Volume 1, Number 4
The Way of Divine Communion and Traditional Yoga
by Bubba Free John
This essay places the Way of Divine Communion in its historical and esoteric context by comparing it with the ancient Ashtanga (“Eightfold”) system of yoga taught by Patanjali. Here Bubba illustrates how the spontaneous unfoldment of the Way of Divine Communion radically duplicates the stages of practice methodically undertaken in conventional yoga. In Patanjalis system, all practice leads toward “samadhi” (or union with the Real Condition) as its ultimate goal. Whereas the practice of devotees in the Way of Divine Communion must be already founded in such samadhi, in the intuitive Communion with the Real Condition that appears when there is true hearing of the Teaching of Truth.
The Way of Divine Communion begins with “yama” and “niyama,” restraints and disciplines. On the basis of the “hearing” of the argument or the Spiritual Master, the individual accepts the initial conditions of a life of sacrificial devotion. This process matures through the discipline of personal conditions, relative to money, food, and sex, and the constant maintenance of general conditions of study (regular attention to the argument of the Spiritual Master) and service (love, or unobstructed feeling-attention, in all relations, under all conditions).
In time, the prepared devotee enters into formal spiritual contact with the Spiritual Master. In that contact, Divine Communion is awakened and stabilized through direct spiritual initiation. Thus, the devotee becomes responsible for constant meditative recollection of the Divine (the “Name” of God) and service to the Divine through whole body participation (the “Breath” of God, or the psycho-physical love of God).
The awakening of spiritual responsibility in the Way of Divine Communion effectively includes the yogic disciplines of “asana” (right posture, attitude, and approach), “pranayama” (right breathing, or right participation of the living being in the Divine Condition), “pratyahara” (release from obsessive fascination, concern, and fixed attention in worldly events or life-conditions in themselves), “dharana” (concentration of attention in the process wherein the Divine or Real Condition is constantly Revealed), and “dhyana” (meditation, or contemplation of the Divine or Real Condition under all conditions).
The Way of Divine Communion matures on the basis of these seven limbs of discipline (yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, and dhyana). But the key to them all is the Revelation of Truth in “hearing” the argument of the Spiritual Master and entering into spontaneous devotional sacrifice in his spiritual Company. That is “samadhi,” equanimity, or unity with the Real Condition, which is Divine Ignorance. In that unity there is the constant flowering of wisdom, or a life that manifests spontaneous ordinary and extraordinary knowledge (“samyama”) as well as absorption in the Condition that is Truth.
Therefore, the Way of Divine Communion essentially and truly duplicates the eightfold (“ashtanga”) process of yoga described by Patanjali-except that “samadhi,” or the ultimate Unity, is the foundation and core of the practice rather than its result.
The stages of practice that follow the Way of Divine Communion are stages of maturing responsibility which develop on the basis of the foundation Realization and disciplines of the Way of Divine Communion. The Way of Divine Communion is never abandoned. It simply matures toward its own perfection. The Way of Divine Ignorance as a whole is not the method of yoga, but the priorly awakened Way in which yoga is fulfilled and transcended.