The Quiet Mind
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2009-03-14
Insights become more clear when you look at them from the fourth dimension. To enjoy peace it's helpful to have the mind quiet, practicing abstinence from excessive talk. Nirvikalpa samadhi: Entering a realm that's formless, timeless, spaceless, causeless. Satchidananda is amorphous though it permeates form. Parasiva transcends even that.
There was a quote from Gurudeva on TAKA in the last few days that struck me. Says: "Remember your powers of observation are cultivated by abstinence from excessive talk. That is all you have to do to begin with. Be more silent and observing not wasting or dissipating this most vital power." This relates to what we were talking about last phase. The fourth dimension of the mind, which is accessed through the fourth chakra, which give you an overview of your normal thoughts and emotions. Instead of seeing them one at a time you're seeing them all at once, you have the overview of your processes and can have insights into your mental and emotional patterns as well as your emotional relations with other people. They become more clear when you look at them from the fourth dimension. That's what we were saying last phase.
The key that Gurudeva gave last phase for experiencing the fourth dimension was to: Feel the energy in the spine, the spiritual energy in the spine. When you center yourself in that then you're in the fourth dimension. This is another key which is: Abstinence from excessive talk.
There's a related statement by Gurudeva which is: "Think before you speak and speak only that which is true, kind, helpful and necessary." Remember that one? The question sometimes comes up: What is necessary? From one point of view no talk is necessary. If you write notes all day or something. Necessary means that which is expected in a, socially expected by the situation. That's what necessary means. If you were to speak less than that you would stand out as unusual, different. So different kinds of social situations require a different amount of talk. If you're going to a certain kind of party you're supposed to talk a lot. If you're at work you're not supposed to talk a lot. With the other people working it would be considered a distraction in many places of work. Thus, what becomes necessary -- true, kind, helpful and necessary -- is defined in that way.
This is also pointing out that silence is more than the environment. We have many individuals come here and say: "Oh what a peaceful place. It's so peaceful, I feel so peaceful here. Just hear nature, I hear all the birds" and so forth. And they're uplifted because of that. But they're also quieting their thoughts by being here. In other words, this isn't their normal environment. It's easier to quiet down your everyday thoughts when you're somewhere different than your normal environment. When you're in your normal environment it catalyzes you to think about your normal responsibilities. Catalyzes you to try and solve the ongoing problems you've been thinking about. Why? Cause you're in your normal environment. So, therefore, even though this is a very peaceful place, we have to have the mind quiet in order to enjoy that peace. And to have the mind quiet it's helpful to practice abstinence from excessive talk.
There is an important lesson in Merging With Siva recently: Form and Formlessness. It's a little deep but it's an important point worth being clear on.
"We must caution each and all not to think of the external mind as God, which would be a self-deception. Man's personality or individuality is not God -- neither is the ego, the intellect or the emotions. Though the unenlightened sometimes make this mistake, I believe you will readily ferret out the difference. Parasiva, the Self God, lies resident at the core of man's existence, far beyond the reach of the external phases of consciousness; yet these exist only because That exists, the timeless, causeless, spaceless God Siva beyond the mind.
"The other perfection inherent in the soul of man is Satchidananda -- Being, Consciousness and Bliss. When mind force, thought force and the vrittis, or waves of the mind, are quiescent, the outer mind subdues and the mind of the soul shines forth. We share the mind of God Siva at the superconscious depth of our being. In entering this quiescence, one first encounters a clear white light within the body, but only after sufficient mastery of the mind has been attained through the disciplined and protracted practices of yoga.
"Hearing the vina, the mridangam, the tambura and all the psychic sounds is the awakening of the inner body, which, if sadhana is pursued, will finally grow and stabilize, opening the mind to the constant state of Satchidananda, where the holy inner mind of God Siva and our soul are one. I hold that Satchidananda -- the light and consciousness ever permeating form, God in all things and everywhere -- is form, though refined form, to be sure. Satchidananda is pure form, pure consciousness, pure blessedness or bliss, our soul's perfection in form. Parasiva is formless, timeless, causeless, spaceless, as the perfection of our soul beyond form.
"Though it is supreme consciousness, Satchidananda is not the ultimate realization, which lies beyond consciousness or mind. This differs from popular interpretations of present-day Vedanta, which makes these two perfections virtually synonymous. Modern Vedanta scholars occasionally describe Satchidananda almost as a state of the intellect, as though the perfected intellect, through knowledge, could attain such depths, as though these depths were but a philosophical premise or collection of beliefs and insights. This is what I call 'simplistic vedanta.'
"To understand how these two perfections differ, visualize a vast sheath of light which permeates the walls of this monastery and the countryside around us, seeping in and through all particles of matter. The light could well be called formless, penetrating, as it does, all conceivable forms, never static, always changing. Actually, it is amorphous, not formless. Taking this one step farther, suppose there were a 'something' so great, so intense in vibration that it could swallow up light as well as the forms it permeates. This cannot be described, but can be called Parasiva -- the greatest of all God Siva's perfections to be realized. This, two, can be experienced by the yogi, in nirvikalpa samadhi. Thus, we understand Parasiva as the perfection known in nirvikalpa samadhi, and Satchidananda as the perfection experienced in savikalpa samadhi. By the word formless I do not describe that which can take any form or that which is of no definite shape and size. I mean without form altogether, beyond form, beyond the mind which conceives of form and space, for mind and consciousness, too, are form."
Gurudeva's trying to make it clear: What's the difference between Parasiva and Satchidananda? And what exactly the word formless means to him. So, sometimes the word formless is used to describe something that's amorphous, that has no distinct form. You can take water. Water is amorphous, it's flowing all over, it has no distinct form. You can freeze it and you can create something that has a distinct form. Air has no distinct form but it could be frozen and have a distinct form. Amorphous means that which is of no particular form. But by formless Gurudeva means it's stepping out of the whole process, the whole realm of time form and space. You're stepping out of it. Anything in the realm of time form and space, even that which is amorphous, you're stepping out of that and then coming back into that. So that's what nirvikalpa samadhi is. Entering a realm that's formless, timeless, spaceless, and causeless. That's the emphasis of this, is being clear on, Satchidananda is amorphous. It has a, it's not beyond form, it permeates form but that is an amorphous state. Whereas Parasiva transcends even that.
Thank you very much. Have a wonderful phase.
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