Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, shared universal scientific yogic principles through his book Education for Life. In this article I share my personal discovery of potential from applying Education for Life (EFL) concepts.
A decade ago I became part of the Ananda community in Gurgaon and came upon a copy of Education for Life. I was already familiar with concepts of energy from practicing various healing techniques and educating myself about related energy-based ideas, so the fundamental concepts of EFL resonated strongly for me. Swamiji stated that we are beings of energy or consciousness. Further, this consciousness has an innate intelligence to guide us.
This statement and others deepened my interest and exploration. My self-observations with EFL concepts were based on the yogic principles of the gunas (sattwic, rajasic, and tamasic). These principles were discussed as specific gravity in Swamiji’s book. I began to pay attention to states of energy and consciousness as heavy, egocentric, and light, and to their interplay in my daily life.
Along with the support of my own personal observations and experimentation, I started sharing information with other educators, parents, and students. The process of introspection prompted me to make conscious choices about using the states of energy at any given time of the day. Aha! The power was directly in my hands to be a conscious choice-maker. I paid careful attention to the progressive, developmental nature of specific gravity. Anyone can observe their own gravity and that of their children, family, and friends. It’s simple, self-directed learning. Bravo! The applications and results of specific gravity ideas are immediate. I have shared knowledge of this principle on various education platforms for building behavioral management skills.
Additional EFL principles include stages and tools of maturity. Swami Kriyananda describes maturity in his book as the ability to relate appropriately to realities other than one’s own. The Stages of maturity draw our attention to the four dimensions of self: physical, feeling, willing, and intellectual. When we attend to these aspects, along with their relative tools, we learn to balance the energies of the four dimensions in our lives. We can bring more harmony and tap into our full potential.
These concepts aid the growth and development of anyone interested in balancing the energy of the multidimensional self. The tools of maturity guide us in their relative aspects. For example, in the physical aspect, it relates to moving physical energy through our expressions, movements, drama, and posture. In the feeling dimension, uplifting energy through feelings of harmony, friendship, arts/crafts, and music is encouraged. In the aspect of will, we can balance energy to accomplish goals and master challenges. In the intellectual, we balance energy through inquiry and critical thinking.
I saw for myself that my feeling aspect needed more balance. Through self-observation, I applied EFL concepts to feelings with techniques of breath awareness. This helped me become more centered, aware, and sensitive. EFL principles are like everyday companions, guiding us toward having more harmony and joy. All of the energies are dynamically interrelated, rather than isolated in watertight compartments. EFL helps us to understand the various roles of energy in ourselves.
Integral dimensions that we possess can be discovered by observing quiet time and silence. This has the innate power of propelling us towards excellence. The practice of keeping some amount of silence and quiet time every day gives us access to the source of creative energy dwelling within each one of us. I encourage experimentation with this for yourself.
My personal passage via the discovery of these principles has brought me needed understanding and appreciation of others and of who I am. Applying EFL principles supports the exercise of self-transformation. EFL is a process of flowering goodness, not only for educators, parents, and children but also as spiritual aspirants’ guide towards a more fulfilling life and relationships.
Gayatri Neena Nambiar is a Co-Director for EFL India. She facilitates & guides EFL workshops on various levels of leadership & finds joy in mentoring others. She invites people who are interested in collaboration and exploring EFL principles with the EFL international team worldwide. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.