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South Salt Lake Journal

Sahaja meditation at the Glendale Library allows participants to feel the energy within

Nov 12, 2019 02:54PM ● By Drew Crawford

Raj Mangaonkar calms his mind in preparation for Sahaja meditation.

By Drew Crawford | [email protected]

Every Sunday Raj Mangaonkar meets at the Glendale Library in Salt Lake City to instruct participants in the practice of Sahaja meditation. 

During the session, attendees take a break from their busy lives and focus the mind and body on their breath. 

By doing so they are able to balance the centers of energy, known as chakras, inside of them. 

“When you start meditating the energy starts working on every system. You get back your health and the problems disappear,” explained Mangaonkar. 

The practice starts with calming your mind.  

The teacher begins with reading statements that promote unity with oneself and others that the students think as they touch corresponding spots on their body. 

The purpose of this is to address distracting thoughts that might intrude prior to the meditation. 

Finally, before beginning participants rub their scalp in a clockwise motion, applying slight pressure. 

It is then time to begin meditating. To start you place the palms of your hand facing upward on your lap. 

With eyes closed you gradually breathe in and out, focusing on the warmth and coolness of your breath. If distracting thoughts arise one must try to refocus attention. 

This is a hard and takes practice. 

“These thoughts just come out of nowhere and occupy your mind. You don’t see them coming. It’s like a lightbulb. Thoughts of your past come from your conditionings, and thoughts of your future come from your ego,” Mangaonkar said.

The ultimate end of this practice is self-realization. The key to getting to there is consistency. It does not happen in a day. 

One can reach the point of complete oneness with mind and body through a desire and willingness to put in time practicing every day. 

Satish Nulu credits his daily well-being to the tradition. “A lot of things have changed. The way I used to think and feel,” said Nulu who has been practicing for 20 years. “For example, if you are flying on a plane you may have some happiness inside. I feel the same way sometimes. The feeling is indescribable.”

Sahaja meditation has elements that are both similar and different from traditional meditation. 

The practice was developed in the 1970s in India by Nirmala Devi Srivastava and is spiritual in origin.

However, the appeal of it is meant to people of both a devotional and secular persuasion.

The main difference between Sahaja and traditional meditation is Kundalini—the awakening as energy moves through the chakras of the body. 

This sensation can be experienced as a tingling that exits through the crown of the head and the tips of the fingers. If you feel this energy, the practice is working. 

“The first six months was tough because I wasn’t really feeling anything. I continued it and then I started experiencing it,” Nulu said.

In order to achieve the benefits of Sahaja, Mangaonkar recommends that students practice in the morning when they wake up for the first five minutes of the day.

Instead of looking at their smartphone those who do this can realize the payoff of slowly transcending ego. 

Initial sessions at the Glendale Library (1375 Concord St.) are free to the public and teach the basics, with participants learning more of the philosophy and practice of Sahaja overtime.