Kriya and Mountain Climbing

Continuing from last week, the question-and-answer session between Guruji and some new disciples at a “Kriya check”:

Q: I sometimes feel that the quality of my practice is deteriorating. Sometimes it is easy to concentrate, but at other times I am so distracted…

A: It is important to always stay conscious and determined when it is time to sit for practice. We have to resolve to do practice correctly before starting and even during Kriya. It is natural for the mind to wander, but rather than accepting this as inevitable, we should also analyse why the mind is distracted.

Life is never constant. In the physical body, the blood and cells are constantly changing. There are hormonal and metabolic changes also which can affect the mind and our mood. It goes up and down. We can experiment with the body and how to make it more constant with a good diet. Day by day through Kriya, everything will become more balanced and stable.

Q: I have got used to the technique of practice now, but it seems quite mechanical. I’m fighting with my mind which is always arguing, ‘What’s the point of this?’*

A: What you understand is not the point. The important thing is that we are learning to purify and control mind. We need to reach that stage where the mind is not wandering. We want to be able to focus the mind on those places where we want it to go, according to our wish.

I remember asking Guruji that last question many years ago. He had replied that life is comprised of innumerable chains of mechanical actions, from cleaning to cooking, to washing and writing. We go through the motions from the moment we get up in the morning to the time we go to bed and never stop to think twice about the repetitiveness of it all.

“Why then,” Guruji had asked me, throwing his hands up in the air animatedly, “do we complain loudly when there is a repetitive action in our spiritual practice?!”

There was no answer to that. It’s just as Guruji says: the mind is always full of objections and the primary obstacle is that we listen to them!

At the end of the last holidays, my husband and I went to the beautiful area of the Grampians in Victoria, Australia, a sacred place for the Aboriginal people known as ‘Gariwerd’, and enjoyed a few days of mountain climbing. As we walked, I was remembering Guruji’s words and became highly conscious of how walking is also a physical and mechanical motion involving placing one foot in front of the other every step of the way. It is highly repetitive. Yet it was not thinking about the action that got us to the peaks of those mountains: it was the action itself.

Yes, Kriya really is a lot like mountain climbing, I couldn’t help thinking. There are plenty of rocks, plenty of obstacles; but there are also beautiful views along the way; glimpses of the route ahead and the valley below. Perseverance is needed together with a steady action. What we understand or do not understand is irrelevant. When you have the technique, you have to “just carry on”, as Guruji is often heard saying. There is no other way to climb this mountain.

*There is a whole chapter dedicated to Kriya Yoga itself in my book, the scientific yoga technique of the Masters which can only be passed on from Guru to disciple. Without talking about the technique itself, I can share that although you are sitting in meditation for a minimum of fifty minutes, as far as the internal concentration is concerned, you know what you are doing from start to finish due to the precise nature and the exact timing of the practices which comprise Kriya Yoga. It is thus truly the ‘yoga of action’ (‘Kri’ means action in Sanskrit).