Contents 1.0 Welcome to Hridaya Yoga 1.1 About Hridaya Yoga 2.0 The Hridaya Retreat 2.

1 Introduction to the Hridaya Retreat and Its Purpose 2.2 What is Hridaya Meditation? 2.3 What is the Heart Center? 2.4 About the pauses after inhalation and exhalation 2.5 The Self-Inquiry Method of Ramana Maharshi 2.6 The unity between Love (bhakti) and non-mediate Knowledge (jnana) 2.7 Techniques and Activities 2.8 Hridaya Retreat Leader 2.9 Special Themes 2.10 Testimonials of Past Attendees 3.0 Retreat Guidelines 3.1 Voluntary Restraint 3.2 Silence 3.3 No Use of Electronics or Media 3.4 Mobile phones 3.5 Reading 3.6 Sexual Abstinence 3.7 Fasting 3.8 An Attitude of Solitude 3.9 Gender Segregation 3.10 Dress 3.11 Photographs 3.12 Cigarettes 3.13 Meditation Notebook 3.14 Following the Schedule 3.15 Lateness 4.0 Administrative Details 4.1 Retreat Coordinator 4.2 Attendance 4.3 Partial Attendance of Retreats 4.4 Disturbances 4.5 Questions 5.0 Inspirational Poems 6.0 Suggested Reading 7.0 Glossary 8.0 Contact Information



1.0 Welcome to Hridaya Yoga Hridaya Yoga is a unique nonprofit Yoga school located in Mazunte, in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico, with affiliated centers in several countries as well as studio teachers in all corners of the globe. Hridaya holds a 12-week, 500-hour Teacher Training Course annually (registered with both Yoga Alliance and the International Yoga Federation). We additionally offer various open lecture series, workshops, bhajans and kirtan, rare documentaries and other films, plus special meditations all within the context of a beautifully supportive community for spiritual aspirants. 1.1 About the Hridaya Yoga Sangha (community) The Hridaya Yoga Sangha is an inclusive community whose intention it is to live, co-create and share the message of Hridaya Yoga – “Living with an Open Heart”. The community is continuously growing as more and more individuals are inspired to live this life of yoga and meditation. As Hridaya Yoga Centers and teachings spread to countries around the world, the Hridaya Yoga Sangha is becoming a true global community in that it is not solely contained to one center or location. For a center near you, visit 2.0 Hridaya Retreat The Hridaya Retreat is an intensive retreat, conceived in an original style that is based on the principles of Advaita Vedanta (non-duality) and Tantra Yoga. It has been designed as and is considered a complete program. Although different segments of the retreat can be of benefit in and of themselves, the value of doing the whole retreat as a complete program is much more than the sum total of its parts. Participation in this retreat can also help you to develop a balanced, individual spiritual practice. We wish to advise you to be patient and open. If you decide to join this retreat we strongly advise you to make a commitment to yourself that you will stay for the entire retreat and not leave until the retreat is over (with exception for genuine emergencies). With such a commitment and patience, even beginners will find the strength to overcome minor difficulties and obtain great benefits from the retreat. A retreat can help you understand the mind and life. This is a very valuable and rare opportunity for you, a special gift to yourself….

For some participants, the first several days can be full of restlessness, muscular fever and aches, physical and mental purification, or various spiritual tests. We invite you to commit yourself fully to this retreat, to stay firm and double your resolve in the face of such challenges. Try to make this event a very special opportunity for your spiritual transformation. We are delighted that you can join us and we welcome you to this exceptional retreat! 2.1 Introduction to the Hridaya Retreat and Its Purpose This special retreat focuses on the Revelation of the Spiritual Heart, our real and essential nature, the Supreme and Divine Self, Atman. During this immersion retreat, we will address broad aspects of the Spiritual Heart from a variety of approaches, including those of the Christian esoteric, Sufi, and Kashmiri Shaivist traditions. The atmosphere will be one of agape and strong spiritual support. The program aims to create an experience most resembling a solitary retreat (as in a cave, for example) with the intention to provide attendees with an opportunity to reach deep inner states of consciousness, intense aspiration for the Divine, and highly focused interiorization for the awakening and blossoming of the soul, jivaatman. This method is a unique integration of Advaita Vedanta, Sufism, Tantra, and Dzogchen. To support the retreat, complete mauna (silence) must be maintained by all attendees. An atmosphere full of love and aspiration will be created in which participants can surrender to their real and essential nature.

2.2 What is Hridaya Meditation? Hridaya Meditation is a Spiritual Path in Itself. It is a way of revealing our fundamental essence, the Supreme Self, atman, or the “Spiritual Heart,” as it was called in many traditions. From a technical point of view, it consists of 3 attitudes: 1) The awareness of the Heart Center (in the chest area) 2) The awareness of short pauses between inhalation and exhalation 3) Self-Inquiry (asking the question “Who am I?”) The Finger that points to the Moon



Anahata chakra. 2. In the same way. the heart chakra.’ This Center is the Spiritual Heart. basic practice. but just in connection with what they might reveal. It is also known as the pacemaker or synod of the heart. It is called hridaya. but the whole. these three attitudes are just like “fingers” that point to the “Moon” of Supreme Consciousness. but experiential.There is a very beautiful metaphor from the Zen tradition.” Ramana further clarifies the importance of the Heart: “The Heart is the center of the Self and the Self is the center of centers. but always look in the direction it points. Therefore. Through meditation you can learn to find the Self in the cave of this Heart. and Judaism. Maha Narayana Upanishad. even while he was a student at Madurai.” or “self-luminous consciousness”).” “Here lies the Heart. all descriptions of it are only mental concepts. but I am contained in the heart of my devotee. which is to the right of the sternum. both of the other two attitudes. as it provides the impulse that results in the beating of the heart.” but brings the taste of Infinity. the awareness of the chest area is a simple. When we understand that the Heart Center is just a pointer. and the question “Who am I?” can lead us to that domain which transcends the limits of individuality. For example. the Spiritual Path. is an important level or dimension of our being and of the entire manifestation. these attitudes don't have a value in themselves. This is the Center where we point when we say ‘I.Kundalini Mata Shakti) The Heart Center is not Anahata chakra According to the Tantric tradition. The Heart Center is a sui generis portal situated in the chest area “The godly atom of the Self is to be found in the right chamber of the heart. which is also called Hridaya. Therefore. becoming a natural way of celebrating the Freedom and Joy of our Real Being. and is clearly visible to the inner eye of an adept on The limitlessness of the Spiritual Heart Ramana taught that focusing on the Heart Center is just a relative undertaking. direct. as a continuous feeling of the awareness of the awareness itself (or “I-I” as he used to say). Thus. we can focus on the chest area and this can definitely. in time. Therefore. Christianity. rather it is located in the 1/8th portion of the physical heart. Yogi Bhajan describes the Heart Center in a similar way: “Within the body there is a Center in which the sensation of this All-Pervasive Consciousness is felt.3 What is the Heart Center? In general. the pauses after inhalation and exhalation. mental clarity. bring an increased level of concentration. Heart Center is not just a “point of concentration.” or in Jesus’ affirmation “The Kingdom of God is inside you. The Heart Center opens us to the Infinity of the Spiritual Heart. is located on the right side of the chest. spanda (sphurana). “The finger that points to the Moon.” 5 6 . We should understand the Heart as the omnipresent Reality. He recalled experiencing the Sacred Tremor of the Heart. finally goes beyond them.” Ramana Maharshi Similar statements about the existence of this spiritual “portal” can be found in Sita Upanishad. the dynamic Spiritual Heart. In a similar way.” In this way. the teaching about the Spiritual Heart’s location in the body did not originate with Ramana himself. It is a valid technique only as long as we identify with the physical body.” which describes the relationship between the technical elements of practice and the Ineffable. Hridaya Meditation. They are just pointers or doors to the Vastness of our Being. and awareness of our emotions. It suggests that we should never remain focused on the finger. we open ourselves to a new “domain.” described in the Islamic hadith as “Heaven and Earth do not contain me. while using these tools. But the Spiritual Heart is more than that. But all these are limited to the domain of our personality. and Ashtanga Hridaya (an Ayurvedic text which identifies it as the “Ojasa Stana.” (Yogi Bhajan . It is not just a level. This revelation is named the “Dahara Vidya” or “Knowledge of the Heart. Ramana’s main argument is not theoretical. The Hridaya is not one of the 7 psychic centers (chakras). It is an important element in Sufism. about one finger-width’s distance from the body’s midline.

the radiance-awareness of the Spiritual Heart (which can be associated with the chest region–at least in the beginning of meditation.” “The Heart is not physical. to something finite. It brings a natural fulfillment. there is a memory outlasting that state and it appears to be connected to the area of the physical heart. We highlight again. This is revealed in meditation. it can contain totality. of Love. Everyone knows ‘I am. at least in the beginning of the practice. The feeling of Truth The awareness of the Heart Center brings in itself an intuitive evidence. a little to the right . It is important to note that the relation of something infinite. There can be no in or out for it. The openness of the soul.” This issue is not to be argued theoretically by the mind. harmony. Meditation should be on the Self. suffering diminishes and the consciousness of beauty and the splendor of life is enlarged. it follows logically that this is the main aspect on which our mind should focus while in concentration. in the middle of the chest. They pertain to the body. It is a simple way to tune ourselves with the infinite dimension of our being. Where should the natural place of the Witness Consciousness be? Of course.” The Heart is limitless and.has a privileged role in revealing who we really are.related. can we realize the presence of the ultimate Witness. the Divine Self. Only if we associate the Witness Consciousness with the Heart Center. Realize it and then you will see for yourself. the Witness Consciousness is not limited to the physical body or to a part of it. 7 8 .of the intuition of who we are. and then a witness of the witness of the witness and so on…The mind can play the game of witnessing ad infinitum. then. such as the physical body or a point on or within the physical body.“Just as the subtle force of electricity travels through wires and does many wonderful things. of “coming home. If we accept this idea. but it is really not quite correct to say that the ‘I’ rises from and merges in the Heart in the right side of the chest. of being perfectly in tune with the Whole. Ramana says that in the moment of returning to the consciousness of the physical body. arms. so too the Heart imparts sentience to the senses.that is all. That Divine Infinity can easily be found again by centering in the area of the heart. with the middle of the chest. Ramana stated that the awareness of the Supreme Infinite cannot be localized in a certain place in the body and that in the state of divine expansion. neither on the right nor on the left. In our mind. the feelings of freedom. Atman. meditation. Leave alone the idea of right and left. of diving into the divine ocean of Consciousness. The ultimate witness is not the mind or a particular thought. The Witness Consciousness is not the mind or a product of the mind. body. when we regain awareness of our physical body. as Ramana noted. we can imagine a witness of our thoughts and then we can easily imagine another witness of that first witness of the thoughts . because it has no form. with this place of deep intimacy . it is not mainly about focusing on a point in the chest. There is no need to know where and what the Heart is.” However. slightly to the right. The spiritual practice recommended by Ramana Maharshi This pure feeling of ‘I am’. but about a proper attitude of surrender. “I ask you to see where the ‘I’ arises in your body. Christian mystics also speak of bringing the mind down into the Heart. a blossoming of love.’ Who is the ‘I’? It will be neither within nor without. Thus. The Heart is the Self. and other areas. Placing the seat of the Witness Consciousness in the brain is a sterile attitude. The Heart is another name for the reality and it is neither inside nor outside the body. while we are still identified with the physical body). and in our daily life. It will do its work if you engage in the quest for the Self.this would be the witness of the witness. since it alone is. Meditation should not be on the right or the left. we can no longer speak of a head. There is an inherent freedom and happiness in the awareness of the Heart Center. love are natural expressions of the awareness of the Heart Center. a feeling of Truth. ‘I am’ . but the vastness. joy. can only be a relative undertaking.

The Yogis consider it as a moment of equanimity. without the lack of lucidity that characterizes the dream state. it is more important than the pause itself. it is a revolutionary method in spirituality. it is Stillness. the important element is not the pause in itself. as if we would dive deep inside ourselves. but the awareness of it and the attitude associated with this moment. They are moments of total surrender. For the sake of clarity. compared to all the other moments in the breathing cycle. The Equanimity of the Energy Nevertheless. when experience in meditation increases. a barrier that will keep the attention in the technical domain and implicitly towards the personal consciousness. before the exhalation starts. Nevertheless. but they can help us in quieting the mind. individual emotions and attachments. At a certain level in meditation. or as if we were falling sleep. it is Pure Presence. It is a first important step in the revelation of our divine nature. we understand that Silence is 2. Being just a technical element.the pure background of consciousness. the Spiritual Heart. of sacredness. it is the experience of reality. not only in the mind. Therefore. but always keeping our awareness. and at the end of inhalation. It should be kept continuously. which are more liable to appear during pauses in breathing 3) Stillness .” Indeed. Atman Ramana Maharshi terms “Self-Inquiry” as “the most sacred of sacred. Thus. the awareness of the pauses is not Spiritual Realization. But finally. At the end of exhalation before the inhalation starts.Diving into the Heart Center. In the beginning. in which the two energies. focusing on the breath might become a limitation. when there is perfect harmony between two opposing energies. of our Real Nature. even after the pauses. this method is very efficient for quieting and clearing the mind. This condition of the mind doesn’t necessary imply the revelation of Stillness – of the Spiritual Heart.4 About the pauses after inhalation and exhalation “Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take. Surrender The pauses are not introduced and seen in a mechanical or strictly technical way. The pause is an energetic condition of equilibrium that favors Surrender The attitude of surrender opens us towards the deep reality of our being.” The awareness of the pauses after inhalation and exhalation is a very simple and efficient method for quieting the mind and opening ourselves to the background of Stillness. The three levels of the Pauses The pauses after inhalation and exhalation become spiritually efficient only when they are associated with a specific awareness. Pauses always exist in any breathing cycle. the catalyst of the process is the attitude we have. As a general principle. 2. prana vayu and apana vayu are completely balanced. these two moments have a special quality. but it can be revealed easier when the mind is quiet. during all phases of the breathing cycle. it is transcended naturally when we go deeper in meditation. there is an opportunity for transcending the level in which those two energies act. using Ramana’s recommendations helps us go beyond sentimentalism. However. there is a moment of silence. but by every moment that takes your breath away. our Real Nature that is revealed more easily when the mind is quiet The pauses after inhalation and exhalation do not automatically bring a state of mental void. we need to refer to the pauses at three levels: 1) The actual pause in the breathing (of around one second) and the awareness of it 2) The gaps between thoughts.5 The Self-Inquiry Method of Ramana Maharshi About the question “Who am I?” in the meditation for the Revelation of the Spiritual Heart. 9 10 .

and embrace this question-intuition in regards to our existence. and can make this process of inquiring nothing else but mental imagery. From thinking to Pure Existence In this way. Therefore. we are in a state of complete Open Attention. does not intervene.There is an essential affirmation of Ramana that explains the reason for which this method is unique: “What is essential in any sadhana [spiritual practice] is to try to bring back the running mind and fix it on one thing only. but. because we realize that the mind cannot contain the mystery of the answer. etc. but we must not ask it of the mind in order not to receive just superficial answers connected with that which we already know about us and our memories of the past. and freedom). Moreover. When we state “I understand. in a state of surrender to a sacred wonderment. Then. is sequential and is always partial. conscious character. 1997) Self-Inquiry is an awareness of the awareness itself. rather. objective. There is no Rational Answer First of all. That is all that is to be done!” Sri Sadhu Om. we give up the usual approaches to knowledge.” Becoming aware of how the Question awakens in us organically 11 12 . we will learn another manner of existing. because of the attitude of surrender. all the energies converge towards the Ultimate Subject. love. In this new attitude.” this knowledge should be of another kind. we must understand that we cannot answer rationally and intellectually to such a question. feelings. The art of maintaining the Question in the Heart The question “Who am I?” should be repeated with sincerity. the emphasis shifts from the preoccupation of finding out who we are (which. Therefore. admire. to our true “I. to truly ask “Who am I?” in an efficient way. to live under the mark of “the Question” by savoring the state of mystery which it stirs in the Spiritual Heart. it will slowly cease to have a rational. mind. When we abandon any striving in order to mentally know the answer. the intuition of our Ultimate Reality dominates and we are in a perpetual surrender and expectancy. or in other words. we should ask the essential question “Who am I?” without expecting a rational answer. we have the feeling that all our limits dissolve into the infinite and a re-orchestration of our energies is produced. I know who I am” we are actually conceptualizing that which in reality is ineffable. Why then should it not be brought back and fixed in Self-attention (To this feeling of ‘I’)? That alone is Self-Inquiry (atmavichara). Open Attention Asking “the Question” while we are centered in the head can stimulate the mind. The difference between Jnana and Intellectual Knowledge Rational knowledge is characterized by duality. as often as possible. towards the Spiritual Heart (which brings beauty. But when we relate to the Spiritual Heart. Wonderment All the searching for who we really are gives rise to a sacred wonder or astonishment because it escapes any sort of understanding. in order to let the question “Who am I?” bring us closer to our real nature. and this is only possible if our ego – with its personality. (when we simply accept an answer like “I don’t know”) to the Question. In it. in an unconditional openness towards the ineffable mystery of the pure “I am. we will free ourselves of the snare of conceptualization and be able to have access to the totality that the Spiritual Heart Consciousness awakens in us. It leads us beyond duality. Loving the Question We can love. a certain understanding and spiritual maturity is necessary. but not allowing it to be touched or tinged by any conceptualization. to a mystical intuition about who we really are. 1 (Sri Ramana Kshetra: Tiruvannamalai. The Path of Sri Ramana Vol. Nevertheless. As it is an answer impossible to formulate. total and complete. Consequently. in the beginning of SelfInquiry is still done in accordance with our usual mentality. because the object of meditation (the “I”) is ultimately revealed as the Subject itself (the transpersonal Consciousness). with the rational mind) to the pure presence of the Spiritual Heart.

and emotions) will it be possible to reveal the Ultimate “I. This harmony itself brings the recognition of our divine existence. which means love. Thus. The path of Self-Inquiry is. as we have clearly stated before.” nous. zeal. we immerse ourselves in an attention that becomes increasingly intimate and profound concerning our true nature. to be entered only through the sacrifice of individuality. the direct knowledge of the Supreme Self’s true nature is missing. an elimination of all that is known. It originates from the untold depths of our being. nor that). Neti. The answer precedes “the Question” It was affirmed that the question “Who am I?” comes to be formulated spontaneously when the answer-intuition of our real nature is already suggested. his deepest and truest self. no attributes). there is an organ of contemplation known as “the eye of the Heart” or “the intellect of the Heart. heartiness. ecstasy. “God is born in the Heart and the Heart is born in God. in fact. all our inner energies that were previously mobilized by thoughts. and by our personality in general enter into a peace-bringing equilibrium The Question and “Neti Neti” Trying to reveal “The Ineffable” with the help of the question “Who am I?” is not a common meditation on some specific object. Only by eliminating what is known (our thoughts. being the Ultimate Subject. In such a meditation. What remains is just a feeling of profound recognition. an object. etc. When we truly understand this. It follows that any time the mind tends to hold on to a concept in the desire to explain and make objective the ineffable experience of the Supreme Self. it is necessary to remember the famous Vedantic negation “Neti. Harmony brought by Surrender The Spiritual Heart. God is already there. For them nous. sat. “The intellect of the Heart” in Christian spiritual practice In Christian spirituality. the Reality of the Spiritual Heart. The Divine Reality is unveiling a mystery of love-awareness. simply following the intimate feeling of existence. desires. because. The Bliss of Pure Existence.” (Not this.” is the highest faculty of man through which he 13 14 . Neutrality and Surrender The question “Who am I?” has a very special quality because it is an interrogation which makes the mind enter into a state of void.” as the great Christian mystic Meister Eckhart said. is expanding the soul and the understanding. If we have the wisdom and adequate training of the mind not superimpose anything on this void (no concepts. a spontaneous inward awareness of who we are naturally appears. the direct knowledge. Thus. atman. emerges. mind. but is the spiritual center of the human’s being. but just usually ignored because of our different identifications with the body. perceptions.The question “Who am I?” exists in us in a latent state and emanates profoundness and creates harmony in our whole being. cannot be known by means of methods or systems.6 The unity between Love (bhakti) and non-mediate Knowledge (jnana) The best way of keeping the awareness of the Spiritual Heart is to love. The Spiritual Heart. 2. This feeling is not unknown. or the inner shrine. This vision leads us to understand that there is nothing to be searched in the interior or exterior. and for the Fathers of the Desert. adoration. the Heart is not simply a physical organ. without interpreting.” representing the innermost aspect of the Heart. devotion.” the Eternal Present. That’s why jnana. for the moment. fervor. is so related with bhakti. “the intellect of the Heart. ardor. because of the silence. we remain lucid. In the vision of the Desert Fathers. This nous dwells “in the depths of the soul. in which the mystery of the union between the divine and the human is consummated. a kind of surrender comes about in our being and it penetrates us. is not. Stillness This Question itself is born from stillness and it is also fed from the silence that we sometimes create in our mind and in our being. atman. without judging.

toward the Supreme Essence. Cultivating the Heart is a fundamental spiritual need.knows God or the inner essences by means of spiritual perception or direct apprehension (St. alertness.. our Heart (seen here as the organ of spiritual perception) needs to be cultivated. and the yearning for it cannot be learned in any school. It understands Divine Truth by means of immediate experience or intuition. The same attitude is promoted in the Yoga of the Spiritual Heart. In such moments.” In the same manner in which the mind is trained in school through the process of education. most of us are somewhat or entirely illiterate. fervor. The main manual of their tradition is The Philokalia (a collection of texts on the disciplines of Christian prayer and a life dedicated to God).e. is the symbol of the point of contact with God. toward that which they called the Being of Being. Of course. It was thus that the initiates were able to rise above their egos. which keeps alive the citadel of individuality.” This is the eye through which the Supreme Subject. “The intellect of the Heart” does not function by formulating abstract concepts and does not reach conclusion through deductive reason. deep in the Heart. This shows how central they held the awareness of the Spiritual Heart. A retreat for the revelation of the Spiritual Heart can be compared in some aspects with an initiation ritual. The role of the most important rituals in ancient traditions was to eliminate the discursive and reflective tendency of the mind and to dissolve the force of identification. the Inner Knower. which means “Love of the Beautiful. that Love comes to you of its own accord. represents spiritual sobriety. their personal existence. The importance of “guarding of the Heart” For the Fathers of the Desert. don't you? You feel the separation from the Beloved. It signifies an attitude of attentiveness in which we are almost continuously aware of the Heart. but the best method is through meditation for the revelation of the Spiritual Heart and Love.” through which the meditator can “see” the infinite depths of the Heart. or the witness consciousness is witnessing the world. Isaac the Syrian used the term “simple cognition”). a complete silence of the mind was necessary before entering the sanctuary (which corresponds with the secret chamber of the Heart). You feel it. Remind those who tell you otherwise. the process is different because its attributes are different. the eye through which the depth of the Heart can be seen and through which the Heart can know the Supreme Divine Reality. There is a void in your soul. The "purpose" in Yoga of the Spiritual Heart 15 16 . ready to be filled. For these traditions.” watchfulness. In the domain of the Heart. Here it represents the opening toward the Divine. The great Sufi mystic and poet Rumi affirmed: There is a candle in your heart. the aspiration for God. The Greek title for The Philokalia is The Philokalia of the Niptic Fathers. yearning. this place. vigilance. embrace the fire. Art and contemplation represent some of the way to cultivate our Spiritual Heart. in our retreats and workshops. God. Invite Him to fill you up. b) The other is oriented toward “exterior. i. the sacred tremor. Any authentic spiritual school should induce or even “teach” the sacred principles of the kingdom of the Heart: pure love. nipsis or “guarding of the Heart. The eye of the Heart The expression “the eye of the Heart” appears also in the Sufi tradition.” The Beautiful is understood as the transcendent source of life and the revelation of Truth. According to this description. ready to be kindled. of the Fathers who practiced the virtue of watchfulness. we can imagine this eye of the Heart having two faces: a) One is oriented toward “interior.

through the revelation of the Divine Self. A series of bell tones will indicate that the next meditation or other period will begin within two or three minutes and that it is time to take one’s seat and cease movement in the hall. He pursued many solitary cave retreats. Romania. The Heart. following the example of Ramana Maharshi and other Jnana Yoga masters. The Yoga of the Spiritual Heart and the Hridaya Retreat start from the premise that the traditional ideas about the Spiritual Heart can and should be applied in very concrete and practical ways.8 Hridaya Retreat Leader 17 18 . using the Selfinquiry method of Ramana Maharshi. A electronic engineer by education. In this way. in 2002 Sahajananda began to guide groups of people using this method. gentle bell-ring will mark the end of each meditation or other period. surrender…. In a 10 day Retreat the topics are: Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Self.Hridaya Other Yogic methods that approach the issue of the Spiritual Heart Sacred poetry The four fundamental stages in the process of the revelation of the Spiritual Heart • Advice for maintaining awareness in the Spiritual Heart in the tradition of the Fathers of the Desert (from Christianity) • Daily special meditations on themes connected with Self-revelation • The Christian method of the Prayer of the Heart etc. Atman The consciousness of Unity that is revealed through the expansion of 2. Sahajananda. and through the recognition of its fundamental attribute as a gateway to infinity. lectures. the sacred tremor. including: • • • • • • • • • • Ramana Maharshi’s atma vichara method of introspection (Who Am I?) Techniques to still the mind using breath control Study of the symbolism of the Spiritual Heart Methods of passing from individual consciousness to Cosmic Consciousness Methods of Self-centering in daily life A proper understanding of Advaita Vedanta’s fundamental tenets Hatha Yoga sessions in a special style . the borders of individuality fade away.9 Special Themes Special meditation lecture topics will be explored every evening. Atman The method of resorption of the “I” thought at its source (according to Ramana Maharshi’s revelation) The Prayer of the Heart (the fundamental method of the Fathers of the Desert) The witness consciousness and its role in the revelation of the Divine Atman Exemplification of the four fundamental stages in the process of SelfComplete surrender to the Supreme Reality of the Divine Self. He has extensive experience with inducing profound and elevated meditative states. 2. Atman The Divine Love that pervades our entire being. and practical techniques and methodologies in our retreat sessions. Atman. Day 6 revelation Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Meditation for revealing the Divine Self. After years of solitary retreats followed by spiritual realization. Even if we generally accept the idea of the existence of a Spiritual Heart.In our times. seen as an organ of direct knowledge. is specialized in Self-revelation meditation through Love and the opening of the Heart. He has been a Yoga teacher since 1984. the connection between our superior intuitive intelligence and the Heart has mostly been forgotten. witness. A single. He has led this special retreat for thousands of participants across Europe. “Who am I?” Spanda. and the Divine Mystery that is revealed by opening to the reality of the Divine Self. 2. can and should be trained constantly in order to increase its purity and capacity to Love. we tend to accept it symbolically. Atman. Sahajananda was formerly a professor at the University of Parapsychology in Bucharest. and will signal a short break. the Supreme Self. is revealed. We will integrate advice for guided meditation.7 Retreat Techniques and Activities All meditations and techniques are specifically intended to activate the Spiritual Heart and to awaken the consciousness at this level. Asia and America.

I’ve read some of Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj’s work. and an opportunity for retreat participants to share their spiritual experiences I know feel like a happy little scientist who was just provided with a professional laboratory full of new tools to help with whatever kind of problem may come on the surface. El sentimiento de rendicion a Dios Todo Poderoso. Alexandra C. discoveries and frustrations. To accomplish this in harmony. Gracias. we relate through the common experience of meditation. A large group of people must live together in very simple conditions. well informed and showed deep care and motivation to clarify questions. All hopeful participants must agree to abide by these guidelines and the consequences of noncompliance. because I love what it brings to life. and these teachings. It’s much easier now. for instance in a cave retreat. I mean torture. it is necessary that certain rules be strictly followed for the duration of the retreat. only some of these topics will be addressed. open questions and answers. Allie USA This retreat has made me want to plunge into Self-Enquiry more than ever. Now it’s just half an hour too short! So answering this question has a much deeper meaning when considered over two years rather than 10 days. Canada 3. I have blossomed as a spiritual aspirant and have the tools to continue growing. For these days. Gloria R. USA Me encanto el ‘retreat’.1 Voluntary Restraint A meditation retreat is an extraordinary situation (although meditation is actually perfectly normal). while relating to each other in a completely new way. vi la carita de mi madre amada junto a la mia. giving way to others.10 Testimonials of Past Attendees The following are comments by recent retreat attendees: Doing Hridaya meditation and retreats has transformed my life forever. Tuve unas meditaciones bien bonitas. and aspiration toward the Divine. It is this retreat that has inspired me over the years to stay committed to meditation practice. This retreat is arranged as a serious opportunity for serious aspirants who wish for a very special and exclusive retreat experience. I owe that to this retreat. entre las campanas de los monjes. and following instructions. 2. our lifestyle is built around a common purpose rather than more selfish purposes promoted by the world today. llore. These rules aim to create certain conditions that would resemble those a yogi experiences in solitude. Puerto Rico It was a crucial point for my spiritual life. It is really this retreat (the teachings and the teacher) that is the reason for my “mostly-daily” practice.0 Retreat Guidelines Even if you have previously attended a Hridaya retreat... we must agree on certain conventions. Here. me rei. Fue Fantastico. I feel a deep joy that I found these teachings. 3. and I now I feel it’s time to follow this path. mental peace. Please approach these guidelines with this frame of mind. No sabia si yo estaba muerta. Renata W. The rules are part of this support. Mexico The Spanda lecture was revolutionary for me because it explained elements that I was intuitively playing with in my practice but had no theoretical knowledge of. Romania 19 20 . Ramana Maharshi. Ed R. Brian S. The most important are mindful silence. Germany I just want to meditate! The first time I took this retreat. please read these guidelines carefully. the 3 hour afternoon meditation was pure Hell. I’ve been a spiritual seeker all my life and now everything makes sense. with all its pains and joys. I have a more clear understanding of surrender and why it is fundamental for spiritual growth. sticking to the schedule. Karen S. with an openness toward protecting and supporting this In shorter Retreats. Les Amo. The retreat atmosphere has been evaluated carefully as to how it can best support the attendees’ spiritual efforts. I am forever grateful to be blessed with this grace and grateful (so so much!) for Sahajananda. The lecture on compassion and the technique were incredible. Canada Surrender was a very important lecture. After this I feel that I want to consecrate my life to this precious treasure. los grillos en concierto y todos los angeles a mi alrededor. In order to create the preliminary conditions that facilitate our access to deep inner states. Katrin G.Day 10 sensory perceptions A special schedule will be kept this evening that affords time for concluding remarks.

If you at first glance feel that the guidelines are too strict or too difficult for you.4 Mobile Phones No use of mobile phones is allowed during the retreat. Letter writing and creative writing will take the mind away from our purpose here. diffusing our efforts and experience in the process. 3. etc. SMS messages. etc. It is also important not to judge or project opinions onto others. Please agree not to read during this retreat. kiss. so we respect each other by maintaining the silence with mindfulness and wisdom. Keeping silent includes putting away books you’ve brought along or keeping them closed throughout the retreat. in order to maintain a high level of vitality and energy for meditation. 3.5 Reading Reading is not allowed. You will have all the time you want to read when you leave. Much energy and ego goes into our speech. but it will drastically help your experience of interiorization. hug. then inspire yourself with the understanding that this retreat lasts just a few days in the big picture of life! 3. 3.8 An Attitude of Solitude It is recommended that you aim to cultivate a state of experience resembling solitude by agreeing not to: look at others. Through the retreat practice. 3. in order to quiet our mind and maintain a quiet. Even training ourselves to walk. smile at each other. The period of mauna will begin on the first morning.3 No use of any electronics or media. for the duration of the retreat. We also request that you stop writing. we aim to focus inward as much as possible. This can be difficult at times.2 Mauna (silence) Mauna is compulsory. Retreat participants are asked not to use MP3 players. possibly taking you away from the purpose of this retreat. So we keep silent by not speaking or passing notes to each other during the retreat. Participants should make a firm commitment not to use the phone for conversations. 3. and will end after the last meditation on the last day of the retreat. are silly. This can at times feel alienating and lonely for people who are very sociable and miss such simple human contact. first consider your own state of readiness to participate. not even of books of a spiritual nature. possibly confusing you. except for notes taken during talks and impressions of meditative experiences that you may record in your retreat journal. 3. In addition. radios. For any real necessities. but is insisted upon to reinforce the atmosphere resembling solitude that we are attempting to create for participants. checking email. Many people travel here from far away because they cherish this silence. of course). Reading will be a distraction. TVs. say hello (even nonverbally). it makes our own mind noisy.6Sexual Abstinence Sexual abstinence is mandatory. or computers for the duration of the retreat. You will get plenty of information while you are on the retreat. touch. watching movies.7Fasting Fasting is not recommended for the entire duration of the retreat (although your own tapas of a weekly fasting day is OK). and do things quietly leads to a calm and graceful experience.. or even harmful. If there is nobody to talk to we just chatter away to ourselves. please agree to abide by this requirement for the duration of the retreat. They should ideally be left at home and off for the retreat’s duration. If you do indeed feel ready. the Internet. but most people find it a powerful and wonderful experience. move. gossipy. Thus. Developing selfdiscipline and a compassionate understanding for all things is part of the training. If you wish to join the retreat. In meditation. the opening of the soul will offer you the opportunity to communicate in a much subtler way. through 21 22 . please. please inform the Retreat Coordinator in writing of administrative problems. DVD players. This really means abstinence and not Tantric continence! This point is obviously non-enforceable (we cannot check you. Absolutely no talking by participants will be allowed. peaceful environment for everyone. This not only makes the world noisy. and reading can lead us away from strong interiorization. We say things that don’t need to be said. surfing the internet etc.atmosphere through your own agreement and cooperation. there is to be no listening to the news or music. with the consecration of the retreat. this can be an annoying hindrance.

It is meant to form part of the atmosphere of consideration and mutual support we aim to cultivate during retreats. This retreat journal can help you not only to push through any challenging moments. He does not forsake his mother. including hugs with his own mother. It is strongly recommended that men and women choose separate accommodation for this retreat and that they also dine separately. The day includes approximately seven hours of 23 24 . The sections form roughly half of the meditation hall each. etc. but can serve to inspire you and provide a point of reference for your growth during the retreat period. This is behavior undertaken for appearances to support the strength of the tradition. let us consider our retreat colleagues as serious aspiring meditators who can use our help and support to focus well during the retreat. We ask that women not wear makeup or perfume and dress discreetly and simply. Reading it afterward can be a powerful support in daily life. this does not include an opportunity for a contribution of personal responsibility to this atmosphere through innocuous and simple behaviors we can all follow to help our fellow retreat attendees. If finances are less of an issue. It can bring inspiration to us even after the retreat. in order to help yourself concentrate on transcendental states rather than worldly thoughts. along with its own entrance. Please wear modest attire that is not too revealing. 3.the language of Love. By illustration. this includes wearing a shirt and. and that men not display too much nudity. In the same way. The dress recommendation is not meant to stifle your creativity. We will facilitate this point with segregated dining areas. 3. Surely. family. one partner is encouraged to rent a separate bungalow for the duration of the retreat. visitors to monasteries are also asked to dress modestly to support the monks’ practice.14 Following the Schedule The schedule we follow is very moderate compared to some meditation retreats which start the day before dawn. A lay person who saw a monk hugging a woman (even his mother) may lose some faith in his path. there is no one who would knowingly like to mentally tempt a monk away from his vows and practice. People could take the view that it is someone’s own personal problem if he or she is distracted from meditation by glances at members of the opposite sex.11 Photographs Please limit yourself to looking at photographs of spiritual masters and gurus only. A meditation notebook helps us to objectify our experiences and what we understand during meditation. but gives up hugging her in order to support the lay people’s faith in the monastic life. maybe even more …. possibly one partner can stay with a friend of the same gender who is also attending the retreat during this time. demarcated lengthwise from the front to back of the hall. when a Buddhist monk ordains. Do not gaze upon photos of your friends. no low-cut or midriff-baring outfits (including bikini tops) or very short shorts. free expression. 3. Please observe the gender area designations by not only seating yourselves within the proper area but also by entering exclusively through the entrance corresponding to your section for the duration of the retreat. A men’s side of the hall is marked.12 Smoking No smoking of any kind during this retreat. please. In another metaphor. etc.9 Gender Segregation Gender segregation – by which the men and women have different designated areas in the hall – is meant to keep sensory distraction to a minimum for participants during the retreat. he takes a resolve not to have physical contact with women. If two partners will attend the retreat simultaneously and share a house. Your friends will still love you at the end of the retreat. 3. he in fact loves his mother very much. 3. etc. Please commit to not smoking for the duration of these days if you intend to join.10 Dress Participants should try to avoid attention to their own vanity and the desire to attract the opposite sex.13 Meditation Notebook It is recommended that participants record their meditative and daily experiences in a notebook. 3. for women. However. For men. and a women’s side is also marked and has its own entrance.

Stretching.0 Retreat Administrative Details There are a number of small administrative necessities which must be observed for the successful running of this retreat. 4. or conduct any other activities during meditation sessions with the exception of the discreet rearrangement of the position of one’s limbs. If you find yourself late for a meditation session. who will do his or her best to assist you in a timely and appropriate manner. Hridaya Yoga does not offer its retreats on a “drop-in” basis. Please do not approach the Retreat Leader with any issues other than those involving a spiritual crisis or emergency for you. 4. he must use his time and energy to remain focused on the spiritual leadership of the retreat for the sake of the retreat itself and all participants. with the energy built and sustained over this period of time for each participant. Please plan accordingly. This person is an assistant to the Retreat Leader and may at times receive whispered instructions from the Retreat Leader. We appreciate your help and cooperation to achieve an ideally supportive atmosphere. We intend these retreats to be a complete experience. hyperventilate. and one and a half hours of inspiring spiritual talks or Q&A. We feel that the effects of the retreat cannot be evaluated properly by only a few days’ participation. that participant’s absence is noted by Retreat Monitors. tiger balm. etc. Instead. should be reserved for break times. Some people have sensitivities to fragrances or find strong odors intolerable and very distracting. meditating outside the hall during the session and entering only during the next break. We ask that participants not make sudden movements. During this retreat. please be considerate and wait without any undue noise.meditation. 4. Please be considerate about the use of products with strong odors (perfumes. 25 26 . produce sharp noises. A retreat atmosphere is one in which people are in close proximity for long periods. please do not sneak into the hall in the hopes that you will not be noticed or will not disturb others. If you have unresolvable administrative or other problems during the retreat. • teachers and administrators assisting with the retreat’s organization. or perform other disturbing bodily actions. 4. The only exceptions will be made for: • people who are sick and cannot attend sessions. when a number marks an empty place. Participants are asked not to stand up. please detail your issues in writing and alert the Coordinator.). as lateness is very disruptive and latecomers will not be allowed to join until the next session.3 Partial Attendance of Retreats Partial attendance of retreats is generally not allowed and is not encouraged. Participants are asked not to disturb the peace of mind of their colleagues in any way during the retreat. The Retreat Coordinator will be the one who announces the rules and guidelines during this session. move about. a number marks the place of each participant.1 Retreat Coordinator The Retreat Coordinator is the Hridaya Yoga staff person who is designated to watch over all the administrative retreat details and to solve any problems that arise during the retreat. Your cooperation is deeply appreciated. 3. 4. therefore attendance of all meditation sessions is compulsory. two hours of Hatha Yoga practice.2 Attendance Please agree to join all sessions and activities of the retreat if you will sign up for it. using the toilet.15 Lateness Everyone must be on time for all spiritual activities.4 Disturbances Hridaya Yoga does everything within its power to provide retreat attendees with a peaceful and undisturbed meditation environment during events. etc.

because I am unborn. It is not for the love of a child that a mother loves her child. I am not attached to sense organs and that is why I have no desires at all. The answers will be given during the evening Q&A session. However. touches. I am neither pleasure. knows other. Through my ubiquitousness I exist everywhere. nor the smell. nor the five vital ethers. in the wife. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Where there is duality. and without form. no passions. On the last day of the retreat. no mother. nor slavery. nor attraction. but for the love of the Divine Self. that the woman loves her husband. I am Shiva! I am Shiva! I know not death. neither avidity. no interests. the other sees other. I am not the ether. quieting the mind and allowing the meditations themselves to give you answers. delusion. thinks of. I am Shiva! I am Shiva! Shankaracharya In truth. by what shall one know it? It is by the Self that one knows all that is. I am Consciousness and Pure Bliss without form. Atman. Vedas. I am Shiva! I am Shiva! For me there are no good actions. nor the mind. nor the object of pleasure.. pride nor envy. I am Consciousness and Pure Bliss without form. I am Shiva! I am Shiva! I am not the life-force. nor the thoughts. nor the air. and chairs during the retreat. other hears. you may ask questions related directly to the practice at any time by sending your written questions to the seat of the Retreat Leader. nor the sight. I know not freedom. I am not the five organs of action. If you feel like creating special conditions of comfort for yourself. I am Shiva! I am Shiva! 27 28 . no disciple. 4. nor the agent of pleasure. nor the earth. I am neither aversion. I am Consciousness and Pure Bliss without form. I have no friend. He who sees all elsewhere than in the Self is betrayed. It is not for the love of a wife that a man loves his wife. nor the taste. in the husband. but for the love of the Divine Self. I am Consciousness and Pure Bliss without form.. nor doubt. by bringing extra pillows from home) and do not disfavor the others. I have no obligation. that the mother loves her child.Please make fair use of the mats. no relative. nor the ego. no wishes. I am not the seven constituents of the body. I am Shiva! I am Shiva! I am not the intellect. nor the fire. I am not the hearing. nor caste differences. use your own resources (for example. 5. Try to persevere through the process of the retreat.0 Inspirational Poems Nirvanashatkam (The Six Stanzas of Salvation) I am Consciousness and Pure Bliss without form. There exist no ritual incantations. nor estrangement. no suffering. I have no father. no pleasure. participants are also invited to share their experiences. or sacrifices. sacred places.. no bad actions. that the man loves his wife. it is not for the love of a husband that a woman loves her husband. no master. I am Shiva! I am Shiva! I am eternal. unchanging. nor its five sheaths. in the child. Atman. pillows. I am Consciousness and Pure Bliss without form. But when one sees all as the Self. I know not greed. I am Consciousness and Pure Bliss without form. Atman.5 Questions This retreat experience aims to create an atmosphere resembling solitude as much as possible – a cave retreat of your own – where there is no one but yourself to answer your questions. but for the love of the Divine Self.

He is everywhere. is smaller than a mustard seed. and then the chair in and through Him. bigger than the sky. Thou art the woman.” you are conscious of Pure Existence.” The moment you feel “I am. From Infinity. Chandogya Upanishad Infinity is that. bigger than the worlds altogether. saying. In the middle of my heart. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Worship the Living God We want to worship a living God. no conviction or uncertainty remained. Infinity remains. and the seven heavens were lost in its brilliance. “I am. I am me. you are you and you are me We have become one in such a way That I am confused whether I am you. Also. I have not seen anything but God all my life. From Infinity. Swami Vivekananda the Great Neither I am me. all beings and all that is are this Self. is smaller that the germ in the grain of millet. is smaller than a grain of millet. Taittiriya Upanishad The spirit (Atman) cannot be revealed by the weakling. Where shall we go to find God if we cannot see Him in our own hearts and in every living being? “Thou art the man. no religion. Rumi The Divine Spirit. nor have you. into Bliss we retire. Lead me from death to Immortality. Infinity is this. Thou art all that exists” – a wonderful living God. it is bigger than the atmosphere. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Rumi Last night. Thou art the young man walking in the pride of his strength. nor you are me. To see this chair you first see God. is smaller than a grain of rice. or you are me. the spark of God that dwells in the heart. Invocation from the Isa and Brihadaranyaka Upanishad What shall I do with the things that cannot make me immortal? Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Lead me from the unreal to the Real Lead me from darkness to Light.for all this is Brahman. This Atman that dwells in the heart is bigger than the Earth. Infinity has come into existence. In Bliss we grow. when Infinity is taken away. Mundaka Upanishad 29 30 . At the end of our journey's close. nor you are you. no blasphemy. is smaller than a grain of rye. Thou art the girl and Thou art the boy. who is the only fact in the universe. I saw the realm of joy and pleasure. there I melted like salt. Thou art the old man tottering with a stick. a star appeared From Bliss we come into existence.

Avadhuta Gita (The Song of the Ever-Free).0 Suggested Reading This list is intended as a response to increasing requests for suggested reading related to the Hridaya Retreat for Revelation of the Spiritual Heart. Krishnananda was a disciple of Swami Sivananda. The Knowledge of the Self (Atmabodha). The Brihat (Great) Yoga Vasishta is a work of about 32. It actually recommends awareness of the awareness. A) Classical Texts of Advaita Vedanta (5*) Ashtavakra Gita. Coomaraswamy.” says Ananda K. As for intuitive understanding. There are an increasing number of e-books being made available for free download on the Internet. It is a dialogue between Sage Vasishta and Sri Rama. It can be found at web address: http://www. Swami. continuous awareness. during which Advaita (the doctrine of nonduality) in its pure form as ajativada (the theory of non-origination.htm Advaita Bodha Deepika (The Lamp of Non-Dual Knowledge). the Yoga of the Spiritual Heart. Tripura Rahasya was considered by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi as one of the greatest works that expounded Advaita philosophy. (5*) Dattatreya. a person may laboriously convince himself of the truth to be grasped by intuition. of its function and nature. What else are they. “What use is the learning of those who do not seek to wipe out the letters of destiny by enquiring: ‘Whence is the birth of us who know the letters?’ They have sunk to the level of a grammophone. O Arunachala?” Many of the books are rated on a scale from 1 to 5 stars (*). The Crest-Jewel of Discrimination (Viveka-Chudamani). . Probably the most famous of the books attributed to The exclusive preoccupation with theory. Hatha Yoga. Tripura Rahasya (The Mystery Beyond the Trinity). but actual intuition is more like feeling and requires practical and personal contact. (5*) Shankara. It can be found at web address: http://www. Commentaries in a classical text about satcitananda. (4*) Yoga Vasishta Sara: The Essense of Yoga Vasishta. (4*) Krishnananda. Adi. Books by Swamis Sivananda and Krishnananda have long been available but the Sri Ramanasramam only recently made books on the discourses of Ramana Maharshi available. A classical treatise about discrimination between what is Real – the Self – and what is not.pdf (5*) Dattatreya. 31 32 .. An ancient book based on the commentaries of Shankara to Vedantasutras. and philosophy can in reality be a hindrance.about Advaita Vedanta. the author of Srimad Ramayana. King Janaka . as this book. Many upanishads and other Oriental scriptures are available. Ramana Maharshi used to refer to Yoga Vasishta frequently and even incorporated six couplets from it in his Supplement to Forty Verses (verses 21 to 27). Theory has its importance. (5*) Shankara. Ramana Maharshi said: “Some theoretical knowledge is needed for Yoga and may be found in books. An ancient dialogue between two great sages .Astavakra and his disciple. divided into 10 chapters. but practical application is what is needed. On this subject. Adi. Yoga Vasishta Sara. A condensation of this work was made (by an unknown author) into about 230 couplets. “An important contribution to the solution of many of man’s most urgent problems and distresses. but only as a basis for practice. Following the easier alternative which is merely a mental study.realization. However. Mere book learning is not of any great use. Rather it might correspond to the degree of relevance the book has with regard to Hridaya Yoga. the Spiritual Heart. The books marked in bold face are those strongly recommended. we cannot create the proper conditions for revealing our Real Nature. It was described as a nondual marriage between Advaita and Tantra.arunachala. This does not represent an absolute evaluation. that the world is just a illusion) is expounded.000 Sanskrit couplets traditionally attributed to Valmiki.6. Panchadasi. Sahajananda wishes to reaffirm the idea that this should remain a support for a more spiritual state of aspiration and actual practice of Hridaya Yoga: meditation.

I consider that Godman had some misunderstandings regarding the Heart. He starts each chapter explaining the significance of the terms used by Ramana and Ramana’s general vision and after that he exemplifies this with quotes. (4-5*) Godman. Reflections on Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi. surrender. Selfsurrender. This is also very inspiring because it is charged by the spiritual aspiration emanating in the presence of Ramana. mind control. this book represents a very good place to start. David. Ramana. (4*) Cohen. he didn’t want to satisfy the idle curiosity of the questioner or confirm him in his delusions. The topics are: the Self. (5*) Maharshi.” (4*) Cohen. and Muruganar arranged them in a particular order. samadhi. with many stories about special moments in his life. but apart from this. This work.S. concentration. especially for a beginner. Ramana. The answers are structured around the essential themes of Ramana: Bhakti and Jnana. who also provides a clear introduction to and explanation of the text. is well written. It is a book of about 100 pages. and logical manner. etc. visions. Maharshi’s Gospel. A Search in Secret India. The three chapters — IX. Michael.P. (5*) Maharshi. (4*) Ebert. the place of the Heart. easy to read. and XVII — relating to Maharshi were reprinted by Ramanasramam in a booklet entitled “The Maharshi and His Message. and the love for Ramana radiates through her words. meditation. the world. Ramana. Guru Ramana: Memories and Notes. It was said that Ramana does not leave his 33 34 .and this is only Part 1 of a planned multi-volume work .as well as the notes he took down during his long residence at Ramanashram. S. This biography of Ramana. God. Ramana. This text consists of 40 questions and answers explaining the attitude needed for revealing the Supreme Self. This classic book of conversations recorded over the period 1935 . who wanted a brief summary of Ramana’s teaching.M. Aham and Aham vritti. impressions of. is the work that originated with answers written in the sand in 1901. silence and solitude. etc. The book lucidly narrates the author’s acquaintance with. Answers of Ramana to questions put to him by his devotees. Later. the nature of God. including surrender. Ramana often went behind the words that constitute a question to correct the questioner even on the matter of questioning. Paul. Ramana wrote the verses as they came to him. Ramana wrote 40 additional verses. etc.M. (5*) Maharshi. Forty Verses on Reality. Mahadevan. Commentaries and interesting personal notes about the teachings of Ramana. who so influenced him.the index alone runs to 38 pages. Topics: Destiny and free will. The text still requires some explanations. (5*) Maharshi. Heart and mind. A very systematic book about Ramana’s perspectives.B) Works of Ramana Maharshi and His Disciples about Advaita Vedanta. the illusion of time and space. composed by Bhagavan in the mid-1920s. Self-Enquiry (Vichara Sangraham). the Self as Reality. Who Am I? (Nan Yar?). Ramana Maharshi. Talks With Ramana Maharshi. free will. Ramana. accessible. Self-inquiry.S. This text presents a synthesis of Ramana’s teaching of nonduality and practice of inquiry and was written at the request of his disciple Muruganar. Creation theories and the reality of the world. the author analyzes and presents Sri Ramana’s teaching in a very systematic. and the original 40 verses were put into a supplement to the 40 verses. Self-awareness.the memories of a man who remained with Ramana for 14 years . Happiness and the Art of Being: The Philosophy and Practice of the Spiritual Teaching of Bhagavan Sri Ramana. A massive book . We can find here different analogies used by Ramana for explaining the Ultimate nature of Reality and how individuality appears. 40 verses fit a classical Hindu poetic form. Liberation. and relation to Maharshi. Be As You Are: The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi. (4-5*) James. and His Perspective about Reality (4*) Brunton. Gabriele. As a direct disciple of Ramana. XVI. etc. The last part of the book consists of his diary. When irrelevant and futile questions were asked.P. It has very short and essential affirmations since it is structured as a book of aphorisms. Topics include: happiness. S. (5*) Maharshi. maya. the science of consciousness. etc. This book contains some of Cohen’s reminiscences . the Self-Inquiry Method. It is advisable to use the translation of T. General ideas and topics of Advaita. It is considered the standard introduction to Bhagavan’s teachings. Mahadevan. brahmacharya. It is advisable to use the translation of T.1939 can be a continuous source of inspiration.

It consists of short. (5*) Maharaj. with some nice and less known pictures of Ramana. A collection of compilations about Advaita. A New Earth. Laksmana Sarma. (5*) Klein. the nature of the Self and the means for realizing this. nature. grouped in essential topics. Way of the Bird: Commentaries on the Teaching of Shri Ranjit Maharaj. and penetrating statements. About Ramana. (4*) Sivananda. All the books of Jean Klein are very inspiring. eternity. Buddhism. soul. Andrew. C) Works of Nisargadatta Maharaj and His Disciples his final dialogues with people during satsang. Jean. Yoga. Wake Up and Roar: Dialogues with Papaji. The contribution of Osborne to this book is mainly the very good compilation of the answers of Ramana. Sri Swami. and the role of devotion. I Am. Know the Ramana Way. Arthur. Nisargadatta. Advaita. Vedanta for Beginners. Jean. etc. The author. The idea “There is nothing to be done” is very present. and Hinduism. He also gives a few useful explanations and conclusions. I Am That. the reality beyond the mind. This book is mainly about Yoga. etc. Islam. (5*) Klein. who studied for more than 20 years with Ramana. ignorance. Be Who You Are. I strongly recommend them. The Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi in His Own Words. relationships. Jean. The books of Eckhart Tolle are well known and don’t need a presentation here. etc. There are answers to questions on a variety of topics of concern to those still trapped in the illusory world. and Sri Bhagavan’s replies are from his standpoint. A very clear book about Advaita as taught by Ramana Maharshi. Maha Yoga or The Upanishadic Lore in the Light of the Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana. a conversation on art. (5*) Tolle. Consciousness and the Absolute. art. and awareness…. death. (5*) Klein. but nevertheless it has the same freshness and spiritual power. Stillness Speaks. the Now. Maha Yoga is the Direct Method of finding the Truth of ourselves. world. The Book of Listening.W. Jean. (4*) Osborne. Jean. Be Still. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. (5*) Klein. Jean. with good explanations. A good introduction to Advaita Vedanta. Ramana. H. The questions are not only answered. They present answers that open us beyond rational understanding. Eckhart. (5*) Tolle. As one of the devotees put it. Eckhart. describes them as “the culmination of the rarest teachings he had to give us. only identified as “Who” on the title page.interlocutor in the place where he was. Transmission of the Flame. surrender. (5*) Maharshi. It’s the Wind That Sings. Beyond Knowledge.L. 35 36 . Living Truth: Where Time and Timelessness Meet. Ranjit Maharaj was the guru of Nisargadatta. Jean. Who Am I? Includes dialogues about couples and sexuality from the perspective of Advaita. etc. as well as many wonderful. (4-5*) Tolle. ego. (3-4*) Poonja.” It is a comprehensive book of about 700 pages. Eckhart. This is probably the best-known book about Advaita. God. (5*) Klein. (3-4*) Osborne. Christianity. including (5*) Klein. meditation. the end of suffering. In the introduction Jean Dunn. etc. The Power of Now. This book features the last teachings of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. Nisargadatta.(5*) Klein. Eckhart. brilliant dialogues that Maharaj had with visitors. Sahajananda considers this work to be possibly the most powerful book in its capability to completely change a life. (4-5*) Who. direct. Open to the Unknown: Dialogues in Delphi. Arthur. A very inspiring booklet of aphorisms about stillness.” D) Works of Other Contemporary Sages and Spiritual Teachers (5*) Maharaj. A very good collection of Q&A about the nature of the mind. was Sri K. This book includes daily inspiration for all 12 months and is a rather devotional book of Advaita. love. (5*) Klein. This is lesser known than I Am That. beauty. (4*) Vernon. “All our questions are from our standpoint. they were the summit of the heights of his wisdom. The key topics addressed are happiness. but are also undermined. Jean. (5*) Tolle. the editor. ego. (4*) Osborne. Arthur. This is a biography of Ramana. Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge.

J. F) Meditation (5*) Sivananda. Meditation. Bonpo Dzogchen Teachings. This is a collection of essays about meditation. Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry: When Knowing Becomes Love.” with Commentary by James Low. Dakpo. Meditations. Some Kind of Self-Hypnosis.(4*) Khenchen Thrangu.” (4*) Easwaran. how one achieves realization. “Meditation and the Unconscious Mind”. Rudolph. Dzogchen. 37 38 . and vipassana. How to Meditate. preparation for mahamudra meditation. and the four Yogas of mahamudra. This is an excellent book about a meditative life in solitude. This book is seen as a companion book to Passage Meditation and contains passages for meditation drawn from among the world’s spiritual traditions. Mahamudra Quintessence of Mind and Meditation. Mahayana. Rick. The dialogues presented here were recorded during the last four years of his life. Make Your Mind an Ocean. shamatha. he presents a variety of meditation techniques. (5*) Tashi Namgyal. this is a manual detailing the various stages and practices for training the advanced student. Rinpoche.E) Other Books about Advaita and neo-Advaita Vedanta (5*) Gupta. (5*) Low. Ramakrishna. You Have the Right to Remain Silent.” This is an article from the C. M was one of Ramakrishna’s disciples. takes the approach that meditation is not mysterious. Rinpoche. LeShan. Cittanupassana Contemplation of the Mind. This book (original title: Meditation) describes the Eight Point Program that Easwaran developed. The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. This text details the perspective and explanations of a Westerner about Dzogchen. (4*) Tart. etc. The many levels of meditation covered include the following: the differentiation between stages of tranquillity and insight meditation. This is an inspiring booklet in which Krishnamurti speaks poetically about what meditation is. written by different teachers. Vajrayana / Kagyu tradition presents Shamatha and Vipashyana Meditation from the Vajrayana perspective. The first major text representing the meditational methods of both Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. but it it may be too much in the frame of neo-Advaita Vedanta. meditation on the two kinds of selflessness. Mind. Swami. Mahendranath (aka M). Lawrence. and Emotions”. Zajonc. (5*) Thubten Yeshe. a clinical psychologist who has spent more than 30 years working with cancer patients. G) Buddhism – Theravada. Awakening to the Dream. (5*) Krishnamurti. “Obstacles in Meditation”. This book features the teachings of the great 19th century Self-realized saint and adept of Advaita. (4*) Milton. hypnosis. Mahamudra (4-5*) Ballentine. (4-5*) Lewis. Shamatha Meditation. Passage Meditation. (4*) Hartong. An interesting comparison between consensus consciousness (the normal wakeful state).com. Lama. This book contains many beautiful stories and quotes. “The Mirror of Clear Meaning. The most interesting of them are: “Mind. the various methods of mahamudra practice. ( (5*) Sogyal. He gives practical instructions regarding meditation and how to bring the deep wisdom of the Heart into daily life. Sky Above Earth Below. (4*) Leshan. A presentation of the theory and practice of meditation. “Meditation. E. “Meditation in Action”. methods for removing obstacles to meditation. This is an excellent book about increasing awareness. John. (5*) Tenzin Namdak. Arthur. http://www. Charles. James. Leo. from different perspectives. Lopon. The Theory and Practice of Meditation. Being Right Here: A Dzogchen Text of Nuden Dorje Entitled. This is a classic book about meditation. (4*) Easwaran. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. This is a book of Buddhist psychology with a lot of inspiring sessions of Q&A in which Lama Thubten explains the Buddhist perspective on emotions. and “The Tradition of Superconscious Meditation. E. (5*) Khemavamsa. a Deeper Look. Its Mysteries and Control. Dr.paradigm-sys. Timeless Wisdom. Tart website.

Chakra: Manipura – The third center of force in the human body. (5*) Star. etc. Bhakti.E. Singh. the “battery” of the being. Lakshmanjoo. Daniel. Shiva Sutras. Shahram. and J. is the seat of vitality. and Quotes Mafi. Hush. Daniel. (5*) Ladinsky. rational capacities of the mind. Spanda Karikas. Singh. Mark. Swami. the ending point of sushumna nadi.R. K) Poetry. located in the navel region. attuned with earth energies and mechanical forces (such as gravity). (5*) Buber.0 Glossary Advaita – Non-dualism. Mark. Any philosophy that speaks about the essential oneness between the subject (the experiencer) and object (of the experience). Dyczkowski. Dupuche. Dyczkowski. A collection of the sayings of the Sufi masters from the ninth century to the present day. Jaideva. 39 40 . manipura (known as hara in some Eastern traditions) attunes with fire energy. Rumi. Kundalini: Energy of the Depths. Lilian. Jaideva. located in the area of the perineum. Daniel. P. Daniel. polishing the heart. but bases his translations entirely on other English translations of Rumi. the second center of force grants attunement with water energies and magnetic forces. I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy of Hafiz.I) Kashmiri Shaivism Baumer. which is a universal not a personal reality. The Book of Love. Ellyn. Jaideva. 7. Vijnana Bhairava. Jonathan. Chakra: Svadhisthana – Located two finger-breadths above the sexual organs. (4*) Barks. ego. Chakra: Muladhara – The first center of force. (5*) Barks. violence. Swami. Silburn. Don’t Say Anything to God: Passionate Poems of Rumi. Five Mystic Poets of Persia. Gardens of the Beloved. Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West. Odier. Three very beautiful books of poetry. suffering and surrender. Some topics include: the longing of the Heart. and confers sensitivity and social conformism. (5*) Ladinsky. dynamism. B. The Aphorisms of Siva. Stories. The Hand of Poetry. Buddhi – Intellect. instincts including hunger and sex. The Stanzas on Vibration. The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems. Chakra – Plexus. light upon light. Vijnana Bhairava Tantra. meditation and prayer. Martin. Void and Fullness. Even though Barks does not read or speak Persian. Maryam. (4*) Ladinsky. (5*) Ladinsky. he has become possibly the most renowned translator of Rumi and of Persian poetry. ambition. The Triadic Heart of Siva. The Gift. (5*) Vaughan-Lee. Rumi: In the Arms of the Beloved. Brahmarandhra – An opening at the crown of the head. The superior. The Essential Rumi. Lilian. Coleman. Travelling the Path of Love. Apana – The subtle energy associated with exhalation. Singh. Lilian. Daniel. Lakshmanjoo. Shiva Sutras. Silburn. Tales of Hasidism. Mueller-Ortega. Atman – The Supreme Self. Coleman. Silburn. Yoga Spandakarika. Vijnana Bhairava Tantra. It is represented by willpower. (5*) Shiva. The Subject Tonight Is Love: 60 Wild and Sweet Poems of Hafiz.

Nirvana – Liberation. Dhyana – Meditation.not technically a chakra .” It signifies the idea that freedom is not external to us but is our very condition. Universal. Chakra: Ajna – The sixth center of force in the human body. slightly to the right. anahata is related with air energy and the heart. located in the middle of the forehead. Sahaja – The word sahaja (from saha and ja. the non-manifest seat of the Supreme Reality. enlightenment. attunes with ether and the energies of space and time. the domain of limitation and suffering.’ 41 42 . Samskara – Subconscious imprints that represent active forces for the psychic life. as well as tantric methods of spiritual practice such as kundalini. ajna represents the cosmic mind. located above the hollow of the neck. Kumbhaka – Retention of breath. gesture or attitude with spiritual significance. selflessness. mantra. Prana – The subtle energy associated with inhalation. above the physical body. Rajas – Passion. one of the three attributes of Nature. Chitta – The mind.’ Chakra: Sahasrara – At the top of the head. and that the conditional mind and enlightenment are not mutually exclusive principles. pure Awareness. the seventh center of force . which includes ordinary and extraordinary experiences. Therefore. and coordinates all chakras below it. and Pure Bliss. primordial vibration. as expounded by Sri Ramana Maharshi. In this context. and mudra. life force energy. it is a way of centering awareness and entering divine consciousness.Chakra: Anahata – The fourth center of force in the human body. true spontaneity or naturalness is an expression of Reality. It is the mental ‘command center. free of attachments. This “seat of God” within us (the projection of the Supreme Reality in the physical body) is found in the center of the chest. realized as Pure Existence. Mudra – ‘Seal’. final emancipation. the transcendental Reality (nirvana). that the phenomenal reality (samsara) arises simultaneously with. and within. affection. of the source of attention itself. “to be born”) means literally “together born” or “co-emergent. Hridaya – The heart. Mauna – Silence. the attention of the witness consciousness. Laya – Dissolution. the mystical center. Kundalini – Primordial cosmic energy. intelligence.D. the highest aesthetic and symbolic vision. Dharana – Concentration. Kashmir Shaivism – a practical philosophy of non-dualism which calls the Supreme Reality “Shiva. It bestows quick and deep intelligence. and enlightenment is always close at hand.synthesizes all the other centers and corresponds with real wisdom. contemplation. Sat-Chit-Ananda – Pure Existence-Awareness-Bliss. but it maintains an awareness of the Spiritual Heart. seated exactly in the middle of the chest. Nada – Subtle sound. in Kashmir. Pure Awareness. restlessness. it does not lose itself in the knowing of the object. and transpersonal emotions. humility. Shaivism – ‘Pertaining to Shiva. It is an impersonal attention. The intrinsic attributes of the Supreme Reality. Samsara – The phenomenal world. and spiritual intuition. merging. Mantra – Sacred syllable or word or set of words. deep insight. the Absolute. An essential aspect of mental training and austerity. or. bestowing unconditional love. Chakra: Vishuddha – The fifth center of force.” It flourished in the 8th Century A. individual Consciousness. Open Attention – Open attention is the natural expression of a consciousness which is not preoccupied with achieving one thing or another. in a wider context. Cit – The transcendental Consciousness. According to this teaching.

Upaya – Spiritual Path. Vikalpa – Conceptualization. since it deals with the profound underlying principles of spiritual practice and contains a vast library of techniques ranging from elementary to advanced.’ The central conduit through which the life force. From a spiritual perspective. at the base of the spine. the VBT is a practical work and a comprehensive aid to students of meditation from any tradition. Traditionally regarded as a manual for masters. Sattva or Sattwa – Light.Sakti or Shakti – Power. force. awareness rather than analytical knowledge. his destructive power is the essential process of breaking down. one of the three qualities of Nature. It is the “throb” of the utter bliss of Ultimate Reality.0 Contact Information Please contact us for more information: Email: Website: info@hridaya-yoga.’ Nevertheless. Vijnana – Experiential. Spanda – Described variously as divine activity. imagination. energy. one of the three attributes of Nature. It is not movement as ordinarily understood but the transcendental cause of all motion. flows from Muladhara chakra. but brief. the dynamic aspect of Shiva. prana. and the creative primordial vibration. being. Shiva is seen either as the Supreme Consciousness or as the masculine personification of the Divine. Tantra – ‘Weave. usually seen in connection with sexual www. Shiva is generally conceived as the destroyer of the universe. direct knowledge.hridaya-yoga. Virya – Vitality or energy. de-conditioning the ego-personality.’ the root tan means “to extend. Tantric treatise presents a collection of purely non-dual teachings. We welcome you to join this exceptional retreat and hope you will benefit greatly by it! May the sacred tremor of the Heart enlighten our lives! © 2013 Hridaya Yoga 43 44 . Sushumna-nadi – The ‘most gracious energetic channel. Most techniques explore the use of dharana. Tamas – Ignorance. to reaching the Supreme Realization of Oneness with the Absolute. Shiva – The ‘Benevolent. Vijnanabhairava – ‘The revelation of the Ultimate Reality (Bhairava). to the crown of the head. expand. pure consciousness.’ This classic. spanda (“quiver” or “vibration”) is a prominent technical concept in Kashmir (or Northern) Shaivism. darkness.” It is most generally used as a synonym for a group of specific traditional texts. thus bringing illumination. in which Bhairava (Shiva) describes 112 ways to enter into the Universal and Transcendental state of Consciousness. mystical. 8. or concentration. purity.

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