Two short conversations with spiritual teachers Miles Neale and Isa Gucciardi.
Jagar comes from the Sanskrit root, jāgṛ, which means “to go on burning, to be awake, to be watchful and to awaken.” It refers to the first state of consciousness described in the Māṇḍukya Upaniṣad—waking (jāgrat). It’s distinguished from the two other states of the conscious mind—dreaming and deep sleep—by the quality of consciousness experienced.
Māyā: the very name conveys a sense of mystery. Cognate with the English word magic, māyā does, indeed, refer to something magical. Like magic, māyā involves the diversion of our attention from the real to the unreal, or from reality to the appearance of reality.
Illusory experience isn’t inherently problematic. The question is whether or not we can access the part of us that has some awareness of entering into or experiencing illusion. In other words, is there a part that can offer needed reality checks, helping us stay curious about an illusory experience without conviction of its veracity?
Māyā simultaneously displays the infinite attributes of the divine for our benefit while also veiling the fullness of the divine from our sight. So it is also with our own simulations, which we can develop as models of being that can help us navigate in and beyond māyā or that we can take as reality itself, thereby closing ourselves off to our own divine depths.
My understanding of illusion is that we are its source. It is our own ignorance, interacting with the reality of existence, that gives rise to illusion.
Dreams, the act of dreaming, and the elusive identities of the dreamer play a central role in the philosophy of the Yogavāsiṣṭha. Reality in this text is always virtual; nothing has fixity. The only constant is change, tempered and formed according to the principles of karma.
Yogis and scientists alike assert that the external reality we take for granted as objectively fixed and forced upon us as passive recipients is more accurately conceived of as an active mental construction that is subjectively projected by us, based on unconscious and reified mental images and verbal designations along with tacit social consensus. Literally, the world is like an illusion.
Tsongkhapa established a relationship with Manjushri through the medium, Lama Umapa, who himself had encountered Manjushri in a visionary experience that changed the course of his life. Jinpa describes this relationship in depth in this book and provides important new insights on the way in which this collaboration provided new perspectives on classic texts, including Nagarjuna’s and Atisha’s teachings.
Recognizing and embodying our interconnected wholeness within, with others, and with the world and universe around us is fundamental to the practice of iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation.
Neil is Associate Professor of South Asian Philosophy and Religious Thought at the University of Alberta.
Joakim is a PhD candidate at the University of Bergen.
Ma_y__ is Òillusion,Ó a core concept in the Advaita Ved__nta or Ònon-dualÓ school of Vedic thought.
Māyā is “illusion,” a core concept in the Advaita Vedānta or “non-dual” school of Vedic thought.
Bryant’s Bhakti Yoga opens up an area of study often overlooked by students of modern yoga in a way that makes it accessible and relevant.
If one of the marks of an effective spiritual text is its ability to challenge our assumptions, then The Lost City meets this demand.