Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Siddhis: The Power of Rapid Cognition

In 1983 an art dealer approached the J. Paul Getty museum in California about buying a kouros, a marble statue dating from the 6th century BCE. Only 200 are known to be in existence and this one was a beautiful piece depicting a male, nude youth standing over 7 feet tall. The asking price was 10 million. The Getty moved cautiously and over the next 14 months put the statue through a battery of tests before finally agreeing to purchase the kouros for the asking price. When the museum unveiled their new prize, a handful of art historians felt something was not quite right with the statue. One said that he could not stop looking at the fingernails, sensing something was wrong. One said that the first word that popped into his mind when seeing the kouros was "fresh", not a word that would normally describe a statue that was thousands of years old. And one female art historian's first words were "I hope you have not paid for this yet."
The Getty then began to dig deeper into the statue's provenance and the first rock solid proof of inconsistencies was found. Ultimately the museum discovered that the kouros was indeed a fake and that despite their arduous work, they had been fooled.
The art historians who knew something was wrong could not logically say why they knew what they knew. Most said it was just a hunch. This is an example of rapid cognition- the act of knowing without thinking- gaining access to large quantities of information in a glance, in the blink of an eye.
My son recently said to me that Yoga is like any good video game, that you get cool things as you move through the levels. The Siddhis are the cool things that you get as you move through the levels of Yoga. The Siddhis, or psychic powers, are listed in chapter 3 of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The list is long and magical with out of this world possibilities for human development and achievement. One of the possible psychic abilities that it speaks of is the power of rapid cognition. Specifically the sutra states that if we can look at anything with sufficient concentration and focus that we will know everything there is to know about that object. The little mind gains access to Big Mind and just like when we go online with our computers, our single hard drive now is connected to all the hard drives on the web. Through the cultivation of concentration, we gain access to the cosmic hard drive and draw then from an enormous amount of information, the primordial pool of intelligence.
In a Yoga practice of asana, pranayama and meditation, we cultivate concentration on a regular basis and the object we study is us. Our bodies, our breath,our personalities, habits, beliefs, quirks and eccentricities. When sufficient concentration develops, our secrets are discovered. If you want to know which diet and foods are best for you, study yourself. If you want to know which career you are best suited for, study yourself. If you want to know the cause of an illness, study yourself. Over time, the answers come.
Be truthful with yourself. When you are truthful with yourself you start to see everything as it is, not the way you want to see it. The wounds in your emotional body are covered by the denial system. When you look at your wounds with the eye of truth, you can finally heal those wounds.
Don Miguel Ruiz
Pranams to Malcolm Gladwell, author of an amazing book on rapid cognition called Blink.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bliss Yoga Shala 300 Hour Professional Level Yoga Teacher Training

Early Bird Rate for our 300 Hour Professional Level Yoga Teacher Training and Mentorship Program is:
$3800 if paid in full by Feb. 15, 2011

For more information about this amazing program or to register, please go to