This is the final stage of pratyahar practice. This is where the difference of opinion and the challenges put on by the adjuncts of the individual psyche are settled to a greater degree.
Pratyahar in its elementary practice is the withdrawal from physical interest. This happens by learning how to pull back the interest of the senses during meditation and at other times. However, this elementary practice is not sufficient for the purpose of inSelf Yoga™.
In the final stages of this pratyahar which is the fifth stage in the eight stage Patanjali ashtanga yoga, there is no concern with what happens in the physical world. There is no attempt to withdraw the senses from physical interest. In fact, that practice is regarded as a near waste of time.
Of course, it is not a waste for those who are beginners. It is necessary and important for them but in the advanced levels one sees that it is not the problem. It is not the flesh of the antelope which the tiger eats. The real concern is the interest in that eating process. If the tiger ate and lost interest then the eating would be of little consequence. The problem lies in the interest not in the physical acts which completes or mimics the interest.
Some think that there is a contradiction or betrayal when they are told about this, feeling that the lack of stress on physical acts which completes an interested, is just as important or is more important than the interest. These persons have yet to understand the practice.
In the Mahabharat, Yudhishthira was once told about the Vyadha brahmin who sold flesh. This person was deviant on the physical level but was compliant on the psychological angle in terms of having no interest.
In advanced meditation there should come a time when it is evident that the senses can fold in from their interest in the physical and astral existences. Then the yogi should report on the posture of each sense. It should not be assumed that each sense folded in fully. In fact, it is rare that each sense will totally fold in. Usually one or two or three of the senses may fold in completely while the remaining one, two or three of a total of five senses, remain with interest, either in an alert or disinterested attitude. The yogi should note this.
He must also know how the senses are linked to the coreSelf.
Are they linked directly?
Does the core exhibit any sense(s) of its own?
An example is a meditation which I did recently on June 13, 2020. In that mediation I remembered a session from a week prior when the visual sense shut completely like a high security door. It completely shut as if it was closed forever, as if there would be no vision on any level to anything outside the psyche. In this usage the psyche is the compartment of mind, the head of the subtle body, but without feeling limbs extending from that form.
After recalling this complete closure of the visual sense, I checked the condition of the five senses in their immediate expressions in the psyche. This was the situation.
- The hearing sense grasp the naad sound resonance at the right back of the subtle head
- The visual sense grasps the scattered micro lights in a dense but living darkness in the subtle head.
- The touching sense grasp the feelings which were in the psyche. These feelings were neutral without distinction.
The two other senses were absent like sleeping sentries who slept while on duty.
- The smelling sense was curled in sleep in the area of the nostrils. It resembled a dog curled and fast asleep.
- The tasting sense was in the form of a hair like protrusion in a relaxed condition lacking alertness and sensitivity.
This is an indication that one must prepare to endeavor with the visual, hearing and touching senses to bring these to quietude. That will give the opportunity to examine the coreSelf when it is not engaged with any of five senses.
In this meditation I checked for the senses of the coreSelf and found only one sense as its expression. This sense seems to be one which can be described only through its function which is pursuit of events. These are sensation events of various types. Some are complex. Some are simple.
This one sense of the core, links to the intellect which in turn links to one or more of the five senses and gains through that connection information about events. This causes the core to be influenced and prejudiced by the sense data according to the circumstance encountered.
This is a sensual energy pratyahar practice but it has nothing to do with what happens in the physical world or even in the astral world. It is totally an inPsyche concern. It is an affair between the coreSelf and its adjuncts.