January 6, 2014 Comments Off on When you stand with your back to the sun
When you stand with your back to the sun, your shadow is before you; but when you turn and face the sun, then your shadow falls behind you.
Bowl of Saki, January 4, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
The life one recognizes is only the mortal aspect of life. Very few have ever seen or been conscious of the immortal aspect at all. Once one has realized life, that which one has hitherto called life is found to be only a glimpse or shadow of the real life that is beyond comprehension.
Plato wrote that we live in a shadow world, where we confuse the shadow of ourselves with reality. This is the Nafs, the false ego, which stands in the light before God, causing, so to speak, a spiritual eclipse…. The Nafs turns us from the One to the many, enticing us with the things of this world. Then man attaches himself to one thing after another, which brings, at best, momentary satisfaction. Through his spiritual practices the Sufi learns to chain the Nafs, to perceive that it is only a shadow of reality; and finding the sun of truth within his being, looking upon it, one is no longer aware of the shadow.
Then the Nafs is not destroyed, but harnessed. The whole of man’s being is attuned to God and everything within him serves God. This is the work of all on the path of illumination, of whatever school they may be. There is no other obstacle than this false self, and there is no better means of controlling it than by meditation and by practicing the presence of Allah.
~~~ “Githa II, Dhyana 2, Meditation”, by Hazrat Inayat Khan (unpublished)
The whole idea of life is to live freely; to look through space freely, having nothing to hide or conceal; allowing the light of truth to shine from within and the light of the sun without; light all around, no shadow of any kind hindering the light which is the soul of every being.
November 11, 2013 Comments Off on The Whole Man
A man should be just man, a man should be just human – total, whole. And out of that wholeness will arise a new kind of health. The East is introvert, the West is extrovert. Man is split, mind is schizophrenic. That’s why all the great masters have come from the East and all the great scientists have come from the West. The West has developed science and has completely forgotten about the inner soul; is concerned with matter, but has become oblivious of the inner subjectivity. The whole focus is on the object. Hence all the great scientists are born in the West.
The East has become too much concerned with the inner soul and has forgotten objectivity, matter, the world. Great religious masters developed out of this, but this is not a good situation, this should not be so.
Man should become one.
Man should not be allowed to be lopsided anymore. Man should be a fluidity, neither extrovert nor introvert. Man should be capable of being both together. The inner and the outer, if balanced, give the greatest ecstatic experience.
The person who is neither leaning towards the inner too much, nor towards the outer too much is the person of equilibrium. He will be a scientist and a mystic together. That is something that will happen, that is something that is going to happen. We are preparing the field for it. I would like to see a man who is neither Eastern nor Western, because to be Eastern as against Western is ugly. To be Western as against Eastern is again ugly. The whole earth belongs to us and we belong to the whole earth. A man should be just man, a man should be just human – total, whole. And out of that wholeness will arise a new kind of health.
The East has suffered, the West has suffered. The East has suffered; you can see it all around – the poverty, the starvation. The West has suffered, you can see inside the Western mind – tension, anxiety, anguish. The West is very poor inwardly, the East is very poor outwardly. Poverty is bad. Whether it is inner or outer makes no difference, poverty should not be allowed.
Man should be rich, inner, outer, both.
Man should have all-dimensional richness.
Just think of a man who is an Albert Einstein and a Gautam Buddha both. Just meditate on that possibility – that is possible. In fact if Albert Einstein had lived a little longer, he would have turned into a mystic. He had started thinking about the inner, he was becoming interested in the inner mystery. How long can you remain interested in the outer mystery? If you are really interested in mystery then sooner or later you will stumble upon the inner too.
My concept is of a world that is neither Eastern nor Western, neither inner nor outer, neither extrovert nor introvert – which is balanced, which is whole.
But this has not been the case in the past. That’s why your question is relevant. You ask: “Why have all the great masters come from the East?” Because the East has been obsessed with the inner as against the outer. Naturally, when down the centuries you have been obsessed with the inner, you will create a Buddha, a Nagarjuna, a Shankara, a Kabir. It is natural.
If you are obsessed with the outer as against the inner, you will create an Albert Einstein, an Eddington, an Edison, that’s natural. But this is not good for the totality of human beings. Something is missing. The man who has inner growth and has not grown outwardly remains juvenile in the outside, remains stupid outside. And the same is the case with the man who has grown much, who has become mature, very mature, as far as mathematics goes and physics goes and chemistry goes, but who inside has not been even born yet, who is still in the womb.
This is my message to you: drop these hemispheres – East and West – and drop these hemispheres of inner and outer. Become fluid. Let movement, flow, be your very life. Remain available to the outer and to the inner both.
That’s why I teach love and meditation.
Love is the passage to go out, meditation is the passage to go in.
And a man who is in love and meditative is beyond schizophrenia, is beyond all kinds of split. He has become one, he is integrated. In fact, he has soul.
Osho, The Diamond Sutra, Talk #8
Copyright © 2013 Osho International Foundation
October 14, 2013 Comments Off on TWENTY HINTS ON MEDITATION by Sri Swami Sivananda
TWENTY HINTS ON MEDITATION
FROM THE INSPIRING PEN OF SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA
1. Have a separate meditation room under lock and key. Never allow anybody to enter the room. Burn incense there. Wash your feet and then enter the room.
2. Retire to a quiet place or room where you do not fear interruption, so that your mind may feel secure and at rest. Of course, the ideal condition cannot always be obtained, in which case you should do the best you can. You should be alone, yourself, in communion with God or Brahman.
3. Get up at 4 a.m. (Brahmamuhurta) and meditate from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. Have another sitting at night from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
4. Keep a picture of your Ishta Devata in the room, and also some religious books—the Gita, the Upanishads, the Yoga Vasistha, the Bhagavata, etc. Spread your Asana in front of the picture of your Ishta Devata.
5. Sit in Padma, Siddha, Sukha, or Svastika Asana. Keep the head, neck and trunk in a straight line. Do not bend either forward of backward.
6. Close your eyes and concentrate gently in the Trikuti, the space between the two
eyebrows. Lock the fingers.
7. Never wrestle with the mind. Do not use any violent effort in concentration. Relax all the muscles and the nerves. Relax the brain. Gently think of your Ishta Devata. Slowly repeat your Guru-Mantra with Bhava and meaning. Still the bubbling mind. Silence the thoughts.
8. Make no violent effort to control the mind, but rather allow it to run along for a while, and exhaust its efforts. It will take advantage of the opportunity and will jump around like an unchained monkey at first, until it gradually slows down and looks to you for orders. It may take some time to tame the mind, but each time you try, it will come around you in a shorter time.
9. SAGUNA AND NIRGUNA DHYANA: To meditate on a Name and a Form of the Lord
is Saguna-Dhyana. This is concrete meditation. Meditate on any form of God you like, and repeat His Name mentally. This is Saguna-Dhyana. Or repeatOMmentally and meditate on abstract ideas like Infinity, Eternity, Purity, Consciousness, Truth, Bliss, etc., identifying these with your Self.
This is Nirguna-Dhyana. Stick to one method. In the initial stages, Saguna-Dhyana alone is suitable for the vast majority of persons.
10. Again and again withdraw the mind from worldly objects when it runs away from the Lakshya (focus), and fix it there. This sort of combat will go on for some months.
11. When you meditate on Lord Krishna in the beginning, keep His picture in front of you.
Look at it with steady gazing without winking the eyelids. See His feet first, then the yellow silken robe, then the ornaments around His neck, then His face, earrings, crown on the head set with diamonds, then His armlets, bracelets, then His conch, disc, mace and lotus. Then come again to the feet. Now start again the same process. Do this again and again for half an hour. When you feel tired, look steadily at the face only. Do this practice for three months.
12. Then close your eyes and mentally visualise the picture and rotate the mind in different parts, as you did before.
13. You can associate the attributes of God, as omnipotence, omniscience, purity,
perfection, etc. during the course of your meditation.
14. If evil thoughts enter your mind, do not use your will-force in driving them. You will only lose your energy. You will only tax your will. You will fatigue yourself. The greater the efforts you make, the more the evil thoughts will return with redoubled force. They will return more quickly, also. The thoughts will become more powerful. Be indifferent. Keep quiet. They will pass away soon. Or, substitute good counter-thoughts (Pratipaksha-Bhavana method). Or think of the picture of God and the Mantra, again and again, forcibly. Or, pray.
15. Never let a day pass without meditation. Be regular and systematic. Take Sattvic food. Fruits and milk will help mental focussing. Give up meat, fish, eggs, smoking, liquors, etc.
16. Dash cold water on the face to drive off drowsiness. Stand up for 15 minutes. Tie the tuft of hair on the head with a piece of string, to a nail above. As soon as you begin to doze, the string will pull you up. It will wake you up. It will serve the part of a mother. Or, lean upon an improvised swing for 10 minutes and move yourself to and fro. Do 10 or 20 mild Kumbhakas (Pranayama). Do Sirshasana and Mayurasana. Take only milk and fruits at night. By these methods you can combat sleep.
17. Be careful in the selection of your companions. Give up going to talkies. Talk a little. Observe Mouna (silence) for two hours daily. Do not mix with undesirable persons. Read good, inspiring, religious books. (This is substitute for good company, if you do not get positive good company). Have satsanga. These are all auxiliaries to meditation.
18. Do not shake the body. Keep it as firm as a rock. Breathe slowly. Do not scratch the body every now and then. Have the right mental attitude as taught by your Guru.
19. When the mind is tired, do not concentrate. Give it a little rest.
20. When an idea exclusively occupies the mind, it is transformed into an actual physical or mental state. Therefore, if you keep the mind fully occupied with the thought of God alone, you will get into Nirvikalpa Samadhi very quickly. Therefore, exert in right earnest.
September 21, 2013 Comments Off on pupil must create his own knowledge.
The teacher, however great, can never give his knowledge to the pupil; the
pupil must create his own knowledge.
Bowl of Saki, September 19, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Hazrat Inayat Khan:
The work of a mystical teacher is not to teach, but to tune, to tune the
pupil so that he may become the instrument of God. For the mystical teacher
is not the player of the instrument; he is the tuner. When he has tuned it,
he gives it into the hands of the Player whose instrument it is to play.
The duty of the mystical teacher is his service as a tuner.
The task of the Sufi teacher is not to force a belief on a mureed, but to
train him so that he may become illuminated enough to receive revelations
Truth by its very nature cannot be uttered, cannot be given. One cannot
give that which cannot be put into speech. So the teacher gives a method
for finding the truth, for unfolding it, for unlocking that which seems to
be in one’s heart. … It is clearly impossible for anyone to impart his
knowledge to another person; he can only show him how to unfold his own
knowledge to himself. Everybody possesses a kingdom, but he has to find it.
There is only one teacher, and that teacher is God Himself. No man can
teach another man. All one can do for another is to give him one’s own
experience in order to help him to be successful. For instance if a person
happens to know a road, he can tell another man that it is the road which
leads to the place he wishes to find. The work of the spiritual teacher is
like the work of Cupid. The work of Cupid is to bring two souls together.
And so is the work of the spiritual teacher: to bring together the soul and
But what is taught to the one who seeks after truth? Nothing is taught. He
is only shown how he should learn from God. For no man can ever teach
spirituality. It is God alone who teaches it. And how is it learned? When
these ears which are open outwardly are closed to the outside world and
focused upon the heart within, then instead of hearing all that comes from
the outer life one begins to hear the words within. Thus if one were to
define what meditation is, that also is an attitude: the right attitude
towards God. The attitude should first be to seek God within. And, after
seeking God within, then to see God outside.
September 13, 2013 Comments Off on SELF-SURRENDER
Surrender is isvarapranidhana – the devotee consecrates all his works and their fruits to the Lord. The devotee has no will of his own. He says unto the Lord, “I am thine. All is thine. Thy will be done. I am an instrument in thy hands.” In surrendering one’s will to the Lord, his will becomes one with the cosmic will. He becomes one with the Lord. There is no loss in surrendering one’s will to the Lord.
Self-surrender is complete surrender of the Self to God. Self-surrender makes the devotee feel the reality of divine grace and the Lord’s readiness to bestow help on him at all times. The divine influence streams into his being and moulds it to make it a fit medium for divine realisation and divine instrumentality.
Surrender and grace are interrelated. Surrender draws down grace and grace makes surrender complete. Surrender starts the purification of the heart and grace completes it. Without grace complete unification is not possible. Grace divinises your being in order that the constant inflow and inspiration can be received and retained. It is through divine grace alone that one’s whole being is galvanised and rejuvenated.
The self-arrogating little ego persists and resists again and again. It clings leech-like to old habits, cravings and desires. It wages guerilla war; it resists surrender. It demands certain objects for its secret gratification. The whole being should be surrendered. That is the reason why Lord Krishna says: “tameva saranam gaccha sarvabhavena bharata, (flee unto Him for shelter with all thy being, O Bharata)”. The citta, the ego, the mind, the intellect and the soul, should all be placed at the feet of the Lord. Mira did this and so obtained the grace of Lord Krishna and became one with him.
The vulgar, stiff, obstinate ego is harder than diamond, reinforced concrete or steel. It is very difficult to melt it. Constant vigilance and ceaseless effort are necessary to slay this dire enemy of peace and wisdom. It keeps subtle desires for its own silent appeasement. Introspect. Find out the subtle desires that lurk in the corners of your heart through the search-light of concentration and discrimination. Kill them through regular, silent meditation. – Swami Sivananda
September 10, 2013 Comments Off on Health, Meditation, and Dreams
How is it that the body begins to feel light after the deep and fast breathing in dynamic meditation?
It is true that the body will feel light after this meditation. This is because our sense of the body is one of heaviness. What we call heaviness is nothing more than our sense of the body. The body weighs heavy on a sick person even if he is skinny and wiry. But a healthy person, even if he is a heavyweight, carries his body very lightly. So it is really our body-consciousness that feels like a weight on us.
And we become conscious of our body only when it is in pain, when it is suffering. We become conscious of our feet when they are hurting. We become aware of our head when it is aching. If there is no body pain, we are never aware of our body. This consciousness is the measure of our suffering.
We define a healthy person as one who feels as if he is bodiless.
Someone who does not feel that he is a body, who has a feeling of bodiless-ness, is really a healthy person. And if he is identified with a particular part of his body it can be said that this part of his body is sick.
As the amount of oxygen increases and as the kundalini awakens, you will begin to have experiences that are not of the body; they belong to the soul or the atman. And on account of these subtle experiences you will simultaneously feel lightness, an extraordinary kind of weightlessness. Many people will feel as if they are levitating. Not that they really levitate – an event of actual levitation takes place only once in a long while. But because of the feeling of utter weightlessness, you feel that you are levitating. If you open your eyes and see, you will find that you are sitting on the ground. But why this feeling of levitation?
The fact is that our mind, in its inmost depths, does not know any language as we know. It only knows the language of pictures, symbols. So when you experience weightlessness, utter weightlessness, your mind expresses it in the language of pictures. It does not say verbally that it is weightlessness, it pictures it as an act of levitation, it feels levitation.
Our deeper mind, our unconscious mind does not think in words, it thinks in pictures, in symbols.
That is why our dreams in the night have only pictures and hardly any words. The dreaming mind has to transform everything – including experiences and thoughts – into pictures. For this reason when we wake up in the morning we find it so difficult to understand our own dreams. The language we know and use in the waking hours is utterly different from the pictorial language of dreams. The two are total strangers to each other, and therefore great interpreters in the form of pundits, psychologists and psychiatrists are needed to interpret them for us. We just cannot do without them.
Now someone is ambitious. How will he express his ambition when he is dreaming? He will turn into a bird on the wing soaring high in the sky. Then he will be at the top of everything, leaving the whole world behind him. Ambition in dreams takes the form of flights – one dreams that he is flying and flying. All ambitious men have dreams of flying. But the word ambition will never find a place in dreams. So after waking up in the morning the person wonders why he was flying in his dreams. It is his ambition turned into a flying bird in dreams.
The same way when we enter the depths of meditation,
weightlessness feels like levitation.
Really weightlessness can be pictured only as levitation, there is no other way. And once in a great while the body actually levitates in a state of extreme weightlessness.
Osho, In Search of the Miraculous, Talk #12
Copyright © 2013 Osho International Foundation
September 7, 2013 Comments Off on Silence comes when thought has understood its own beginning
Meditation is to be aware of thought, of feeling, never to correct it, never to say it is right or wrong, never to justify it, but just to watch it and move with it. In that watching and moving with that thought, with that feeling, you begin to understand and to be aware of the whole nature of thought and feeling. Silence comes when thought has understood its own beginning, the nature of itself, how all thought is never free but always old. To see all this, to see the movement of every thought, to understand it, to be aware of it, is to come to that silence which is meditation, in which the `observer’ never is. – Krishnamurti, Saanen 1967