Meditation upon the Holy Sound, Om, is a basic yogic practice that originated in India and is now practiced around the globe.  Anyone who hears this primordial Sound consistently will be drawn into its enticing environment in a natural way.  The word, Kriya, means action.  The primary action of Kriya Yoga is to listen deeply to this interior sound.
        The precise practice that has evolved for me has been somewhat influenced by a number of teachers, but is more precisely a practice of attention and breath control (pranayama) that has come to me naturally from within after many years of devoted practice and inner attention.  I have endeavored through forty years of meditative practice to find the interiorized path of lease resistance and natural pranic flow.  This reduction of inner resistance and the natural movement of prana are the two fundamental components of this practice.
        Meditative techniques mature with kindness arising spontaneously in the human heart and the natural and immediate intelligence that is the original nature of our awareness.  These two assets preexist the formation of egoic structures that divide our attention and initiate stress and doubt.  Love is the magnet that draws the Spirit deep within, and innate intelligence illuminates the inner environment.
        If you are interested in this practice, I offer a free, online class to share this path and to encourage an open discussion.  It is my purpose to bring a breath of "fresh air" to yoga.  That air has always been... and still is... entirely free.  If you wish to join the class, simply click on Kriya Yoga Class and please sign your full name when send the message to me.  First, however, I recommend that you finish reading this page, and some of the other pages on this site, to get a preliminary view of the nature of Kriya Yoga.

        Kindness in all ways and things,
        Carl Schmidt
 
 

 
        The techniques of Kriya Yoga help direct our attention inward, upon our essence, in an energized yet completely natural way.  As long as an individual is unaware of the immediate and non-separate quality of his true Self, he is subject to the inaccurate and divisive life-view of the ego.  The experience of ego is normally accompanied by immediate suffering, and if the suffering is not immediate, it will eventually find ways to manifest.  The fundamental ignorance is ego-identification, and as long as we are locked into it, there is no possibility of a continuous blissful experience, as there is no way to experience the freedom of pure being.
        In fact, we can turn this understanding around and say that if you are suffering, then it is certain that you are ego-identified.  Suffering and ego-identification are virtually synonymous.
        We are free to act as we choose.  We are free to be who we are.  In fact, we cannot be other than who we are.  But if we don't recognize Being as whole and undivided, then we revolve on the karmic wheel, the wheel of suffering... sometimes high... sometimes low... but always within a background of anxiety, stress and disappointment.  Striving to be what we are not is the fundamental activity of ego.  So if you feel that striving, if you feel that stress, if you continue to have episodes of suffering, then it is well worth your while to find relief.  If you want to be free of suffering (and certainly we all would prefer that), it is necessary to see precisely how it is that suffering arises, and it is worthwhile to discover a way to carry on that is more sensible... more enlightened.
        We might say that, "Our true Being is entirely within in us," or we might say that, "We are entirely within it."  Yet both of these statements are not quite right.  They are not the best possible pointer to the truth of our situation.  In actual fact, we are not in It, and It is not within us.  We are none other than our true Self, and we can never be other than this true Self.
        This revelation has happened over and over, but few have taken notice.  Instead of realizing our true nature, we erect emotional and mental prisons for ourselves.  These prisons are self-perpetuated and completely unnecessary.
       So what, or where, is our true Being?  How can we "initiate" it?
       Actually, we cannot "initiate" it.  We cannot initiate that which already is.  But we can recognize it.  True Being is there in each undivided moment of pure awareness.  Once it is seen for what It is, then this recognition becomes the Way of the yogi.  He dwells in this singular attention.  This awareness persists without conflict of any kind, not mental, not emotional, and beyond relationship.  Kriya actions are energy and awareness techniques that encourage our attention to return to original Being and to recognize our indivisibility.  The techniques help remind us of our primary and immediate Being.
        Kriya Yoga initiates a renewal of original experience and Self-revelation.  Results may be gradual or immediate.  It is at once both the simplest and the most difficult of things.  It is simple because it is available at any moment to any consciousness.  It is difficult because it has been overlooked for so long that the inertia of division has overwhelmed our immediate presence.
        Briefly stated, consciousness goes through a number of recognizable processes that have left us feeling divided.  It might be useful to categorize these processes, in order to illuminate how we begin to fall and how far we have fallen.  Actually... We have not really fallen anywhere.  There is no place to fall.  The irony is that we feel and think we have fallen.  So how did we get down "here"?  How did these feelings come to happen?
        The slippery slope has a few recognizable stations.  Let's look at five stages that we go through as we slide down the "hill."
        1) Form.  Ego takes its birth as form arises in our awareness.  Essentially, form is matter.
        2) Feeling.  As form materializes, we begin to busy ourselves with a variety of feelings.  Almost always the first "feeling" is that we imagine our self as something other than the Whole, and almost immediately we begin to slide into feelings of attraction or repulsion with what is assumed to be other than our self.
        3) Strategies.  A number of impulsive strategies soon arise to deal with our newly separated self.  These take a variety of shapes, like passion, aggression, indifference, determination, resignation, and so on.  A milieu of schemes occur to us, all trying to fix and/or improve our apparent situation.
        4) Intellect.  Once the emotive strategies have taken hold, we augment them with conceptual form.  The mind becomes an active force, sorting out our condition, and establishing commands and imaginative solutions.  Form now is an interlaced pattern of feelings, strategies and ideas.
        5) Conscious Fantasies.  We take the full assortment of the first four signs, and weave them into a collective, overarching fantasy in order to resolve our imaginary condition and deal with what normally is the elaborate nature of our suffering.
        Can a simple and immediate realization resolve our apparent fall?  Actually, yes!  In fact, it happens over and over.  But rarely does this realization stick.  Usually it slips away, and we find ourselves either falling or fallen once again.
        This immediate realization of true Being is often referred to as "waking up."  You might wonder why this is so.  Ask yourself this question:  "What happens to you in the morning at the moment when you wake up?"  One of two things happens.  If you are having a conscious dream, then at the moment you wake up, you suddenly realize that you have been dreaming, and that your dreaming experience is not the "real you," but rather this waking experience is now the "real you."  On the other hand, if you have been in deep sleep, essentially unconscious of any experience at all, then, again, when you wake up... or actually, reawaken... you become aware of the "real you."  This "real you" is actually the Real You.  But generally it lasts for only a brief instant, because you begin the falling process anew.  Almost immediately you take form, initiate feelings, develop strategies, begin thinking and before long your full blown conscious fantasies are in full swing.  Rarely, if ever, do you wake up, and remain "awake."
        Once there is a general awareness of the nature of this falling, there comes with it the hopeful recognition that it might be possible not to fall again.  Kriya techniques serve this purpose.  They establish a pathway to return to original Being, and to fully secure our awareness upon our True Self.
        As the Kriyas are applied consistently with precision and openness, a very definite transformation takes place.  For one thing, the fictional contrast of inner vs. outer dissolves.  From the beginning of time there has been an ongoing process of misconception, called ego, that has created an imaginary division of our Self.  The Kriyas help to dissolve our imagined condition.  We recognize, either gradually or immediately, that there is no inside and there is no outside.  There is only unbounded consciousness.  And if you are creative, you will convert this reality into compassion and bliss.
        Traps are avoided.  For example, proclamations of individual self importance will be seen as completely out of place.  They will not really be offensive, but rather nonsensical, because they are distortions of the reality.  They are distractions.  The devotee, armed with the shield of spiritual discrimination, finds the Beginning again and again, and gradually (or immediately) discovers that all of the old separate misinformation serves no real purpose.  Selfless ease ensues.
        Historically speaking, sages and yogis of India have attained… and maintained… this primary perspective, this resonance, this extraordinarily sweet condition, consistently for millennia.  And yet those in the West generally fail to notice how simple and immediate it is.  It is made out to be something extraordinary, even though it is the most ordinary of things.  Hence the Western yogi often seems contrived.  It appears at first glance that he has simply donned a peculiar set of clothing without the grit of revelation.
        This does not have to be the case.  Bliss and realization is not territorial or cultural.  It is totally available.  It is completely present.  It is not "difficult" at all.  It is the easiest thing... literally.  This ocean of resonant Being is not a wading pool.  It is vast and it is omnipresent.  It is available in all places, at all times.  But the ego cannot survive merging with the Presence.  No matter how great an effort we make to drag it in, it will not coexist there.  Its nature is to divide up the territory.  Alas, the ego is an insatiable hunter.  It experiences no lasting peace.  The ego insists on an entire assortment of relational results, which are not available as Presence.
        Duality arises with the appearance of body or bodies, first ours, then others, and finally the full blown theories about "things."  It all gets very messy.  But there is a way through.  Consciousness, on its pathway back to Self, experiences its passage as if through a tunnel.  Within this tunnel arises the projected vision of Spirit upon the Eye Center.  It is a sympathetic response to the conscious awakening of the Heart and Medullary Centers.  This recognition is the source of the first Kriya, the Sacred Heart Pranayam.  The practice of this technique is fully saturated with compassion and intuitive intelligence.
        The effectiveness of compassion and intuition is surprising.  They bridge the gap between Spirit and our various bodies.  It is the foundation of the pathway hOMe.  I invite you to come and discover this simplified path.  It is absolutely available to any sincere seeker of the inner life.  Simply drop any pretense.  Drop the expectation of separate experience.  Drop the hope of an exalted place in relativity.  This kind of positioning is precarious and doomed to dissolution.
        The Sacred Heart Pranayam (as well as other Kriyas that are introduced later in the class) encourage a definite, somewhat scientific, progression of energetic and luminous conscious attention from matter to original unfettered awareness.  Among the Kriyas are other pranayams that awaken the yogi to his primary awareness from a variety of possible positions down the "hill."  In each case the pranayam helps to reestablish his natural, underlying, cosmic formlessness.
        Until this energetic formlessness is perceived as his own, indestructible true nature, the yogi is unable to know Who He Is, and wanders about.  The wanderer can never adequately rest.  He can never quite catch his breath!  He wanders this life, ignoring, guessing or believing what This is all about.
        Kriya techniques cannot be completely described by a written description.  Writing them out assigns a certain mechanical quality to them, which is less than the whole action.  But they do outline a living quality, which is their basic purpose.  As the yogi practices and becomes increasingly transparent, he glides through the kriyas, and feels a natural resonance as direct experience.  The change that takes place might be described as being similar to the difference between "eating" and "dining."  When we eat, we chew our food.  When we dine, we enter an entirely different dimension.
        It is my profound purpose now to invite a deep and wondrous re-entry.
        One thing is certain… If it is not already the case, one day to come, bliss will saturate all of your cells and fill your Heart.  A Sound shall assert with vibrant certainty…
 
 



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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To read a discussion of Kriya Yoga as well as a description of the first Kriya technique,
please click on:
The Sacred Heart Pranayam