Taming Distraction--Mamsani for May
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2008-07-20
Shumif perspective: awareness that travels through the mind. Inner peace, inner light always there, we don't have to create it. Benefits of not moving, internalizing. Hatha yoga and pranayama are preparations for our type of meditation based on the Shum language. Mamsani for May. Tangible experiences of spiritual unfoldment: simshumbisi, kaif, niimf.
Good Morning everyone. Thought I would read from today's Living with Siva lesson on "Taming Distraction."
"Throughout your inner investigations in meditation, cling to the philosophical principle that the mind doesn't move. Thoughts are stationary within the mind, and only awareness moves. It flows from one thought to another, as the free citizen of the world travels through each country, each city, not attaching himself anywhere."
So that's our perspective. Gurudeva calls it the shumif perspective in the Shum language of looking at the mind as stationary and ourselves as a traveler, as awareness that travels through the mind. So, it means that all states of mind are always there. So, the different different states of inner peace, inner light, they're always there. They don't come and go. We don't create them; we move awareness into them. So, it makes it easier to experience them if we think of it that way, that we don't have to do anything to create it. It's always there we just have to find it.
"When you are able, through practice, to sit for twenty minutes without moving even one finger, your superconscious mind can begin to express itself. It can even reprogram your subconscious and change past patterns of existence. This is one of the wonderful things about inner life. That's why it's inner life--it happens from the inside.
"If you just sit and breathe, the inner nerve system of the body of your psyche, your soul, begins to work on the subconscious, to mold it like clay. Awareness is loosened from limited concepts and made free to move vibrantly and buoyantly into the inner depths where peace and bliss remain undisturbed for centuries. However, if you move even a finger, you externalize the entire nervous system. Like shifting gears from high to low, you change the intensity of awareness, and the outer nerve system then is active. Superconscious programming ceases, awareness returns to the body and the senses, and the external mind takes over. By sitting still again at this point, it is just a matter of a few minutes for the forces to quiet and awareness to soar in and in once again."
So, that's an important point that Gurudeva's making: The benefits of not moving when we're practicing meditation. At other times it's fine. But when we practice meditation the goal is to sit in a way where we don't move. So, of course, that takes practice; it's not something we can necessarily do the first time we try it. Depends on lots of things, but, what is helpful is two practices or two practices. One is hatha yoga, just practicing hatha yoga regularly. Cause hatha yoga in our system of postures is tying the breath into movement and it helps the nervous system adjust in a way where it's easier to sit still without moving. So, regular hatha yoga is helpful in this practice, as well as before at the beginning of the meditation we do the pranayama. We do the regulating of the breath for a number of minutes and so that process is also again helpful in being able to sit without moving. So, as Gurudeva points out, it's not a crisis if you move, it's just takes a few minutes to build back up to where you were in terms of being internalized. So, every time you move you're starting over in a sense, a certain process, but you can go through it more quickly a second or a third time than you did the first time. So it's not like you're totally starting over in terms of time but you're starting over in terms of the process involved of internalizing.
"As you sit to meditate, awareness may wander into past memories or future happenings. It may be distracted by the senses, by a sound or by a feeling of discomfort in the body. This is natural in the early stages. Gently bring awareness back to your point of concentration. Don't criticize awareness for wandering, for that is yet another distraction. Distractions will disappear if you become intensely interested and involved in your meditation. In such a state, you won't even feel the physical body. You have gone to a movie, read a book or sat working on a project on your computer that was so engrossing you only later discovered your foot had fallen asleep for a half hour because it was in an awkward position. Similarly, once we are totally conscious on the inside, we will never be distracted by the physical body or the outside."
So that's pointing out we need to be interested in what we're meditating on. "Distractions will disappear if you become intensely interested and involved in your meditation."
So there's many types of meditations and our type of meditation, based on the Shum language -- we're trying to experience something specific. Go to a specific place; experience a specific state of consciousness; feel a specific energy. So that, one of the basic inner goals is the energy of the spine, the positive energy of the spine which in the Shum language is called simshumbisi. So, it's not that difficult to feel if you go through the preparation for meditation, the steps that precede it. Anyone who can get through those steps can feel the energy of the spine. The challenge, of course, is to get interested in it enough to, for awareness to stay there and not ramble off onto some other journey, shall we say?
So, Gurudeva describes it nicely in the Mamsani Booklet: The Twelve Basic Meditations. It's in the mamsani for the month of May.
"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 own 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. 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 it's a good goal in meditation and if our meditation kind of gets off track, where we're meditating and we kind of get distracted by planning what's for dinner, worrying about a business problem or other things; a good way to get back into the meditation is to focus on simshumbisi. Because it's a tangible experience it can be a very dynamic experience, really make us feel positive and centered in the moment. So, that's why Gurudeva stresses it so much. When the mind is trying to go here or there, doesn't quite make it, you know, bring it back to simshumbisi and get centered again and then try for a deeper state. That's the idea.
Thank you very much.
Aum Namah Sivaya
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