According to the Mandukya Upanishads, one of the 15 major Upanishads handed down over time, there are 4 levels of consciousness.
Consciousness is defined as the state, or quality of awareness. It refers to the state of being aware of an external object or of something within oneself.
Many websites, schools and theories erroneously explain Yoga Nidra as a state of relaxation, or mild hypnosis. These are misrepresentations, not due to ill intend, but mainly due to a lack of true information.
Yoga Nidra is in fact a practice used by Rishis and ancient Yogis to reach a deep state of consciousness in order to purify Samskaras. It is a near-extinct tool for cultivating the mind towards a successful life of self mastery.
Samskaras is a Sanskrit word for the impressions on the mind that had been made over time as we recycle through existence. They are the drivers of our behavior, and thus – destiny.
Fate as we call it, is not due to unseen forces. Fate and destiny are both controlled by our inner state of consciousness.
The 4 levels of Consciousness are – 1. Awake 2. Dream state 3. Deep Sleep 4. Turiya
This is the state that we are most familiar with. This is the state that we know as our waking state.
When we close our eyes in bed at night, we first enter into Dream state, to process the issues that are unresolved in the Awake state. Most of us remember the Dream state only partially, and majority of us cannot control what happens in this state.
3. Deep Sleep
After issues are processed and resolved in Dream state, we then enter into Deep Sleep state. This is the state of deep rest that is required to recharge, rejuvenate and heal body cells. In this state, we are not conscious. We are not aware of it, nor do we have control over it.
This Sanskrit word means ‘The Fourth’. It refers to the center of Consciousness from which all our experience of reality projects from, and lays beneath the first 3 levels of Consciousness. The only method to enter into this state while remaining conscious is via the practice of Yoga Nidra.
In Yoga Nidra, we intentionally shift attention to various parts of the body, systematically, in a specific sequence. When done properly, the process enables the mind to enter into Turiya, while remaining fully awake and conscious.
When we enter Turiya while retaining full consciousness, Samskaras are purified with discoloration.
This is how it happens – Samskaras are observed in their latent forms (observation can only happen when we are conscious). With this alert yet detached observation, Samskaras begin to discolor, purify and lose their push/pull effect. When we return to our daily life in the first state of consciousness ie Awake state, these Samskaras lose their control over our thoughts, feelings speech and behavior. Thus, Yoga Nidra is a hugely powerful tool in reshaping our destiny in order to self realize.
There is life as we know it, and there is life that we know ‘could be’. Most people dream about what they could become, only a small handful of people are able to realize it. What stands between your current life and your desired life are simply the Samskaras. Discolor that, and you assume the driver seat of your life.
(C) Copyright Linda Loo
Yoga Nidra (Beginners Level) 12 Nov Sat
Yoga Nidra (Intermediate Level) 13 Nov Sun
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