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There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of books, audiotapes, videos, and even CD-ROMs and DVDs on meditation. Just a few of the most well-known presenters on the subject include Ram Dass, Jack Kornfield, Stephen Levine, Shunryu Suzuki, and Thich Nhat Hanh. Their books and tapes are widely available. In addition, many organizations, including those cited throughout Yoga for Men, publish or distribute a range of materials related to meditation.

Go to your local library or bookstore and explore its selection of books on meditation. Let your inner wisdom guide you to the resources that speak to your deepest self.

Swami Sivananda on the yoga way o

(mantra recitation) and meditation.

Take Sattwic (pure) Ahara (food). Do not overload the stomach.

Sit in Padma (lotus ) or Siddha (perfect)

asana for Japa and Dhyana (meditation).

Have a separate meditation room under lock and key.

Do charity one tenth of your income.

Study systematically one chapter Bhagavad Gita.

Preserve Veerya (the vital force). Sleep separately.

Give up smoking, intoxicating drinks, and rajasic (stimulating) food.

Fast on Ekdashi (auspicious fasting) days or live on milk and fruits only.

Observe Mowna (silence) for two hours daily and during meals also.

Speak Trush at any cost. Speak a little.

Reduce your wants. Lead a happy, contented life.

Never hurt the feelings of others. Be kind to all.

Think of the mistakes you have done (self-analysis).

Do not depend on servants. Have self-reliance.

Think of God as soon as you get up and when you go to bed.

Have always a Japa Mala (rosary) around your neck or in your pocket.

Have the motto: "Simple living and high thinking."

Serve Sadhus, Sannyasins (virtuous people) and poor and sick persons.

Keep a daily spiritual diary. Stick to your routine. 8

i Sivananda's Twenty Spiritual Instructions

Mark Donato on yoga, breath, and "being":

"When I was a boy, my family thought I had a hearing problem. What was happening was that I was deeply caught up in my creative imagination—thinking of unicorns, dolphins, and performing in movie musicals. I wasn't being present to the moment, and so I didn't hear them.

"For years, my family kept insisting that I had this hearing problem. This got very annoying because I knew that my hearing was fine. Eventually, my parents had my hearing checked by a doctor. The doctor confirmed that there were no problems.

"The sitting meditation practice I now teach has us watching our breath as a way of being in the present moment. When thoughts pop up in our heads, we label them 'thinking,' exhale, and come back to our breath. Thoughts are about the past or the future. Being in the present moment is a state of being, not of thinking.

"Now, having a creative imagination is a good thing. But yoga teaches us to be creative yet remain present at the same time. We synchronize breath and movement to balance body and mind."

—Mark Donato, a boy who grew up to be a performing artist and yoga teacher

PART VI

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