Lotus of the Heart and Simshumbisi
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2007-06-09
A reading from "Merging With Siva" titled: "The Lotus of the Heart," shows the way to "Opening an inner door for awareness to flow through;" followed by a parallel Shum lesson highlighting simshumbisi -- the power in the spine. Humility and observation are required to move awareness from a negative state of mind into simshumbisi. Two important points about visualization are bestowed.
[Summa iru -- 30 seconds]
Good morning everyone. In our lesson with the day, the "Merging With Siva" chapter, is now Chapter 9, "Lotus of the Heart." So this is one of the lessons in that chapter.
"How do you avoid unhappy states of mind? By consciously flowing awareness into the radiance, the light emanating from the self-effulgent being within the lotus of the heart. Direct awareness through controlled breathing. Remembering this basic principle, tell yourself that it is there, and soon you will begin to feel it. You will actually cause to grow within yourself a subtle nerve force that will turn awareness into the inner being so that consciously you can feel the Self God, your Sivaness, and its emanation that even now exists within you. In this way you can experience true bliss, true happiness, blissful happiness that does not cycle or fade.
"One moment of contact with your inner being that resides within the lotus of the heart, that is always there -- one moment -- will clear up a whole situation in the external area of the mind for you. It will give you clear insight into how you should live your life, how to meet your circumstances, how to avoid whatever you do not want to find yourself involved in as the cycles of your life begin to repeat themselves.
"This self-luminous emanation is like a diamond that is filled with light. Think about it in that way. It is filled with light, this diamond that resides within the lotus of the heart. Try to visualize this clearly and precisely as you read. Visualization of inner things is the same as opening an inner door for awareness to flow through to gain the experience that is already there. Visualization helps to pinpoint awareness and hold awareness concentrated in one certain area of the mind and gently move it to another. With this shining diamond constantly within the body, how could you become aware of an unhappy area of the mind? How could you become selfish? How could you hold resentment? How would it be possible for you to dislike another? This diamond within the lotus is within others, too."
So in our Shum study we don't focus on the lotus of the heart, but, what's close to that is simshumbisi the power in the spine and the two are quite related. So I thought I'd read from the mamsani for the month of May which is about power of the spine, simshumbisi, and then talk a little about that.
"One of our most powerful mamsani is simshumbisi, kaif. The wavy line represents awareness flowing -- niimf. Awareness flowing from one area of the mind to another is called niimf. Here it flows from the fourth dimension, where simshumbisi is, into the seventh dimension, where awareness is completely aware of itself -- kaif. This mamsani you can live with all of the time. Carry it with you on a little card in your pocket all month long. It's the easiest one, the most vital one and one of the most powerful. Feel the power within your spine when you meditate on simshumbisi. The mamsani tells us that until we are aware of being aware in the beautiful bliss of kaif where awareness does not move, because it is so centered within itself, we must constantly be centered in simshumbisi."
So, this next sentence is the important one.
"Whenever you are not feeling quite up to par, remember this mamsani and move awareness into simshumbisi. Sit, breathe, become aware of simply being aware of these inner energies deep within the spine. These energies come from the central source of it all. Then feel yourself going in and in and in, into the seventh-dimensional area of the mind, kaif, being aware of simply being aware. This state is not beyond your reach. It does take a little bit of quieting down, however; but not a great deal of spiritual unfoldment is needed. It is very easy to attain kaif. Just try. You will see for yourself just how easy it can be."
So those two ideas, the one in the lesson and the one here are quite parallel. And it's one were focussing on in our recent meditation retreat in Northern California; that, our state of consciousness doesn't have to be subject to the whims and fancies of what happens around us. Quite often the state of consciousness we're in is totally dependent upon what's happening in the external world. We're going along fine and someone mistreats us, says the wrong thing, and ruins our day. That's it, no more. Our awareness, we as awareness have moved into a negative state of consciousness just because of what one person said. It ruined our day.
So, what Gurudeva's pointing out is that, if you are not feeling quite up to par remember this mamsani and move awareness into simshumbisi. So, we always have a choice. Whenever life throws us into a less than ideal state of consciousness we have a choice to stay there, feel sorry for ourselves, or, move out. And of course, Gurudeva suggests, we move out. No reason to get stuck there but of course, the first key is realizing that that's what happened.
So, to realizing that awareness has moved, because of some external event into a negative state of consciousness, requires two things. Requires a certain degree of humility, you know, someone who's super-proud won't admit they're in a negative state of mind. You know, they'll argue with you if you bring it up. "I'm not in a negative state of mind."
And it also requires observation. As Gurudeva says: "Observation is the first awakening of the superconscious, first awakening of the soul." Which means we're aware of the state of consciousness we're in. So, if we can be observant enough to see when life has knocked awareness into a negative state of consciousness and humble enough to admit it, then, the next step is to move out of it as quickly as possible.
So how do we move out of it? By becoming aware of the spiritual energies within the spine. That's what Gurudeva says: "Sit, breath, become aware of simply being aware of these inner energies deep within the spine." So, the amount of breathing that's necessary depends on the amount of distress we're experiencing. If it's just a minor issue, you know we don't have to sit there and breath for an hour. But, if we've really gotten upset by life, then fifteen or twenty minutes of breathing is appropriate. Regulating the breath, because the breath and our consciousness are related. So, the consciousness gets disturbed, the breath gets irregular and shallow. But the two are tied together. So, if we can regulate the breath we change the consciousness. It's tied together. If the consciousness changes the breath changes; if we change the breath, we change the consciousness. It's a two, two directional process.
Then, the other point I want, oh, let me read the concluding quote on that. Finish up that point.
"Whenever you are not feeling quite up to par, remember this mamsani and move awareness into simshumbisi. Sit, breathe, become aware of simply being aware of these inner energies deep within the spine." This is an easy but powerful way to uplift ourselves spiritually.
So, Gurudeva made two points about visualization in the lesson I read in "Merging With Siva" which are very important. Whole practice of visualization in meditation is an important aspect of Gurudeva's approach to meditation.
What was the first point?
First point is: "Visualization helps to pinpoint awareness and hold awareness concentrated in one certain area of the mind and gently move it to another." So, if we're visualizing something, it helps us stay focused. In other words, the mind won't wander as much if there's a visualization there, so it gives us something tangible to hold onto in the mind.
Then the second point, equally as important.
"Visualization of inner things is the same as opening an inner door for awareness to flow through to gain the experience that is already there." So one of the simple exercises Gurudeva gives is -- for seeing the inner light -- is, you know: Visualize a flashlight at the top of your head shining in. And then if you stop visualizing the flashlight and the inner light is still there, you know, you're not visualizing it any more; you're actually experiencing it. So, but the visualization helps you tune in to the experience or helps you have the experience.
So, for example, simshumbisi. So if we do it without visualization, we say: "Feel the spiritual energy in the spine." Well, I'm sure that means something different to everyone here, right? You know? We know where the spine is; we can agree on that, but, what does the spiritual energy in the spine feel like? What does energy feel like. So, we'll all have a somewhat different approach. And without a visualization it's easier for the mind to wander to something else. Because it's just the, some words. Spiritual energy in the spine. So, that's why we have a visualization. So if you're simshumbisi, visualization that Gurudeva gives us is: "Visualize a clear tube within the center of your spine being filled with yellow light coming from the top of your head. See the pure life force, yellow in color, flowing through the spine and out into the nerve system."
So that's very specific. So, practicing that visualization does two things, there's two benefits. As Gurudeva pointed out: Number one: It helps us stay more concentrated on the spiritual energy within the spine because we have something visual for the mind to hold onto. And secondly: It helps us actually experience the energy as a yellow light within the spine. So, the visualization will lead to the experience.
So, how do you know the difference? Well, if you stop trying to visualize and you still see it, then you know you're not, it's not a visualization. It's actually there.
So those are two very important points to remember about visualization.
Thank you very much.
Aum Namah Sivaya
[End of transcript.]