PART 12 – Chapter 1: Verses 17-20: Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

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14/02/09 – @ Asheville Yoga Center
PART 12 – Chapter 1: Verses 17-20: Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Prompted by verses 17-20, ch.1 of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Ryan sets out to both shed light on how one can authentically develop in their spiritual practice, as well as on some common trappings throughout the process. Here is a dot-pointed summary of the key ideas, themes and discussion points:

• During periods of over-thinking or difficulty meditating, internally asking yourself “is this real?” or “am I as the thinker real?” are excellent prompts for cultivating Self-revelation. Consistent query over the course of years is most effective.

• Clarity in life becomes more apparent once you are grounded in identifying with the Eternal Self.

• Higher Samadhi dissolves karmic impressions, clarifying awareness.

• Higher Samadhi is preceded by disciplined endeavour in spiritual practice. This includes each and every moment of daily life interactions. One must take total responsibility for their thoughts, emotions and actions, seeking to behave rightly at all times.

• A lower Samadhi also offers clarification, yet the seeker will often get excited about the experience or observe themselves as making progress when there really is nobody making progress. It is this repeated over identification with the gross characteristics of nature, or one’s ego, that dictates these experiences as a lower Samadhi. Taking ownership of experiences as a small sense of self, or decreeing any experience as special is a common trap that limits one from experiencing higher Samadhi. You must let go of all limiting self-talk in favor of total mergence with the Samadhi, letting go of all you think you know about yourself or reality.

• You are not one with everything, you are everything. There is no individualised ‘you’ relative to any thing, concept or ideal, even if that ideal professes ‘oneness’.

• You must live as if your spiritual revelations are real for you. You must commit to embodying them, otherwise these insights will not effectively catch hold within your consciousness. You must demonstrate that you care via consistent application. This is what is meant by “intensity in spiritual practice”.

• To realize an unwavering faith that your awareness is guaranteed to fully blossom in this lifetime or another is achieved by seeking to surrender into the process. You can’t make it happen, or control it into happening. If one finds themselves in a crisis of faith, consistent and honest enquiry, or a seeking of assistance on this matter, whether via prayer or other avenues of connection building, will assist you.

• Interacting with experienced Yoga practitioners is beneficial for those developing their practice and awareness. Blessed insights are always available from such individuals for those receptive to their input. The more open you are to receiving, the easier it will be to receive what you need. Everything you need to know is within you.

• Teachers or Gurus are mere reflections of what is already inside you. Awakening to yourself as the source of all knowledge is synonymous with instantaneous liberation.  

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This discussion is by Ryan Kurczak during the ‘Yogic Scriptures and Meditation Group’ at ‘Asheville Yoga Center’. Ryan is Kriya Yoga Teacher in the lineage of Roy Eugene Davis and Paramahansa Yogananda.

For a complete discussion on the Yoga Sutras in the light of Kriya Yoga, please see:

and the book: Kriya Yoga: Continuing the Lineage of Enlightenment.

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