How to Meditate: An Introduction to Raja Yoga with Sister Jayanti
Welcome to our brilliant meditation course with world-renowned spiritual teacher Sister Jayanti, who teaches Raja yoga, an ancient yogic practice designed to be incorporated into everyday life.
In three films Sister Jayanti, who recently led the morning meditation sessions at Davos, examines the causes of sorrow and anger and shows us how a few minutes each day spent in contemplation can help us on the path to happiness, peace and freedom.
“I first met Sister Jayanti when I was about 14,” says Idler editor Tom Hodgkinson. “My Dad had invited her to our house and she taught me to meditate. She also introduced me to spiritual ideas which have stayed with me ever since. She is full of wisdom and calm good sense and I am delighted to present her course to our readers. It will be an invaluable resource as we all need a bit of help when it comes to slowing down and giving ourselves the time for contemplation. And Raja Yoga is yoga for people who can’t be bothered to do all those exhausting exercises.”
Each 20-30 minute film consists of a talk followed by a guided meditation.
The meditations are also offered as downloadable sound files which you can store on your computer or device, ready to help you meditate at any time and wherever you are.
Introduction: Idler editor Tom Hodgkinson introduces the course.
Part One: What is meditation and why should I learn it? 27 minutes
Part Two: Who am I and how do I find self-esteem? 21 minutes
Part Three: How do I incorporate meditation into my day? 22 minutes
Sound files: Each of the three guided meditations can be downloaded as sound files here.
Forum: all Idler Online Courses offer access to a forum where you can meet like-minded people and ask Idler staff questions about the course.
What is Raja Yoga?
Raja Yoga means “the royal yoga” and is often seen as the highest form of yoga. It is a form of meditation without rituals or mantras and can be practised anywhere at any time. It is practised with “open eyes”, which makes it versatile and simple. Meditation is a state of being in that place just beyond every day consciousness.
Yoga expert Dr James Mallinson of SOAS, author of The Roots of Yoga (Penguin Classics), gives the following definition:
“About a thousand years ago some of the meditative techniques of yoga were reformulated as raja yoga, ‘the royal yoga’. The phrase raja yoga was coined to differentiate its techniques from the more strenuous — and sometimes downright dangerous — physical methods of hatha yoga. To master hatha yoga requires withdrawing oneself from society, living as a recluse and subjugating the body. Raja yoga was developed by heads (raja-s) of monasteries who were too busy to practise hatha yoga. Its techniques (which are simple, although not necessarily easy to master) may be practised by anyone and are used to attain the benefits of yoga while leading a life of engagement with family and work.”