Raja Yoga for the Mind : An event in London to honour UN International Day of Yoga

London ( UK ): For the first time since March 2020 and the start of the pandemic, Global Cooperation House opened its doors for a special event in the auditorium, as well as being available online.  It was an event to honour the UN International Day of Yoga 2022, with Master Yogi and Additional Administrative Head of The Brahma Kumaris, Sister Jayanti.  Before the conversation, led by BK Matthew Earl, beautiful sounds and melodies of the violin from BK Gil Fernandes invited everyone into the space as they took their seats.

Some 150 were present, as well as over 200 watching live online.

The conversation was in three parts, with Matthew enquiring from Sister Jayanti a basic understanding of what Raja Yoga for the mind means, and what the practitioner experiences when it is practiced and applied.  Sister Jayanti first explored the nature of how we are always being influenced, and that with Raja Yoga, we start to firstly notice and then choose what and who we are being influenced by.  Matthew noted that ‘the mind is always connecting with something!’  Sister Jayanti also asked, ‘Are we ready to reject that which isn’t useful to us?’  She noted that we are all used to seeking out habits that are good for us, maybe walking in nature or a sport, but Raja Yoga is about moving beyond these physical endeavours to a more subtle and spiritual exploration.

Sister Jayanti noted that many more have become aware of the spiritual side of life, especially in the past two years during and post pandemic, and now pray or meditate.  ‘Yet what is our sense of self. This is explored in the basic understanding of Raja Yoga, that I am a soul, a conscious being of conscious light, and when I start looking here, we can build our inner capacity’.

Sister Jayanti led everyone into a reflection of withdrawing from the physical senses inwards into this awareness of the self as a spiritual being: I had forgotten peace was inside, I had been looking outside.  In this awareness of peace within, I realised that peace is always available for me.  I just need to connect with the inner being that I am.  In this awareness I return to that … to that natural state of peace.  In this awareness of peace, the vibrations of peace reach out and the collective power of our vibrations reach out to the city and world.

In the next passage of conversation Matthew initially asked Sister Jayanti ‘What do you think about patience as we learn to meditate?  They say ‘patience is a virtue’ … and switching sense of identity is not an easy thing, is it, as we are habitually connected with the 5 senses.  Maybe there needs to be a realistic expectation of putting time in and developing Raja Yoga as a discipline to start?

Sister Jayanti agreed that Raja Yoga is not just for Sundays and that with daily practise it is ‘easy’, and that can be pausing for moments throughout the day, wherever anyone is, and just directing the mind to turn in and sit in the point of light, connect with the quiet within.  Sister Jayanti also explored how the early morning is the optimum time to meditate, as it is quiet and we can focus and touch our inner peace more easily… also before sleeping at night is very useful to clear the mind from all that has happened that day.

Sister Jayanti introduced everyone to the second tenet of Raja Yoga, ‘connecting to a higher energy of consciousness, of spiritual light, so that through this connection we gain spiritual strength and also then this vibration can enter the world’.

Sister Jayanti led everyone into a silent reflection to connect with The Supreme Soul. The final passage explored more deeply the connection between the soul and Supreme Soul.  We all have access to this and can develop relationships with the Supreme, who is there and available now to support and guide us, if we can listen in and trust the Yoga. Sister Jayanti also noted ‘it is this connection that can release us from all sorrows and forms of emotional and mental pain when we regularly practise and make this One our influence’.

Sister Jayanti gave tips for study and practise and mentioned the importance of studying something spiritually uplifting each day: ‘could be poetry for instance, or whatever creates lightness and introspection that will help with connection with the self and use as a basis for experiencing as you meditate on it’.   She noted the Raja Yoga Course is a solid basis for study and learning about the soul, God, and the cycle of time.

Sister Jayanti finally spoke of the importance of creating a sacred space — even if a small corner — at home, to practice and build up spiritual energy in that space.

The conversation closed with another meditation reflection by Sister Jayanti and Matthew then gave thanks to all.   The event completed with silence and a song, ‘If I had one Wish’ by Bliss, to absorb what they had listened to. Toli (sweets) and blessings were shared from Sister Jayanti and Sister Maureen Goodman with everyone in the auditorium.

Link to this write-up with additional pictures

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