Many books have been written on the subject of Saadhana, a Sanskrit word that loosely translates as spiritual exercise. The term Saadhana is used to describe the variety of yogic practices that open the awareness of the Saadhak (the practitioner) to his True Nature, the Self.
Most people are familiar with the practice of Aasana (physical postures) referred to as Yoga. They may also know about various exercises of relaxation and concentration that are the precursors of Meditation. Then there is the practice of Meditation itself, which is truly is the cornerstone of Saadhana.
All yogic practices have the same ultimate goal: to know our Divine Nature at all times, beyond the shadow of a doubt and with every atom of our being. For this knowledge to unfold fully, a transformational shift to a different state of consciousness is necessary. The habitual human waking state is not equipped to reach the infinite space of the Self. It is restricted by the limited capacity of perception of our mind and senses.
The outer or physical yogic practices serve as preparation and purification for the body. Inner practices, as described in different scriptures, help prepare and stabilize the mind. This purification is necessary because on its own, the human mind is scattered and distracted. It constantly creates thoughts, judgments and beliefs of separation that define how we feel about ourselves and the world. The mind's perspective and scope of understanding is very limited. Through its constant movement of thoughts it creates a covering veil. Like a cloud cover that masks the sun, the mind layer has become the obstacle between our human self and our True Divine Nature.
The necessary transformation of the mind happens through the practice of Meditation. When we sit with our eyes closed, we allow the mind to settle. If we keep sitting and watching, the covering layer of thoughts and agitation eventually dissolves. What remains is the unchanging Self that exists at the back of all movement and prior to all manifestation. When we give ourselves to Meditation regularly, it becomes obvious that the Self, just like the sun on the other side of the cloud-cover, is always present. In fact, the Self is our very own being, the source of our existence and of all manifestation.
Once we recognize ourselves as the Self, Saadhana becomes simple. All that's left is to remain alert to the fact that our True Nature is, always was and always will be the Self - Pure Free Forever.
Would you like to know more about Saadhana and/or how to build or expand your own practice? Ask for a free half hour consult with Sampriya to find out how she can help you.