Saturday, May 21, 2011

Meditation in a pose: What a true guru says....

When people say they want to meditative class I sigh secretly. Unless u have the habit of sitting still, for at least half hour everyday in one pose without having moved at all, u will find it difficult to appreciate a meditative class... We can theorise ad nauseum about it, but meditation is pretty much useless as a subject of discussion. It is like the relationship we have with water, or air or with our own muscles, when we move. How does one disucss that? Everything else spoken around it  just makes one feel good, but would not reach u there. Less spoken and more done, is meditative.

Here is what Swami Satyanandaji says on how u can deepen your meditation(words in itals, my own):
The degree to which a person can do pratyahara (the first stage of meditation, involution of the senses, and turning the mind inwards towards a chosen point of focus or activity) depends very much on his ability to sit in a comfortable asana for the duration of practice. If he feels continual physial discomfort, then of course his mind will be continually aware of stimuli from the sense organs giving information about meditation, about pain, stiffness and so on. Pratyahara, and consequently meditation, will be out of question. it is therefore necessary that the practitioner trains the body so that it can maintain one position for a prolonged length of time, without any discomfort whatsoever.

(Swami Satyanandaji, also a direct disciple of sadguru Sivananda: what a tejas in his face... he just glows, na? I always believe a true guru's face is reflective of his purity and spiritual evolution. Some of these current gurus look like thugs, or savvy politicians,  for sure!!) 

... Later on he discusses methods which may be used to systematically rotate " one's awarenss around different parts of the body, awareness of the breathing process, of sounds uttered either mentally or verbally, etc. This is used partly to concentrate the mind, but also to keep the mind engrossed internally, so that it automatically forgets the surroundings, thereby inducing a state of pratyahara. This satisfies the wandering tendency of the mind, but in a controlled manner, and avoids the problems encountered in the practice of pure one-pointed concentration, during which the untrained mind tends to rebel against the forced restraints and the progress may be lost."

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