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Emphasizing the inner (antar) aspects of Yoga,
with all of the outer (bahir) aspects seen as preparation. For thousands of years the inner face of Yoga prevailed. It is only in recent years that the outer, physical aspect has become predominant.
Online Courses (Please take a look at these.)
Core Texts (and Swami J books)

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Abhyasa Ashram is a 501(c)3 Nonprofit organization.
(Note that the ashram web address abhyasaashram.org forwards to this google page so that it can
be changed anytime from anywhere in the world. It's not very fancy, but is very easy for us to use.)


 
ABHYASA ASHRAM IS a place of the heart rather than any physical place.  Abhyasa is the inner (antar) practice of yoga as Self-realization. The root of "ashram" is "shrama" which means the effort towards that Self-realization. Wherever I am living or visiting is my ashram, my monastery. I and other close people practice universal meditation as taught by the ancient lineage of yogis of the cave monasteries of the Himalayas, especially as transmitted through Swami Rama. The tradition has no name, and is not affiliated with any of the institutions or religions of the plains of India or other countries surrounding the Himalayas, although individual meditators may personally align themselves with a wide variety of religions or institutions. 

WE MAY REFER TO THE TRADITION AS as "the tradition of the Himalayan masters" or "the Himalayan tradition", but that is for the sake of convenience, and is not a style or brand name as is popular these days. Our methods of meditation and contemplation involve systematic awareness of all levels of our being, including actions/senses, body, breath, mind, finally resting in the awareness of the Self (atman) which is one with the universal Self (brahman). At Abhyasa Ashram we have aspirant training, not teacher training. 

OUR APPROACH TO TRAINING is mostly individual coaching or mentoring, as Yoga meditation and contemplation has been traditionally taught for thousands of years. Aspirants with various degrees of experience naturally teach or share with others others within the context of their own lives and modes of service. Our emphasis is on inner (antar) aspects of yoga, with the outer (bahir) practices seen as preparation for the inner practices.



EACH PERSON IS PURE CONSCIOUSNESS: From the perspective of our meditation tradition, each person is perfect, pure consciousness (atman, purusha, shakti) at the core of her or his being. The entire process of sadhana (meditation and contemplation practices) is to reduce the colorings that usually veil that realization (often called Self-realization). This is done by systematically receding inward through senses, body, breath, conscious and unconscious mind.

MEANING of YOGA: At Abhyasa Ashram the word "Yoga" is used in its traditional meaning, rather than the revisionist meaning of Yoga as merely a gymnastic or physical fitness program. Yoga means “union” of the individual consciousness and universal consciousness, Atman and Brahman, Jivatman and Paramatman, as well as Shiva and Shakti (it's okay if you don't yet know the meaning of these words). It is pure consciousness (Purusha) standing alone from primal manifestation (Prakriti). Yoga is widely said to be over 5000 years old, while an even cursory review of modern Yoga "styles" reveals that most are less than a few decades old. Our practices are from the meditation tradition of the Himalayan masters, as passed down from the cave monasteries of the Himalayas through Swami Rama (and the lineage of Bengali Baba and Mahavatar Babaji), not the institutions in the plains of India. To write or speak of "traditional" Yoga does not mean doing anything on blind faith belief. The very heart of Yoga is based on personal experience. One is not to merely "believe" anything, but to explore within and discover for oneself that the principles, practices, and insights are valid.



COMMUNITY and BELIEFS: Yoga is traditionally taught, practiced and learned through close relationships in a community of noble friends, known as kalyana-mitra. Guru is a stream of knowledge of direct experience which, though it may operate through a person, is itself not a person. While some participants in ashram activities have a theistic (god) orientation and others a non-theistic orientation, we virtually all intuit that there is only one, nondual (advaita), absolute reality even though it may appear to be dualistic.

PURPOSE: Our purpose is to share with people who have an interest in the principles and practices of the Himalayan masters, including traditional Yoga Meditation, Vedanta, and internal, meditative (Samaya) Tantra (Yoga, Vedanta, Tantra). Our community of meditation and contemplation is devoted to serving those who deeply long for the direct experience of union with the eternal, pure center of consciousness, the bliss of being that is one with the absolute reality, as the wave who seeks to remember it is one with the ocean. One word for that union is "Yoga."

THE HIGHEST ORIENTATION of our tradition is on Maha-tripura-sundari or simply Tripura. Maha is "great". Sundari is "beautiful. Tri is "three". Pura is "city/cities". Maha-tripura-sundari is thus meditation, contemplation, and devotion on that great, beautiful one consciousness that dwells in the three cities of waking, dreaming, and deep sleep. It is that which is the ground of, and which permeates the three levels or "cities" of the gross, subtle, and causal realities. It is also called Turiya, which means simply the "fourth" which is beyond, after, or the ground of the three (symbolized by the silence after the A, U, and M of Om Mantra). It is also called Mother, Divine Mother, or the feminine, as a metaphor of the consciousness that manifests out of the nondual reality. The active is called Shakti (feminine/creative) and the ground or latent is called Shiva (masculine/latent). In our tradition Shiva and Shakti are metaphors, not anthropomorphic beings, somewhat like many pieces of pottery (feminine/creative) manifesting out of clay (masculine/latent) or the many different meanings of words (feminine/creative) manifesting out of ink (masculine/latent). The entire universe is manifested through the outpouring of Shakti, which is actually one and the same with Shiva, with these, once again being metaphors, not deities. 



THE HUMAN BODY is the temple in which practices of meditation and contemplation are practiced. There is no external temple, church, synagogue, or mosque, etc. in which any worship is done, as all practices are internal. However, there is no objection to people practicing the religion of their choice, and a practitioner of our tradition may be comfortable in any setting, recognizing that all is a manifestation of that one, nondual (advaita) reality.

MEANING of ABHYASA and ASHRAM: The word "Abhyasa" means "practices." Abhyasa is purposefully choosing to do that which leads to "sthitau," which is a stable, steady, undisturbed inner calmness or tranquility. Abhyasa is one of the twin foundations of Yoga, along with Vairagya, the mental stance of non-attachment (Yoga Sutras 1.12-1.16). The root of the word Ashram is "shrama," which means "effort" or "striving." A meeting center, hermitage or home of a swami or other person serving people in their efforts towards inner peace and spiritual awakening may called an Ashram. Thus, our community of meditation, contemplation and learning is known as Abhyasa Ashram. More than any physical location it is really a place of the heart, an inner sanctuary of silence.



May your meditations today bring you peace, happiness, and bliss.

In loving service,

Swami J 
Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati ("Swamiji" / "Swami J")


Ashram Website: http://abhyasaashram.org/
Swami J Website on Principles/Practices: http://www.swamij.com/
Swami J Bio: http://www.swamij.com/swamijnaneshvara.htm 


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