By Nandini Sarkar
Review of Hacking the Universe – The Process of Yogic Meditation, By Forrest Knutson, INR 535; 154 pages, Downloadable from Amazon Kindle
This book is a gift from the Masters, a worthy sequel to Autobiography of a Yogi. I have been on the Kriya Yoga path for the past 20 years. I have practised the techniques of Hon- Sau, Aum and Kriya and received spiritual, material and health benefits in abundance. But there comes a time in every practitioner’s life, when you hit a subtle wall. You desperately want to dive deeper but don’t know how. You have experiences that you don’t know what to make of. You ask the question: I have seen the light and heard the sound but now what? What lies beyond the light? How do I penetrate the spiritual eye? How to connect to the sound of Aum reverentially and shut out the sensory world? In his book, Hacking the Universe, yogi Forrest Knutson, takes us on a journey of his yogic experiments at the SRF ashram and as a householder yogi. His expression is so fresh and natural, his experiences so spontaneous, his supportive audio explanations on his portal, www.thatyogiguy.com so clear, that the reader is left in no doubt, the roadmap is genuine.
On the ashtanga yoga or eight-limbed path of yoga, pioneered by Maharishi Patanjali, sincere practitioners succeed in getting through the first four stages of yama, niyama, asana, and pranayama quite easily. Several attain mastery over these four yogic limbs. But from pranayama to pratyahara is a quantum leap, that goes beyond having an iron will or nurturing goodness. Pratyahara is truly rocket science. It is the skilful ability of the little self to vault out from the limiting atmosphere of samsara to the liberating realms of dharana, dhyana and samadhi, wherein it unites with the universal Self. I highly recommend this book as a great support on the yogic meditation path, read in conjunction with the guided talks on the author’s website www.thatyogiguy.com. When I started the book, it felt like a standard Yoga Sutras commentary, but because I had heard the author’s talk on pratyahara, I fast forwarded to the last five chapters and the result was experiential bliss. Now I plan to start over and refresh my happy experience
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