Your Chief Characteristic

September 10, 2013 Comments Off on Your Chief Characteristic

I am concerned about my friend’s drinking habits.

“Don’t think about anything that concerns others.

“And that’s what you go on thinking. Ninety-nine percent of the things that you think about concern others. Drop them – drop them immediately!

“Your life is short, and your life is slipping out of your fingers. Each moment you are less, each day you are less, and each day you are less alive and more dead! Each birthday is a death day; one more year is gone from your hands. Be a little more intelligent.

“Do not think about anything that concerns others. Train first against the defilement that is greatest.

“Gurdjieff used to say to his disciples – the first thing, the very very first thing, ‘Find out what your greatest characteristic is, your greatest undoing, your central characteristic of unconsciousness.’ Each one’s is different. Somebody is sex-obsessed. In a country like India, where for centuries sex has been repressed, that has become almost a universal characteristic; everybody is obsessed with sex. Somebody is obsessed with anger, and somebody else is obsessed with greed. You have to watch which is your basic obsession.

“So first find the main characteristic upon which your whole ego edifice rests. And then be constantly aware of it, because it can exist only if you are unaware. It is burnt in the fire of awareness automatically.

“And remember, remember always, that you are not to cultivate the opposite of it. Otherwise, what happens is a person becomes aware that, ‘My obsession is anger, so what should I do? I should cultivate compassion.’ ‘My obsession is sex, so what should I do? I should practice brahmacharya, celibacy.’

“People move from one thing to the opposite. That is not the way of transformation. It is the same pendulum, moving from left to right, from right to left. And that’s how your life has been moving for centuries; it is the same pendulum.

“The pendulum has to be stopped in the middle. And that’s the miracle of awareness. Just be aware that, ‘This is my chief pitfall, this is the place where I stumble again and again, this is the root of my unconsciousness.’

“Don’t try to cultivate the opposite of it, but pour your whole awareness into it. Create a great bonfire of awareness, and it will be burned. And then the pendulum stops in the middle.

“And with the stopping of the pendulum, time stops. You suddenly enter into the world of timelessness, deathlessness, eternity.”

Osho, The Book of Wisdom, Talk #9
Copyright © 2013 Osho International Foundation

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Darshan’s Mystic Power

June 23, 2013 Comments Off on Darshan’s Mystic Power

Little is known of the guru’s grace or the power of darshana in Western culture. Darshana (more popularly darshan) is a Sanskrit word meaning “vision, seeing or perception.” But in its mystical usage, it is more than that. Darshan is also the feeling of the emotions of a holy person, the intellect, the spiritual qualities that he has attained and, most importantly, the shakti, the power, that has changed him and is there constantly to change others. Darshan encompasses the entirety of the being of a person of spiritual attainment. In India, everyone is involved in darshan. Some at a temple have darshan of the Deity. Others at an ashram have darshan of their swami or on the street enjoy darshan of a sadhu. And most everyone experiences durdarshan. That’s the word for television in India, meaning “seeing from afar.” Even this seeing, through movies, news and various programs of mystery, tragedy, humor, the fine arts and culture, can affect our emotions, intellect, pulling us down or lifting us up in consciousness. Seeing is such a powerful dimension of life, and it affects us in so many ways, inside and out. Darshan, in the true meaning of this mystical, complex and most esoteric word, conveys all of this.

The concept of darshan goes beyond the devotee’s seeing of the guru. It also embraces the guru’s seeing of the devotee. Hindus consider that when you are in the presence of the guru that his seeing of you, and therefore knowing you and your karmas, is another grace. So, darshan is a two-edged sword, a two-way street. It is a process of seeing and being seen. The devotee is seeing and in that instant drawing forth the blessings of the satguru, the swami or the sadhu. In turn, he is seeing the devotee and his divine place in the universe. Both happen within the moment, and that moment, like a vision, grows stronger as the years go by, not like imagination, which fades away. It is an ever-growing spiritual experience. The sense of separation is transcended, so there is a oneness between seer and seen. This is monistic theism, this is Advaita Ishvaravada. Each is seeing the other and momentarily being the other.

Darshan embodies shakti. Darshan embodies shanti. Darshan embodies vidya, perceiving on all levels of consciousness for all inhabitants of the world. It is physical, mental, emotional, spiritual perception. Hindus believe that the darshan from a guru who has realized the Self can clear the subconscious mind of a devotee in minutes, alleviating all reaction to past actions and alter his perspective from an outer to an inner one. Darshan is the emanating rays from the depth of an enlightened soul’s being. These rays pervade the room in which he is, penetrating the aura of the devotees and enlivening the kundalini, the white, fiery, vapor-like substance that is actually the heat of the physical body in its natural state.

In the Orient, whenever the cloud of despair covers the soul of a devotee, the darshan of a guru is sought. Whenever it becomes difficult to meditate, his grace is hoped for to lift the veil of delusion and release awareness from the darker areas of mind to soar within. Consciously merge into the inner being of yourself, and you will know your guru when you find him. – Lesson 303 from Merging with Siva by Satguru sivaya subramuniya Swami

Striving For Perennial Happiness

June 10, 2013 Comments Off on Striving For Perennial Happiness

 

It is in the nature of man to strive for happiness, but all the happiness which he can gain by his actions is only of limited duration. The enjoyments of the senses are transient and the senses themselves are worn out by too much enjoyment. Further, sin generally accompanies these enjoyments and makes men unhappy beyond comparison.

Even if the pleasures of the world are enjoyed as much as their nature permits, if they are as intense, as varied and as uninterrupted as possible – old age still approaches and with it, death. And the enjoyments of heaven are in reality not more enviable than these pleasures of the senses. They are of the same nature although more unmixed and durable, and they come to an end for they are gained by actions. Actions are finite and their effects must also be finite.

In one word, there is necessarily an end to all these enjoyments and what avails us to strive for pleasure which we know cannot sustain us beyond the moment of enjoyment? It is therefore the nature of the man to look out for an unchangeable, infinite happiness (ananta sukha) – which must come from a `being’ in which there is no change if such a being can be found. It is only from him that man attains an unalterable happiness. And if this be so, this `being’ must become the sole object of all his aspirations and actions.

This `being’ is not very far – he resides in your heart. He is the saksi caitanya (witness consciousness) who witnesses the activities of your buddhi (intellect). He is the nirguna Brahman of the Upanishads.

TRUE BEING. True being is that which knows no bounds, neither physical nor intellectual. It is unbounded, spiritual being. The nature of approach must befit the nature of the object approached. The pathway can be known only when the destination is known. The indivisible, absolute and conscious nature of the reality signifies that life on earth should be lived according to rigid laws – laws of dispassion towards external existence and active awareness of the Self as an unlimited being. It also shows that all forms of physical and even intellectual indulgence are deviations from eternal truth. It shows that every desire for objectification of consciousness is suicidal in the real sense. – Swami Sivananda

Remember “I am”

June 9, 2013 Comments Off on Remember “I am”

 

Step 1: Remember You Are

“Wherever you are, remember yourself, that you are. This consciousness that you are should become a continuity. Not your name, your caste, your nationality. Those are futile things, absolutely useless. Just remember that: I am. This must not be forgotten. Walking, sitting, eating, talking, remember that: I am.

“It will be difficult, very arduous. In the beginning you will keep forgetting: there will be only single moments when you will feel illuminated, then it is lost. But don’t get miserable; even single moments are much. Go on, whenever you can remember again catch hold of the thread. When you forget, don’t worry; remember again, and by and by the gaps will lessen, the intervals will start dropping, a continuity will arise.

“And whenever your consciousness becomes continuous, you need not use the mind. Then there is no planning, then you act out of your consciousness, not out of your mind. Then there is no need for any apology, no need to give any explanation. Then you are whatsoever you are; there is nothing to hide. Whatsoever you are, you are. You cannot do anything else. You can only be in a state of continuous remembrance. Through this remembrance, this mindfulness, comes the authentic religion, comes the authentic morality.

“This is what Hindus call self-remembrance, what the Buddha called right-mindfulness, what Gurdjieff used to call self-remembering, what Krishnamurti calls awareness. This is the most substantial part of meditation, to remember that: I am.

“You need not repeat it in the mind, ‘I am walking.’ If you repeat it, that is not remembrance. You have to be non-verbally aware that ‘I am walking, I am eating, I am talking, I am listening.’ Whatsoever you do, the ‘I’ inside should not be forgotten; it should remain.

“It is not self-consciousness. It is consciousness of the self. Self-consciousness is ego. Consciousness of the self is asmita…purity, just being aware that ‘I am’.

“Ordinarily, your consciousness is arrowed towards the object. You look at me: your whole consciousness is moving towards me like an arrow. But you are arrowed towards me. Self-remembering means you must have a double-arrow: one side of it showing to me, another side showing to you. A double-arrow is self-remembrance.”

Osho, Yoga: The Science of the Soul, Talk #1
Copyright © 2012 Osho International Foundation

Controlling Odic Force Fields

June 8, 2013 Comments Off on Controlling Odic Force Fields

Occasionally, a devotee will come along in meditation and have sublime inner experiences. He’s experiencing the vishuddha chakra, and he has inner light experiences. He’s just on top of the world. A month later, he meets some karmic boomerang. He doesn’t have the stamina or the discipline to hold awareness within, and he starts flowing through the second chakra, and he’s saying, “I’ve never had any experiences at all. I wonder why? (the second chakra is reason) I wonder why I don’t have some inward experiences,” and why this and why that and why something else. “I wonder why I’m even doing meditation.” He’s wondering why all the way along, and he’s quite argumentative.
I say, “Don’t you remember the beautiful experience that you told me about? You came all wide open.” “Oh, no, no, no.” He doesn’t remember that at all. “What experience?” he asks. “Don’t you remember? You were right here in the temple,” I say, trying to lead him gently back to his experience, “and your head turned into a sea of light. You sat there for an hour and then came and told me all about it.” Then we pretend it only happened a moment ago, and he is back within again. This happens quite regularly. Therefore, to stabilize awareness, so it does not flow through the first chakra, the fifth chakra, the third chakra, the second chakra, to stabilize awareness, what do we do? Attention, concentration, meditation. Attention, concentration, meditation. Work daily within ourselves so we stabilize, and so that willpower and awareness become one and the same great motivating force, so we travel through the areas of the mind that we want to, not propelled by the forces of karma as they boomerang back, not propelled by those forces. We have to work within daily to stabilize the breath and the body so that will and awareness become one and the same great motivating force. Then, when the patterns and stumbling blocks of the past loom before us, we have the strength to stay within and maintain the continuity of one inner unfoldment after another.
These magnetic forces are either passive or aggressive in their manifestation. Business advertising is one example of aggressive odic force in use. Sexual magnetism is one example of passive odic force. Our physical body is composed of a subtle balance between active and passive magnetic forces. When the aggressive odic force becomes too active, the passive forces become disturbed and illness results, generally of a mental or emotional nature. When the passive odic forces become overstimulated, physical ailments of a purely physical nature result.
Odic forces are colorful and are of the conscious and subconscious world. Actinic force is colorless and very refined in color and is the vibration of deeper consciousness. When the mind is in a disturbed state, the odic forces are out of balance with each other. The trained yoga adept knows how to open himself to the inflow of actinic force, which then quiets or appeases the odic discharge. The evolution of the adept through meditation depends on the measure of his control and use of the odic forces as he enters into the consciousness of the actinic world. Many people start on the path of Self Realization in an almost involuntary way, simply by asking the fundamental question, “Who, or what, am I?” In so doing, they turn the mind fiber in upon itself and become tuned into the substance of actinic force.
Everyone has his own actinic wave length or actinic ray upon which, or within which, his awareness glides in the realms of expanded consciousness. A satguru’s actinic ray is actually heard as nada, the “eeee” sound. This mystic sound the guru hears as he tunes into his guru. His guru listens to the same sound to be one with his satguru, and on and on, back in time, which is within the “now.” To become one with, or of a similar vibration with, the actinic vibration of the satguru is synonymous to listening to the sound of the guru’s lineage. This is called the nada-nadi shakti. The devotee endeavors in this meditation to listen to his guru’s nada, not his own, but that of his guru, his guru’s guru and all the others back in time. This is oneness, the oneness of a devotee merging into the satguru’s lineage. – by Sathguru Sivaya Subramuniya Swami,from:Merging with Siva

SAMADHI – TRUE AND FAKE

June 5, 2013 Comments Off on SAMADHI – TRUE AND FAKE

 

Do not mistake deep sleep for samadhi. The glory of the state of turiya is ineffable. Its splendour is indescribable. If the body is light, if the mind is clear, if there is cheerfulness, know that you are meditating. If the body is heavy, the mind dull, know that you are sleeping while meditating.

There is always a complaint among aspirants: “I have been meditating for the last twelve years and I have not made any improvement, any realisation. What is the matter?” They have not plunged themselves in deep meditation in the innermost recesses of their hearts. They have not properly saturated the mind with thoughts of God. They have not done regular, systematic sadhana (practice). They have not disciplined the indriyas (senses) properly. They have not collected all the out­going rays of the mind. They have not made the self­determination that: “I will realise God this very second”. They have not given the whole mind to God. They have not kept up an increasing flow of divine consciousness.

Even if you do not feel any pulse in the sadhaka (seeker) when he is in meditation, even if the breathing stops, do not think that he is in nirvikalpa samadhi (unconditioned state). If he is, he will return with super­sensual divine knowledge ­ then only can it be said that he has attained real samadhi. Breathing and pulse may stop from various other causes as well.

The sadhaka must have perfect awareness in meditation. There is not much gain if he remains in mere jada (inert) state, even though he is insensible to external sounds.

O aspirant, struggle hard. Make sincere efforts. Meditate regularly and systematically. Enough of heated discussions and heated debates. Retire into a solitary room. Close your eyes. Have deep silent meditation. Feel God’s presence. Repeat His name -­ Om ­- with fervour, joy and love. Fill your heart with prem. Destroy thoughts, whims, fancies and desires when they arise on the surface of the mind.

Withdraw the wandering mind. Fix it on the Lord. Now meditation will become deep and intense. Do not open your eyes. Do not stir from your seat. Merge in him. Dive deep in the recesses of your heart. Plunge into the shining Atman. Drink the nectar of immortality. Enjoy the silence. Peace. Silence. Glory. – Swami Sivananda

Meditation

June 2, 2013 Comments Off on Meditation

Step Three: Meditation

After we are able to hold awareness hovering over that which we are concentrating upon, we come into great powers of observation. We are able to look into and almost through that which we are concentrating upon and observe its various parts and particles, its action and its reaction, because we are not distracted. Even observation in daily life, as a result of regular participation in the practice of concentration, comes naturally. We are able to see more, hear more, feel more. Our senses are more keen and alive. Observation is so necessary to cultivate, to bring awareness fully into the fullness of meditation.

This leads us then into our very next step, meditation. Meditation and concentration are practically the same thing, though meditation is simply a more intense state of concentration. The state of meditation is careful, close scrutiny of the individual elements and energies which make up that flower. You are scrutinizing the inner layers of the mind, of how a flower grows, how the seed is formed. You are observing it so keenly that you have forgotten that you are a physical body, that you are an emotional unit, that you are breathing. You are in the area of mind where that flower exists, and the bush that it came from, and the roots and the seed and all phases of manifestation, all at the same time. And you are seeing it as it actually is in that area of the mind, where the flower that you first put awareness at attention upon, then began to concentrate upon. Then you are meditating on the actual inner area of the mind where, in all stages of manifestation, that particular species actually is within the mind. – Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami,from:Merging with Siva

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