Meditation: Centre in the Consciousness


butterfly-insect-wing-wildlife-87039.jpegLet us give attention to the consciousness space. How do you do that? It may sound simple, but actually it is very profound. The consciousness space is that centre of being in which the ego operates, the sense of “I,” and it is that centre of conscious experience. It is that centre of pure awareness within you in which you are experiencing the elements of nature, the movement of the mind, the movement of emotion.

In that centre of being you have a consciousness of Self, you have a consciousness of the elements, and then you have a consciousness of the subtle reality of mind and emotion and intention. Centre in that experience of “I exist.” Not that you are the thinker, that’s a role. Not that you are the one who is feeling, that’s a role. Not the body, that’s another role. But that very centre of being where the “I” plays in the consciousness, assuming all these different roles.

The goal in the play is to stay beyond the roles that you play; to get to that centre where you can observe every role without being caught in it, identified with it as your only reality. Centering in the consciousness space means centering in the “I” experience, but beyond every role; beyond the thinker, beyond the one that feels, beyond that vital person that drives the body, and beyond the body.

This is an experience that comes with grace, as you open up to grace. You cannot have this experience just by wanting it, but by opening up your being with humility and with a sincere desire to manifest the all of you. Surrendering to that inner process of transformation, that inner space will open up to you. It cannot be had by the one that plays with the ego or is caught in the ego.

Excerpt of guided meditation by Sri Vasudeva, for more go to  www. blue-star.org

Advertisements

Putting Aside The Mantra


I love this picture of a rose. I want to hang this picture on my wall. I gather all my materials together to frame the picture. Then I get my drill to put a stud in the wall. What do I do with my tools when the picture is hung? I no longer need my tools because I’ve fulfilled my intention of hanging the picture.

Likewise I’ve been repeating the mantra during sitting meditation and periodically during the day. I feel I want to remind myself of my original intention for repeating the mantra. I started off the year seeking an expanded consciousness, resolving to open myself to the boundless Grace of the universe that is reaching out to me. I wanted to give attention to that subtle pull that draws me to the deepest part of my Being.

The mantra is a tool I have been using to quiet my mind so that I can allow that inner pull to become stronger and stronger, drawing me to that inner sacred space, where I can connect with the Source of my being. When I was hanging the picture it was clear when the task was completed and I no longer needed the tools. How will I know when I no longer need the mantra? I will  pay attention to the quietness of the mind, to notice when I become filled with the inner silence, to rejoice in that dynamic, buoyant space. In such a space the mantra seems like noise, it becomes an intrusion.

So now I know when I need to use the mantra and when I can put the mantra aside. Next I want to explore what expanded consciousness means to me.

Meditation & Bread rolls


Do you like dinner rolls? I’ve been baking bread, trying for a flavor, size and consistency of bread roll. I’ve been experimenting with the type of ingredients, where and how long I let the dough rise, how long I leave in the oven; you get the idea. I’d never eaten a bread roll like the one I was aiming for, but I figured I would know it when I had it. Last night I did it! The rolls were just perfect. I had done everything by hand but I didn’t measure anything, I didn’t record how I was doing it. I had made several attempts before so I had a good idea of the process to follow. So I’m not sure how to re-create the success from last night but I will have lots of fun trying to do so.

The whole process reminded me of the meditation practice. I sit with an intention, following the basic “recipe”. I pay attention to my physical posture, use the breath awareness, the mantra, the witnessing, to help me to quiet the mind, stabilize the emotions to begin to touch the sacred inner space. Sometimes through grace I have a beautiful experience, a fulfillment of the intention. Like my dinner rolls from last night, I have to keep trying to see how I can fulfill my intention again. You see where flexibility comes in? I have to be willing to approach the “recipe” with flexibility, to start examining every aspect of the meditation to see how I can approach it from a fresh perspective.

I’m not expecting the next time that my bread rolls will be exactly the same as they were last night. However they can be a similar flavor, consistency, taste. They may even be better. Just like I don’t expect every meditation to be the same. However, just like I can learn to make a bread roll that I like, so too I can learn to have a fulfilling meditation. It starts with getting comfortable with the basic “recipe” then beginning to tweak that recipe to suit my needs, having fun along the way.

I do so love the meditation practice :).  Somehow I think you guessed that :). I wonder is there some aspect of meditation you would like us to explore together? Some way that it can be more enjoyable for you?

 

 

Sending out waves and waves of peace, love and joy


Today I continue the quest to develop  the spirit of flexibility. I am inspired by the  Book of Tibetan Elders This book is a set of interviews describing the teachings from the elders as well as the experience of meeting them.

Many of these elders have experienced tremendous hardship as they escaped from Tibet. It’s so heart warming to read of their journey to develop compassion for the Chinese occupiers. I can see how powerful meditation can be in cultivating spiritual qualities the need for patience,  for self examination, for systematic practice.

It’s been interesting reading the book with the intention of finding out about flexibility. The book brings home the value of having a personal guide. One who will give practical advice on how to bring the teachings into daily life, how to work with the mind, how to read and interpret the signals from the Higher Self and most important one who will share the process so that the seeker can grow in self awareness and self mastery.

On page 203 there is a discussion about the relationship between the master and the student.

“The student is someone who is able to see a gem, to be able to recognize when a master is special……We need to see beyond the form, straight into the essence. If we have this capacity it means we have something special…. When you have been touched by a master things happen for you… quicken and progress”.

This is also my experience, that having a guide, a coach who takes an interest in my personal practice makes the world of difference. I in turn offer what I can in terms of support to those who seek it.

Please join in spirit in a meditation as we seek to center ourselves in the Source of our being, to feel the connection with each other and to send out into our world waves and waves of peace, love and joy.

What is really “mine”?


It’s the first day in November, a new month, a new beginning. I’m happy to be back home in Ottawa again. I’m excited to be back with you again too. I’ve had time to realize how much I enjoy and look forward to these conversations we have with each other. Thank you for your presence, your attention, your caring, your support on the spiritual journey.

As I unpack and get settled I’m struck by how I describe objects and experiences… the inner language. Take the word “my” for example. It’s very interesting the times that I use it. Sometimes it reveals to me how caught up I am in a situation mistakenly thinking this idea, object or relationship is “mine”, when it is only around me for a certain period of time, it’s on loan, so to speak,  there will come a time when I exchange it for another. What is really “mine”?

I notice that if I change the use of the word “my” to a more neutral word like “the” then the  inner experience is different. This is not always practical to do in interactions with others. If someone asks, “What is your name?” then for convention I will respond, ” My name is Madhavi.” But in my inner world I can remind myself that this is a temporary name and my real identity is consciousness.

Now it’s not so easy to do this practice when I’m very caught up and off centered. However the more I practice it the more chances I have of remembering it when I’m challenged.

Do you notice the inner language? Have you tried to make changes?  What kind of strategies do you use?

Wishing you many novel spiritual experiences this November!

Affirmations That are Exciting my Soul Today


Isn’t the use of mantra and affirmation so amazing? Today I’m aware that when I repeat affirmations, prayer or mantras, I listen to it as I say it; and try to say it continuously with awareness, holding the present moment until the affirmation, prayer or mantra begins to stay in the mind very powerfully.  So it moves beyond just the voice. Even if I stop saying it, the repeating in the mind continues.  As it goes deeper, as I give attention and importance to it, it touches my heart and I become passionate about my prayer, affirmation or mantra. As I take that passion further, I begin to feel the power of it in my being.

Here are the affirmations that are exciting my soul today:

  • I am a spark of the Divine fire.
  •  I exist in a field of infinite possibilities.
  •  I am the master of my destiny.
  •  I am the master of my thoughts.

I’d love to hear your feelings about mantra and affirmation. How do you use them? Which do you find yourself using most often?

Process of Realizing the Ultimate Power of Mantra


Day 32: When we repeat affirmations, prayer or mantras, the first step is to listen to it as we say it; and say it continuously with awareness, holding the present moment until the affirmation, prayer or mantra begins to stay in the mind very powerfully.  So it moves beyond just the voice. Even if you stop saying it, the repeating in the mind continues.  As it goes deeper, as you give attention and importance to it, it touches the heart and you become passionate about your prayer, affirmation or mantra. As you take that passion further, you begin to feel the power of it in your being.  You begin to realise the fruit of the mantra or the prayer or the affirmation.  You begin to feel it as an experience in your being.  You become what you are praying for, what you are affirming, or where the mantra is leading you.  The ultimate is to become exactly what you are saying, repeating or intending.

Mantra – Powerful Tools on the Journey

How powerful these tools are to hold us in that energy; to hold our mind in a very positive and protective space; to keep us aligned to our vision, and; to hold us to our journey.  I love to use these so that I can energise my physical body; I can energise my being in the human experience and I can create harmony in the space around me.  Do not overlook these, these are powerful tools on the journey.  Use them.

Secrets to Peace of Mind


Day 31: It is important to remember that you can live in the world, you can be involved in everything and still have that inner space of freedom and true well-being as you go on. Here are a few tips that can help you in dealing with this. First is the need to really understand that there is Divine Order in the Universe; that everything that happens, happens for a reason. There is meaning and purpose in every event! So immediately you understand this, there is an acceptance of what is, and there is a desire to use this awareness to take you deeper. If everything is in Divine Order around me, then this is happening for a purpose, whatever it is. I need to see the meaning of this. What does it mean for me?  What lesson does it have for me? What is my learning outcome from this event?  What is the blessing that I am receiving in terms of my spiritual growth?  When we begin to look at that, then we become excited about becoming stronger to overcome our weaknesses; if our weakness is exposed in events around us.

Then there is the other point of surrendering. When you see Divine Order then you want to surrender. You would not want to fight with the things around you.   You want to learn, you want to accept them and then you want to align your will with the Universal Will. That brings a lot of peace of mind. When you see that circumstances around you are leading in a particular direction, you don’t want to fight with that! That is the Universe you are fighting with.  You want to understand the situation completely and you want to align your will with that Universal Will. That is the mark of a wise person. And that brings a lot of peace of mind and a great surge of energy from your soul as you begin to align your will with the Universal or Divine Will.

Therefore, when you begin to observe these principles that I have given to you, peace of mind will be there.  Even though you might be challenged, you understand how to surrender, you look carefully at the object of your desire and how firm you are, so that you do not give your power away to any other pattern of behaviour in you that will lead you away from your goal.  So, you are discriminating and you maintain a discipline of behaviour,  thinking and  acting that is in line with your desire – your vision.  Once you do that, there is integration inside. Peace of mind is easy.  When you sit, the mind becomes your friend.

Mind Training – Our thoughts tell a story


Day 30: If we have not done so before or we have not been disciplined, when we sit to meditate or go within, or to train the mind, naturally thoughts will arise. Because we are thinking creatures, we are always thinking, and so when we sit and seek to bring the mind into silence or into focus, then those thoughts may arise, that we have given free reign to in our space.

Are they just random thoughts, having no real power but just occupying the mind? Then we need to learn how to deal with these thoughts. As we said yesterday we can use a sacred word in repetition, to lessen the thoughts and to go deeper inside. But if these thoughts arise within, and they are not just random thoughts, they disturb our state of  mental well-being, then we need to look carefully at them.

Are these thoughts based on fear of something? Are these thoughts based on anxiety, impatience? Are these thoughts based on attachment – that we are attached to something, that we cannot stop thinking about? Are these thoughts based on lack of forgiveness? Are these thoughts based on vengeance – that we want to get back at someone? Are these thoughts based on hate? Are these thoughts based on disease in the body? What are these thoughts based on?

When these thoughts disturb us to the extent that when we sit to meditate, we cannot remove them from the mind, then we need to give attention to them using the power of our intellect. Is it a call from our soul to manifest a higher quality? Is it a call to manifest forgiveness? Is it a call to manifest charity? Is it a call to manifest understanding, patience, kindness, compassion? Is it a call from our soul to manifest these qualities, and we are resisting that call? Right there, the answers are. We seek complex answers, and we seek out those who will tell us what we want to hear, but are we ready for the truth?

First Step in Mind Training


Day 29: When a person is able to control the mind they have a different kind of aura and presence; a more powerful presence.  A remarkable quality of a trained mind is the ability to listen, just be quiet, really quiet because the mind is trained. A quiet mind can pick up the wisdom from within and around.  A mind that is busy cannot really pick up everything from the space.

If you find your mind has a lot of thoughts, the first step is not to just sit and try to blank out the mind.  That is a very difficult step, moving from a busy mind to a completely quiet mind, wouldn’t you say?  The first step is to really lessen the number of thoughts, so that you can have one particular thought in the mind. That is the beginning of mind training. When you are able to have one particular thought there, then you can drop that thought, then you can see what silence is there when thoughts go away.  Not that the mind is passive, by no means, the mind is alert but it is being managed.  Thoughts can arise, but the mind is being managed.  Can you do that?

In the Science of Yoga, one thought that is used to train the mind and ultimately liberate the mind, is called ‘Mantra’.  An essential meaning of mantra is that which protects the mind and ultimately that which liberates the mind.  If you take a mantra that you feel close to, and if you are not familiar with this Science of Mantra, you can use an affirmation,  or you can keep a sacred word in the mind of your tradition, whatever your tradition is.  That sacred word becomes a mantra. If that word is sacred to you then it is easier to hold in the mind.  In the beginning, you try to do it in a place where you will not be disturbed.  Find a moment when you are not disturbed by anything around you and then begin the practice of repeating this, but when you are repeating it, you need to listen to yourself repeat it.  As you say it inside begin to observe how you are saying it.  This is necessary because here you are opening up the consciousness, so you see you are repeating it.  As you repeat it, try to listen as well by repeating with full focus.  Naturally, a number of other thoughts will arise and some of us will become hijacked.  The goal is not to be hijacked.  Every time we become aware that we have been hijacked, come back and after a while the hijacking will get less and after a while all the hijacking stops.  Can you imagine that you will be able, with training, to bring the mind to one thought?  Ultimately when you drop that thought, the peace is so amazing.

If we take this a step further, if it is really a sacred word, every time we say it, it is going to remind us of that Greater Power.  That sacred word, when we give attention to it and really hold it in reverence, can keep us connected to that great power that we exist in, that Supreme Power.  What more can we ask for, if this word can keep us connected to that power?