Meditation: Shuniya Meditations as Taught by Yogi Bhajan, Yoga West, 1994

“Any nervous disorder you can conquer by this exercise”
“I want you to go home just enriched with something.  Not just came to a class and learned something.  No, come to class, be something.  Don’t come here to learn with me.  There are so many people who teach you to learn things.  There is a difference.  Here, you have to be, not to learn.  Learning, go somewhere else”.


Yogi Bhajan came to Yoga West in October-November 1994. He taught a series of classes designed to break the hypnotic trance that locks our psyches in a habitual pattern of perception. Going beyond the familiar forms that limit our perception we can stabilize a state of Shuniya in ourselves that allows us to perceive reality as it is.



There will be four classes this week during which we will work on our 7th chakra, the crown chakra. The point of the excercises will be to break the bonds of a hypnosis with which we have been shackled throughout our lives. We have been conditioned to want, want, want, not just to be. The excercises will form a progression which will loosen the grip of this hypnosis on our minds and liberate us from the automatic and robotic behavior that accompanies it. Our hypothalmus gland plays a major role in establishing robot-like behavior, so we will begin by silencing it momentarily in order to allow the our mudulla to reclaim its role in directing motor activity. We will progress to work on the cerebellum and the cerebrum.

Sitting cross-legged, hold your hands in front of your face, index fingers pointed up and the other fingers in a fist. The hands are about 8-10” apart, elbows roughly 90 deg. Deliberately, with a strong motion, push one hand out and the other in about 8”. Alternate this motion fairly rapidly, about twice per second, keeping the index fingers pointed upward. Keep your gaze steady on your fingers. Keep your mind on your fingers and their motion. Do the excercise deliberately, not letting your mind wander. Do not do it in any way automatically.

This should drive you nuts. Do it for 5 minutes.

Continuing the above motion, look at the tip of your nose. Remember to do it deliberately. Continue for 3 minutes.

Continue as above, but begin saying the word “dow” with each thrust of the hand. Focus your mind on the motion, which is strong, deliberate, and jerky. Continue for 3 minutes.

Cease all motion, hold perfectly still with your index fingers still pointing upward and your hands evenly in front of you. Forgive yourself and forget yourself. Cease to exist. Feel complete and all-encompassing emptiness. Sense non-being in contrast to your usual and familiar being. This excercise will break down your hypnotic state and allow a clarity sufficient to perceive emptiness, Shunya. Remain in this state for 11 minutes.

Stretch arms upward, inhale, stretching the entire length of your spine. Exhale. Repeat, twisting your torso to the left very strongly. Then repeat twisting to the right.

View lecture video

Sit cross-legged, hands extended forward, palms up, elbows bent roughly at 90 deg. With a jerking motion, raise hands up to about 60 deg., then down again. Move only the elbows, keeping all other joints and muscles perfectly still. Continue for 5 minutes.

Continue as above, but exhaling strongly on the up stroke and gazing at the tip of your nose. Do this for 5 minutes.

Sit still with your eyes closed. Forgive and forget yourself, your body, and your mind. Perceive emptiness. Do this for 20 minutes.

Inhale and stretch, hands up, your entire spine. Exhale. Repeat, twisting your torso to the right. Repeat again, twisting left.

View lecture video

Sitting cross legged, hold hands in front of your face about 18“ apart, palms facing inward, elbows at 90 deg. Eyes gaze at the tip of your nose. To begin, swipe one hand inward about 4” in a firm, almost jerking motion. Then do the same with the other hand while pulling back the first hand. Alternate swipes about once per second. You should be able to see your hands moving in this fashion as you gaze at the tip of your nose. Simultaneously, deny that your hands are moving at all. Remain convinced that they are not moving. This will cause a conflict, a rift, in your mind, between what your eyes see and what you perceive. Do this for 5 minutes.

Continue as above, but now whistle continuously very earnestly. Do this for 5 minutes.

Place your hands on your head, close your eyes, relax your body. Let go of all thoughts, your body, and your mind. Experience shunya, emptiness. Do not think. You will experience the opposite of being. In order to understand something completely, you must not only experience it, but also its opposite, or negation. To fully be, you must experience non-being. Exist in this state for 11 minutes.

Breathe in deeply, twist to right, hold, then exhale. Do the same twisting left, then forward. Relax.


We are continuing our work with experiencing shunya. No thoughts. Pure emptiness. Experiencing no-self. To be ourself completely we must experience no-self. As soon as there is existence, there is nonexistence. Once something is, there also is is not. There are always two sides of any coin. Shunya is the other side of existence. When we experience shunya, we can see both sides, and appreciate our complete self. Doing this, we master the universe and ensure our prosperity in it.

Sit cross-legged, arms to the side, hands level with the shoulders, palms up, fingers pointing outward, and spine perfectly straight. This is a perfectly balanced position in which you can relax completely. With your eyes closed, roll your eyes down fixing your gaze on your chin. Breathe slowly and calmly, remaining perfectly still. Allow no movement other than your breathing. You will become imoveable and solid as a rock, but relaxed. Continue for 5 minutes.

Begin breathing very slowly, one breath per minute; inhale 20 seconds, hold for 20 seconds, then exhale for 20 seconds. Do this for 5 minutes.

Breathe normally, but slowly, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Do this for 5 minutes.

Inhale deeply, and hold for several moments. Then exhale and sit and breath normally, remaining perfectly still in the same position. Experience shunya. Dispell any thoughts which arise. Keep your mind perfectly clear. Do this for 20 minutes.

Put your hands firmly on your shoulders and inhale deeply. Twist your torso as far as you can to the left. Hold it there, then exhale facing front. Repeat, twisting to the right. Inhale deeply one more time stretching your spine, arms, hands and fingers upwards as far as you can. Hold for several moments, then exhale and relax.

View complete lecture in Yogi Bhajan’s Library of Teachings


Author: harinam

Yogi, teacher, healer

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