the nut. (Location 1604)

In yoga, there is absolutely nothing religious, philosophical, spiritual, or moral about the food that we eat. It is only a question of whether the food is compatible with the kind of body that we own. (Location 1611)

If you are not someone who will settle just for health and the pleasures of life, but want a body perceptive enough to download the cosmos, you will need to eat in a very different way. (Location 1615)

once survival is taken care of and there is a choice, it is important that you eat consciously, and are led not by the compulsion of the tongue but by the essential design of your body. (Location 1620)

If mastication happens properly, close to fifty percent of your digestive process would be finished in the mouth. In other words, the stomach region is expecting partially digested food to efficiently complete the process. (Location 1633)

Today’s kitchens have largely become places where food is efficiently destroyed. Food that is nutritious and full of life is systematically degraded through the cooking process, which depletes its nutritional value and largely obliterates its pranic value (its capacity to be spiritually supportive). (Location 1637)

Your stomach is always a tropical place, and if meat stays there for up to seventy-two hours, the level of putrefaction is very high. This essentially means there is excessive bacterial activity, and your body must expend a lot of energy to contain the bacterial level, so that it does not cross the line that separates health from illness. (Location 1646)

Most carnivorous animals do not eat every day—definitely not three times a day! They know the food they eat moves very slowly through their tracts. A tiger is said to eat once every six to eight days. He is agile and prowls when he is hungry, eats a hefty meal of fifty-five pounds of meat at once, and then generally sleeps or ambles around lazily. (Location 1652)

only three percent of our body is composed of protein and excess protein consumption can cause cancer. (Location 1661)

Meat runs high in protein. A very small portion of the meat that one consumes can fulfill the human protein requirement. The remaining portion, which travels very slowly through the alimentary canal, leads to a variety of problems such as excessive bacterial activity, enhanced sleep quota, increased inertia levels in the body, and decreased cellular regeneration. All of this, in turn, manifests as a drop in one’s sensitivity of perception. (Location 1662)

If you consume a jumble of foods, then the stomach grows confused and produces both acids and alkalis, which neutralize each other and make the digestive juices lose their edge. Hence the food remains in the stomach longer than required, and weakens our ability to rejuvenate on the cellular level. (Location 1669)

Traditionally, in southern India, people took care never to mix certain foods. But today, food is no more about the well-being of the body, but a social affair. People eat out at buffets and the variety and number of dishes served is considered more important than nourishing the health and life of the body. (Location 1672)

Every creature on the planet knows what to eat and what not to. What is the human problem then? The human problem is not enough attention, but too much information. (Location 1679)

The word ayur means “life span” and the word veda means “science” or “knowledge.” So, Ayurveda is the science of extending the human life span. It is a system that uses external plant life and earth elements to promote health and to correct systemic irregularities. (Location 1682)

The consumption of a spoonful of clarified butter (ghee in India) on a daily basis a few minutes before a meal does wonders for the digestive system. If you eat clarified butter with sugar, as in sweets, it is digested and turns into fat. But clarified butter without sugar can cleanse, heal, and lubricate the alimentary canal. Additionally, the cleansing of the colon will immediately manifest as a certain glow and aliveness in your skin. Even those who prefer not to consume dairy products could experiment with this because clarified butter passes through the system largely without getting digested. (Location 1687)

If you must eat non-vegetarian food, the best would be fish. (Location 1693)

Among the animals, fish, being one of the earlier forms of life upon this planet, have the easiest software code for our system to break and integrate into ourselves. Animals that have more intelligence, particularly those that are capable of a variety of emotions (such as cows or dogs), will retain their own memory systems. In other words, we are incapable of completely integrating more evolved, intelligent, and emotionally endowed creatures into our systems. (Location 1701)

A mandala is a cycle of forty to forty-eight days that the human system goes through. In every cycle, there will be three days on which your body does not need food. (Location 1711)

Ekadashi is the eleventh day of the lunar segment and recurs every fourteen days. It is traditionally regarded as the day to fast. If some people are unable to go without food because their activity levels demand it, or if they do not have the appropriate spiritual practice to support it, they can opt to go on a fruit diet. (Location 1716)

If you force yourself to fast without preparing your body and mind sufficiently, you will only cause damage to your health. But if your body, mind, and energy are properly prepared with the necessary practices, then fasting can be of much benefit to you. (Location 1719)

People who are constantly on nicotine and caffeine will find that fasting can become very difficult. So before fasting, prepare the body by consuming the right kind of nourishment, particularly high-water-content foods like fruits and vegetables. (Location 1721)

An ant is the smallest living entity you can see around you, the most inconsequential organism you can think of. So, for that very reason, you feed it first. You make an offering not to the gods, or other celestial creatures, but to the smallest creature you know. This planet belongs as much to them as it belongs to you. You understand that every creature on this planet has the same right to live as you have. This awareness can help create a conducive atmosphere, mentally and physically, for consciousness to grow. (Location 1735)

Gautama the Buddha went to the extent of saying, “When you are badly in need of food, if you give away your food to somebody else, you will become stronger.” I am not going that far with you; I am only saying, just wait a few minutes! It will definitely leave you stronger. (Location 1742)

If you are very compulsive about food, it is good to miss one meal consciously. Try doing this: on a day when you are particularly hungry and some of your favorite dishes are being cooked, try skipping a meal. This is not to torture yourself; this is just to become free from the torture chamber that your body can very easily become. (Location 1744)

What kind of food you eat, how much you eat, how you eat, turning it from a compulsive pattern into a conscious process: this is the essence of fasting. (Location 1747)

Just experiment. Start with twenty-five percent natural, uncooked, or live food—fruit or vegetables—today, and slowly push it up to a hundred percent in about four or five days. Stay there for a day or two, and again cut it down by ten percent and in another five days you will reach fifty percent raw food, fifty percent cooked food. This is ideal for most people, who wish to be active for sixteen to eighteen hours a day. (Location 1750)

If you could remain relaxed while performing all the activity of the day, you would be about the same in the evening, in terms of energy and enthusiasm, as you were in the morning. (Location 1759)

It is our compulsive reaction to the situations in which we are placed that causes stress. Stress is a certain level of internal friction. One can easily lubricate the inner mechanism with some amount of inner work and awareness. (Location 1764)

If you start certain simple practices of yoga, in three to four months’ time, your pulse rate will drop at least eight to twenty counts very easily. That means the body is running so much more efficiently and at a relaxed pace. (Location 1774)

What the body needs is not sleep but restfulness. If you keep the body very relaxed through the day, your sleep quota will go down naturally. (Location 1776)

Don’t battle with life. You are not anti-life; you are life. Just get in tune with it and you will see that you will pass through it easily. (Location 1781)

When it comes to food and sleep, your body is the best judge. (Location 1788)

Keep the body in such a way that it is not longing to avoid or escape life. Maintain it in such a way that it is longing to come awake. (Location 1790)

If you sleep without a pillow, it is best to lie on your back in a supine position, rather than on your side. Lying in this position is referred to in yoga as shavasana: it enhances the purification and rejuvenation of the body, promotes the free flow of movement in the energy system, bringing relaxation and vitality. (Location 1795)

Existence is a dance between the unmanifest and the manifest. The moment there is a manifestation, there is duality: light and darkness, male and female, birth and death, and so on. Though unity is the basic fabric of creation, duality brings texture, design, and color to life. All the various manifestations that you see as life today are fundamentally rooted in duality. Because there are two, there are many. If there were only one, there would be no existence. (Location 1799)

What we call sex is just two parts of this duality striving to become one. (Location 1803)

This longing to become one finds expression in many ways. When you are young and your intelligence is hijacked by your hormones, sex will be the way. When you are middle-aged and your intelligence is hijacked by your emotions, love is the way. When you are old and bereft of hormonal mischief, prayer is the way. But irrespective of age, when you transcend all this and seek the same union on a much higher level of awareness, then yoga is the way. (Location 1806)

Sex is just two opposites making an attempt to become one. Your individuality means not only false boundaries that you have set up in your mental framework in the form of your preferences and dislikes, tastes and opinions. It also means you are trapped within the boundaries of your own physical body. You may not be consciously aware, but the life within you is longing to break these boundaries. When you want to break your mental boundaries you may long to have a serious conversation or read a book, drink alcohol, take a drug, or do something freaky. To break your physical boundaries you may want to pierce yourself, get a tattoo, dye your hair, or go the old-fashioned way of sex. (Location 1811)

unless you understand that you can never become one, you will not learn (Location 1819)

A lot of people cannot face the basic physical act as it is, so they have invented all kinds of decorations around it to make it beautiful. (Location 1823)

In some way you are trying to cloud your vision of reality with lots of decorations. (Location 1824)

If sex is in the body, it is fine, it is beautiful. The moment it enters your mind, it becomes a perversion. It has no business with your mind. (Location 1826)

Sex is just nature’s trick to reproduce. If this attraction of opposites did not exist, the species would become extinct. (Location 1829)

No other creature on the planet has the kind of problems with sex that humans have. With animals, the urge is present in their body at certain times; otherwise they are free from it. (Location 1830)

One reason this has happened is that in the past, many religions went about denying a simple physical process to the extent of making it sinful. (Location 1832)

You do not have to make biology sacred, nor do you have to make it filthy. It is the instrument of (Location 1837)

The sensuousness that you experience in life is a chemical invitation for something that is not you to become a part of you. This is Nature’s way of instigating you toward a union, or yoga. (Location 1839)

If you are in a state of all-inclusive passion, we call this yoga. So, denial is not the answer. Expansion is the only answer. (Location 1842)

Experiencing the orgasmic nature of the breathing process is called ana pana sati yoga, the yoga of incoming and outgoing breath. Ana pana literally means “in” and “out.” Sati means “female consort.” (Location 1844) - Note: Distinction on why female?

The physical body is a platform for all possibilities from the gross to the sacred. (Location 1850)

grossness and sanctity of something is largely decided by your unwillingness and unconsciousness, or your willingness and consciousness. Every breath, every step, every simple act, thought, and emotion can acquire the stance of the sacred if conducted recognizing the sanctity of the other involved—whether a person or a foodstuff or an object that you use. (Location 1852)

When you put your hands together, the two energy dimensions within you (right-left, masculine-feminine, solar-lunar, yin-yang, etc.) are linked in a certain way, and you begin to experience a sense of unity within yourself. (Location 1859)

So, the simplest way to experience a state of union is to try this simple namaskar yoga. Put your hands together, and pay loving attention to any object you use or consume, or any form of life that you encounter. When you bring this sense of awareness into every simple act, your experience of life will never be the same again. (Location 1863)

In any case, sex is not the most powerful urge. Hunger is. (Location 1868)

There is nothing wrong with the body; it is just limited. Nothing wrong with being limited either. If you go by the way of the body, some pleasure may come to you. It is not a crime to want to be limited, but you will live an unfulfilled life. (Location 1872)

Your body is just a loan from this planet. What you call “death” is just Mother Earth reclaiming the loan that she offered to you. (Location 1877)

Fear is a result of the incompleteness of your existence. (Location 1882)

Nothing wrong with your hormones, but once you live a compulsive life, you are living the life of a slave. (Location 1890)

If you tell yourself you don’t want to think a certain thought, that is precisely the first thing your mind will produce! That is the nature of the human mind. (Location 1943)

A billion sophisticated activities are being performed in your body right now because of the highly coordinated and complex dance of neurons. (Location 1946)

The system of yoga is a technology to create a distinction between you and your mind. There is a space between you and what you have gathered in terms of body and mind. Becoming conscious of this space is your first and only step to freedom. (Location 1958)

Yoga is a journey toward a reality in which you experience the ultimate nature of existence as borderless unity. (Location 1967)

this borderless unity is an experience, not an idea, philosophy, or concept. (Location 1968)

An intellectual understanding that is not backed by experiential knowledge can lead to mind games and deceptive states. (Location 2002)

Yoga is simply chitta vritti nirodha. That means, if the activity of your mind ceases and you are still alert, you are in yoga. (Location 2005)

Remind yourself at least once an hour that everything you’re carrying—your handbag, your money, your relationships, the heaviness in your heart and body—are things that you’ve accumulated over a period of time. If you become more and more conscious of this fundamental fact even as a process of dis-identification grows within you—balanced by a deep sense of involvement in everything around you—you will move from the misery and madness of the human mind toward meditativeness. (Location 2010)

The foundations of Western philosophy actually rest on the famous axiom by the seventeenth-century French philosopher René Descartes: “I think, therefore I am.” (Location 2017)

What are thoughts really? Just information that you have gathered and recycled. Are you really capable of thinking of anything other than what has been accumulated by your mind? All the human mind is doing is recycling old data. (Location 2022)

thought cannot be bigger than life. Thought can only be logical, functioning between two polarities. (Location 2055)

A human being who has transcended his intellect, the discriminatory and logical dimensions of his life, is a Buddha. (Location 2065)

Set your tap in such a way that only five to ten drops fall per minute. See if you can observe each drop—how it forms, how it falls, how it splashes on the ground. Do this for fifteen to twenty minutes a day. You will gradually become conscious of many things around and within you that you are completely unaware of right now. (Location 2085)

once your intellect gets identified with something, it gets chained to the identifications, and leaves you with a completely distorted experience of the world. (Location 2098)

your mind is itself a certain kind of prejudice. Why? Because it functions from limited data and is fronted by an essentially discriminatory intellect. (Location 2129)

if you are able to disentangle yourself from everything that you are not—if you dis-identify, as it were—you will see that the mind turns just blank and empty. When you want to use it, you can; at other times, it will simply be empty, devoid of all psychological clutter. (Location 2137)

Just sit alone for an hour. No reading, no television, no phone, no communication, nothing. Just see in the course of this hour what thoughts dominate your mind—whether it is food, sex, your car, your furniture, your jewelry, or anything else. If you find yourself thinking recurrently about people or things, your identification is essentially with your body. If your thoughts are about what you would like to do in the world, your identification is essentially with your mind. (Location 2159)

Once you unleash the intellect, it splits everything it encounters; it does not allow you to be with anything totally. (Location 2176)

The accumulative part of the mind is, to put it simply, just society’s garbage bin. It is merely a heap of impressions you have gathered from outside. (Location 2184)

Your ability to merely recycle the garbage you have picked up is what the mighty intellect has been reduced to. (Location 2188)

Your sense organs, as we have seen before, always perceive everything only in comparison. Where there is comparison, there is always duality. (Location 2190)

Learn to place your intellect in the sheath of your awareness rather than in the sack of memory and identification. (Location 2204)

You could just try bringing a certain precision into the physical movements of the body. (If you have a hatha yoga practice, it should happen anyway.) For instance, if you see a straight line on the floor, try walking in perfect alignment with that line, maintaining an easy gait. This is not about becoming self-conscious, but about becoming precise or exact. Try this with your body and see. Bring precision into every movement, every gesture. This is one way of dipping your intellect in awareness. (Location 2209)

Awareness is a process of inclusiveness, a way of embracing this entire existence. You cannot do it, but you can set the right conditions so that it happens. (Location 2232)

If you keep your body, thought, emotion, and energies properly aligned, awareness will blossom. You will become far more alive than you are right now. (Location 2234)

While the other elements are within the body, the akashic, or etheric, dimension envelops the physical body—usually up to a distance of eighteen to twenty-one inches. Because this element is still physical, it carries information. Anything that happens at a certain level of intensity or profundity in your life is written into this field of akash around you. (Location 2238)

If you are aware at the moment of death, you will be aware beyond death also. Start practicing with sleep. Sleep is nothing but temporary death. (Location 2252)

You can try this experiment tonight. At the moment that you move from wakefulness to sleep, make an attempt to be aware. This practice can be done in bed. If you can be aware of the last moment when you make the transition from wakefulness to sleep, you will be aware throughout your sleep. (Location 2255)

unless you completely dis-identify from your body, it is not easy to move consciously from wakefulness to sleep. The first possible moment that you come awake, see if you can become consciously aware of something—your breath or your body, for instance. This will help you later when you want to go to bed. (Location 2261)

If you achieve waking with awareness and moving from wakefulness to sleep in awareness, you are deathless. This means that when it comes to shedding the body, you will do it in full awareness. Even getting close to that moment will change the way your body and mind function, and will alter the quality of your life quite phenomenally. (Location 2263)

Knowledge is essentially accumulated information. All information is only related to the physical nature of existence. Knowing, on the other hand, is a living intelligence. With or without you, it still is. You are either in it or you are not: that is the only choice you have. (Location 2277)

I don’t think with my head but with every cell in my body. This makes my thinking an organic, seamless, and integrated process. (Location 2283)

The first step toward moving from the trap of the intellect to the lap of a larger intelligence is to recognize that every aspect of life—from a grain of sand to a mountain, a drop to an ocean, from the atomic to the cosmic—is a manifestation of a far greater intelligence than your minuscule intellect. (Location 2295)

The moment you get strongly identified, you lose your perspective on life! Ideas of good and bad, right and wrong are all your mental constructs. They have nothing to do with life as such. (Location 2306)

If you want an element of spirituality to enter your life, the first thing you must do is drop these rigid ideas of virtue and vice, and learn to look at life just the way it is. (Location 2311)

Whatever you consider good, you naturally get identified with it. Whatever you consider bad, you are naturally repelled by. This attraction and aversion is the basis of all strong identification. The nature of your mind is that whatever you are averse to dominates it. (Location 2313)

Most people who believe they are virtuous are hard to live with. Besides, they spend most of their lives trying to avoid what they consider “wrong” or “sinful.” That usually means they are constantly thinking about it. Avoiding something is not freedom from it. Such morality is based on exclusion. Spirituality, on the other hand, is born of inclusion. (Location 2318)

If your humanity were active, there would be no need for morality at all. (Location 2322)

Morality is worthwhile because it helps ensure social order, but it is capable of wreaking inner havoc. Since nobody can live by the morals prescribed by most religions, most of humanity lives in a state of perpetual guilt, shame, and fear. This is a tragically crippled existence. (Location 2329)

The spiritual process is always a quest. There is a significant difference between believing and seeking. Believing means you have assumed something that you do not know; seeking means you have realized that you do not know. This brings an enormous amount of flexibility. (Location 2342)

Human society reflects the inner experience of human beings. Creating human beings who are flexible and willing to look at everything in a fresh, unprejudiced way, rather than being stuck in beliefs and opinions, definitely makes for a different kind of society. (Location 2345)

The premise is simple: if you have a good seed and if you create the right atmosphere, it will sprout. Creating the right atmosphere of body and mind is the only work. (Location 2349)

As a race, humanity now needs to liberate life, rather than control it. From limitation to liberation—this is the way. (Location 2354)

Your mind can be in five different states. It could be inert—meaning, it is not activated at all; it is in a rudimentary state. If you energize it, it becomes active but scattered. If you energize it further, it is no longer scattered, but starts oscillating. If you energize it further, it becomes one-pointed. If you energize it still further, it will become conscious. (Location 2356)

The reason why success comes so easily and naturally for one person, and is a struggle for someone else, is essentially this: one person has organized his or her mind to think the way he wants, and another thinks against his or her own interests. (Location 2373)

How many times in your life have you thought, “This is it.” The moment you got there you realized that was not it at all! So, first explore what it is that you really want. (Location 2391)

When you maintain a steady stream of thought without changing direction, it will manifest as a reality in your life. (Location 2393)

in yoga this deeper emotional mind is known as manas. Manas is a complex amalgam of memory that molds emotions in a particular way. (Location 2405)

thought has a certain clarity, a certain agility about it. Emotion is slower. (Location 2411)

Emotion is just the juicier part of thought. You can enjoy its sweetness, but it is largely the thought that leads the emotion, (Location 2415)

Emotion is not entirely steady. Your emotion also chatters, goes this way and that, but it is less agile than thought. Since it takes longer to turn, and its intensity is usually substantially greater than thought, it often seems as though thought and emotion are different. But they are no more separate than sugarcane and its juice. (Location 2417)

Only five to ten percent of the population may be capable of generating the kind of thought that is so intense that there is no need for emotion. (Location 2421)

there are people whose thought is very deep. They don’t have much emotion, but they are very deep thinkers. (Location 2423)

Everything that is has come from “that which is not.” (Location 2427)

This emptiness, which is the very basis of creation, is referred to as “shi-va.” Another dimension of Shiva is Adiyogi, the first yogi, who opened up the incredible science of yoga for humanity. (Location 2429)

the yogic culture offers two ways to reach the ultimate state: becoming everything or becoming nothing; the path of gnana, knowing, or the path of bhakti, devotion. (Location 2434)

The endless nature of human desire is an expression of longing for infinite nature or life beyond physical existence. Infinity and zero are just positive and negative expressions of the same reality. (Location 2440)

Generally, for most people, emotion is more intense than thought. That is why devotion has been glorified above all other paths. (Location 2450)

without the right understanding and wisdom, walking the path of devotion can lead to all kinds of delusions. Devotion is a tool to transcend the dual nature of logic. But instead of transcending logic, one may end up denying logic altogether. So, standing on a stable platform of logic before going into the fluid state of devotion becomes important. (Location 2450)

The end goal is not just intoxication. This blissful state eliminates the fear of suffering. In this state of nameless ecstasy, there are no concerns about self-preservation. This is what makes a human being capable of being and acting in a way that can sometimes seem superhuman to others. (Location 2470)

As long as the fear of suffering persists, you will not dare to explore the deeper dimensions of life. Only this body needs to be protected; nothing else within you needs protection. If you are willing to drop the ideas, philosophies, and belief systems you are currently attached to, you can re-create your entire life with the very next moment. (Location 2477)

Love need not necessarily be convenient; most of the time it is not. It takes life. You have to invest yourself. (Location 2501)

Love is never between two people. It is what happens within you, and your interiority need not be enslaved to someone or something else. (Location 2510)

Try this for fifteen minutes or so: go sit with something that means nothing to you right now—maybe a tree, a pebble, a worm, or an insect. Do it a few days in a row. After a while, you will find you can look upon it with as much love as you do your wife or husband or mother or child. Maybe the worm does not know this. That doesn’t matter. If you can look at everything lovingly, the whole world becomes beautiful in your experience. (Location 2511)

Confidence and stupidity are a very dangerous combination, but they generally go together. (Location 2524)

with devotion you have dissolved all the resistance in you so that the divine can transpire as effortlessly as breath. The divine is not an entity sitting up there; it is a living force every moment of your life. Devotion makes you aware of this. (Location 2528)

When we say something that does not really mean anything to us, that does not burn within us, it is tantamount to a lie. (Location 2542)

Akka Mahadevi (Location 2548)

It is only a juvenile intelligence that analyzes things and arrives at a conclusion. If your intelligence is sufficiently evolved and mature, you realize that the more you analyze, the further away you are from any conclusion. (Location 2578)

The more you delve into life, you see that it is an endless and unfathomable process. You cannot get it because you are it. When you realize experientially that every atom, every grain of sand, every pebble, every piece of life from the smallest to the biggest is unfathomable, you will naturally bow down in utmost devotion to everything. If you simply sit here and breathe, you will know life better than through any deep analysis. (Location 2580)

Traditionally in India, it was said that one ought to bow down to everything that one encountered. (Location 2591)

An idiot is incapable of drawing conclusions. A mystic is unwilling to draw conclusions. The rest have glorified their conclusions as knowledge. The fool just enjoys whatever little he knows and one who has seen life in its utmost depth enjoys it absolutely. The rest are the ones who constantly struggle and suffer. (Location 2594)

That which knows how to bend will not break. (That is why you are encouraged to do your hatha yoga every morning—essentially so your body does not break!) That is so with everything within you. (Location 2604)

If you want to become a devotee, at least once an hour in all the waking moments of your life, put your hands together and bow to something. It does not matter who or what. Don’t choose. Whatever you see, just bow your head—whether it is a tree, a mountain, a dog, a cat, or anything. This need not be a physical act; it could be internal action. Just do it throughout the day, once an hour. See if it can become once a minute. When it becomes once a minute, there is no need to use your hands and body; simply do it within yourself. (Location 2610)

Everything you cannot grasp is in a higher state of existential intelligence than you are. (Location 2616)

When you misinterpret the expression as the cause, it will only bring entanglement, not freedom. (Location 2632)

Life can be tasted and transcended only when there is a distinction between the psychological and the existential. (Location 2654)

pain is a natural phenomenon, and it is good. Without it you wouldn’t know if your leg was chopped off. But suffering is another matter altogether. Pain is bad enough; why make it worse with suffering? Suffering is entirely self-created. And every human being has the choice: to suffer or not to suffer. (Location 2669)

most human beings are doing much the same thing: they are labeling their compulsions, their limitations, as their choices. If you can joyfully do whatever is needed in a given situation, this is freedom. But limiting yourself to doing only what you like is a horribly compulsive way to live. (Location 2687)

When you gather a huge volume of impressions, slowly these shape themselves into tendencies, and you become like an automatic toy, a slave to your patterns, a puppet of your past. (Location 2693)

A spiritual process, however, means we have made up our minds to rewrite our software, consciously. (Location 2730)

The bitterness or sweetness of any experience is not in the event itself, but in how you perceive and respond to it. (Location 2732)

The spiritual process does not seek to demolish this storehouse of karmic impressions, but helps you to become more conscious of it, and establish a little space, which allows you to stand outside of it. (Location 2743)

If you want any kind of transformation, any kind of forward movement in your life, it can only happen if you break the cyclical patterns of karma. Anything that is cyclical suggests constant motion, but it doesn’t really go anywhere. If you are sensitive to life, you realize this early. If you are less sensitive, you realize this as you grow older. (Location 2749)

you are not really getting anywhere. The faster you achieve your success, the faster you realize this. When you are in a certain state of insufficiency, you keep thinking that everything will be okay once your dreams are realized. (Location 2752)

Denying, suppressing, or avoiding life brings more bondage than freedom. The desire, “I don’t want karma,” is itself a big karma! (Location 2760)

Yoga offers a way to distance yourself not just from your karma, but from the very source of karma, which is the discriminatory intellect. (Location 2765)

Sit alone for five minutes and see what your life would be like if you were absolutely alone in this world. If there were nobody or nothing to compare yourself with, what would you truly long for? What would really matter to you if there were no external appreciation or critique? If you do this every day, you will become aligned with the longings of the life that you are, rather than the accumulated karmic mess that you believe you are. (Location 2773)

When you have the ability to perform action with the non-physical aspect of your energy, then it is termed a “kriya.” (Location 2780)

The most significant aspect of yoga is always to perform action beyond the physical dimensions of energy. (Location 2785)

The yogic practices, which involve postures, breath, attitudes of the mind, and energy activation, are all essentially oriented toward aligning the first three layers of the body: the physical, the mental, and the energetic body. It is only in aligning them that you find access to dimensions beyond the physical—to the fundamental life energy itself. (Location 2789)

kriyas are elaborate and involve a great deal of discipline, focus, and exactitude. Most people do not have the body, the attitude, or the stability of emotion for this yoga path, primarily because they are used to living, right from their childhood, in a perpetual state of comfort. (Location 2796)

If you take the path of kriya, a certain fundamental discipline has to be brought into all physical, psychological, and emotional processes. If you want to hit the peak of your consciousness, this discipline is essential. (Location 2802)

But for the kriya to be a live process, to be imprinted in your system in a certain way, it needs a certain discipline, dedication, and receptivity. When you walk a completely new terrain, if there is no trust in the one who guides you, then the journey becomes unnecessarily long and difficult. (Location 2809)

Once you empower people in a particular way that makes their system vibrant beyond normal standards, they can cause great damage to themselves if their attitudes and emotions are not as they should be. But in today’s world, to get that kind of time with people, to arrive at that kind of trust and then imprint these kriyas, is difficult. It is not impossible, but the chances are remote. (Location 2814)

I spent twenty-one years of my life transforming a powerful kriya, the Shambhavi Mahamudra, in order that it might be taught to large numbers of people in today’s world. Certain aspects that could empower people either to harm themselves or others, or influence the elements around them have been firewalled, so only the physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits remain. (Location 2817)

Kriya yoga as a full-fledged path is important only for those interested in exploring mystical dimensions. If your concern is only well-being or if you are just seeking realization, kriyas can be used in a small way. (Location 2821)

If you follow the path of kriya very intensely without guidance, it may take a few lifetimes to bear fruit. If you have someone to actively guide the process, kriya can be a most powerful and magnificent way to explore the inner nature and mystical phenomena. (Location 2823)

Kriya yogis, on the other hand, can do whatever they wish with their inner world, and achieve a great deal in the outer world as well. (Location 2832)

The very way the karmic structure works in every human being is essentially cyclical. If you observe very closely, within a day the same cycles are happening many times over. If you are very observant, you will see that every forty minutes you are going through a physiological cycle. (Location 2835)

Every forty to forty-eight minutes, there is also a shift of dominance in the way the breath is moving through the right and left nostrils. (Location 2839)

The channel on the right is known as pingala, the left is known as ida, and the central is known as sushumna. These three channels are the basis of the energy system. Pingala is symbolized as the masculine and ida is symbolized as the feminine. (Location 2846)

If a person’s pingala is very pronounced, then outgoing, exploratory qualities will be dominant. If the ida is more pronounced, receptive and reflective qualities will be dominant. (Location 2850)

On the level of your mind, pingala represents the logical dimension; ida represents the intuitive dimension. These two dualities are the fundamentals of the physical sphere of life. A human being is complete only when both the masculine and the feminine function at full force and are in proper balance. (Location 2855)

If you were to activate all 114 chakras, you would have no sense of body at all. The purpose of yoga is to activate your energy system in such a way that your body consciousness is constantly being lowered, so you can sit here in the body, but are no longer the body. (Location 2873)

Sadashiva Brahmendra did not even break his stride. He continued walking. Seeing this, the soldiers were wonderstruck and terrified. They realized that this was no ordinary man. The king and his soldiers ran after him, prostrated, begged his forgiveness, and brought him back to the garden. (Location 2882)

There are seven fundamental chakras: the muladhara, which is located at the perineum, the space between the anal outlet and the genital organ; swadhishthana, which is just above the genital organ; manipuraka, which is three fourths of an inch below the navel; anahata, which is below the point where the rib cage meets the diaphragm; vishuddhi, which is at the pit of the throat; agna, which is between the eyebrows; and sahasrara, also known as the brahmarandra, which is at the fontanel on top of the head (where newborn infants have a soft spot). (Location 2888)

If your energies are dominant in agna, then you are intellectually realized. Intellectual realization can bring you to a certain state of peace and stability within yourself, irrespective of what is happening outside of you. (Location 2898)

in the physical body, your energies need to be in the muladhara chakra to some extent. “Mula” means the root or source, and “adhara” means foundation. In the engineering of the body, this is the base. If you wish to grow, you need to cultivate this. (Location 2906)

There is a wide spectrum of spiritual practices in the yogic system that enables one to move one’s energies from one chakra to another. However, from the agna to the sahasrara, there is no path. You have either to leap or fall into it. (Location 2933)

To make the leap from the agna to the sahasrara takes immense trust. (Location 2936)

By focusing at a point six to nine inches away from the region between your eyebrows for twelve to forty-eight minutes, with your eyes open, you can realize the nature and structure of your individual chakras (depending on the duration and your level of focus). (Location 2945)

The sixth limb of yoga is referred to as dhyana, or dhyan, which is essentially about transcending the boundaries of one’s physical and mental framework. Dhyan traveled from India to China along with the Buddhist monks, where it was referred to as Ch’an. This yoga traveled through the Southeast Asian countries to Japan and became Zen, and found expression as a whole system of direct insight without an emphasis on doctrine. Zen is a spiritual path that has no scriptures, books, rules, or rigid practices; it is an uncharted path. (Location 2951)

The first recorded use of the method we now call Zen happened almost eight thousand years ago, well before the time of Gautama the Buddha. (Location 2955)

This is what yoga is also about. This is what every spiritual practice is about. When you want to attain yoga or Zen, you have to drop your load, discard everything on the way, remain free, stand upright. It is important. With your load, you may never do it. And what is the goal of yoga? Consciously take on the whole load once again. And now it no longer feels like a load! (Location 2972)

If you make this flesh, or even a stone or empty space, into a higher possibility, this is consecration. (Location 2981)

When people in the world are too distracted and unwilling to make themselves into living temples, building stone temples becomes a necessity. The basic purpose of building a temple is to benefit the majority of people who have no spiritual practice in their lives. If one can do some spiritual practice in such a consecrated space, it is doubly beneficial. (Location 3001)

Consecration, or pratishtha, is done in various ways, but generally by using rituals, mantras, sounds, forms, and various other ingredients. Constant maintenance is required. (Location 3004)

The Indian temples were never places of prayer. The tradition was that you had a shower first thing in the morning and went directly to the temple, sat there for a while, and only then began your day. The temple was like a public battery-charging space. (Location 3018)

The Dhyanalinga is in the highest level of intensity that any form can be. Even if those who do not know anything about meditation come and sit there, they become meditative by their own nature. (Location 3024)

If I were given the necessary support and opportunity, I would like to consecrate the whole planet! (Location 3026)

If you bring about a certain transformation through the physical, mental, or energy body, it can be lost in the course of life. But once you are touched on the level of the etheric body, it is forever. Even if you go through many lifetimes, this seed of liberation will wait for the right opportunity to sprout and flower. (Location 3060)

Draw a figure like the one below with rice flour or some kind of grain. Place a small ghee, or clarified butter, lamp in a plate full of water at the center. Place a flower in the water. You have now created a geometric form, using water, fire, and air. The flower in the water represents the earth. Akash, or ether, is, of course, always present. Try this simple process every evening. You will find the energy of your room altered in a subtle but powerful way. In this manner, you can uniquely empower your home or office on a daily basis. (Location 3071)

For most yogis and mystics, the problem has been that they could never share the fruits of their realization with people around them. To find another person capable of receiving what you know is not easy. If you find even one person you are fortunate. So, most spiritual masters downloaded their knowing in remote but not entirely inaccessible places. They often chose mountain peaks because there is less human traffic and disturbance in such places. (Location 3077)

If you work with the physical body of flesh and blood, it has a limited life span. If you use your mind, the life span of that work is much longer. But if you work with your fundamental life energies, then the result is timeless. (Location 3115)

You experience the same things in a totally different way at different points in your life. (Location 3155)

If you have made realization the top priority in your life, then anything that does not take you one step closer toward your ultimate freedom is meaningless. (Location 3169)

A true guru’s work is to overhaul the entire human mechanism from acquired cyclical patterns of karma toward its ultimate possibility. (Location 3234)

There is not a single Indian temple where there is no image of a snake. This is not because this is a culture of serpent worshippers. It signifies that a sacred space holds the possibility of arousing the unmanifest energies in you. (Location 3248)

Historically, of course, the snake has received much bad press because of the biblical story of Adam and Eve. But if you examine the tale closely, you’ll see it is the snake that initiated life on this planet. (Location 3258)

Only if energy rises to a certain level of intensity and volume can reality be perceived in its utmost purity. Otherwise every other karmic imprint that we have (which goes right back to the single-celled creature that we once were millennia ago) will interfere with the way we perceive reality. (Location 3263)

once joy is your constant companion, you are no more an issue in your life. After that, life is a journey of endlessly unfolding celebration and discovery. (Location 3270)

if the ability to wield such powerful instruments is not accompanied by a deep sense of compassion, inclusiveness, balance, and maturity, we could be on the brink of a global disaster. Our relentless pursuit of external well-being is already on the verge of annihilating the planet. (Location 3273)

A vast number of people live in states of constant anxiety and depression. Some are suffering their failure, but ironically, many are suffering the consequences of their success. Some are suffering their limitations, but many are suffering their freedom. (Location 3277)

There is a way out. And the way out is in. It is only by turning inward that we can truly create a world of love, light, and laughter. This book could be a doorway to that world (Location 3284)

The objective of all the Foundation’s activities is to empower the individual to realize the ultimate potential within, and to promote a global climate of inclusiveness and harmony. (Location 3403)