Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy by Sadhguru
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Thought leader, visionary, philanthropist, mystic, and yogi Sadhguru presents Western readers with a time-tested path to achieving absolute well-being: the classical science of yoga.
The practice of hatha yoga, as we commonly know it, is but one of eight branches of the body of knowledge that is yoga. In fact, yoga is a sophisticated system of self-empowerment that is capable of harnessing and activating inner energies in such a way that your body and mind function at their optimal capacity. It is a means to create inner situations exactly the way you want them, turning you into the architect of your own joy.
A yogi lives life in this expansive state, and in this transformative book Sadhguru tells the story of his own awakening, from a boy with an unusual affinity for the natural world to a young daredevil who crossed the Indian continent on his motorcycle. He relates the moment of his enlightenment on a mountaintop in southern India, where time stood still and he emerged radically changed. Today, as the founder of Isha, an organization devoted to humanitarian causes, he lights the path for millions. The term guru, he notes, means “dispeller of darkness, someone who opens the door for you. . . . As a guru, I have no doctrine to teach, no philosophy to impart, no belief to propagate. And that is because the only solution for all the ills that plague humanity is self-transformation. Self-transformation means that nothing of the old remains. It is a dimensional shift in the way you perceive and experience life.” The wisdom distilled in this accessible, profound, and engaging book offers readers time-tested tools that are fresh, alive, and radiantly new. Inner Engineering presents a revolutionary way of thinking about our agency and our humanity and the opportunity to achieve nothing less than a life of joy.
A Yogi’s Guide to Joy
The process of finding your true-self runs like a leitmotif throughout the book.
Perhaps, you won’t be able to understand the powerful thrust of Sadhguru’s message, until you still your mind and quiet your urges.
Beleaguered or not, we all are entitled to delve into the real self and put secondary matters on the side.
The first thing that will strike you while reading is that we are masters of our own lives, either consciously or unconsciously. So, passing the blame onto somebody else is not an endorsed approach.
So, if somebody were to ask you – Do you prefer being rich or happy?
Even those that went from rags to riches in a short amount of time, they did it because they hoped that happiness is on the receiving end. Sadhguru implies that we yearn to get our hands on this blissful experience while looking at the wrong place.
Does this mean that we should remain poor for the rest of our lives? Absolutely not, it merely indicates that whatever we do in the 24 Hour timeframe, the primary stimulus is reaching a state of contentment or pure joy.
It’s needless to say that the Yogi guide, is presented in a digestible manner, for you to tackle these delusions.
Sadhguru, on numerous occasions, expressed that happiness is not a decision, but a reality. Contentment is not a passing state of mind, but the eternal state of the real-self.
Generally speaking, people seeking adrenaline type of happiness, often find themselves drained and exhausted of the pursuit they’ve been urged to conduct. The simplest way to reach peace of mind is to cherish an effortless battle.
You don’t need to swim, but embrace the life-current and go with the flow. Although this seems like a simple tweak, not many people dare to exploit it. We want to pave our own way, and putting trust in some mystical energy is our second choice.
We’ll get to that, but first, let’s talk about a few things that are causing a lot of confusion.
To attain bliss, you must eradicate all the things that are giving you a headache. And that’s just the beginning. Next up, one must question its ideals, and stay peaceful while doing it.
The restless mind is like a car. It goes 150 Mph only because you filled up the fuel tank. Start wasting your symbolic “money” on something that will help you instead of harm you.
The Power of becoming a Yogi
Many ponder about the effects of Yoga. Sadguru asserts that the science of being perfect is reflected in nature, not in the person. What does that mean?
Reaching allignment or harmony with existence is impossible if you remain narrow-minded and stubborn. What yoga does is helping you maintain the highest level of enthusiasm and joy toward life. This can be later converted into full-scale enlightenment or understanding one’s core self.
According to the author, yoga is a mix of intellect, karma, energy, and devotion also known as “bhakti.” By combining these factors, you may get in line for becoming truly happy, while remaining active and persistent.
Indeed, not being aware of your inner reality has taken a toll on humanity. The previously mentioned scenarios are not reserved only for the privileged few, but they symbolize the never-fading truth that is embedded into the hearts and minds of every living soul.
At the outset, Sadhguru refers to the body and examines its functions on this endeavor. It’s the most basic form of identification, therefore, it’s advisable that we start from there.
Instead of wasting your time on trivial activities, find a quiet place and sit there for a few minutes each day. The question is Why? What is the goal behind this?
You see, that’s the trick! Throughout the course of history, society has always been prone to attach some end goal to everything. At this point, you must embrace detachment, and leave the body be! Just pay attention to the breath, going in, and out – focus on that for a while.
You don’t need to pressure yourself; a few minutes is more than enough to get the ball rolling. Once the effort required to remain aware reduces, you’ll start connecting with nature. You will become the axis around which all the rest spins.
In yoga, you’ll learn how to channel your body energy and a few postures that can accentuate your inner journey. Having said that, don’t take it as an objective, because it’s not. Sadhguru teaches you, to trust the body, follow its instincts and strive to purify your mind from meaningless concepts.
Eating Habits and Alignment with Nature
A healthy mind in a healthy body.
In case you might be wondering, why so many spiritual gurus and truth seekers walked barefoot – it’s because of the connection between the person and the earth. It’s a special bond that helped them to absorb the universal energies.
Sitting next to a tree for a couple of minutes can put you into a state of deep rest. In this book, you’ll find a handful of practices that you can try and experiment with, in order to quiet your mind.
When it comes to the diet, you have to bear in mind that whatever you put in reflects the quality of your life. It’s safe to say that natural ingredients, and organic food determine the vitality of your system, and energize your body.
Once you realize that, you’ll subtly enter into the category of conscious eaters, who are not driven by animal urges. You have to bring benefit to your body, by maintaining its vigorousness and advocating for a healthy diet.
Sadhguru is not merely covering the nutritional value, but place emphasis on life as a whole. For instance, consuming seeds can immensely improve your health condition and add to your overall endurance.
For a greater effect, and total eradication of toxic elements within the body, you must apply a new life strategy that consists of conscious digestion.
Don’t be surprised to hear that according to Sadhguru, eating food is not within the context of spirituality. Depending on your preferences and lifestyle, you should choose a diet, because one set of ingredients is not a good fit for everybody.
The key is – compatibility. Make sure that the diet assigned to your lifestyle fits your high-minded ambitions or introvert style of living.
So, is this it? – Well, not quite! Sadhguru prioritizes the digestive system and explains how each type of food should be eaten. You’ll also take a gander at the most digestible food additives and many other things.
You should also know that 55% of the digestions takes place in the mouth, and the rest of it is done in the digestive system itself.
How to behave? – When you feel immense hunger, give your body a few minutes to calm down. Don’t submit to the urges, but maintain control despite the situation that prompts you to behave somewhat beastly.
Also, bear in mind that staying physically active must also become part of your daily lifestyle. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer to take a morning jog or play some other sport.
Just get up, and focus on your overall well-being.
The Choice of Life
Love is an unexplainable phenomenon, which entails one’s mental, physical, and psychological cravings. Often we hear that true love is unconditional, but it mustn’t be solely linked to physical needs. There are as many interpretations as they are stars in the night sky.
Being enamoured of someone is just one tiny fraction, not the whole package. The spiritual love, is the cornerstone for finding blissfulness, but it can also absorb a wide array of connotations. Evidently, associating love with other aspects can take an awful lot of time.
For instance, you can be very fond of some painting, or someone’s life philosophy. So, it’s vital to stick with the root and leave the branches aside, for the time being.
According to the author, the choices we make are an integral part of this love. Whatever you do, or plan to achieve, passion must be your primary incentive to carry something out inwardly.
Don’t take this the wrong way, since the intrinsic intelligence, Sadhguru is referring to is given to you in the form of existence. You are not either blessed nor cursed. You can utilize it in its entirety, without having to jump into conclusions.
Previously we stated that happiness is not a transient state that lies at the end of a treacherous journey. It’s your birthright, something that doesn’t come and go.
During the process, you’ll identify with temporary concepts, but as you become more aware, these sensations will turn into pointless attachments.
Key Lessons from “Inner Engineering”
- Reconnect with nature
2. The perilous journey to freedom
3. Expand your horizons
Reconnect with nature
If this process seems a bit overwhelming, you can ask yourself – Why the westerners enjoy spending time in parks, and picnics in the countryside?
It’s the same process – our body urges us to get in touch with the source, which in this case represents the Earth.
The perilous journey to freedom
How long does it take before you finally have a tenacious grip on the slipping happiness? 20 years of meditation, 50?
The outward journey takes too long, and what’s worse, the end is nowhere near. The inner pull, however, is just staying wherever you are as an observer.
Expand your horizons
If you are merely interested in separating moral from immoral, or right and wrong, your mind will always be imprisoned in this circle.
Leaving the judgmental urges aside will help you establish control over your life, and show you the only route to spiritual enhancement.