keeping it simple
What’s so special about yoga? Nothing really … if the entire pageant of yogic practice across the centuries has any claim to fame it simply rests in being the smartest medicine on the block. Without any doubt, life towers far above, all human understanding—however insightful and well-intentioned. Yoga just addresses a bigger cut of the cosmic pie, so to speak. Health spans all dimensions of our being from the physical through to the spiritual. Yoga provides nifty ways to harmonize aberrant patterns across this spectrum. All other medicines take on a more circumscribed challenge. Some traditional eastern medicines acknowledge and attempt treatment of the more numinous, psychic and spiritual dimensions of human experience but only the advanced practices of yogic and related esoteric systems carry real weight. If you’re looking for real clout to fix your problems then yoga is your pal … your best pal.
There are lots of yoga systems to choose from—Kuṇḍalinī yoga, Rāja yoga, Kriyā yoga, Tibetan Buddhism, Daoism, it's endless. Which ones work best? They all do—within specific contexts. Every yogic tradition aims for spiritual mastery and provides many tools and a defined path toward Light. Yet each comes from a specific cultural milieu and thereby seasons the broth, so to speak. Each tradition, while addressing the entire spiritual path, yet emphasizes certain aspects and marginalizes others. It's natural and no big deal but you need to understand this in order to appreciate what's on tap and what's missing from all the offerings.
Neidan yoga distills the essentials of Indian, Tibetan and Daoist yoga into practical guidelines for an integrated yoga practice that combines the best of modern energy medicine with profound metaphysical truths already well-established thousands of years ago. Consider the perennial challenge for all meditators: maintaining a stable, clear and compassionate focus. All three traditions achieve this aim but emphasize slightly different treks through the forest.
So, whether you follow Tibetan teachings or mostly utilize Daoist methods or find Hindu yoga more to your liking or take another esoteric path altogether, the end is the same and, really, the path is pretty much the same as well. This notion is not without precedent as many of the most magnificent and gracious spiritual masters have attested to the fundamental commonality of all practical spiritual traditions. For instance, the great Tibetan yoga adept, Kalu Rinpoche, used to advise his staunchly Christian western students just to substitute an appropriate Christian icon in place of the usual Tibetan one taught for certain meditations. Thus, a western monk might be doing a Tibetan visualization practice but be imagining Christ in place of Avalokiteśvara. The same idea holds here for you. If you have another tradition, please accept my apology but you can just substitute your own set of deities, liturgy and rituals as appropriate. The principles advanced on these pages reign supreme and apply across all yoga and metaphysical traditions. The implementation of these principles resides in cultural baggage and can be interchanged with minimal effect.