May 28, 2013 Comments Off on Concentration
Step Two: Concentration
Then we automatically move into the next step, concentration. The hummingbird poised over the flower held at attention, begins to look at the flower, to concentrate on it, to study it, to muse about it, not to be distracted by another flower–that is then awareness moving. Awareness distracted, here, is awareness simply moving to another flower, or moving to another area of the mind.
Give up the idea that thoughts come in and out of your mind, like visitors come in and out of your house. Hold to the idea that it is awareness that moves, rather than the thoughts that move. Look at awareness as a yo-yo at the end of a string. The string is hooked to the very core of energy itself, and awareness, flows out, and it flows in. Awareness might flow out toward a tree and in again, and then out toward a flower, and then in again, and down toward the ground and then in again. This wonderful yo-yo of awareness–that is a good concept to grasp in order to become more acquainted with awareness. Awareness held at attention can then come into the next vibratory rate and concentrate.
Take a flower and place it in front of you. Breathe deeply as you sit before it. Simply look at it. Don’t stare at it and strain your eyes. But simply become aware of it. Each time awareness moves to some other area of the mind, with your willpower move awareness back and become aware of the flower again. Keep doing this until you are simply aware of the flower and not aware of your body or your breath. Then begin to concentrate on the flower. That is the second step. Think about the flower. Move into the area of the mind where all flowers exist in all phases of manifestation, and concentrate on the flower. Move from one area to another–to where all stems exist, to the stem of that particular flower, to the root that that particular flower came from, and to the seed. Concentrate, concentrate, concentrate on the flower. This is what concentration is–remaining in the thought area of the particular item that you are aware of and flowing through the different color and sound vibrations of the thoughts. How does it work? The powers of concentration–it is only a name. Actually, what is happening is you are flowing awareness through the area of the mind which contains the elements which actually made that particular flower, and you are perceiving how all those elements came together. – Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami,from:Merging with Siva
May 25, 2013 Comments Off on Attention
Step One: Attention
The grand old man of the East who ordained me, Jnanaguru Yoganathan, Yogaswami of Jaffna, used to say time and time again, “It was all finished long ago.” It’s finished already. The whole mind is finished, all complete, in all stages of manifestation. Man’s individual awareness flows through the mind as the traveler trods the globe.
Now we come to the real study, and this applies right to you and to you personally: the five steps on the path of enlightenment. What are they? Attention, concentration, meditation, contemplation and Self Realization. Those are the five steps that awareness has to flow through, almost gaining strength each time, on the path to enlightenment. When we first start, awareness is flowing through many areas of the mind. And if it is a mature awareness, we will say it’s a great big ball of light, flowing through the mind. And if it’s not a mature awareness, it’s like a little ping-pong ball, bouncing around. The little ping-pong ball awareness is not going to walk the path of enlightenment, so to speak. It’s going to bobble around in the instinctive mind, incarnation after incarnation, until it grows to a great big ball, like a great big beach ball. Then finally it will have enough experiences flowing through the mind to turn in on itself. When this happens, certain faculties come into being. One of them is willpower. And we learn to hold attention. We learn to hold awareness at attention. Awareness: attention!
What is attention? Attention is the first of the five steps on the path, that is, holding awareness steady, centralized in only one area of the mind, and the area that we choose it to be in, not the area that someone else has chosen it to be in. Our awareness is moved around by other people through the mind at such a fast rate that we think we are moving awareness ourself, so to speak. That’s a funny way to talk because I’m saying we move awareness as if awareness is something else other than us. But awareness and energy and willpower are all the same thing. So, we will just call it awareness from here on out. When other people move awareness through one area or another, we call that distraction, or worldly distractions. The mission is to move awareness yourself. How do you learn to do that? Holding it at attention.
How does attention work? Attention is awareness poised like a hummingbird over a flower. It doesn’t move. The flower doesn’t move, and awareness becomes aware of the flower–poised. The entire nerve system of the physical body and the functions of breath have to be at a certain rhythm in order for awareness to remain poised like a hummingbird over a flower. Now, since the physical body and our breath have never really been disciplined in any way, we have to begin by breathing rhythmically and diaphragmatically, so that we breathe out the same number of counts as we breathe in. After we do this over a long period of time–and you can start now–then the body becomes trained, the external nerve system become trained, responds, and awareness is held at attention. – Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami,from:Merging with Siva
May 24, 2013 Comments Off on Discipline And Success
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. 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.
To be successful in meditation, we have to bring the mind into a disciplined state. Undisciplined people can never be told what to do, because they will not listen. Their awareness is wafted around by every little fancy that comes along. Those who really want to make progress in meditation and continue to do so and better themselves year after year after year have to approach this art in an extremely positive and systematic way. Here, again, the Shum language can be a great help.
Thousands of devotees have come and gone since the beginning of my mission in 1949. Each one of them was determined to go deep within and realize the Self, but many gave up along the way. This was because at times the shakti power became very strong within them and their inner nerve system was not ready to receive the impact. Others were successful because they were more disciplined, and when their inner power came up, they enjoyed its intensity by holding it steady within the spine. They rested in the bliss of awareness aware only of itself. They then continued the meditation as planned after the power began to wane. – Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami,from:Merging with Siva
May 19, 2013 Comments Off on Becoming Simple
When one begins to meditate, he should approach it dynamically, for it is becoming more alive. He is penetrating his awareness into the very source of life itself, for eventually he hopes to attain the ultimate goal, merger with Siva, the experience of the Self beyond all time, beyond all form, beyond all cause. The experience of Parasiva is attained only when one has become very simple, direct, uncomplicated. When a new nerve system has been built within this very body, strong enough to hold awareness within enough so that awareness itself can completely dissolve itself into its own essence, Satchidananda and Parasiva are experienced.
After that dynamic experience, man’s heritage in this lifetime, one enters back into the mind which is all form–creating, preserving, destroying, completely finished in all areas of manifestation–and moves freely through the mind, seeing it for what it is.
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.
Choose a time for your meditation. Sit up so straight and strong and dynamic that you feel you are at that very moment the center of the universe. Regulate your breath so precisely that awareness flows freely out of the realm of thought into the perceptive areas of the mind. Then begin meditating on the two forces, odic and actinic. Be like the spaceman high above the surface of the Earth looking at the odic forces of the cities. Look then, too, at the odic forces, the magnetic forces, that motivate your life within yourself and between people and you and things. Feel the actinic force flooding out from the central source of energy itself. And then turn awareness in upon itself. Simply be aware of being aware. Sit in dynamic bliss.
And in coming out of this meditation, next feel the power of the spine, vibrant energy flooding out through the nerve system, the hands, the arms, the legs, the head. Enter back into life joyfully, joyously. – Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami,from:Merging with Siva
May 4, 2013 Comments Off on Transmuting The Energies
When we begin to meditate, we have to transmute the energies of the physical body. By sitting up straight with the spine erect, the energies of the physical body are transmuted. The spine erect, the head balanced at the top of the spine, brings one into a positive mood. In a position such as this we cannot become worried, fretful or depressed or sleepy during our meditation.
Slump the shoulders forward and short-circuit the actinic forces that flow through the spine and out through the nerve system. In a position such as this it is easy to become depressed, to have mental arguments with oneself or another, or to experience unhappiness. With the spine erect and head balanced at the top of the spine, we are positive, dynamic. Thoughts race through the mind substance, and we are aware of many, many thoughts. Therefore, the next step is to transmute the energies from the intellectual area of the mind so that we move our awareness into an area of the mind which does not think but conceives, looks at the thinking area.
The force of the intellectual area of the mind is controlled and transmuted through the power of a regulated breath. A beginning pranayama is a method of breathing nine counts as we inhale, holding one; nine counts as we exhale, holding one count. Be very sure to maintain the same number of counts out as in, or that the breath is regulated to the same distance in as the same distance out. This will quickly allow you to become aware of an area of the mind that does not think but is intensely alive, peaceful, blissful, conceives the totality of a concept rather than thinking out the various parts. This perceptive area of the mind is where the actinic forces are most vibrant. Sushumna, the power of the spine, is felt dynamically, and we are then ready to begin meditation.
Meditate on awareness as an individual entity flowing through all areas of the mind, as the free citizen of the world travels through each country, each city, not attaching himself anywhere.
In meditation, awareness must be loosened and made free to move vibrantly and buoyantly into the inner depths where peace and bliss remain undisturbed for centuries, or out into the odic force fields of the material world where man is in conflict with his brother, or into the internal depths of the subconscious mind. Meditate, therefore, on awareness traveling freely through all areas of the mind. The dynamic willpower of the meditator in his ability to control his awareness as it flows into its inner depths eventually brings him to a state of bliss where awareness is simply aware of itself. This would be the next area to move into in a meditation. Simply sit, being totally aware that one is aware. New energies will flood the body, flowing out through the nerve system, out into the exterior world. The nature then becomes refined in meditating in this way. – Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami,from:Merging with Siva
April 27, 2013 Comments Off on Mastery of The Mind
The experienced meditator seeks out the unwholesome areas within himself, endeavoring to expose and rid himself of each knot of karma. The beginning meditator may be shocked and shrink from even continuing the practice of meditation, as his inner mind plays back unhappy thoughts that impose themselves upon his shanti. Many stop meditating altogether at this point and turn instead to the distractions of modern life for solace.
But true meditation happens because of soul evolution. We evolve into meditative practices from bhakti, the yoga of devotion. The transition is earned through past good karmas, not chosen as an intellectual or recreational pastime. As the transition of external worship to internal worship is made, the devotee has to face all bad karmas cheerfully and honestly in order to resolve them and move forward.
Sitting in a state of real meditation, one must be more alive and alert than a tight-rope walker suspended without a net on a taut cable three hundred feet above the Earth. Do you suppose that this man is sleepy, that he allows his mind to wander? No, every muscle and sinew of his body, every thought, every feeling within him, is absolutely under his control. It is the only way he can maintain the balance which keeps him from plunging to the earth beneath. He must be the master of himself, all the while seeking to identify with his pure soul being, not allowing attention to be pulled here and there–to the physical body, to outside sounds, to thoughts of the past or to concerns about the future.
In meditation, you will feel the same intensity of purpose as the tight-rope 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 that awareness is enmeshed in a struggle between two states of mind: the subconscious of the past and the conscious, external, waking state concerned with the present and 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 the meditator, 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. – Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami,from:Merging with Siva
April 25, 2013 Comments Off on Maya
There is no duality in reality. All modification is illusory; multiplicity is an illusion.
Maya (the illusory power of the Lord) projects multiplicity. Maya creates division division between the individual soul and the supreme soul.
Maya is a tremendous, delusive power of God. Maya is the material stuff of this world. Maya is the source of the physical universe. This world of names and forms is a false show kept up by the jugglery of maya. Just as a stick burning at one end, when waved round quickly, produces an illusion of a circle of fire, so is it with the multiplicity of the world. Maya deludes us. Maya creates havoc in the mind. The things that we perceive all round us are only mind in form or substance. The world is a product of the mind. The whole World is an expansion of the mind. The entire universe arises and exists in the mind. Nothing of the world is outside the mind. Earth, mountains and rivers all are fragments of the mind, appearing as it were, to exist outside. The world does not exist by itself. It is not seen without the aid of the mind. It disappears when the mind ceases to function, as in deep sleep.
It is imagination alone that assumes the forms of time, space and motion. Space and time have no independent status apart from Brahman or the self, which is pure awareness. There is no space without time, and there is no time without space. Space and time go together. Space and time are interdependent. They are both unreal. Time and space are mental projections, as unreal as dreams. However real they may seem to be, they are not ultimately real. Timeless, spaceless Brahman is the only reality.
Brahman alone is. It is Brahman alone that shines as the world of variegated objects, like water differentiated by the waves into many kinds of foam, bubbles, etc. Brahman appears as the world when cognised through the mind and the senses.
Maya conceals the truth and presents an error it veils the reality and shows the world. Mistaking the body for Atman or the Self is called maya. Maya screens the knowledge of Atman and therefore man mistakes one for the other. This is the cause of bondage we have the erroneous consciousness that we are objective beings, that our actions are objective expressions projected in time and space. – Swami Sivananda