Self-realization: Sahaja Yoga meditation takes you into a better life

Meditation
Ten people join in Sahaja Yoga Meditation in Mill Hill Community Centre

 

Ten people sit on a chair with shoes removed to connect with the mother earth. They sit comfortably with both hands open, palms up on their lap. All of them take a few deep breaths, then breathe in a quiet, relaxed way. Outside, the raindrops continuously spatters on the window with clear and melodious sound of bird.

Every Tuesday, there are many people joining in Shaja Yoga meditation in Mill Hill Community Centre. It is a kind of self-realization produced by Kundalini awakening and is accompanied by the experience of thoughtless awareness or mental silence.

 

Kundalini (Image source: http://kundaliniproblems.com/kundalini_energy_what_is_it.htm

 

History

Sahaja Yoga meditation was founded by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi who was internationally recognized for her contribution to humanity through a lifetime of work for peace and the wellbeing of mankind.

shri-mataji-nirmala-devi-in-belgium
Photo of  Shri Mataji from: shrimataji.org

 

In 1970, after studying the field of medicine and focusing on the scientific terminology of the anatomy and human physiology, she started Sahaja Yoga meditation.

After her first visit Australia in 1981, Shri Mataji continued to visit on many occasions giving free public lectures to share her knowledge and teach the Australian public her simple method of Sahaja Yoga. During these years, she gave over fifty public lectures around Australia, without charge. She advocates that there can be no peace in the world until there is peace within. Now, there are almost 100 countries around the world establishing Sahaja Yoga Meditation Centre.

 

About meditation

Meditation is the personal experience of going beyond one’s thoughts, worries and upsets, and being in a state of peace and calm. In meditation, one is fully alert and aware but free of the unnecessary thoughts or worries that lead to many of life’s day to day stresses.

Meditation is based on connecting with our inner chakras (energy centres) and balancing our subtle body. The tradition and aims of meditation are explained which is to be in the present with no mental thoughts of the past or future. Short guided meditations with affirmations are used to clear and balance the subtle body to enable the silence of meditation.

 

An encounter

Greg Turek, the author of A Seeker’s Journey: Searching for Clues to Life’s meaning, takes part in Sahaja Yoga meditation every Tuesday for nearly 20 years. Now, he is one of the instructors of Sahaja Yoga Meditation Centre in Sydney. In his book, he wrote that “by doing meditation, we can bring peace and wellbeing to ourselves, our families, our social institutions, our nations and our world.”

Mr Turek meditates after getting up and before going to bed everyday. He thinks meditation is not a mental thing; the whole purpose of meditation is to allow person to go into thoughtless awareness when the mind becomes still. “When you meditate everyday at home, you balance yourself and you connect yourself to reality,” he said.

I met Mr Turek during the meditation by chance and I decided to make an interview with him after the meditation.

Tall, plump, with short white hair and a smile that chips away all defenses. Before I could get the first question into gear Mr Turek asked, “do you know what is self-realization?”

I looked at him with total confusion and waited for his explanation.

 

Microcosm to the macrocosm

Mr Turek told me that self-realization was the yoga, the union, the joining of the microcosm to the macrocosm. The raising of the energy in each of us called Kundalini. “the linking of that energy with the all-pervading energy of God that is what self-realization is,” he said.

I asked him in a tone of great curiosity, “what exactly does it do?”

“Self-realization brings about a change in awareness. Anyone can feel it as a cool breeze, cool vibrations, on the top of the head and on the hands. It is an actual happening.”

Kundalini is an energy that exists in everyone’s body, usually in a dormant state. It can be awakened or aroused from its slumber at the base of your spine by intense meditation or intense breath control practices.

 

“Put your hand above your head”

I asked him the approach of feeling self-realization.

Mr Turek’s eyes danced, “put your hand above your head, keep your attention above your head and let thoughts go without following them,” he said. There was a faint, so faint coolness on my hand. I looked round to see if there could be a draft coming from anywhere, but there was no air conditioning and the windows were closed. He was very happy that I could feel that cool breeze.

 

“It is not sugar that causes diabetes, it’s thinking”

He took my hand and started tracing a cross over the palm. “You think too much,” he said. “Your mind is busy, busy, busy, thinking away. Too much thinking can give people diabetes. It is not sugar that causes diabetes, it’s thinking. We can cure diabetes by self-realization.”

With self-realization, everybody can become their own master. “You can diagnose your own problems and those of others, and you can cure them. Anybody with their realization and the desire to develop their spirit, can cure and be cured,” Mr Turek told me.

At this point a wave of most pleasant well-being swept over me. It wasn’t a trance or a hypnotic state — it was a feeling of deep peace.

 

For non-profit

Mr Turek said that Sahaja Yoga meditation was free open to the public, Shri Mataji charged no money, insisting that her lesson was a birthright which should be freely available to all. “There can be no peace in the world until there is peace within,” he added.

There are almost 100 countries around the world establishing Sahaja Yoga Meditation Centre.

Hundreds of thousands of Australians have experienced the state of ‘thoughtless awareness’ using the simple Sahaja Yoga meditation technique, which helps to reduce anxiety, improve the quality of life and control blood pressure. “It’s time to find peace within, to experience an awareness you probably never knew existed. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a regular, we hope you’ll join us.”

 

Jing Yu (Jasmine)

SID: 450083624

Word count: 1010

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Self-realization: Sahaja Yoga meditation

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi (Image source: http: //shrimataji.org/)

Sahaja Yoga meditation was founded by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi who was internationally recognized for her contribution to humanity through a lifetime of work for peace and the wellbeing of mankind. It is the state of self-realization produced by Kundalini awakening and is accompanied by the experience of thoughtless awareness or mental silence. Shri Mataji charged no money, insisting that her lesson was a birthright which should be freely available to all. She advocates that there can be no peace in the world until there is peace within (Coney, 1999).

Kundalini (Image source: http://kundaliniproblems.com/kundalini_energy_what_is_it.htm)

Sahaja Yoga meditation started in India and England and there are now Sahaja Yoga meditation centres in almost 100 countries around the world. It has been introduced in Australia for 35 years. Hundreds of thousands of Australians have experienced the state of thoughtless awareness using the simple Sahaja Yoga meditation technique, which helps to reduce mental and emotional stress.

Story angle and interview:

My feature article aims to let the public know about what is Sahaja Yoga meditation and what benefits can get through doing daily meditation.

I will start the feature story by presenting the 35th years celebration of Sahaja Yoga meditation in Australia. The celebration will be held in 260 Liverpool Road, Ashfield, Sydney in 30th April. The theme of this celebration is “Meditation & Music”. I will make an interview with Richard Kennett who is the responsible person of this celebration.

Questions for Richard Kennett:

  • What is the aim of holding this celebration?
  • What are stories behind founding Sahaja Yoga meditation by Shri Mataji? And what is her aim?
  • Why it is free open to the public?

In the next part, I will focus on the Sahaja Yoga meditation class and its teaching content, benefits and effects on our daily life. I will participate in a local class in Mill Hill Community Centre, Bondi Junction in 10th May to experience what is meditation. Moreover, I will interview Clare Avoledo who is a instructor of the free class and participants.

Questions for Clare Avoledo:

  • Where does meditation centres raise money to maintain the normal operation of free class?
  • What is the aim of your centre? And what is the aim of meditation?
  • What is the characteristic of Sahaja Yoga meditation? And what are differences from other meditation?
  • What usually do during the class (the teaching content)? And can participants do meditation at home after this class?

Questions for participants:

  • What lead you to start meditation? And And What attract you to join in?
  • What is the most useful thing of the class? And does the class have any effect on your daily life?

There is an academic article that can be used as references to describe the function of Sahaja Yoga meditation, that is Effect of sahaja yoga meditation on quality of life, anxiety, and blood pressure control (Chung, Brooks, Rai, Balk & Rai, 2012) and there is an useful case study Influence of long-term sahaja yoga meditation practice on emotional processing in the brain: An ERP study (Reva, Pavlov, Loktev, Korenyok & Aftanas, 2014).

Target media and target audiences:

This feature story is about a kind of healthy lifestyle and it may fit the audience of Australian online publications such the Sydney Morning Herald or ABC news because they have the column about lifestyle, health and wellbeing. My target audience are people who are interested in meditation, who are under pressure from studies or works and who advocate a natural and healthy lifestyle.

 

Jing Yu

SID: 450083624

Word count: 585

 

References:

Coney, J. (1999). Sahaja yoga: Socializing processes in a south Asian new religious movement. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon.

Chung, S., Brooks, M. M., Rai, M., Balk, J. L., & Rai, S. (2012). Effect of sahaja yoga meditation on quality of life, anxiety, and blood pressure control. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.), 18(6), 589-596.

Reva, N. V., Pavlov, S. V., Loktev, K. V., Korenyok, V. V., & Aftanas, L. I. (2014). Influence of long-term sahaja yoga meditation practice on emotional processing in the brain: An ERP study. Neuroscience, 281, 195-201.

A commentary on an Upstart article Australia’s treatment of circus animals leaves a lot to be desired

This blog post aims to improve the scannability of an article “ Australia’s treatment of circus animals leaves a lot to be desire”, posted on Upstart, written by Katherine McLeod.

all
A screenshoot of the Upstart article by Katherine McLeod

The headline of this article is clear and concise. This article also includes a lead which gives readers a brief and essential information to quickly understand the key points of the story. Using a lot of white space between paragraphs improves the readability of the article. It also uses hyperlinks to make readers get relevant information.

大象
A screenshoot of the Upstart article by Katherine McLeod

However, there are too many paragraphs and detailed information in the article making it boring for people who only have little time to scan. So I recommend using subheadings to guide readers get the most important information. This article only contains one picture in it. So, I strongly suggest that related pictures and videos should be included in to attract the attention of readers.

Tags are used on the bottom to make readers easily identify article categories. However, there is no sharing button. I suggest adding social media sharing buttons to indirectly increase the click rate.

( Jing Yu, SID: 450083624, Word count: 182)

Six Killed by Cyclone Victor

Six residents were killed by a cyclone named “Victor” when it passed over Honiara yesterday midday. Besides, there were more than 100 people homeless and another 18 people have been treated in hospital for minor injuries.

Furthermore, more than 20 houses were destroyed and a number of other buildings sustained considerable structural damage.

According to police, the six people who died, three men drowned when their car was blown off the road into a river, and two women and a man were killed by flying debris.

photo1

Image source: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/world/we-are-enduring-an-absolute-hiding-cyclone-victor-slams-the-cook-islands

At 2 a.m. yesterday morning, meteorologists at the Nadi Weather Centre detected Victor developing rapidly near Nauru and moving quickly south-west across the Pacific towards the Solomon Islands.

At 3 a.m., the Centre contacted the Solomon Islands government warning of the approach of Cyclone Victor. After receiving the message, government officials immediately put emergency plans into operation. They warned all shipping in the area of the cyclone’s approach.

By 10 a.m., winds in Honiara were blowing at more than 140 kilometres per hour.