Keys and Benefits of Meditation
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2015-07-04
Meditation: Transmute the physical and emotional forces. Quiet the intellect, slow down thinking. Tune into the spiritual energy of the spine, experience intuition, answers attach to the end of each question. Parampara stories of Yogaswami and Markanduswami. Thannai Ari--Know Thyself.
Master Course, Merging with Siva, Lesson 82.
Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo Mahesvara, Guru Sakshat, Parabrahma, Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.
Good morning everyone.
"Lesson 82, Merging with Siva. The Benefits of Meditation
"The finest times to meditate are before dawn, at noon, sunset and midnight. All four of these times could be used, or choose one. The meditation should be from fifteen minutes to one-half hour to begin with. What to meditate on? The transmutation of the odic forces back to their source, the actinic force. Through perfect posture, asana, we transmute the physical forces and the emotional forces. Through the control of the breath, pranayama, we transmute the intellectual forces and move awareness out of the area of the mind that is always thinking--the great dream. "
These two are, of course, really important parts of meditation. We need to sit up straight which transmutes the physical forces and the emotional forces. And we then we need to control the breath which quiets down the intellect. As we've mentioned before the breath and thinking are inter-related. So it works, works both ways. If we intensify our thinking, it will speed up our breathing. If we slow down the breathing it'll slow down the thinking. If we go at it from either side cause the two are inter-related.
So the goal in meditation, of course, is to slow down the thinking. That's done by regulating the breath which also slows it down.
"Then we become vibrant and confident in ourselves, feeling the power of our spine through which the actinic forces flow out through the nerve system. We learn to lean on our own spine more than on any other person, teacher, book, organization or system."
The idea there is: We're not talking, of course, about the physical spine, leaning on the physical spine. We're talking about the fact that we have spiritual energy in that location. There's spiritual energy in the location of our spine and if we tune into the spiritual energy that's in the location of our spine, then it gives us confidence. Enables us to be vibrant.
"Answers begin to become real and vibrant, hooked onto the end of each question. And these and many more are the dynamic rewards of the sincere aspirant who searches within through meditation."
So spiritual energy, if we're feeling spiritual energy can also open us to experience in our intuition. Two things aren't really different; it's just different ways of explaining the same phenomena. One is this energy the other is as intuition. So, experience of the spiritual energy and having the answer hooked onto the question means: In that state of mind, if we think about something we can understand it immediately sometimes. Of course, not all of the time but sometimes the answer just comes immediately without the laborious process of reason and analysis. So remember that one; we'll come back to that one later.
This is from some material I have in my, think it's called: "The Path of Enlightenment." It's fairly massive presentation. It's drawing on the Parampara stories.
"When Yoga Swami began living in his Columbuthurai Ashram, he would spend the first three days of a week in meditation..."
How's that? Seventy-two hour meditation.
"...He would rest on the fourth day. (Well that's good.) Again He would spend the last three days in meditation. Even after the devotees began to arrive in great numbers He would be rapt in meditation at will. On Sivaratri day it was His custom to meditate through the night. (So that's a pretty strict Sivaratri, right? You just lock yourself into meditation when it starts and come out when it's done.) A few devotees who had the good fortune to be with Swami at these times saw a light shining where Swami's body should have been. Those devotees who saw this shining light for a few seconds believed that this was the divine light that shone from His blemish-less form, and was His true form. Even those who could not see this shining light were amazed at the erect still form of Swami seated like a statue without any movement. That golden form sat as still as His umbrella in the corner. On one occasion when Swami sat like a pillar, a crow came flying, rested on His head for a while and flew away."
In other words, he was so still for so long the crow didn't know it was a person. Thought it was a pillar.
"Yogaswami made reference to this event in one of his sayings in the book "Words of Our Master" which states: 'If you think of the state of Siva, which is beyond all attributes it won't come. It will come by itself. One day, when I was in that state, a bird came and sat on my head. Even yogis and jnanis can't understand that state."
Yogaswami would also stress the importance of meditation to his devotees and formulated a key teaching, or mahavakiyam, to help them meditate. "Know thyself" is the mahavakiyam or "Tannai ari" in Tamil.
Here are some of Yogaswami's sayings on knowing thyself:
"You must know the self by the self. Concentration of mind is required for this."
"You lack nothing. The only thing you lack is that you do not know who you are."
"Truth is not encompassed by books and learning. You must know yourself by yourself. There is nothing else to be known."
Then there's this story about Markanduswami:
"My guru began taking his monks to Jaffna in 1969. Yogaswami, of course, had passed away in 1964, so we did not have the opportunity of meeting him. However, Yogaswami's disciple Markanduswami was living in a hut outside of Jaffna and would share Yogaswami's teaching with all who visited. In this way many of our senior monks had the opportunity to visit him and listen to his explanations of Yogaswami's teachings.
"Markanduswami liked to stress the teaching that Yogaswami only gave us one work to do and would say:
"'Yogaswami didn't give us a hundred odd works to do. Only one. Realize the self, yourself, or know thyself, or find out who you are, in Tamil 'thannai ari.' You can't find the truth in a thousand books or by listening to people talk. you must realize the Self by yourself.'"
One of his instructions was:
"When you are in meditation, you watch the mind. Here and there the mind is hopping. One, two, three,.. a hundred. In a few seconds the mind goes to a hundred places. Let him be. You also watch very carefully. Here and there this mind is running. Let him go anywhere, but if he goes to a hundred places, you must follow him to a hundred places.
"You must not miss even a single one. Follow him and note, he is going here. Now he is going there. You must not miss even a single one.
"That is the prescription Satguru Yogaswami gave me to open this inner book. He said, 'Watch very attentively and learn to pick up things coming from within. Those messages are very valuable. You can't value them. Realize Self by self and open this inner book. Why don't you open your own book? Why don't you make use of it? What an easy path I am prescribing for you!'"
So that's the same idea there that what Gurudeva calls: Answers attached to the end of questions, Markanduswami is saying: Pick up things from within. Same idea. So that through the practice of meditation what we can receive an intuition and intuitions are very valuable. They're so valuable you can't value them.
Stop. Thank you very much. Have a wonderful day.