Christ Consciousness Through Yoga
As mentioned in our previous post, Paramahansa Yogananda often referred to Christ Consciousness. He was a Yogi, an Indian Swami. Yet he referred to Christ.
Christ is a word. It refers to a being and experience.The being and experience is what is important. It is what reveals holiness and peace.
Words are plentiful. There are over 6000 living languages in the world as of this writing. Each of those languages have nuances and different sounds. Yet when each of those languages refers to water, it is still only water that is being acknowledged.
Yoga is a word. It means to unite or bring together. Communion is a word. To experience communion is to share intimately and know beyond thought. Yoga and communion are synonymous.
As humans, we often have attractions and aversions to certain words. This often drives us to see the true purpose of words, which is really only for communication in this time-space continuum.
Christ consciousness is realization of communion and unity with our source, our creator, that profound being-intelligence which is and supports all experience. It may be a realization that we do not exist of our own accord. It is incomprehensible.
As little personalities who think we are in control of our lives, we cannot bear this idea. This may be why so few spiritual aspirants know peace, or realize what they profess to seek.
Christ consciousness does not seek its own ends, but only the expression of the Will greater and beyond its own possible concepts and notions.
The same is required of Yoga. When yogis desire to experience their Eternal and Infinite selves, the source of their life and creation, it cannot be done so long as the yogi clings to his/her personality, personal desires and life circumstances.
You cannot know Montana unless you let go of New Jersey.
In the Bhagavad Gita, it is said that “the yogi is entitled to action only, not the fruits of their actions.” In the Bible, Christ clearly states “not my will be done, but God’s will be done.” Both of these statements reveal surrender, personal surrender.
Why do we resist surrender? Because the world hurts. Growth and change hurt. We have ideas and things we want! We have experienced trauma from people and family members that were supposed to take care of us, but instead they harmed us, knowingly or unknowingly. These experience leave a resonance of fear in our hearts. It makes it very difficult to trust. And now someone says to you, “well then, to find peace you must trust in something you cannot see with your eyes or sense with your skin.” We can see how hard this can be.
We can also fear what will happen if we surrender. Maybe we will be asked to do things we never would dream of. Maybe we will be inspired to move across the country away from the family you’ve known all your life? Maybe you will be asked to change your life so radically that you wouldn’t even recognize who you are. These things can be frightening.
Through prayer, and asking for guidance and greater faith, in time we can learn to trust. We can learn to trust in the presence of Christ Consciousness which is the very essence of our life. We must first explore what this Christ Consciousness is. We must take time to examine our beliefs about God and the purpose of our lives. We must learn to let go of the fright within our personality, and dive deep into that inner current of Life, which is Christ and our Eternal Self.
Daily, through meditation, we learn to calm our minds and emotions. We begin to open a safe space to really look at our lives and how we relate to divinity. We can take time to explore those spiritual texts dear to our hearts and examine them, not through the lens of our childhood experience with religion, but through the clear lens of the present moment. Then we can meditate and pray on how to implement these spiritual ideals into our daily life. We have to do the work. We have to live the principles as best we can, otherwise it is unlikely our faith will grow or our hearts will become peaceful.
As we make our work to focus on embodying the presence of divinity, as best we can, day by day, our faith will naturally grow stronger. The sense of Christ Consciousness will reveal itself in flashes, either in meditation or at random times through out our day. Then our trust will also increase. We will feel less like we need to cling to our fears or what is comfortable. We will know that our lives are one with a greater whole, and that no matter the challenge or change, it is always for our greater peace and inner realization.
Many make the mistake of constantly asking for things from Spirit. They want money, or a spouse, or a healing, or something else. It is my belief that first we must ask for Spirit, for the realization of Christ Consciousness, for its own sake first. We are without a spouse, or money or healing, for some reason. We do not know that reason. If our little minds cannot know it, then how can we really know how to change it? Sometimes our loneliness or healing process is necessary. What we must first do is accept that this loneliness and healing process has some purpose. That purpose is known to the creator of all things, God. If we first seek to know God, then it becomes much easier to hear and feel the guidance that will reveal the true meaning of our current experience. Again, we trust in the will of that which has created us. God, Christ-Consciousness is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient.
In a sense, we have to forget about what we think is important, and focus on what is truly important. That is communion with God. Then we can trust God to reveal our paths.
Your meditation practice is not just to calm your mind and emotions, or to lower your blood pressure or balance your hormones. Those are side effects. Your meditation practice is a discipline that allows you to withdraw from all the distractions of the world, so you can seek out the most Holy relationship possible. It is the crucible in which you burn away the old self that lives by fear and instinct, and release the light of the Christ Consciousness which is peace in your heart and faith even when you don’t have an answer to the circumstances of your life.
The Christ Consciousness is life. It is not stagnant. It is not defined by fear. We must intend to seek this out in our heart and surrender to it. When we seek to embody the light of Christ in the world, not for our own sake or for glory, but because it is the natural expression of God, of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, a great peace is then known to you.
What are the practices to consider?
These can serve as a good start. Give your all to each of these practices. Decide to really be fully present as you actualize at least one of these practices every day. Mean what you do.
Much more could be said, but these practices will lead to greater realizations of how to live a life centered in Christ-Consciousness.
Great post and tips! Thank you Ryan! I’m consciously making an effort to let go of my previous understandings of what God, faith, surrendering and religion is… I know I still have negative connotation around each concept. When you say “Taking time daily to forget about everything but God. Contemplate God profoundly.”, I think I understand what you mean, but to me, directions like that can lead one to more separation than uniting (especially if they already have previous misunderstandings or connotations). For me, personally, I would rephrase it as “Taking time daily to forget about everything but Presence/Now/Existence/Creation. Contemplate True Self profoundly.”. OR something like that… Again, it’s just for me; because the word “God” for me has still an outside force; something separate from ourselves, our world, our existence… Something that has affect on our lives, but it’s outside. So, the teaching/teacher and the audience/student need to have a healthy match for the teaching to achieve its goals.
Since I’ve been learning from you for the last 4-5 years via your books, youtube channel, online classes and retreats… I think I have a pretty good idea of what you are talking about and teaching, but personally, most organized religions feel like even though they might have a good teaching, that’s helpful to humanity overall, it’s not the highest truth and it feels like it has a “separating” effect, rather than uniting.