Laya Yoga - the highest form of yoga
- The subconscious mystic communication
- Time and place of meditative concentration
- The four ElementsThe colours of the rainbow
- The symbolic animals
- The geometrical forms
Laya yoga is also known as kundalini yoga. The term laya means dissolution, merging in Sanskrit. According to this practice, a higher level of awareness is achieved by absorbing the breath and mind energies in the heart through deep meditation on the chakras. Its practice helps the spirit attain union with the supreme consciousness.
Chakra means wheel in Sanskrit. Yoga recognizes six chakras – or energy centres. They are situated in the frontal body, from the coccyx region up to the forehead. The energy circulates through the main nervous system in two canals (ida and pingala) all along the spine. The combination of these two currents provides the total disposable energy of our body.
According to the laya yoga, concentrating on the chakras can activate the grey cells in the spine (of which we normally use only 8%), and liberates creative hidden potentials.
In ancient yoga drawings dating from the 7th century each chakra is represented by a lotus flower with a specific number of petals, a symbolic animal, a characteristic colour, a geometric form, as well as by male and female beings (shiva and shakti). Each chakra is associated with one of the four elements and with one of the five senses. Deep concentration on these elements of the chakra creates a better balance and harmony between the inner powers of a person.
The subconscious mystic communication
We communicate with our subconscious using a symbolic language that allows us to make requests of it and to receive responses. This new language seems difficult at first, but with the proper investment of time and effort, it gradually becomes clearer.
Sometimes the subconscious produces an individual personal symbol, which represents an internal deep power. For example, one of the participants saw an image of an Owl while concentrating on the third eye. Subsequently, every time this person concentrates on the Owl symbol, he feels a sensation of deep calm and serenity.
Each practitioner can discovery his own language, many times through years of practice – as it is with learning any new language. This symbolic language is, on the one hand, most familiar, but on the other hand, we typically expend considerable effort in “forgetting” it, since early childhood.
In order to get into the right spirit of meditation on the energy centres – the chakras – one needs to create a space, a separation, sometimes quite small, between daily life and the inner, intimate existence. This split will usually occur through meditation. When a person plays unpitched musical instruments such as gongs, bells, drums, rainstick or Tibetan bowls, the sounds and its reverberations can bring a meditative state upon the player as well as upon passive listeners.
These special sounds induce a sort of separation between the outer sensorial world and the inner one. This dissociation allows for an intensified concentration on the energy centres. We must stress here that these instrumental sounds do not come in place of reciting mantras by voice – or the sounding of major scale notes, which characterize the chakras. Hence, they essentially form a veil between daily life and the meditative experience.
Time and place of meditative concentration
In the preparations for meditation, it is very important to create the right place in your living space. You should pay attention to where you to sit (on a carpet, a seat, an armchair), a small table on which it is recommended to place fresh flowers or a potted plant, a lit candle, as well as a small fountain or water source (not mandatory). This space needs to reflect pleasant order.
The meditation space can also be in nature, in a forest or a closed garden.
This selected space accumulates energy as you practice meditation over time. Each time the meditation will be easier and its results will manifest more quickly. Ultimately, you will find that the image subject to your concentration will bear its fruits almost instantly.
The time needed for meditation is a minimum of 5 to 10 minutes. As for its maximum, it is as long as the person wishes. Attention, too much meditation can represent an undesirable escape from reality!
There are six main components to the alternative language between the conscious and the subconscious, as represented by the chakra symbols: The four elements, the colours of the rainbow, the symbolic animals, the geometrical forms, the tones of the major scale, the mantras
The four Elements
The four elements are Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. According to the yoga, Sky is considered the fifth element.
The elements are related to the chakras in the following way:
First (lowest) chakra – the Earth element
Second chakra – the Water element
Third chakra – the Fire element
Fourth chakra – the Air element
Fifth chakra – the Sky element
The Sixth chakra is beyond the elements.
The colours of the rainbow
Observing colours enables you to recognise your energetic state in diverse ways. When you concentrate on a colour and ask yourself whether this particular colour is present or missing in a certain chakra of the body, you will immediately sense the answer. This knowledge comes from an intuitive source rather than a conscious one. If you hesitate about the first intuitive answer that you get, the intuitive process stops in its tracks.
In other words, you should deeply believe that the first intuitive answer you get is correct. Why? Because your subconscious reacts immediately why your conscious mind takes more time, and is typically judgmental, attempting to interfere with knowledge that emerges from the subconscious. Practicing concentration on colours for a certain time allows one to learn and get acquainted with the significance of the colours and their influence on your feelings.
The colours of the rainbow are red (first chakra), orange (second chakra), yellow (third chakra), green (fourth chakra), blue (fifth chakra), purple (sixth chakra) and, finally, white (seventh chakra) – which combines all the other colours.
When you concentrate on the range of colours and feel that a certain colour is lacking in presence, first see which chakra is associated with it. You can strengthen it by using alternative symbols of the same chakra, i.e., the related element, sound, mantra, animal or geometric form.
For example, if the red colour is lacklustre, you can conclude that your life energy may be a bit weak. The red colour represents the first chakra, which is related to the Earth element. Its sound is DO (C), its mantra Lam (or Lang), its symbolic animal is a large grey elephant and its geometrical form a square.
If the red colour is faint or absent, you can strengthen it or make it reappear by checking out how your earth looks – is it dry, fertile, wet, or muddy? You can check up on the grey elephant. How is it doing and how does it feel? Does it feel well, average, or not too well? Examine the square: is it small, big, incomplete, does it have loose vertices?
After analysing the situation, you will need to strengthen the seat of the chakra, the coccyx in this example, by voicing the mantra (“Lam” or “Lang”) or the its tone (Do/C) and directing the sound toward it. How do you “direct” a sound to a physical region? This is done with the aid of the breathing cycle. While inhaling you concentrate and imagine that you are inhaling the sound, and while exhaling, you concentrate on “sending” and directing the sound towards the physical region. After a few repetitions of inhaling and exhaling the sound in this manner, you can pause to re-check the red colour and see if it seems fuller, more vivid and more present.
The symbolic animals
The animal symbols are essential parts of every culture as representatives of celestial energies which are continually in interaction and which maintain the cosmic equilibrium.
The lion is the symbol of the tribe of Judah and of the British Kingdom. The elephant represents the Indian airplane company and the Gnash books. The eagle represents both Egypt and Germany; the dove represents peace and Catholic grace. The wolf represents the Roman kingdom, the white bull – the pharaonic Egypt, the ram represents the innocent victim in different cultures. In the pre-Columbian Inca and Aztec cultures, different animals appear as sacred symbols of the soul: the eagle represents the possibilities of aerial and celestial forces; the serpent, the intermediary element or the Earthy one (though it exists also as an aerial serpent); the jaguar or tiger is associated with the bestial energies….
In the Indian culture the bull Nandi appears as the vehicle of the god Shiva, the bird Garuda, as the carrier of Shiva and Shakti, the elephant Gnash as abolishing obstacles. Other symbolic animals include the swan, lion, bull and peacock.
Five animals appear in the five lower chakras. They symbolise both the related element as well as helping forces. The animals are a large 7-trunked grey elephant, a mythical half-terrestrial and half-aquatic Makara, a ram, an antelope, and a small white elephant. The animals are usually vegetarian rather than carnivorous. The drawings of the sixth chakra contain no animal image, but there is a combination of two syllables written on the two lotus leaves of the chakra, “Hang-Se”, which means swan. Hence, the swan can symbolize the sixth chakra.
The animals can serve as conduits of energy; however, this is effective only if you use it in an intuitive way. You can discover what each animal represents for you by asking a series of questions, e.g., how big is the animal, how it feels, what do its surroundings look like, and so on. You should normally select the first intuitive answer because it arises directly from the subconscious without passing through the critical sieve of the mind and thus isn’t influenced by social factors. The intuitive answers can be surprising and most often describe a situation of which you aren’t conscious at all. Therefore you can expect to reach unexpected solutions.
For example, you might check on your inner forces by consulting the symbol of the grey elephant, and choose to modify its behaviour. You will find it easier to conclude that your elephant is weak and powerless and needs to be strengthened, rather than admitting that you needed encouragement yourself. Similarly, if you face the image of an aggressive and undisciplined elephant, it will find it easier to relate to it with humour and understanding rather than face your own aggressiveness.
The geometrical forms
Each chakra is associated with a geometric shape.
First chakra – Earth element – the square form in the plane producing a cube in three dimensions.
Second chakra – Water element– half moon (demi lune) form producing a bowl in three dimensions.
Third chakra – a triangle pointing down producing a pyramid in three dimensions/
Fourth chakra – Air element – Star of David (a hexagram) producing a double pyramid in three dimensions.
Fifth chakra – the Void or Sky element – a circle, in which a triangle pointing down is inscribed, producing a sphere in three dimensions.
Sixth chakra – no element related. According to ancient drawings, there is a transparent triangle pointing down in which is drawn the mantra AUM.
The correlation and interaction between the different components: elements, colours, animals, geometric shapes and sounds
Many years of practice, experience and of deep concentration on the chakra symbols have shown their numerous and diverse dimensions; each one will suit a different step of development of the individual.
Sight – Some find colours, animals or shapes best suited for their communication with their subconscious.
Sound – Others prefer sounds or mantras.
Touch – There are people for whom touch, such as the sensation warmth, becomes their preferred communication vehicle.
When you concentrate on the chakra components (colour, element, animal, shape, mantra or tone), many times you will receive some information. This information helps you discern and find out which energy center in the body is deficient and needs to be strengthened, and which one provides you with inner power. You can then strengthen the weak parts with the help of the stronger ones.
For example, when you concentrate on your third chakra (whose element is fire) and receive an image of a consuming fire, you may use the mantra RAM (mantra of the 3rd chakra) and send it, aided by the respiration cycle, towards the navel region (the third chakra region) with the intention of equilibrating the inner fire. This inner equilibrium will usually manifest later in your daily life.
The interaction we describe is a manifestation of human existence at three simultaneous levels: the physical, the emotional and the spiritual. The spiritual expression is sometimes more dominate than the physical one. In this example, the sound or mantra, which represents the spiritual expression of the 5th chakra can influence the physical one and strengthen it. We did emotional-spiritual work with the subconscious in order to obtain a better inner balance between the physical, emotional and spiritual expressions. We see that chakra symbols offer a very broad and nuanced range of possibilities in which each person can find his own way.
The unity of physical-emotional-spiritual reality is not self-evident to all people. Some find it too difficult or painful to deal with their emotional problems. In attempting to cross the chasm towards spirituality making two leaps, so to speak, they might believe that a euphoric drifting at the heights of mediation can bring relief to their psychophysical problems. Reality is different: psycho-physical problems can be solved only when the emotional source opens up, circulates and expresses itself freely, and induces the transformation to satisfy the needs of the personality.
With proper practice of the mediation we offer here, you will learn how to work on your good feeling and how to transform your feelings into positive ones; subsequently, you may learn how help others in this way. You will learn to use meditation in your daily reality. You may find, for example, a short meditation before important meetings to be very helpful. In this meditation, you could send in your thought harmonious colours to the planned vicinity of the meeting, or ask one of the chakra animals to help install a harmonious and pleasant atmosphere during the meeting.
The explanation of the success of such meditation resides in the fact that it primarily has a positive influence over the mediator, and the positive messages which he receives are passed on to his vicinity.