Bhakti Yoga — The Way of Love (part of the 4 Yogas of Hinduism series!)

Krishna and Putana - ISKCON desire tree

Krishna and Putana – Hare Krishna (ISKCON) painting

Bhakti Yoga, the Yoga of Love, is for the passionate type of person (4 Yogas Main).

The process is:

  1. Adopt God as an object of obsessive love.
  2. Connect to God using every form of love:  parent-child, friend, lover.
  3. Adopt a specific manifestation of God — in Hinduism, a particular diety — as your primary image and symbol of God. Make all others secondary.

The Hare Krishnas are the most well-known for Bhakti Yoga.  Their group worship consists of singing and dancing.  The musician sings a round of the chant, which is in Sanskrit (the sacred language of India — think of Latin in Europe), and the congregation repeats it.

Typically this begins with the congregation half-singing, half mumbling the chant — just like Christians singing hymns in church — but they get more and more into it, more and more worked up, like teenagers at a pep rally.

Individual worship may consist of chanting, reading the Bhagavad-Gita, saying rosaries, or so forth.

The purpose of all this is to get the person worked up and emotionally involved with the diety.  The Hare Krishnas have the goal of so fixating on their desire to be with God that they are totally focused on this at the time of their death.  The name of this mental state is “Krishna consciousness” and the effect is to ensure that they go to Krishna in the after-life.

Hindus often regard Christianity as a kind of Bhakti yoga.  Christ said that the most important commandment is to love God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your being.  He also said that the second commandment, which is like the first, is to love humanity in the same way. More

End of the 7 Sets Series

Unlike the movies, you usually don’t get a box car. You snuggle in between a container and the lip of the car’s chassis, in the gap between the chassis frame and the container doors. It’s very dangerous — you can get killed. It’s also very illegal.

I hope this series has benefited you by presenting a hypnotherapist’s practical approach to the Buddha’s core teaching.

I consider the 7 Sets to be the Buddha’s core teaching.  To study the 7 Sets was useful to me because it is highly applied and specific.  The 7 Sets teaching is far more structured and nuanced than the “just mindfulness” or “just letting go” stuff that tends to circulate in his name.

I believe a hypnotist’s point of view is helpful because it looks to me like the Buddha did not exactly teach philosophy.  He taught how to cultivate selflessness to the point that it becomes possible to magically transcend the limitations that we, as embodied humans, implicitly assume are integral to consciousness.

The joy and delight in this work is that it makes one useful for humanity, and for all sentient beings.  I believe in enlightenment — in real enlightenment, that adorns Buddhalands, that dwells in Nirvana, and that provides a true release from the conditional existence that spurs suffering.

The Buddha did not teach “everyday enlightenment.”  He did not teach mood management.  I’m a pretty good hypnotist — I know mood management when I see it.  Mood management, everyday enlightenment, just letting go, and the quirky philosophy that compares Buddhism to quantum mechanics are all fine as far as they go.  But I do not believe they are the gift of the Buddha, and I believe the gift of the Buddha is transcendently valuable. More

God’s Love Is Unconditional

 

God’s love for humanity is unconditional.  We’re his children.  He does not love me more than you.  He does not love Jesus more than Hitler, does not love you less than Jesus or the Buddha.  God is well pleased with Jesus, and doubtless he is displeased with Hitler.  This is because of how they related to God’s other children.

In cultivating unconditional love for humanity, I am seeking to make myself more Godlike.  I did not understand that until I was well on my way.  I just decided it was what I wanted to do, not for religious reasons.  In fact, I was an atheist at the time.

I don’t think much of sympathy.  I live in a sleeping bag under a tarp.  I break into out of the way places when it rains sometimes. Sometimes when I beg for money people see me and flinch and look away, because seeing a beggar makes them feel pain.  I myself do not hurt. I don’t feel pain at begging for money and it doesn’t harm me.  I kind of want to tell them I’m doing fine and there’s no reason for them to hurt, but it’s a long conversation.

I talked to a Christian woman once who felt pain at the thought of the damned.  She cried while she talked to me.  I told her the same thing I’d like to tell those people who flinch when they see me and look away:

Sympathy is an inherently evil emotion.  Get rid of it.  Cultivate compassion instead.  It’s much better, much stronger stuff.

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