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#3287 - Friday, September 12, 2008 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights -     

In this issue a review of Nidra Yoga, by James Traverse, along with the entire Introduction to the book.    


Nidra Yoga, by James Traverse Read more about this book and order (by download) at  

A review by Jerry Katz



James Traverse has been practicing Yoga for over 30 years and teaches Nidra Yoga in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


James is man of clarity and quiet power who is to be taken seriously. At the same time, there is a feeling of lightness and light when in his company. One is impressed with his lack of judgment, his natural way of expressing things, his intimacy with the teachings of reality. His love, basically. His joy. His flow with you.


You can also chat with James on Nonduality Salon:




Traverse writes, “Although Nidra Yoga means Sleep Union, ultimately it is about being fully awake to who you truly are and living the understanding across all states of consciousness.”


“Ultimately this work is about realizing the living answer to the questions, “What is it that acts when I am in Deep Sleep?’ and ‘Who am I?’”




James structures his book using modules, each consisting of four themes. They are all related and easy to grasp as a whole. For example, the four chapters of the book are akin to inhalation, retention, exhalation, suspension of breath, which in turn reflect waking, dreaming, deep sleep, turiya.




The meta-theme, the theme that wraps around the modules, is motion, flow, movement. Makes sense for an author who is a Yoga practitioner.


“Truth expresses itself as Being; Being expresses itself as doing. Being and doing are the same because the substance of both is motion, yet doing is not identical to being,” James writes.


Traverse speaks of “flow” frequently. There are dozens of references to flow, flowering, flowing. “Your substance is interwoven flow~motion forms of breathing.”


“The complement to Space is Flow. In addition to guiding folks in the exploration of Space, I facilitate Nisarga Yoga or Natural Yoga, as a means to attend to Flow. Together the harmonious relationship of Space and Flow is Yoga,” Traverse tells us.


He writes about the flow of food, water, air, fire. “Fire flows into your human form from our sun … and esoterically through passion – something in your life that inspires you. … You can exist for years without true fire as passion, yet you are never truly alive without passion.”




The book is intended to be used with an audio CD, which is not part of this review, and the book gives instructions on how to use the CD. The CD is the means by which the meta-theme, motion, is applied to your life and living. In the process you unfold, flower, flow. And then….


“When you no longer identify with your I-entity, a mentally created foreground object, you are not bound psychologically to a situation, you live in your wholeness, and solutions to the challenges of life unfold from this holistic seeing and understanding. Only then are you truly functional.” –James Traverse




This book is short and tightly written. It’s not hard to understand the main points and therefore it shouldn’t be difficult to “live in your wholeness.” If you understand this review, the book provides clearly explained depth to the main points I’ve mentioned. You can see for yourself in the excerpt below.


I highly recommend this book, Nidra Yoga, and the personal teaching of James Traverse.





Nidra Yoga, by James Traverse Read more about this book and order (by download) at


The Power of Deep Sleep and Now

Deep Sleep and Now are polar extremes of the same thing. They are complimentary portals to Your Source.

Now is the foreground portal to Your Source
Deep Sleep
is the background portal to Your Source

“Your very nature is Nature itself – the ground of all action is Awareness. ~ James Traverse  

Welcome to Nidra Yoga.

There is a huge difference between Deep Sleep and Waking. The difference is You as Presence and Absence 

This book and accompanying CD is a means for you to realize all of the benefits of Deep Sleep and understand who or what you are in the process.

Who you are is experientially obvious. Like Deep Sleep and Now, who you are cannot be explained - only experienced. Yet an explanation is required before you can truly understand who you are because the identity you have been asked to assume is false. In other words first your mistaken identity must be removed, then who you are is experientially obvious.

In this light the book provides appropriate information on Deep Sleep, the CD is the means for you to experience Nidra Yoga, and instead of asking you to blindly believe what is said about who you are, there are interactive experiments that invite you to ‘

Please try this’.

Here’s an example: 

In this material the terms foreground and background are used as key pointers. Therefore it is helpful to experientially understand what is meant by these terms.

Please try this:

Focus attention on something. 

In this case awareness is localized as whatever you are focusing on and all other things form the background. This is commonly called concentration; it is the aspect of awareness that has a centre as a localized focus. The activity of focusing awareness and commanding energy to be concentrated in this way is the foreground. 

Now try this:

Relax the concentrated focus. 

In this case awareness is still present and there is a spaciousness that is present when concentration is absent. This spaciousness and awareness is commonly called meditation. This activity of awareness is the background. 

The ground that is common to both foreground and background is awareness. In awareness there is space yet no distance; the foreground is a localized awareness; the background is non-localized awareness.

You, the foreground, die each night that you fall into Deep Sleep. In Deep Sleep it is self-evident that there is no doer as you are absent, yet there is no interruption to the continuity of your being. Nidra Yoga is a daylight form of Deep Sleep where you, the foreground, sleep and what is awake is the ever-present background of your Source. Ultimately Nidra Yoga is a means for you to understand and live your true nature. 

This book and accompanying CD came out of my investigation of the profound experiences of rest and restoration associated with over 30 years of yoga practices. In particular my experiences of Deep Sleep and Savasana (Deep Relaxation) included the feeling of returning, or waking up, from somewhere very, very deep; it was unquestionably clear to me that whatever or wherever this realm of being is, its action is whole, complete, and beyond the measure of the me that woke up.  

My activities flowered into the yoga approach that I now call Nidra Yoga as a result of my studies with Jean Klein who asked me to explore fundamental questions like ”Who am I?” His question paralleled others I already had like,

         Where do I go during periods of Deep Sleep?

         What is it that does the repair and recharging work that makes me feel so wonderful after Deep Sleep?

         Why do human beings die within two weeks without sleep?

         What did geniuses and Nobel Prize winners like Einstein, Neils Bohr and Da Vinci access through Deep Sleep?

The Right Understanding that is the outcome of the exploration of these fundamental questions is presented here.

The four chapters of the book are akin to the four phases of your respiration as: 

1) Inhalation

2) Retention

3) Exhalation

4) Suspension 

They reflect the four stages of consciousness known as:

1) Waking

2) Dreaming

3) Deep Sleep

4) Turiya (Non-State) 

The chapters also represent foreground and background understanding as:

Mistaken Understanding of Foreground~Background

Chapter 1) Waking

Awake in the Foreground

 Asleep in the Background

Chapter 2) Sleep

 Asleep in the Foreground

Asleep in the Background

Right Understanding of the Background~Foreground

Chapter 3) Nidra Yoga

Asleep in the Foreground

Awake in the Background

Chapter 4) In-The-Light

Awake in the Foreground

Awake in the Background

And, although the stages are not explicitly marked as such, the same fourfold theme is present in the audio CD that guides you in the meditative journey of Nidra Yoga. You will find directions on ‘How to use this book and accompanying CD’ in Chapter 3 Nidra Yoga. Please read through the entire book at least once before exploring the sessions on the CD.

The other theme that is evident in both the book and audio CD is Relationships. Particularly, the relationship of foreground and background, that is akin to the inter~course of your respiration and circulation that together form the central flow~motion current of your life as breathing, and, the relationship of the extremes of awareness called Concentration (foreground) and Meditation (background). 

The inspiration to structure the book and CD with these interrelated fourfold themes comes out of the model of excellence, which is your Source expressing itself as fourfold waves like your breathing, and the rhythms you see in nature like the seasons. The other reason for this is that the understanding of your true nature follows this same fourfold~wave model as:

1st)  You are separate from your Source;

2nd) You are the same in essence as your Source;

3rd)  You are identical to Source;

4th)  Spacious Awareness (Pure Spaciousness ~ Pure Awareness). 

Note that the 4th listed above is itself a wave with extremes that may be labelled Spaciousness and Awareness. 

Lastly this book and CD is about union, Yoga. Ironically it uses your ability to focus and separate things as a means for you to be established in the Right Understanding of the Oneness of your true nature. Along the way you will be reminded that there is no doer, yet this does not mean that nothing gets done as you have much to do and accomplish. The process is like using a thorn to remove a thorn whereby you undo blockages, and then discard both thorns when they are no longer needed. Ultimately this work is about realizing the living answer to the questions, “What is it that acts when I am in Deep Sleep?” and “Who am I?” 

Nidra Yoga, by James Traverse Read more about this book and order (by download) at The book and CD are only $12.98 and they can be downloaded after purchase.

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