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The Order of
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initial vow in the Order of the Nazirim is the vow of Talmid/ah, the
Student's Vow. The Student vows to be celibate for thirty weeks. This
marks a period roughly equaling seven months. During this time, the
Student will begin to incorporate the various techniques and practices
of the Nazir Order.
During this probationary period, the Student must refrain from
cutting the hair from the head and drinking intoxicating beverages for
anything but medicinal purposes.
Upon awakening, the Nazir must anoint the head with olive oil through the following technique:
words of Genesis are: "In the beginning, created Elohim the heavens
(skies) and the earth (land), and the land was formless and void
(chaos)." The words for formless and void are tohu va'vohu.
These words are alternatively translated as chaos. That is, creation
was originally in a state of chaos as the primordial atoms and
particles began to form themselves into complex elements and later into
planets and atmosphere. These words hold a secret, however, for they
come from the verbs tohe and bohe, meaning to gaze and stare in awe.
The resulting technique embodies a method to bring the mind to a state
of stillness in order to allow the heart to soar in wonder.
In Hebrew, the word for holy, kadosh, carries the same root as
the verb to dedicate oneself, l'hakdeesh. In Sanskrit, the word for
dedication, which is used to imply initiation, is diksha. Diksha and
kadosh carry the same three root letters of K-D-S. In the following
technique, the Hebrew mantra Kadosh is repeated three times as the hair
is anointed. This ritual represents the daily initiation, diksha, into
the Order of the Nazirim. It is repeated every morning in order to
impress upon the consciousness the gravity of the ideal to attain
self-mastery in one lifetime. It can be repeated more often, in fact,
if one feels that one's resolve is weakening.
The practice of anointing the hair is ancient. Literally,
those who enter the Nazir Order are Christs, anointed ones, in
training. The Hebrew word moshiach, messiah, means anointed one for the
kings and nazirim of ancient Israel were anointed with oil in
recognition of their holy station.
From the purely technical standpoint of yoga science, the hair
acts like roots that absorb stray prana from the surrounding
environment. Areas high in negative ions, for example, are places where
the hair will absorb more energy. Oil is a natural conductor of prana.
Therefore, applying oil to the hair improves the ability of the hair to
Place a few to several drops of olive oil on the hands,
depending on how much hair you have and how much oil you wish to apply.
Rub the oil into the palms of the hands. Sit in a level armless chair
in the upright meditative position with spine erect, chin and thighs
parallel to the floor, hands resting on the thighs, chest out,
shoulders relaxed but back, and eyes closed and focused at the point
between the eyebrows.
Fold the palms at the heart in Anjali Mudra (this is the mudra
used during the Hindu pronam greeting), bring the head back and open
the mouth, allowing the head to fall back completely. Open the eyes and
look up in wonder at the grandeur of the heavens. Imagine the infinite
amounts of prana that surround you.
Rub the palms together vigorously until you feel heat between the
palms. Place the hands on the head and rub back on the hair, applying
oil to the hair. With this motion, say the Hebrew mantra "kadosh,"
sanctifying the head. Affirm your commitment to the attainment of
self-mastery. When the hands reach the back of the head, roll the
fingers down, bending the wrists, and place the hands on the top of the
head again. Again, rub down and repeat the mantra. Repeat this act a
third time. Do this as many times as you like, in groups of three.
If your hair is long, add a touch of olive oil to the roots
before moving on to the next step in the technique. Return to the
position with your head back, mouth open, shoulders back, and palms
folded at the heart. Close the eyes. Place the attention at the
cervical plexus, the bony protrusion at the base of the neck, and tense
at that spot for 6 to 12 seconds. Feel as if you are pulling in prana
through the hair as you soak in the prana directly into the spine.
Repeat twelve times, or more if time permits. Feel as if the prana is
coursing in through the hair to the upper spine and head.
have completed the method of initiation, begin the series of
Tension/Relaxation exercises. The theory behind tension/relaxation
exercises is as old as the science of Yoga itself. Indeed, they are one
and the same. The whole premise of Yoga is that where there is energy
there is consciousness, further that energy can be directed through
tension, and so consciousness can be made to retire from the body and
senses through super-relaxation. The following exercises can therefore
be considered one of the best systems of meditative physical culture,
for not only is the body developed through tension, but the mind is
trained to direct the consciousness through tension and withdraw the
consciousness through relaxation.
The following twenty-two exercises are to be practiced twice
daily in the sitting position prior to the practice of Pranayama. The
various body parts and motions listed are a system embedded in the
Hebrew Alephbet. Each of the twenty-two letters of Hebrew is a code for
a part of the body that can be focused on in a sequential order. When
the body is made to run through the rite of the Hebrew code, the
practitioner learns greater control of the body and understands the
secret of the seeming body/mind dichotomy. With diligent practice the
practitioner will realize that there is no real difference between the
body and mind but rather they are made of the same prana (energy) at
differing rates of vibration, at different levels of subtlety.
Transcendence over both the body and mind is achieved when the
realization comes that the consciousness in the body is neither the
body nor the mind but the energy coursing through them and employing
them. This can be attained through daily practice of Pranayama and
Practice the following slowly with eyes closed, focused
upward, and straight back. If an exercise calls for motion, always
return to the upright calm position before moving on to the next
exercise. You may practice the rite up to three times in a row or focus
on one particular exercise more deeply before moving on to the next.
Memorize the entire technique so that the practice becomes
second-nature. Each technique is to be practiced a minimum of three
times. Relaxation and tension should both be done slowly with
concentration. The practice is best done in open air with all the body
exposed to the sun. However, that may be just enough (or more than
enough, in some parts of the world) sunshine to absorb for a single
Aleph (The Brain)--Tense
the head and medulla oblongata (back of the neck) with a slight
vibration. Aleph means "one thousand" and refers to the thousand and
one functions of the brain, the "thousand petaled lotus," and the
myriad thoughts indulged in during one lifetime.
Bet (The Body)--Tense
the entire body from head to toe, including clenching the fists,
curling the toes, tightening the buttocks, squeezing the entire face to
the tip of the nose, etc. Bet means "house" and is a reference to the
house of the body which houses the consciousness.
Gimel (The Throat)--Tense the entire throat and medulla oblongata at the base of the skull. Gamel means "camel" and refers to the throat.
Dalet (The Ears)--Tense
the ears by making a sharp grimace with the face and eyes. Hold the
intense smile for as long as is comfortable. Dalet means "door" and
refers to the door of the ears through which the sounds of the world
enter the mind.
Heh (The Hands)--Clench the fists tightly. Heh refers to the five fingers of the hand with which we give and receive.
Vav (The Neck)--Tense
all parts of the neck. In this exercise relaxation can be performed
quickly with the chin dropping to the chest with a bounce a for
complete withdrawal of the energy. Vav means "and" which refers to a
bridge. The neck serves as a bridge between the head and the body.
Zion (The Spine)--Tense
the entire spine and head, from the base of the spine at the coccyx to
the cerebrum. Pull the shoulders back and tense the abdomen with this
spinal tension. Zion is like a lightning bolt and refers to the
lightning-like power in the seven plexuses which are the source of
Chet (The Legs)--Tense
the legs, feet, and buttocks. Chet is a symbol of infinity with the
legs the pillars which support the finite-infinite paradox.
Tet (The Perineum)--Tighten
the perineum by squeezing the anal sphincter muscles. Tet is the snake
or the elevating power locked in the coccygeal plexus.
Yud (The Forehead)--Knit
the brow at the point between the eyebrows and gently squeeze the eyes.
Yud is literally the arms but in mystical terminology yud refers to
spiritual vision which originates at the point between the eyebrows.
This vision requires much spiritual labor (arms) to attain, however.
Caph (The Arms)--Tense the arms from the fists to the shoulders. Caph means "hands."
Lamed (The Heart)--
Puff out the chest like a proud conqueror. Fold the palms at the chest
as in prayer. Tension should be in the shoulders, chest, and upper
spine. Lamed means "learn" and the heart is where all learning takes
place. Lamed is also the spiritual devotion which we fly on like a
Mem (The Abdomen)--Tense
the abdomen, both the lower parts and upper part and stomach. Tension
should also be felt in the spine opposite the belly. Mem (or mayim)
means "water" and refers to the digestive juices in the stomach.
Nun (The Seat)--Tense the buttocks and lower spine or those parts which comprise our seat. Nun has the shape of one sitting.
Samech (The Face)--Scrunch
the face with tension as if you are bringing the entire face to the tip
of the nose. Samech is a circle and refers to the face.
Ayin (The Eyes)--Gently tense the eyes and move the eyeballs in circular motions. Ayin means "eye."
Peyh (The Mouth)--With
the mouth closed pull the tongue back to touch the uvula which is the
nipple-like organ that hangs at the back of the mouth. If you cannot
reach that far pull it back to where it is comfortable and maintain its
position for as long as it is comfortable. Peyh means "mouth."
and place the chin on the chest and bend over so the head is between
the knees. Keep the head there with the breath out for as long as it is
comfortable. Tzadik means "righteous" and has the shape of one bent in
the head to the chest, tense the neck and with that tension held pull
the head back until the forehead faces the ceiling. Relax the neck and
drop the chin to the chest with a bounce. The letter Kuf is short for
kadosh or "holiness."
Reish (The Head)--Lock
the chin to the chest and keep it there, continuously exerting a pull
on the back of the neck. Press firmly on the chest with the chin and
further push up on the chin with the chest for several seconds. "Rosh"
is literally the head.
Shin (The Teeth)--Open the mouth fully then close the mouth with slight tension, clenching the teeth. Shin means "tooth."
a double, triple, or quadruple exhalation through the mouth with the
audible sound of "huh, huh, huh, huuuuuuuh." Allow the body to inhale
of its own accord with closed mouth and sit in utter stillness. Perform
this multiple exhalation several times, resting in silence in between.
I AM THAT I AM
following the Tension/Relaxation exercises, begin practicing the IAM
technique. In the Hebrew Bible, Moses doubts his ability to convince
the Hebrews that he was truly sent by God to free them from slavery in
Egypt. In Hebrew, the root of the name Egypt, Meetzrayim, is tzar,
meaning narrow, confined. Slavery in Egypt symbolizes the thralldom to
the urges of the senses; it implies a narrowing of consciousness from
cosmic consciousness to sense-bound ego consciousness. Moses represents
the God-sent guru who frees the student from delusion.
Moses asks God for a name in case the Hebrews ask him the name
of the God that sent him. As the Egyptians have gods with names, Moses
knew that the Hebrews would expect their god to have a name. Of course,
God, the Infinite, is nameless. Therefore, God replied that his name is
I AM. In Biblical Hebrew, the single word for I AM is Eheeyeh. The word
for THAT is Ashare.
Return to the meditative position with eyes closed and focused
at the point between the eyebrows, hands resting on the thighs, chest
out, chin and thighs parallel to the floor, etc. Add a variety of
Khechari Mudra by bringing the tip of the tongue to the soft portion of
the palate. Keeping the attention at the point between the eyebrows,
watch the breath. When the body naturally inhales, mentally chant the
word Eheeyeh. In the moment that the breath naturally stops between
inhalation and exhalation mentally repeat Ashare. When the breath
naturally exhales mentally repeat Eheeyeh again. Do not attempt to
control the breathing in the slightest.
Ashare is spelled in the same way as the word Oshare, which
means joy. Further, Ashare is a permutation of the word Rosh, meaning
head. The moment after inhalation, the breath is considered to be in
the head where bliss is felt.
To help keep the mind on the point between the eyebrows and
the observation of the breath, the Student counts the breaths on the
left hand using the thumb as the counter and each section of the
fingers as a mark of one practice. There are twelve joints on the four
fingers, making twelve sections over which the thumb glides to count
out the breaths. One begins at the base section of the index finger as
the first breath. The second breath is the middle section of the index
while the third breath brings the thumb to the top section of the index
finger. The fourth breath corresponds to the top section of the middle
finger, the fifth to the top section of the annular (ring) finger, the
sixth to the top section of the pinky, the seventh to the middle
section of the pinky, the eighth to the lowest section of the pinky,
the ninth to the lowest section of the annular finger, the tenth to the
lowest section of the middle finger, the eleventh to the middle section
of the middle finger, and the twelfth to the middle section of the
annular finger. The same counting system is used on the right hand
except that the right hand counts sets of twelve. Once the left thumb
has counted twelve breaths, the right hand goes to the base section of
the index finger and counts one set of twelve. The left thumb then
begins to count out another twelve breaths. Four example, if the left
hand is on the middle section of the middle finger and the right thumb
is resting on the top section of the pinky, the meditator has performed
eighty-three breaths. Practice this technique in groups of 144.
Hindus chant Aum, Nazirim chant Omain. Returning to the practices of
the Nazirim and the Hebrew Prophets has nothing to do with being
Jewish, of course. All the organized religions, including Judaism and
Hinduism, are far removed from the practices of the ancient Hebrews and
ancient yogis, respectively. In Hebrew, Amen, more properly pronounced
Omain, comes from the root aman, meaning loyalty. Mentally chanting
Omain has the same effect that chanting OM (Aum) has, namely to effect
a union with the Infinite. Omain, like Aum, is the greatest prayer. It
is the highest mantram, the supreme affirmation. Nazirim chant Omain
giving more time to the first syllable, but add the second syllable to
complete the M sound.
Sit in the meditative position with eyes closed and focused at
the point between the eyebrows, tongue pulled back to where the palate
becomes soft as in khechari mudra, chin parallel with the floor, etc.
Begin by chanting Omain aloud in sets of three. Then chant Omain more
quietly in sets of three. Then chant Omain in a whisper in sets of
three. Continue by chanting Omain mentally in sets of three. Throughout
the entire process, keep the attention squarely placed at the point
between the eyebrows.
Once you have reached a rhythm with the chanting of Omain
silently, the true technique begins. Slowly start to increase the
length of time between chanting Omain. In those moments of silence,
listen intently in the back of the head. The internal sounds of the
spine may be louder on the right side, but simply listen at the medulla
oblongata located at the base of the skull, top of the neck. While the
chanting of Omain may fall in rhythm with your breathing, pay no
attention to the breath. Instead, place all the attention on listening
in between chanting Omain. Feel free to add a melody to your chant of
Omain, but maintain the practice of chanting it in sets of three.
These are the basic techniques of the Order of the Nazirim.
Please do not share them with anyone. They are given to you for your
personal use, not so that you may disseminate them. If you progress in
your loyalty to the Order and expand upon your vow, you may one day be
able to initiate others in these techniques. In the mean time, make
every effort to practice these methods daily. The meditation methods
can be practiced twice daily, morning and evening before meals, while
the initiatory practice must be practiced in the morning, but can
optionally be practiced at any time during the day or night so long as
no undo strain builds in the cervical plexus and medullary plexus, the
fifth and sixth cakras.
If you have any questions or concerns, write directly to Sankara Saranam.