We all know that yoga is a spiritual practice with various health benefits, but the book Om Yoga and Meditation: Its Theory and Practice by Abbot George Burke uniquely touches on the spiritual power and lasting positive effects of the mantra Om. Om is sacred and removes all obstacles. “Om is the bridge to immortality,” he writes.
If you're curious about trying the mantra Om in your spiritual practice, this book is the perfect guide with theory and techniques to help you along the way.
The first chapter opens up by saying, “Yoga is all about freedom.” Then it moves into a discussion of God. Yoga is said to teach us and help us understand. Burke uses Sanskrit words, but he does provides a thorough glossary of terms and people in the back of the book.
Abbot George cites classic scriptures of India. Om is God, Om is Self, and Om is the original mantra. Om is all that is past, present, and future. Even in death, we must remember Om. These are lofty ideas, at times hard to fully grasp.
“The experience of separation from God is an illusion, but the experience of union with God is reality,” Abbot George writes. “Om is the force that impels us ever onward and upward.”
Abbot George also offers a guide on how to meditate effectively. Some of these techniques include keeping an area dedicated specifically to meditation, maintaining dim lighting, gazing upward or downward, and closing the eyes. Closing the eyes eliminates 75 percent of brain wave activity, Burke writes.
He also writes about having a yoga day where you unplug and dedicate your day to meditation. Many of his tips and techniques are useful, though the concept of meditating for three hours at a time seems daunting.
He also recommends a vegetarian diet. Ahimsa is the Sanskrit word for nonviolence, which includes not having a desire to be violent. It also includes not eating meat, for it involves the slaughter of an animal. Burke puts it best, “It is no simple thing to be a yogi.”
Abbot George references the story of the tortoise and the hare. We all know the old adage slow and steady wins the race. It was encouraging to hear that starting with fifteen or twenty minutes a day is great until you can build up to longer times. All is as it should be, for Om knows what it’s doing. “Those who persevere in their yoga practice will find unfailing and abundant happiness, peace, and fulfillment,” he writes.
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