The Natural Path (Sahaj Marg) is a system of practical training in spirituality offered by Shri Ram Chandra Mission. Sahaj Marg is a simple practice which can be integrated into even the busiest life. The system is available to anyone who wishes to practice meditation, free of any charges.
Discover the joy of meditation!We are a student organization offering a simple and natural way to promote self development among students, faculty, staff of Stanford University
Free your mindStressed with assignments, research, work, relationships? Restless and seeking some peace of mind?
Searching for the Truth?
Read on or watch a video, this might interest you......The Natural Path invites you to relax and discover the joy of meditation. Free your mind and begin to see with clarity. Learn to use the time-honored techniques to realize the truth for yourself and achieve your highest potential.
So What is This About?
What is meditation?Meditation is a simple technique used to regulate the mind. The mind is bought to bear upon a single subject, and disturbing and intruding thoughts are allowed to drop off by non-attention. Non-attention is the greatest weapon to avoid thoughts, as thoughts without human attention have no power. The mind, therefore is gently diverted to focus on a single subject.
What is the Natural Path?"Sahaj Marg", the Hindi word for "The Natural Path", is a simplified form of raja yoga (meaning “the king of all yogas”) that is suited for our daily lives. It is a practical system of meditation designed to give the direct experience of SELF realization, right here and now, in the midst of our daily situations.
Why do we need to meditate? How can it help us?In meditation the mind is trained to relax by ignoring the usual thoughts crowding the mind. This helps in overcoming the dissipation of our precious mental energy. Better concentration is an automatic by-product. Also, when we meditate the mind is better regulated. This gives us the strength to face difficulties and misfortunes. While misfortune is an external objective fact, misery is our own individual reaction to it. A well regulated mind will not give in easily to miseries.
As a bird needs two wings to fly, so a human being needs two
wings of existance, the spiritual and the material. If either is
neglected for the other, life becomes exaggerated and unnatural.
Neglect of the material existence results in dependence, and neglect of
the spiritual results in a fundamental unhappiness. Meditation helps in
creating a balance between the material and spiritual existance. Read more - why meditate?
How do I know whether the practice is helping me?Members are encouraged to keep a diary of their inner life, and most soon notice a feeling of Shanti or peace, a sense of lightness, and an awakened intuitive ability. Though these experiences are not uniform, they are common in the beginning, and many other experiences and conditions will follow.
The benefits of meditation seem attractive. But isn’t regulating the mind very difficult? How much preparation does it require?It is general misconception that meditation is complex and requires a lot of preparation. On the other hand, Sahaj Marg says that meditation is a simple thing and it does not require any preparation. In fact meditation can alone prepare the mind. It also points out the obvious: the only way we can ever learn to meditate is to start meditating!
Oops, am I joining a cult? Will I be brainwashed into buying their dogma?No. In fact, Sahaj Marg has no credos, no dogma, no tenets. It is practical and experiential in its approach, and so members are asked not to simply believe what we hear or read, but to observe what we discover within; not to trust the claims of Sahaj Marg, but to test them as thoroughly as we can. Practice is something we do, not something we ponder. Until we realize for ourselves, all the claims of any spiritual practice are only secondhand information. So read and enjoy, do and become!
Tell me more about the do's and dont's.There are no rituals in Sahaj Marg. There are no secret mantras or mudras, no arcane asanas, no special clothes, no changing of names. Really, there is nothing about Sahaj Marg to believe or disbelieve, because the practice involves direct experience. Sahaj Marg asks us not to believe, but to observe; not to trust, but to test.
What do I require to start the practice? How much do I pay?Anyone over 18 years of age who is willing to give a sincere effort is invited to start the practice. Contact us at email@example.com and we can help you schedule introductory meditation classes with a meditation trainer popularly called prefect or preceptor. There is no fee - for learning meditation or any other meditation sessions. Sahaj Marg teaches that spirituality cannot be sold any more than the air we breathe, for no one owns it.
I have a very busy schedule. How much time do I need to devote for this practice?Sahaj Marg was designed so that even the busiest person could integrate a profoundly transformative spiritual practice into his or her daily life. The daily abhyas or practice is quite simple. The abhyasi is asked to sit comfortably and meditate at the beginning of the day for at least 30 minutes, and practice cleaning in the evening for atleast 15 minutes (a meditation trainer can detail the method). Regular meditation sessions with the trainer and group meditation is strongly recommended.
I am an atheist. Must I believe in God to practice? What does Sahaj Marg say about reincarnation? Is it necessary to believe in reincarnation to do this practice?The practice of Sahaj Marg does not require a belief in God, nor does Sahaj Marg require a belief in reincarnation, since the focus of our practice is on this life, on the here-and-now. In fact, it has no credos, no dogma, no tenets. It is simple and practical in its approach. So members are asked not to blindly trust the claims of Sahaj Marg, but to test it as thoroughly as we can by doing the practice, and observing what we discover within.
I have too many bad habits to start a spiritual practice at this time. Much as I might like to, I'm afraid that I cannot leave my vices.Sahaj Marg is not for perfect people, but for those who are willing to become perfect. We all have vices which may seem horrible and special to us, but which are almost always quite commonplace. These weaknesses, inclinations, or compulsions do not disqualify us; in fact, they are the very reasons to take up a spiritual practice. In Sahaj Marg, we do not battle directly with our desires -- such an attack only makes the desires more strong, as anyone who has ever made a New Year's resolution will know. Rather than focus on our faults, in Sahaj Marg we simply make progress in the good and allow habits to drop away by themselves. There is no force, no rush. The process is quite natural and happens when the time is ripe.
I think I might like to give the system a try, but at this point I cannot promise that I will stay with it forever. Is this acceptable?Of course. The only essential requirement to begin Sahaj Marg is willingness. We encourage atleast a three month trial period to see any benefits.
I'm not sure about this "Self-Realization" stuff; I just want peace and relaxation. Is this acceptable? Are other motives acceptable in practicing Sahaj Marg? For example, can I start because I want to cure my physical illnesses? Or help overcome my depression? Or improve my career and earning potential?Remember that the goal for us is fixed in Sahaj Marg. Health benefits may result, but Sahaj Marg don't promise them. Peace, concentration results naturally, but Sahaj Marg considers nothing short of Self-realization as goal.
It is fine to begin practice with all sorts of hopes, goals, and expectations other than the ultimate goal. In time, as we evolve in our spiritual practice, our ideas of what is desirable will also evolve. Lesser goals drop away as we become aware of the real goal of our lives. Eventually as we advance we will develop the focus and single-pointedness of mind essential to success in this highest of all human quests, and will begin to understand the realms possible to the human spirit.
More about the Practice
Can I practice Sahaj Marg on my own? Why do I need a guide?Many people ask - Why do I need a guide? Those who have attempted to establish themselves independently in a long term daily rhythm of meditation may appreciate the following observation: "Serious difficulties arise when meditation is practiced independently in accordance with methods prescribed in books. One has to keep on struggling with the mind in order to suppress its unceasing activities. This continues all the time and there is practically no meditation at all, since all the time given to meditation is lost in struggling against thoughts and tendencies." Hence, in Sahaj Marg, we seek the help of a guide who acts in much the same way as an accomplished mountaineer is a guide to the inexperienced climber. He knows the terrain of the journey first-hand and is able to lead us safely, surely and expeditiously to the goal.
How does Sahaj Marg compare with other systems?It is against etiquette to rate or compare different traditions, religions, and methods. Sahaj Marg makes no claims other than it is an effective path, simple and direct, that can be tested by anyone willing to try it. Sahaj Marg cannot testify for the efficacy of other paths. However, you may want to read and understand the holistic approach of Sahaj Marg.
The content on this webpage has been taken from "Sahaj Marg Companion" and modified.