Mastering the Techniques of Meditation

by Brother Ishtananda (Excerpts from a talk at 2008 Convocation )

Change your Consciousness

“Change your consciousness. That is all that is necessary”.
—Paramahansa Yogananda



We need to move up from the 3 lower chakra centres and operate from the higher chakra centres (Dorsal up) [Ahahata].

The Ida and Pingala currents in the spine cause our breathing. Where they intertwine at the chakras is what ties the astral body to the physical body.

“Breath is the cord that ties the soul to the flesh”. In the state of breathlessness we have the astral communion with the Divine.



Guruji said:

“Where your energy is,
there is your consciousness”.

In meditation energy is withdrawn into the Ida and Pingala, and then in deeper meditation into the Sushumna. Then into the astral spine and after the causal spine. It is the Guru’s job to lead us through these subtle aspects. The Guru will guide our consciousness so we can achieve this. Guruji said:

“Get in the spine, so I can help you more”.

We need deep practice.

Our path has 7 main techniques which are synergistic:

1. Energization Exercises
2. Hong Sau
3. Aum
4. Kriya proper
5. Kriya 2
6. Kriya 3
7. Kriya 4

Brother Anandamoy calls Kriya proper “the king of techniques”.

[More about Kriya Yoga...]


Energization Exercises

The Energization Exercises are one of the most grossly overlooked techniques. Control the energy and you can control the states of consciousness. We can go into bliss doing the Energization Exercises. The Energization Exercises help us become more aware of prana. They also prepare the body for meditation.


Hong Sau Technique

Br Anandamoy explained there is an eastern and a western concept of concentration. He took a sheet of paper and drew a large circle on the paper and drew dots and dashes in the circle. He said this is the western concept, the dots and dashes are the thoughts and problems we are concentrating on. He drew another circle and then jabbed the pencil through the centre. He said this is the eastern concept - to hold the mind to one thought only. Holding the attention.

In Hong Sau we are holding the attention to the breath,

in Aum to the loudest sound, and

in Kriya to the currents in the spine.


Focus on the periods between inhalation and exhalation when the breath is still and peace increases. Over time these periods will begin to lengthen and approach the breathless state.

Before practice do the 20-20-20 breathing. The inhalation, hold and exhalation should be of even length. Try to do this before all regular meditations for 6 to 12 times. Then the breathing, tension and double exhalation for 6 times.

Practise Hong Sau for 3 hours
and you will know something of its greatness.

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These notes are not an official publication of SRF. They were taken by the devotees during talks given by the monks and nuns. Please be aware that there is a degree of human error involved in taking and transcribing notes.