- When the "A" of OM mantra arises before you, be aware of the gross world, including the objects of the world, the people and your own physical being. Spend some time scanning these things. Just be aware of this level of reality and then let go of it, beware becoming delayed or trapped by them. It is here in this meditation that we can come to realise how 'bogged down' by the material world we all are! How easy it is to envision this part of the mantra. We belong to it in our present state. Here, in meditation, we have room to become truly objective and push it into its rightful place. Moving on…
- To the "U" part of the mantra. Here, be aware of the existence of the subtle (sometimes called 'astral') realm. This is the place of intuition. As with the gross world, do not get caught up in these objects; just be aware of this level of reality, and then let go of it, so as to go beyond. As this is the place of the dream, we can become enamoured of our experiences here. This is where many gain insights not otherwise available to them and mistake this for 'the end' of meditation - beware - and again you are warned beware! If you are 'experiencing' you are merely moving along the path, but these distractions too must fall away.
- When the "M" of OM mantra arises, be aware of the causal level. Here we are in the background stillness out of which the subtle and gross emerge and where they rest when not active. Do not fight to 'see' this level. The experience is that of - when a film ends - seeing the screen upon which all the thunder and glory has been playing. It is the playing field without the players. When people of the world see a blank screen or an empty sportsfield, they may feel unsettled, wanting those places to be filled with all the fun and games. They desire the world to play for them. We, as spiritual seekers, wish to understand why the world is playing. To do this we must clear away all the nonsense which blocks our view of the source, the cause of the play.
- Now we move into the silence. Be aware, here, of the absolute reality which pervades all the other three levels. We may only experience this level in a shallow, almost abstract, way at first. It only deepens and becomes our experience with continued practice of contemplation and yoga meditation. The fullest involvement will bring us to this level where, in fact it moves beyond experience; we realise that experience itself is part of the grand illusion of Maya.
Monday is AUM-day; in search of meditation.
Meditation on a daily basis, even at its simplest level, can be a challenge. Sticking to the discipline is a must if at all one is to understand even a fraction of the power of meditation. It must become part of the daily fabric, in the same way that morning ablutions and evening meals do - it must be as important to you as those things - indeed, some of you will be aware, that the dedicated yogi will forgo food in favour of meditation. This is not being advocated for any readers here! The point is made to emphasize the importance of meditation to the spiritual seeker.
Are there more ways to meditate upon OM? Of course!
Recall that we have discussed the four 'levels' of Om. Quotation marks are used when saying levels because of course it is much more abstract and pervasive than 'slices of cake', but we have to start somewhere in our perception and study. These levels themselves can be the focus of our practice. The OM mantra represents the entire universe, be that the gross, the subtle, or causal levels and the absolute reality of which they are a part. Having gone through the previous discussion, it is hoped the following doesn't sound too technical or mechanical an approach. We have, to some extent covered this particular territory, but this is actually a very worthwhile focal study and once incorporated into meditation, it will become more intuitive than techy.
We have learned that OM, the symbol, is made up of four parts and this is why, sometimes, the mantra is also written as AUM. We saw, also that each of these parts represents an aspect of the universe;
The A sound refers to the gross world. The world of name and form. The world of perception, material and action.
The U part refers to the subtle realm. The world of thinking and feeling. The world of imagination, the world we sort of know is there but is actually beyond direct perception.
The M refers to the causal plane, out of which the gross and subtle emerge. This is the spiritual plane, the residence of God principle. It is the place wherein all our potential and purpose lie. It is where the vaasanas are 'stored'
The Silence after these three, refers to the absolute reality. That level which is not at all of world or perception. It is the very substratum of all existence; it is the very existence itself.
This is an advanced meditation upon the OM mantra. Take it slowly! Neither expect to be able to encompass all levels in your meditation. When practicing this, take each of the four parts of the mantra separately even whilst sounding the whole syllable….(did you forget this is going on whilst you are chanting..??!!!) What is meant, as each akshara is sounded, focus on its value and then the next and then the next...
Most of us fall back into the "A" when we have completed our meditation. Each time, however, we are just one fraction closer to seeing the hollowness of it and we are one fraction closer to The Reality.
If you feel ready, by all means practice this method. Do not forget that all of these processes are steps and in fact, if practicing the basic chanting method, if it is given the dedication it deserves, you are likely to find that each of the subsequent methods arise all of their own accord. These are laid out here in a weekly article, but the practice is one of many many many hours. Know this and embrace it.