Being dynamic in meditation
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2007-07-02
With successful meditation our external point of reference changes and we become aware of ourselves as a spiritual being, a subsuperconscious intelligence -- positive and dynamic. Take that deeper and deeper to the point of reference of the Self. Shum: a good tool for guiding the meditator. Reading and bhashya from Gurudeva's commentary on kaif.
"In meditation, you will feel the same intensity of purpose as the tightrope walker. Every atom in your being must be alive, every emotion under control, every thought seeking to impose itself upon your mind set aside until your purpose is accomplished. If the man three hundred feet up in the air feels a gust of wind coming against him, he must exercise perhaps a hundred times more will and concentration to remain poised in his precarious condition. Likewise, in meditation your mind may be intensely concentrated upon a particular object or thought, and yet you find an opposing thought seeking to divert your attention. The opposing thought may simply be a wind from your subconscious. You must then put more effort into the object of your concentration so that the opposing thoughts will be set aside and not have power to topple your balance.
"Upon entering a state of meditation, one may find awareness enmeshed in a struggle between the subconscious of the past and the conscious, external waking state concerned with the present and the future. The experienced meditator learns that he is the watcher, pure awareness. When concentration is sustained long enough, he dives into the superconscious, intuitive state of mind. It enables him, in time, to unravel the mystery. An integrated, one-pointed state of being is the goal -- a state of inner perception without vacillation, with the ability to move awareness through the mind's various states at will. To become the ruler of the mind is the goal. To then go beyond the mind into the Self is the destiny of all living on this planet, for most in a life to come."
And there's one more reference here to this idea of being very dynamic.
"After one has finished a powerful meditation -- and to meditate for even ten to fifteen minutes takes as much energy as one would use in running one mile -- it fills and thrills one with an abundance of energy to be used creatively in the external world during the activities of daily life."
So what is it that uses up all this energy? We're sitting there, doesn't look like we're using much energy, right? But, Gurudeva says: "We're using as much energy as one would use in running one mile." So, what's causing us to use energy? The intensity with which we're concentrating the mind; that's what's causing us to use the energy. We've got a real intensity, intensity of concentration. And when a concentration is intensified then it's using a lot of energy. And it's also releasing a lot of energy as Gurudeva says: When we come out of the meditation, if we've utilized a lot of energy in the meditation; when we come out of the meditation we feel a lot of energy.
So that's, it's a wonderful, it's a very important point to keep in mind. So Gurudeva's stressing it twice in this chapter, that idea of being intense and concentrated. So, of course, whenever we talk about that, being intense and concentrated; we have to remind ourselves that doesn't mean you know, we get like that and look very intense and concentrated. No, it means somehow we relax and become very intense and concentrated. So there's a relaxation involved as well. It's not just like tensing a muscle, it's a relaxation. We need to be relaxed but very intense in our concentration. That's what creates a dynamic meditation verses a sleepy meditation.
"Parasiva is the ultimate goal in merging with Siva, the realization of the Self in its totality. How does one know that one has experienced such an experience if you cannot speak of it, if it is beyond the mind, thought, cause, time and space? And yet one does know and vibrantly knows. There are various signposts. One is that one could go into Parasiva an ignorant person and come out wise. Another: the urgency, the goal, the quest, is over. He loses something: the desire for Self Realization. Another signpost is that the Self, the very core of existence, is always his point of reference. He relates to the exterior world only as an adult relates to the children's toys. Parasiva is to be sought for, worked for and finally attained. But a lot of work must be done first."
So, the idea here I wanted to develop is the last one: point of reference. So, when we first start to meditate our point of reference is our external ego, our external concept of ourselves. We think of ourselves as a person, the personality, and with certain strengths and weaknesses, and certain things in the past we did that we really shouldn't of, and certain ambitions for the future and so forth. You know, we think of ourselves as that person; that's our point of reference. And this person is going inside. Trying to find something inside. So the point of reference is of course external. So, once we've been meditating successfully for a while, what happens? The point of reference becomes internal. Gurudeva calls that: "Being two-thirds within and one-third without." We're aware of ourselves as: not a personality, that's not our point of reference. We're aware of ourselves as a spiritual being, as a subsuperconscious intelligence, as an awareness, as an energy in the spine that's always positive and dynamic. Our point of reference has changed. And from that point of reference, which we try not to lose; then we look out at the world and we look out at our personality. So, because our personality is not our point of reference we're more detached from it. We can laugh at ourselves a little bit more, our foibles and so forth. We don't take ourselves so seriously. Why? Because we're not totally identified with that. We haven't totally renounced it or anything but, we have an internal point of reference that seems more real to us than the personality which is how we started out as our external point of reference.
So then, you can take that deeper and deeper and this is taking it as deep as you can go: "Another sign point is that the Self, the very core of existence, is always his point of reference." So what would that mean. Well, it's the same idea but taken in deeper: It's that a more real you is looking out at a less real you. So, in this case the more real you happens to be beyond time, form and space. And, the less real you is what is happening in time form and space. So, if you start thinking of yourself as being time, you know, being outside of the realm of time form space, kind of enjoying the realm of time form and space as it unfolds in front of you; then you've got a very deep point of reference. Point of reference of the Self.
"It is very important to decide exactly what you are going to meditate on before beginning. Then stay with the decision throughout the meditation and make every effort to avoid the tendency to become distracted and take off in a new direction. The Shum language as a tool for guiding the meditator is very helpful, because the individual's awareness is precisely held within the chosen area. This is similar to how we must discipline ourselves to be successful in outer activities. To become distracted is unacceptable. Successful people finish what they begin. It is possible to learn to meditate extremely well but be unsuccessful in practicing it if the meditator allows himself to become sidetracked once the inside of the mind has opened up. To be successful, one has to be very, very firm with oneself when beginning a meditation. Each meditation must be performed in the way it was intended to be performed when the meditation was begun."
So as Gurudeva says: Shum language is a good tool for accomplishing this. And because you have an exact structure of what you're trying to do before you start, and then when you're doing it you have a structure of where you're supposed to be, and then when you come out it's done. So, it's totally structured. For example, the Mamsani: the basic Mamsani meditations are that way. "Preparation for Meditation" is that way. There's no vagueness as to what we're meditating on. You can imagine a group, and you know before Shum Gurudeva used to experience this, you know; he'd have group meditation and everyone in the room was in a totally different universe so to speak. Totally different place, no, nothing shared at all. You know, some were doing well, some were sleepy, some were thinking about the past, others were worried about the future. You know, just total diversity of consciousness and so Gurudeva wasn't very enthusiastic about group meditations until the Shum language came along as a way of guiding them. And then he felt that group meditations done by strictly following Shum words helped the individual meditate better than he or she would meditating on their own. So, it actually enhanced the meditation of the individual, whereas previously, it kind of was a distraction for the better meditators to have those in the group who didn't know what they were doing. But, when everyone was striving to experience the same thing, no matter how well they succeeded; just the fact that they were striving to do the same thing, it enhanced the experience of everyone.
So, this is related from Gurudeva on kaif: pure awareness aware of itself.
"This is why you strive for mastery of sadhana, mastery of concentration; your ability to hold awareness where you want it, when you want it, for as long as you want it, and a mastery of your ability to experience kaif: pure awareness aware only of itself, by taking awareness out of the entire context into just being aware. This practice of kaif is one of the fundamental projections (almost). "This practice of kaif is one of the fundamental protectors from psychic or astral invasion. For, when you are in that state, great clarity and willpower persist and the lower states are transcended.
"To attain and sustain kaif is a simple practice. You pull awareness out of the thought processes. You pull awareness out of the emotion processes. You pull awareness out of the bodily processes and you're just completely on that pinnacle of being aware of being aware. That's so necessary to practice every day even if you do it for a split second. The experience of kaif can be attained by anyone on the face of the Earth. At least for a split second. Because it's so easy to be aware of being aware. To hold that experience and to stabilize the physical and emotional elements long enough to hold that intensity for even a minute takes more practice. Not too much, but consistent practice. To maintain kaif for two minutes requires more effort, more will, more dedication to the life of sadhana. Five minutes requires more. That's the test."
So that's a useful distinction. Sometimes we put experiences out of our reach that aren't really out of our reach. So, this is distinguishing between the experience of kaif and Gurudeva's saying: Anyone on the face of the Earth can experience kaif at least for a split second. Awareness being aware only of itself. The challenge is to sustain it. To not wander off into thoughts or feelings, concerns about others and so forth. But to sit there, keeping awareness aware only of awareness for minutes is the challenge, but it can be done and Gurudeva says it takes practice. And of course, it takes what we were talking about last time we talked which is keeping the subconscious clear. Not allowing you know, ourselves to become disturbed emotionally by recent events or distant events. That's one of the big problems that people have is; if they're not meditating and not particularly drawn to an inner discipline, part of them is always upset. So when they sit down to meditate, they run into that's always upset about one thing or another and can hold awareness aware of itself for a split second. And then you're aware of what you're upset about. Or, who you're disturbed with today. You know it comes right out. We can't, can't hold it there cause it's pulled right into the emotional disturbances we're carrying around with us. So, as Gurudeva points out in many of his writings, therefore, we need to do mental maintenance and clear out the past through vasana daha tantra. And then keep the recent past transparent through resolving disagreements and apologizing and just keeping relationships with others smooth. And then, then when we sit we're not pulled out of kaif immediately by emotional disturbance.
So, it's a good reflection and good topic for self-reflection is: When you're meditating and you've managed to achieve awareness aware of itself, just note down what pulls you out. See if it's the same thing consistently. It might be a concern about your finances for example, concern about your job; something keeps pulling you out. Concern about some relative so, if you find a consistent item pulling you out it needs some thought; you need to set aside some time to sort it out. Solve the problem of your finances; solve the problem of your job; resolve the relationship with the relative which is disturbing you. You know, the mind tells us what to do if we watch it carefully. It's giving us a clue. Cause it's a creature of habit, it's a creature of repetition. So that which is repeated needs to be resolved and the more something is repeated the more it needs to be resolved, the more important it is to you.
Well OK, well thank you very much. Have a wonderful phase.
We're off to Singapore and Mauritius. It's our shortest trip to Singapore and Mauritius; it's a long weekend. Two items in each country. A mission satsang and the half day keynote seminar on "What is Hinduism." So we have just two things in each country and then we're back.
Aum Namah Sivaya, Aum Namah Sivaya, Aum Namah Sivaya Aum.
[End of transcript.]