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Lions Roar : July 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2008 47 TRANQUIL AND MOTIONLESS, the ascetic sits in a simple posture. As each breath flows in, he experiences its sensations, relaxing any effort to con- trol or improve anything. With each exhalation, he observes a new stream, each ripple of feeling a fresh occasion for surrender. Even so, thoughts, feel- ings, and identifying concepts repeatedly erupt, centered around the same dualistic notions: self/other, past/future, like/dislike, success/failure. Once noticed, though, they recede. The meditative path, samadhi, begins to emerge as the ascetic continues to sit. Sustained at first by intention, it sharpens until the need to train it gives way to effortless mindfulness and equanimity. Abruptly, in a timeless instant of cessation, nothing remains to obscure the unconditioned. An unshakeable realization arises: all things—mind, body, nature—may be known, but are empty of a knower. There is an ennobling security in this understanding that Hatha Raja haha Yoga’s Path to Liberation As in Buddhism, the true goal of yoga is liberation from ego and suffering. Yoga becomes a complete spiritual path, says CHIP HARTRANFT, translator of theYoga Sutra, when we join the familiar postures of hatha yoga with the meditative practices of raja yoga. ILLUSTRATION BY ERIC FIELD SOURCE:STOCKPHOTONYC/DREAMSTIME.COM JULY 46-51.indd 47 JULY 46-51.indd 47 4/25/08 11:40:02 AM 4/25/08 11:40:02 AM