Inner Joy and the Orbital Lift

Inner Joy and the Orbital Lift

The Orbital Lift is key to regarding life with amusement, and staying positive. It lifts your spirits, keeps you joyous, and produces radiant magnetism!

There is a lot of material here. It takes time to digest it. For me, it took more than 16 weeks for the deeper understandings to emerge. So I recommend printing out this article and reading a section or two a week.
Put a checkmark next to sections you’ve read, or keep you place with a post-it or paper clip. And put it somewhere you won’t forget! (If you have to keep moving it so it stays on top of the pile, so much the better! It’s a good reminder.)

How I Learned It

I learned the technique in a Raja Yoga program I took at the Ananda center, in Palo Alto, CA. Like other versions of Yoga, this one included the instruction to “gaze at your third eye”, however the book written by Swami Kriyananda was good enough to explain that the intended action is not what it sounds like. (I’ll give the quotes later.)

That book explained how it should really be done! Once I understood how to do it, I began to appreciate its true value — so I immediately gave it a more descriptive name. (In the course of my life I have often found that “re-labeling” is the key to learning something new. It is amazing how often simple concepts are cluttered up by inaccurate or misleading terminology!)

Of course, all of the instructors kept using the outdated, outmoded, and incredibly misleading terminology. Being a writer by trade and a usability engineer at heart, I immediately re-labeled the technique so it had a descriptive name. For the rest of the course, whenever the instructors said “gaze at the third eye”, I immediately translated what they said in my head. And following those directions produced fantastic results.

A Quick Introduction

The key to understanding the technique is in the name: Orbital as in “eye”, and Lift as in “lift upward”. It’s not about looking anywhere in particular, or focusing on anything in particular. It is a simple, internal muscular action where you lift your eyes upward.

You can be looking straight ahead or down. You can be focusing on the screen in front of you, a car down the road, or on a distant mountain. It makes no difference. What makes a difference is lifting your eyes upward. As Kriyananda notes in his book: “as though lifting them into their upper sockets”.

But I would go one further: It is exactly the action of lifting your eyes into their upper sockets.

The remainder of this post extracts material from a series of write ups  on the 16 sessions in the Raja Yoga program. It also adds a few things. But in the main it describes the  discoveries that came about as a result of using this mind-bending, heart-opening, joy-inducing technique.

Session #1: Lift the Eyes!

This was my initial introduction to the idea that “gaze at your third eye” does not mean exactly what it says. It was the foundation for the discovery I re-christened as the “Orbital Lift”. That is the subject of the next section. But these observations laid the groundwork…

In the meditation session, I got some of the best advice I’ve ever received: With your eyes closed, lift your gaze as though you’re looking at the top of a far away mountain. (That, it turns out, is what the Yoga texts really mean when they say to “gaze at the third eye”.)

It’s so simple, so innocuous. But the effect it has on me is electric. It’s much easier than the standard Yoga injunction to focus your gaze on your third eye. (That’s something like trying to touch your nose with your tongue.) But when I do it, I feel my entire “inner skull” lifting up, inside my head. And I get very happy.

That may be something primal — something that is part of our nature — where “looking up” immediately induces feelings of respect, awe, love, and admiration. That’s why we say we “look up” to someone — and why every smart teacher teaches from an elevated position! (Just the fact that people are looking up at you makes them respect you more, and pay attention to what you’re saying!) It would also explain why a church pulpit is so high.

On a more personal level, lifting my eyes brings back my experience of making a connection with Babaji. That time, the injunction was, Turn around! Go up!, where “turning around” means inwardly turning your gaze towards the back of your head, and then looking (or going) upward. (More on that in a bit.)

But it seems that doing things in the reverse order, works as well! Here I was lifting my gaze to “go up”. (Whether the turning is actually necessary, I’m not yet sure. But lifting my gaze sure as heck renewed my connection, and brought a smile to my face!)

8 Sep: Next day. Played golf, and tried to maintain focus on keeping my eyes lifted. Guess what? My swing was way off after a long layoff, so I played horridly — but I really enjoyed myself! (Decidedly not my typical reaction, when my swing is off.) So that one simple technique kept me positive and happy throughout the round, regardlessof how my swing was working. (And after a while, I began to get my swing back. That was cool, too. But much less important than my internal state!)

13 Sep: Had a call from an annoying telemarketer. A scam artist, really, trying to give me money from “the government”. Started yelling at him. Then lifted my eyes, and my attitude changed! I started telling him that he was better this, asking him why he didn’t find some positive purpose that actually helps people, and saying I knew he could do it. Yelled that, too. But I was yelling with love, and I felt good about it!

Session #2: Orbital Lift and the Inner Smile

Inner Smile

The meditation session tonight included a mention of the Inner Smile — the technique I first heard about in my Ipsalu training. I love that technique. It brought a smile, just to hear it. :__)

For those that haven’t heard of it before, it’s a “Mona Lisa” smile. Jan Robinson described it as “a smile that wraps around to the back of your head”, opening the Mouth of God (the portal at the base of the skull) in the process.

Orbital Lift!

The talk this evening was an introduction to meditation. It was a really great introduction, too. I found myself realizing that when I begin teaching, there are many details I could easily overlook! So I was impressed by the thorough introduction to the physical mechanics (how to sit, where, when, with whom). The session concluded with Hong Sau meditation (more on that below).

This time, rather than “lifting the eyes as though looking at the top of a far mountain”, the injunction was to “focus your gaze on the 3rd eye”. But for me, the first instruction is much more effective!

When I attempt to focus my gaze on my third eye, my eyes roll up and in — so I get a little cross-eyed! I feel an uncomfortable tension in the eyeballs. Looking at the top of a distant mountain avoids the discomfort, but even that instruction is a little off the mark. (Which may explain why the friend I told to didn’t “get it”, when she tried it.)

What I’m really feeling when I “lift my eyes”, is some sort of internal muscle above and at the back of the eyes, lifting them upward. It’s not so much that I’m focusing on anything with my eyes (although there is a bit of that, and the far away mountain does help). It’s rather that my eyes are lifting upwards in their sockets.

I’ll keep on working to describe it, until I can teach it effectively. Because to me, it is a life-changer. It’s so powerful, in fact, that I gave it a name: The Orbital Lift. It’s a pathway to positive energy and to staying positive regardless of circumstances, the likes of which I’ve never experienced before. (And I find that internal Orbital Lift leads naturally to the Inner Smile!)

Of course, my reactions is partly because that particular movement reminds me of “magical moments” I’ve had in the past. But if that’s how it works, fine! One shining moment leads to the next, and the next, like a string of pearls. It’s a way of reconnecting with past growth, and expanding on it. If that’s all it is, it’s enough — but somehow, I think it is more. :__)

Most of what follows records the insights that continued to evolve in subsequent weeks…

Week #3: Yoga Paths and Cobra Breath

Continuing insights in the 3rd week….

Orbital Lift — for All Three of the Major Yoga Paths!

As was pointed out in the book and in the talk, it’s not that there are several different kinds of Yoga. Rather, there are multiple aspects of one Yoga — the Yoga of union (yoke) with inner spirit / higher consciousness /god.

Interestingly, the simple act of lifting the eyes activates all three major branches described in the 3rd session:

  • Bhakti – The “soul uplift” that accompanies the raised eyes awakens an inner sense of love and devotion — so our actions are motivated more by god-consciousnesses than by selfish concerns.
  • Jnana – The soul uplift leads to inner connection and insight, helping us to choose wisely.
  • Karma – The soul uplift and connection allows one to “become the cue”, so to speak — to become the instrument of action, rather than the performer of the action, performing to the best of our ability, without attachment to results. (The same attitude with which Zen Archery is supposed to be performed, interestingly enough.)

As an additional insight, I would add that Jnana Yoga in the sense of “inner connection” or “inner wisdom” (from on high) is necessary to discern right action in the moment — but Jnana Yoga in the sense of knowledge (as in Vedanta) is also necessary.

To take my experience in the pool tournament as an example, I had my eyes lifted, so I was connected and enjoying the experience, but I didn’t know enough to treat the situation as an opportunity to practice Karma Yoga!

Cobra Breath + Orbital Lift!

If you have been initiated into a Cobra Breath technique, such as the one taught in Ipsalu Tantra Level One, or a similar Kriya Yoga tradition that doesn’t include the Orbital Lift in its curriculum, then let me suggest doing the Orbital Lift just before the Inner Smile! (I think you’ll find it quite effective.)

Note to others: 
I’m sorry that I can’t be more descriptive! But Cobra Breath is passed down by word of mouth, from teacher to student. It is never written down. It has been so for ages. The good news is that, because it is passed down that way, you can trace your lineage through a sequence of recognized teachers, back to the source of the technique you learned. (As it happens, I have been called to teach a variation on the technique that has come to me in meditation. The time is not yet ripe for that — but it is drawing near!)

Week #4: Orbital Lift to the Rescue!

One of my missions this week was to fix a broken toilet. Got the parts on Monday, and began the repair process. Like all such matters, doing a little at a time makes it easier. (There is another bathroom in the house, so doing that wasn’t a problem.)

As always, when doing mechanical tasks like, I dropped tools, got things slightly wrong, and had to take things apart to fix them, and had problems getting some things to fit. The directions left a bit to be desired, as well, so after doing one thing, I kept finding that it would have made more sense to do something else first!

For me, that is a recipe for frustration! When enough of it mounts, it leads to swearing and throwing things. But this time, the Orbital Lift came to my rescue. Immediately, I felt more positive and cheerful. The problems were still there, and needed to be solved. But they didn’t impact me the way that a succession of mechanical problems have always done in the past.

That was pretty cool.

It came to my rescue the next morning, as well. I was waking up for a dream where I was about a car length from the vehicle in front of me, heading for the exit, and another car shot into the gap to take that exit — even though there was about a mile of empty space behind me!

That happens a lot, out here in Silicon Valley. And it drives me nuts. Driving in Silicon Valley is more like driving in New York than it is like driving most anywhere else in California, with the possible exception of L.A. But I guess it affected me even more than I realized, because here I was waking up from a dream about it!

But because I was just waking up, and was in a semi-conscious state, I did the Orbital Lift without even thinking about it. Voila! I could marvel at the insanity, and laugh at the idiocy, without getting all mad and upset. Very cool!

Week #11: More Discoveries

Impact of Different Orbital Lift Directions

This week I got a better sense of the impact of the different Orbital Lift directions:

  • Forward — Spirit
    Lifting forward seems to be the most “spiritual” of the lifts. I notice feelings of love and adoration when I do that. I also get a sense of a child breastfeeding, looking up his mother with the same sense of love, adoration, and gratitude. So I’m sensing that we are hardwired for that kind of response. I also had the sense of being a child in school, sitting at a small desk and looking up at a teacher who, in a sense, was also “feeding” me. Similarly, preachers stand at a pulpit, while performers and lecturers take the stage.
  • Center — Mind/Emotion
    This direction seems to be quite literally the most “centering” of the lifts. It provides emotional balance and equanimity (a desirable Yogic trait.) It’s a way of detaching from the situation — whether positive or negative — so it doesn’t bring you down or inflate your ego. As described in several of these missives, it’s an antidote that turns frustration, anger, and other negative emotions into something more akin to bemusement. (And it seems to work for strong praise, as well! (more below)
  • Rear — Body
    Lifting the eyes up and back feels like it promotes a very physical kind of detachment. In Scientology, they used to say, “Be above and behind your head”, or words to that effect. They called it being exterior — as in no longer being identified with the body, and gaining a 360-degree field of perception. From the standpoint of meditation, it feels like a great way to invite your guru, saint, or god to sit behind the wheel. It’s like you’re saying, “Please take over, drive the car for a while, and show me the best way to operate this thing.”

Orbital Lift for Praise!

Had a couple of occasions where my activities were praised. The Orbital Lift helped to keep it all in perspective, so it didn’t go to my head. It really is an emotionally balancing practice!

With the Orbital Lift you can accept the praise, but at the same detach from it and watch it flow by. That’s important for the person giving it. It means the praise they tried to communicate was delivered! But it means that as the recipient, you don’t have to choose between accepting it, taking it to heart, and risking an inflated ego, or deflecting it to prevent that, which has the unfortunate effect of short-circuiting the energy flow the other person is generating, and appearing ungrateful or undeserving in the process!

Week #13: The Heart Lift

As I was meditating, it occurred to me wonder if, like the Orbital Lift and the Perineal Lift, there was also a Heart Lift. I looked for it, and think I found it!

I feel it as an upward and outward pull in the chest cavity. Like the Orbital Lift and Subtle Perineal Lift, there is a mild physical sensation of a muscle in action, but little outward movement. It is accompanied by feelings of love and devotion, too, like a child looking up to its mother.

I note, too, that the existence of the Heart Lift fills a gap in the Sacred Rule of 3, adding a third “lift” to the series.

It also seems that like the other chakras, it may be possible to lift the heart in one of three directions: up and forward, straight up, or up and backward.

I feel the “up and forward” direction most strongly, at the moment. But there is plenty of room for experimentation! If each of the three major chakras can be lifted in three ways, there are 3x3x3 combinations! (21 of them!).

It is also possible that those “directional lifts” apply to all of the other chakras, as well. That’s too many combinations to contemplate at the moment, though. I’m satisfied with the three lifts that correspond to the 3 major chakras, and the 3 corresponding granthis!

Week #14: The REAL Directions

It turns out that the Raja Yoga book says things rather nicely, on page 156 (with emphasis added):

When you sit for meditation, look up toward the point between the eyebrows. I don’t mean to cross your eyes, but only to direct your gaze upwards, focusing them at a point no closer than your thumb when held at arm’s length from your body. You might think of the eyes as being situated only in the upper part of their sockets.

That last part is particularly instructive: “Think of the eyes as being situated only in the upper part of their sockets.” That is huge! Because that is the Orbital Lift. That’s something I missed, the first 10 times I read it, but it is completely and utterly descriptive.

Note too, that when your “eyes are in the upper part of their sockets”, it doesn’t matter which way they’re pointed, or how far the cornea is tensed to establish the point of focus. What matters is that the eyes are in the upper part of their sockets!

And that is the Orbital Lift.

So instructions to “focus at the point between the eyebrows” are, to my mind, sadly misleading!

Week #15: The Orbital Lift at Work

Began doing some part time work for my old boss, on his latest project. (Writing technical docs — something I’m pretty good at it.)

The energy sensation and positive energy was incredible. Multiple things came together to make it happen:

  • The people
    The people there are terrific — something I was only partially aware of, before. But the energy we generated together and shared was fantastic. Lots of clever observations and laughter.

    • It’s still in start-up mode, so furnishings are Spartan. I set up a table in the corner and put my laptop on it. So Amit commented I had a “corner office” — all the more funny since a week earlier I had shared a story about how managed to snag a corner cubicle in other company. (The only cubicle available was the one they designated as the “library”, so no one was overly favored. I was the first in and the last to leave for three months straight, until everyone got used to the fact that the office was “mine”!)
    • I brought in coconut oil to put in my coffee. When asked why, I said it was because it was healthy. One of the folks there (all of whom are from India) said that I was like Columbus — when I was born, I was looking for India, but got lost!
    • And like that. Just good fun and laughter.
  • Orbital Lift
    • I was able to roll with those people and join in laughter — even if directed at me. The energy I was generating was strong, and magnetic.
  • Self Image
    • I was doing what I was doing, and it was good to be doing that. I wasn’t suffering, wishing I was working on my Yoga book or one of my other books.
    • Instead, I spent an hour writing before I left for work, which meant I had taken a step towards my ultimategoal. But like, Shanti said, when you know that you already are the person you so want to be, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing. (For more, see the Anti-Procrastination Protocol and the Personal Change Program.)
  • The Time
    • I’m doing it as a part-time gig, so I didn’t have to rush to get there, and knew I didn’t have to stay all day.
    • That gave me the time to get the sleep I needed before getting up, and time to do the most important writing of the day before I left. And I knew that I wouldn’t be exhausted when I left — that I would have the energy for another meditation session in the evening, to clear my brain of the day’s work and study a bit, to set up my awareness for the following day.
  • Karma Yoga
    • In addition, what I was doing was an act of service. I was helping him to get his company off the ground, and helping everyone associated with the project.
    • I went in with the goal of generating the same positive, helpful energy I generate when helping to set up for the Raja Yoga sessions at Ananda—a state of mind I learned from my martial arts master and Great Grandmaster, Dr. Tae Yun Kim.
  • Hot Water, Coconut Oil, and Honey
    • Late in the day, when I started getting tired, I needed to take a break and have a pick-me-up. It was too late for coffee, though. So I had a bit of honey and coconut oil in a cup of hot water.
    • It was spectacularly energizing, with zero caffeine!

In short, the energy-experience of being at work was awesome. I had the stress-relief of knowing I was generating a bit of income, without any of the negativity associated with “having to work”.  (Even after I needed to ask several questions, and after several possible ideas turned out to be inappropriate for this particular project. That didn’t matter at all — unlike in the past. Instead, my only goal was to make sure I was doing what really needed to be done!)

So when I left, I not only wasn’t tired, I was energized.

Week #16: The World Needs the Orbital Lift

As we go back in history looking for where healing energy could have prevented the horrible events that eventually transpired, it’s possible that we could have forestalled the interactions and situations that resulted in the corruption of the human spirit.

One can imagine small corruptions, at first, gradually growing from generation to generation, until there were enough people willing to do an evil person’s bidding that pure evil could result.

As I write, I am mentally translating “evil” into “someone in desperate need of massive amounts of healing energy”. And I’m sending it, as I write!

But here’s the thing: As I wrote after the 4th Raja Yoga sequence, the Orbital Lift Comes to the Rescue when you’re frustrated or angry. And as I’ve written here, eventually it leads to real liberation.

It’s also an antidote for the ego-centrism that can result from praise and adulation. In short, whatever situation you find yourself in, and lifts you out of it and brings you closer to the Divine essence of All.

But it all starts with the Orbital Lift — something that is so easy to do, it can be throughout the day, in every situation, all day long.

But hardly anyone knows about it! By rights, the technique would be taught in every Sunday school, Synagogue, and Mosque. It would taught as part of every high school curriculum, and in every trade school in the country.

I mean, it takes like, minutes to learn. Yet it is extremely powerful. Had it been taught throughout history, who knows where we would be today?

So why wasn’t? Well, turns it was — sort of. The Raja Yoga tradition has been teaching it for at least a couple of millennia. Maybe even 10 of them (1o thousand years). But the language they’ve been using has been so misleading that the world has been effectively deprived of the technique.

What Yoga tradition has taught as “focus at the point between the eyebrows” is so far off the mark as to be effectively useless. It’s a great reminder for someone who already knows what they should do, but it is entirely misleading for anyone who hasn’t been taught, or who has forgotten what they learned.

My hope is that with a new name (the Orbital Lift), and clear instruction, it can begin to radiate through society and make a difference in the world!

Summary: Orbital Lift – It’s not about the focus, but the lift!

This section is pretty much a summary of what has come before. It’s extracted from the Raja Yoga Enhancements paper I wrote, to help prospective participants get as much from the program as I did. (The program covers a wealth of awesome material, with only a few flaws. The paper is intended to rectify the few flaws, to help participants experience the beauty and majesty of the program. More on that below. Here are my notes on the Orbital Lift…

  • The idea of “gazing at the third eye” is an ancient tradition. But as commonly instructed, it makes you go cross-eyed! Naturally, no one does it.
  • Even the somewhat better instruction, “focus at the point between the eyebrows”, is misleading enough for most people to miss the point entirely.
  • The very first class gave me one great tip: Lift your eyes as though looking at the top of a faraway mountain.
  • Kriyananda’s book gave me another: The actual focus point is “in front of the forehead, at arm’s length”. (The full quote is reproduced below.)
  • Interestingly, that is the same angle you would use to gaze at the top of a distant mountain!
  • The important point is that it is not about where you focus your eyes, or even what direction they’re pointed. The more important part is lifting them.
  • Now, granted, that three-foot focus is pretty powerful. It quite nicely induces a focus on “spiritual connection”. There are physiological reasons for that, I think. But the fact is that you can’t very well go about your day looking at that spot! You’d run into a lot of doors.
  • You can, however, lift your eyes—throughout the day.
  • By “lifting”, I mean a slight contraction of the muscles above the eyes, as though you were pulling them upward.
  • That technique is something I learned the very first day, and to say it is powerful is an understatement. It’s an antidote for depression, frustration, and every negative situation we encounter in our lives. It takes us up and out of ourselves and our circumstances, and moves us in the direction of divinity. And it’s something you can do all day long, regardless of what you’re engaged in.
  • However, it is important to note that the technique I discovered was an interpolation from things taught in the class, rather than a direct application of what I was taught.
  • My suggestion then, is that the whole idea of “gazing at the 3rd eye” (or gazing anywhere for that matter), should be augmented with the idea of “lifting the eyes”, without changing their focus, or even the direction they are looking!
  • The actual 3rd eye gaze may still be useful in meditation (although for myself, I find that it tends to produce a headache). But the simple “lift” is something that can be done all day long to produce a more positive state of being throughout the day. (And, as the book suggests, it invites kundalini upwards. That doesn’t hurt!)
  • Swami Kriyananda’s Raja Yoga book says it particularly well, on page 156. Here it is (with emphasis added):
    • When you sit for meditation, look up toward the point between the eyebrows. I
      don’t mean to cross your eyes, but only to direct your gaze upwards, focusing them
      at a point no closer than your thumb when held at arm’s length from your body.
      You might think of the eyes as being situated only in the upper part of their
  • That last part is particularly instructive: “Think of the eyes as being situated only in
    the upper part of their sockets.” That is huge! Because that is the Orbital Lift. That’s
    something I missed, the first 10 times I read it, but it is utterly descriptive.
  • Note too, that when your “eyes are in the upper part of their sockets”, it doesn’t
    matter which way they’re pointed, or how far the cornea is tensed to establish the
    point of focus. What matters is that the eyes are in the upper part of their sockets!
  • That is the most important part of the instruction, and that is the Orbital Lift.

Note, too, that on p. 156, Kriyananda also says:

As you meditate, focus every perception at the point between the eyebrows.
(Actually, of course, the frontal point of the brain that you should stimulate
by concentration is behind the bone.)

Unfortunately, the passage is another example of “When I say this, I actually mean that. So when you hear me say this, what you actually need to do is that.”

He is in good company when he does that of course. The technique has been taught in that manner for literally thousands of years. And for that same period of time, I would argue, the majority of humanity has been misled!

Bonus Section: Healing Broadcasts

This section contains an excerpt from my upcoming book. It’s something else I picked up from the Raja Yoga program, so I’m including it here. When things really get you down, this is your “go to” move. It all starts with what I learned in Session #16.

Week #16 Note: Healing Broadcasts

Driving home Friday night, I found myself repeatedly broadcasting healing energy. It started with some of those folks who “can’t drive”. You know, the ones that frustrate you. I was giving them healing energy as I became aware of them, and after they were gone (which lifted me up, for sure, and hopefully helped them).

Then I saw a police car with lights flashing in a parking lot. I radiated healing energy the officer’s way, and broadcast to whoever was involved in the situation he was addressing.

Noticing how wonderful I felt, I realized that by generating healing energy and sending it to the recipients’ medulla, I felt like I was doing something in such situations, rather than merely passing by and feeling guilty, or concerned, or whatever. So it’s clearly something that can be done when encountering yet another panhandler (who have at times been observed riding away in expensive cars — but you never really know).

In sense, the process was one of “bestowing blessings”. Of giving, in a way that felt real to me, at least. And that, in turn, created a powerful sense of detachment. Driving on, I was content and serene, not attached to the situation in any way.

Week #16 Note: Completing the Healing Circuit

If healing energy is flowing from my third eye to someone’s medulla, and at the same time they are flowing it from their third eye back to my medulla, how could that be described as something other than a total connection, or love?

And if there are multiple chakras capable of giving and receiving energy through the fifth dimension (not the least of which are the heart and kunda!), then I suspect that becomes total union between two people, which also unites them with God.

That’s the ultimate goal of Tantric union, after all. Perhaps the generation of “healing energy” is the way to get there.

Book Excerpt: Healing Broadcasts

This one came to me after the night of Raja Yoga practices where we focused on broadcasting healing energy from the 3rd eye.

It is a principle of Raja Yoga that healing energy is received through the medulla. If that sounds familiar, it’s because that area is also known as the “Mouth of God”—the place where God’s energy enters the body.

So when you are doing a healing practice, you are actually inviting/directing/calling for the energy of god, the universe, and all-that-is to send that much greater energy, and to do the healing.

Driving down the road one day, I saw a police car pulled over next to an accident. There wasn’t anything I could do physically, but the one thing I could do was to send healing energy to the officer and to everyone involved.

From then on, it became my practice to broadcast healing energy to panhandlers and anyone else who looked like they might need some!

This technique has powerful effects of its own. When someone is getting you down, clearly they need healing! And while you may not actually be able to love your enemy, surely you can send some healing energy their way — if only to improve your own situation! (Surprisingly, once you do, you may discover that love follows the healing flow!)

I have to stop here. The rest of the section in the book gives a lot of details, and is much too long to include. But at this point you have learned all of the basics. It’s just a matter of putting them all together!

Enhancing Your Raja Yoga Experience

Clearly, the Orbital Lift was a gold mine — or the “motherlode”, more like. It was a blessing, pure and simple — one that I’ve used every day since to stay positive regardless of circumstances, and to experience even deeper joy when circumstances are good.

To say I got a lot out of the Raja Yoga program would therefore be a massive understatement. And the Orbital Lift was only one of the discoveries to come out of it. But one reason it was so beneficial lay in the many years I spent training with a martial arts master in the south San Francisco Bay, and my previous experience with Ipsalu Tantra Kriya Yoga .

Those practices prepared the ground, in a big way. But everyone I’ve taught the Orbital Lift to has found it to be helpful, so it’s not just a matter of background. Still, the background made it possible for me to recognize the technique for what it was, and experience its massive value.

In fact, the combination of the Tantra Yoga practices I learned through Ipsalu and the Orbital Lift and other techniques learned in Ananda‘s Raja Yoga program were so powerful that my meditation-and-asana practice took off in totally unexpected ways. I “downloaded” so many insights and ___ from the energy of the cosmos that I would up writing a book on the subject, and developed a meditation bench for the purpose!

Both of those projects are on their way to fruition, but the benefit I really want to share is that I got to where I was spending anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half in my combination practice. I found it so enjoyable that there were times I would rather do my practice than watch TV!

I found myself doing it twice a day — not because someone said I should, but because when I didn’t, I missed it! Twenty-four hours was just too long to go before taking another hit from the happiness pipe. Since then, I’ve backed off a bit, but I still meditate longer and more frequently than I did before.

(To get the most out of that class, here is the list of Enhancements and Suggestions I wrote up.)

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