The Path of Wisdom

Jñāna Yoga

Life, as best as we can figure out, is an unfathomably infinite, paradoxical tapestry of timeless conscious energy; in which Love appears to the driving force, we are all eternally One, and the Truth of which lays far beyond the comprehension of our conceptual minds

Perhaps it is for these reasons that the human condition is often defined as suffering, and being lost in thought, as the puzzle of our true origin is an intrinsically painful one for us to solve. In the absence of a solution to this problem, we scramble around for identity, security, belonging and meaning

It is the destiny of many to remain unaware of their non-dualistic nature during their lifetime, but for those compelled by an inner calling, the practice of yoga, which means union – of body, mind, soul and spirit – serves as a means by which the cycle of suffering can be transcended, and Self-Realisation achieved

Yoga was originally conceived as a system with which the chaotic activity of the unbridled mind could be brought under control, and whilst today there are numerous variations of yoga practice, all share this same fundamental purpose

Originally however, the Vedic texts defined 3 paths of yoga which were: Bhakti Yoga (the path of Devotion), Karma Yoga (the path of Action), and Jñāna Yoga (the path of Knowledge)

Of the 3 yogas, Jñāna Yoga is considered to be the oldest and most challenging form. A pre-existing appreciation of the other yoga practices is typically recommended before embarking on this path; and a combination of strong will, intellect, humility and compassion are required – to tackle the existential concepts of ‘formless reality’ and the divinity of humankind, without the mind becoming enmeshed and entangled with form in the process

Jñāna Yoga teaches that the 3 steps required in order to achieve Moksha (liberation) are:

Viveka – The distinction of Self from non-Self, and reality from illusion
Vairagya – Detachment from worldly pains and pleasures
Shatsampat – Stabilisation of the mind and emotions through 6 virtues

These 6 virtues are:

Shama – Calmness and peaceful mind
Dama – Rational control of senses
Uparaki – Withdrawal from worldly distractions
Titiksha – Endurance and perseverance through suffering
Shraddha – Intense faith; mental balance and concentration
Samadhana – A yearning for liberation, to the point that other desires fade

With these steps and virtues, it is taught that one can transcend the 5 Kleshas (causes of suffering), which are:

Avidya – Ignorance: Not knowing our true nature
Asmita – Egoism: Identification with form
Raga – Attachment: To worldly pleasures
Dvesha – Aversion: To pain and suffering
Abhinivesha – Fear: Of the unknown

The texts also tell us that by correcting the first cause – by remembering who we truly are – the others fall away and cease to be of concern

The different yogic paths suit our differing personalities; however, all share the same source, and lead to the same place; and ultimately a union of all yogas takes place within us as we advance on our journeys

For reasons self-evident, Paths of One shares an affinity with the path of Jñāna Yoga, which is particularly well-suited to being melded with Psychosynthesis for the resulting amalgam of psychotherapeutic practice and spiritual guidance the combination provides

Sheldon Reed

PATHS OF ONE is but one expression of perennial wisdom, hiding in plain sight for all to see when ready

If this particular expression of Truth resonates with you, I would be delighted to discuss it further - and can be reached per the Contact Info in About (and key details below)

With Love

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