Episode 2: Swami J & Bhakti Yoga

Estimated time to read: 3 minutes

The Podcast format

My name is Christiaan Neeteson, 31 years young and currently living in Berlin together with my partner Rebecca. After encountering meditation & mindfulness a few years back it radically changed my life. From incredible emotional turbulence, unhealthy relationships and deep suffering to lightness and ease, the practice radically transformed both my own state of mind and the relationships around me.

I’m sitting down and having a chat with other meditators from around the world to talk about their practice, the lessons they have learned and what they want the world to know. From Zen, Christianity to Secular, all traditions have valuable insights and approaches to awareness, and in this podcast we explore those with you.

International Team

For this second episode, I have a chat with Greg Jacoby about his transformation and his current practice. Greg and me, together with David (previous episode) and Benjamin (coming episode) have started to work as a team on themindfulcourse.com and the Meditation & Mindfulness community. For each one of us, meditation has a lasting and genuine effect on our lives and the lives of people around us. In these first three episodes I will explore what meditation means for each of the team members.

The impact of meditation on the life of Greg Jacoby has been incredible Swami J teaches Yoga in India

Greg & his transformation

Greg shares how he came from a low point of depression and drug dealing, decided to visit a retreat in India and how it changed his life afterwards. Greg mentions his teacher at that time, Swami J (http://www.swamij.com/) and the idea of staying with the breathe at all times as a practice. Seemingly with a mix of different traditions and techniques, Greg talks about how his life is enhanced with practices like Metta, Bhakti and Vipassana.

Photo of People Standing on Purple Yoga Mats

Four Paths of Yoga

I am not very familiar with Yoga and its practice, but was intrigued by Greg mentioning Bhakti Yoga. Up till recently , Yoga to me was another way to get in shape and look good.
I wasn’t sure how much of it’s spiritual practice was transferred to us here in the west. It seemed like another way to glorify the human body and feel good about yourself.
However, the more I hear and read about it, the more I start to learn about it’s roots that go beyond just a beautiful pose in the sunset on instagram.
From the Swami J website I found the following description for the four paths of Yoga:

“Jnana Yoga: Jnana Yoga is the path of knowledge, wisdom, introspection and contemplation. It involves deep exploration of the nature our being by systematically exploring and setting aside false identities.

Bhakti Yoga: Bhakti Yoga is the path of devotion, emotion, love, compassion, and service to God and others. All actions are done in the context of remembering the Divine.

Karma Yoga: Karma Yoga is the path of action, service to others, mindfulness, and remembering the levels of our being while fulfilling our actions or karma in the world.

Raja Yoga: Raja Yoga is a comprehensive method that emphasizes meditation, while encompassing the whole of Yoga. It directly deals with the encountering and transcending thoughts of the mind.”

Greg describes how the path of Bhakti Yoga is continuous throughout the day in action and speech, and it’s something I personally feel inclined to discover more about.
The testimonial of Greg in this episode will surely inspire you to practice, to consider the importance of meditation and the impact it can have on each of our lives.

If you’d like to talk about this podcast or have some feedback or ideas, please let me know by joining our community here https://discord.gg/FKWFeYq and simply use @christiaan or send me a DM! I would love to hear from you.

With warm regards,

Christiaan

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Christiaan Neeteson
Christiaan Neeteson
Christiaan is passionate about building a supportive, healthy and positive community. He hosts the podcast, creates meditative music and is the co-founder of Project Mindfulness.

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