Ananda Marga has a comprehensive system of meditation called (As’t’aunga) Sahaj Yoga that includes sense withdrawal, use of various types of mantras, and ideation on the Supreme. The mind is directed inward, toward the source of all peace, happiness and bliss, our inner Self.
Astaunga Yogais the original system of Yoga that facilitates the all round progress of the practitioner. It is structured in eight parts or ‘limbs’ and can be learned in steps from an acarya (authorized teacher) of Ananda Marga.
(1) Yama and (2) Niyama are moral principles that help the practitioner to control and regulate own conduct and behavior necessary for mental equilibrium.
(3) Ásanas are psycho-physical yoga postures that restore natural health of the body’s endocrinal system ensuring prevention of maladies and a medicine free health.
(4) Práńáyáma is the scientific process to regulate respiration to enhance the vital energies (immune) and psychic faculties. Práńáyáma must be learned from an ácárya/á, to prevent potential harmful effects.
(5) Pratyáhára is withdrawing the mind from external objects essential for Meditation.
(6) Dhárańá is one pointed concentration during meditation.
(7) Dhyána is the unbroken flow of the mind in one continuous stream, like the flow of oil, where all of the mental propensities are sublimated into the Supreme Cosmic Entity.
(8) Samádhi is the blissful state of merger of the unit consciousness into the Cosmic Consciousness.
The Ananda Marga system of meditation is called Sádhana since it comprises all the aspects of As’t’aunga Yoga i.e. moral principles, yoga ásanas, different aspects of meditation techniques and samadhi, the merger of the Unit Consciousness into the Singular Cosmic Consciousness. The word 'meditation' thus, does not represent the complete spiritual practices of Ananda Marga.
Rev. Shrii Shrii Ánandamúrti Ji, the founder of Ananda Marga saw spiritual practices as one of the basic rights of human beings. Our meditation is therefore taught free of cost to anyone who has a sincere longing to practice regularly and lead an honest life based on the moral principles of Yama and Niyama. Simple, guided, preliminary meditation is often part of our regular yoga classes but all the lessons of Sahaj Yoga are only taught individually by our authorized meditation teachers (ácáryas). In New York City, men and women can learn these lessons at our Flushing Center by appointment. We have services especially for the needs of sisters (ladies) available at our Women’s Welfare Center in town.