Friday, September 16, 2011

Meditation, not to be defined

Eventually, I want to hold long meditation sessions. Just now, I am dealing with asana practice in my classes. But my love is for meditation. In my own practice, only that day is complete for me, and satisfying, when I have had the luxury to hold asanas for long and meditatively... I may split my practice up over several compounds over the entire day, to ensure that each pose (usually the basic poses) is held for long and with comfort... To hold a plough for five minutes, even ten minutes,  watching the self, and not know the time fly, that is meditation.

Nothing dramatic happens in my meditation. I don't see purple lights, I don't get electric shocks. I do not even levitate (yo!).. But I see myself, shorn of illusions  ... and often it is this sense of the many travesties that make up the self... not just mine (and no I am not into a self-loathing trip either:) and most of us, each of us, and then, something deep, like compassion for this desperation with which the self bundles itself up, even as it tears itself down:) Nothing, and everything... The joke and the tragedy. The desperation and the inevitability.

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(The mind, according to Vedanta is just like a monkey who is drunk, and whose tail is bit by a scorpion -- restless, mad, not u!)

 ... In deep meditation, the idea of the self splits into various thoughts -- and I watch them objectively as they lay claim to my emotions -- or it could be emotions laying claim to thoughts -- but I see these as separate incidents... and in that I see the great comedy of what the Vedanta says life is all about .. For, as  any neuro physician will tell u that the brain is just a chaotic blur of  thoughts collating at random intervals over patterns that already exist,  to create a sense of the I... How Vedantins knew of that, so long ago, I do not know

The problem with this phase is then, to make up for that melt down (of the `I') often I am blogging or talking dime a dozen, connecting, writing, doing many things where somewhere within it is actually all very quiet and still  -- U know, if u did not care about somebody u end up talking more sweetly to them:) That way, this life, mine. So,  to stem that meltdown from happening completely, there is an apparent engagement. The smile, the grin, the joke, all from one full void. The most exciting bit of that would be that the void, when experienced, is no longer the fearful place that most think it is... Nor is it the paradise with heavenly damsels (or hunks ) and unlimited booze and all those things ... but somewhere else, where the mind as one knew it,  has never been...

I can understand, that for most of us, a complete meltdown could be insanity. Which may explain that all of us are not meant for moksha.... But a slow meltdown, where things do not matter to you, that is engaging to even this tricky monkey self. ... So this watching of that meltdown, that is the final station before a ultimate destination of nihilism.  Then, only, the release. Ramana says the sense of the I is the last hold,  the last tool, to  become aware of that source, like a blind man uses a wall till he reaches the destiny. That may be only use of the self/wall... it has no other uses ...

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But between the craving for moksha and the actual release, a huge yawning hell-hole, which is actually the final flickering resistance towards free-falling into a strange strange place .. But this last wail  only  meditation can cover, taking you a step at a time... over the razor's edge that all spiritual texts (Koran, Upanishad, Bible talk of) warn of ...  It cannot be jumped -- and if u are seeing purple lights or getting electric shocks, already  one is is stuck at the bottom of the mud-pit, of one's own puny mind... that is a place from which it is most difficult to wriggle out of:) Most spiritualists wallow there happy, imagining paradise:)

So, when people request me to teach  meditation, u know, that it won't make much sense to anybody, the actual yogic meditation: which is a daring invitation to a meltdown of the self.
For most, when they ask me to help them with meditation, I assume and rightly, that they ask for a reaffirmation and repackaging of the self. (Some stages or types of dharana/focus fit that bill and may, eventually lead to meditation if practiced long enough and I sometimes do that with yoga nidra  in a class and everybody is left feeling good:)... But then,it would not be meditation in the real would be the exact opposite in fact....  so I leave that other sharing, for the time being...

So this last walk, to nihilism, `where nothing moves and everything is still, like a flame in a windless place',  that is the thrill in my yoga... that is my private yoga:)


Anonymous said...


Shameem Akthar said...

Try for their addresses -- they may not have a center there, but may have teachers from the inst. U may have to log into their teachers list, aflliated teachers, to get a contact. Or write to the org and asm... the center is at trivandrum, u may try to call them up for some teacher contacts.

evnathan said...

I like the use of the word "melting". It reminds me of reading "You will one day melt into the Oneness and know then that you form together a single stream". True meditat5ion, I believe, should lead to this melting and Oneness.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Shameem after Savasana what side to turn to get up right or left?
Thank you

Sandhya said...

Regarding Meditation I wish to buy a book for beginners.Can you suggest a good one.
Have you read the bihar yoga book on the same.If so what are your views.

Shameem Akthar said...

Yes, evnathan, melting -- like a salt doll in the ocean, as Ramana Maharishi says.
Sandhya, good book for meditation is the Bihar School of book ... I would advise the Yoga Nidra one for starters. Then shift to Meditation from the Tantras. Both Bihar school. I love the yoga nidra for my students:)
Meditation from the tantras is more intense and not for beginners unless swamiji specifies it... I have always believed you must turn to right - because that applies less pressure on the heart (on the left side). I need to check it, suddenly, since u asked. In kalari they sugggest turning to your left... but they also start sun salute on the left... let me find out. Also, turning on right, sets off the left brain, the cooler one.. so that is how I suggest for my class...

Anonymous said...

Please do check it and let us know You are our teacher on line.I been getting up from right side but saw a yoga teacher rolling on left side and then I was not sure which is right.
Thank you Shameem .I be looking forward your post soon to find out .
I guess thats why sleeping on right side is recomended right? cz it puts less pressure on the heart.
Thanks Again