Try to practise other types of yoga such as bhakti, karma and jnana yoga, as this will help you to gain the most out of kriya yoga practices. These forms of yoga can be integrated into your daily life, and as such need no structured program.
Drop all concepts
To gain the most benefits from the practice of kriya yoga it is essential to try to drop all concepts, ideas and beliefs. This actually applies to all yoga practices, for all conditioning dulls clarity and perception. All attachment to traditions, to other people’s ideas, have to be dropped. These act as a mighty barrier, like a thick brick wall, between conscious perception of the subtler aspects of your being.
Let us take an analogy. Compare the mind to a pot of water. The water is murky and dirty with small particles. These particles represent all the concepts and conditioned reflexes that you have picked up during life. There are so many particles that it is impossible to see through the water. The water acts as a screen to your vision. The average mind is in the same state; it is so full of preconceptions and ideas that it lacks lucidity. Instead of being a perfect reflector of experience, it veils experience. One sees a shadow of experience instead of the experience itself. If the water is continually stirred, then the water always remains murky; the particles do not settle and prevent the water assuming its natural transparent state. It is the same with the average mind: it is continually being filled with new concepts and theories. The mind is kept in a state of agitation. If the concepts were dropped then the mind would become as clear as a crystal. In this state, one’s perception could illuminate the deeper realms of one’s being.
It is not easy to drop all concepts; it takes time, just as murky water requires time for the dirty particles to gravitate to the bottom. But we suggest that you at least consider the possibility of trying to drop all concepts based on second hand experience. Regular practice of yoga, and especially kriya yoga, will help you to do this. The process will be hastened. But at least make a conscious effort.
Ramana Maharshi was asked many times what one must do to know truth. His reply was emphatic: “Forget every concept that you have.” Intellectual suppositions and fantasies merely fill the mind with dust. Throw them out, or at least do not take them seriously. Intellectual knowledge has its place in the scheme of life, but do not be bound by it. It is certainly based upon imagination and delusion. Every sincere seeker of wisdom must endeavour to free his mind from all attachment to intellectual opinions.
It was with good reason that Tilopa, the great yogi, told his disciple Naropa: “Look into the mirror of the mind.” There is significance in his words, and by a mirror he did not mean a dirty or cracked mirror; he meant a mirror that was a perfect reflector of reality. Your mind must be slowly polished so that all concepts and conditioning are wiped away.
We assume that you are a sincere seeker of wisdom. If you were not, then you would not have started to practise kriya yoga. Therefore, we suggest that you make a resolve to detach yourself from all intellectual speculations. Use the intellect but do not be bound by it. In this way you will allow the kriya practices to manifest their fullest potential.