Monday is AUM-day; in search of meditation.
We have pondered the A, the creation; we have considered the U, the constant renewal; now an exploration of the M. What is put here is intended only as a starter, a pointer to further investigations which you alone must undertake.
The 'mmnnn' nasal sound is represented in the visual form by the sickle and dot. The sickle, or half-moon shape is almost exclusive to ॐ , though it is occasionally found in the Upanishads, whilst the dot is used separately over and beneath other letters to give resonance. The sound itself comes from this dot, known as anusvara, which literally means "after sound". This points to it being of nasal quality and thus the reverberation most closely resembles that of the Spanish ñ at the end of its inflection. Therefore, in English, the visual representation falls most often to M but at all times bear in mind the mm in fact must come to nn at the back of the throat and down through the nose. The sickle emphasizes this.
At this point in the sound we are expected to move our thinking out from the closed physical world and into the unknown territory beyond.
This is the place of Mystery. It is the place all true seekers find. Mystics of all faith systems describe it - or attempt its description - and all say that the only way to appreciate what their attempts are pointing to is to try and reach that place for yourselves. The difficulty lies, firstly, in recognising that if at all one is experiencing anything, one is still bound in the physical. The common theme of all the great saints and sages is that the ultimate experience is not an experience at all.
Neither is it a Movement. The talk is of 'reaching', that there is a sense of a journey. 'Attainment', as a term, causes the thought that there is something external to us to be sought. It is not movement nor an object, yet there is, we are informed, a complete understanding of movement with stillness, of something with nothing.
All those who have taken this route tell us; it is within. No Movement, no Murmuring, no amount of Mananam or Meditation are actually required to Realise the Ultimate Truth; yet without these things how will it be found? Without knowledge to understand and chanting to create correct harmonics, meditation becomes little more than waking sleep, or leads us to flights of fancy. Without appropriate meditation, knowledge becomes barren, an intellectual exercise without benefit.
"Does my life have a definite purposefulness, a clear-cut goal? Have I set my direction? Have I adopted a set of principles that will help me move in this direction? Furthermore, have I an ideal which inherently contains within itself all of these three?" Sw. Chidananda (DLS)
First we must come to the conclusion that there is something other than what we have now which is worth our while pursuing. Accepting that this something is not, in itself, visible to us, available for the senses on any level we have to surrender to the process which may reveal it to us. To embark on true meditation, surrender is a key part of the process. Surrendering thought being the first, and ongoing, struggle...which brings us back to the first part of the exercise. Decluttering our minds. To come close to M we must first have been able to focus on A and U and this will only be successful if we have been able, for the mere five minutes we are using at this stage, to keep all extraneous thought at bay.
Therefore, for now, continue with the daily exercise as given till now. Five minutes of stilling the thoughts; five minutes on A and five minutes on U.
Next week the whole of AUM will be reviewed in brief and a few more basics given. Remember at all times, these words can be written and lie here, you may read them and let them pass before your mind's eye; but it is the action alone which is generated from the instruction and understanding that will begin the change you seek.