Monday is AUM-day; in search of meditation.
Meditation & Life, with Sw. Chinmayananda (Gurudev).
We are now exploring the writings of Gurudev on our focus subject of Meditation. The book is a thorough treatment of the subject and extends to over 170 pages of closely printed text. No attempt is intended, here, to present the text in its entirety. However, important paragraphs and quotes will be given, within a summary of each section. You are encouraged to use the links on sidebar to obtain a copy for yourselves from CM publications. Please remember that each of the posts under this title is part of a thought flow and it is important to go back and read the previous post in order to refresh and review the context.
Illusion and Reality.
The world we experience is an assortment of varied forms, names, tastes, smells and sensations. These sense impulses are reported by our sense organs to the mind (via hardware of brain), which then consults with intellect and forms opinions based on the input. Generally speaking, any thoughts which arise from this are based upon comparison with present experience with previous experience (or lack of in relation to present), plus a mingling of vaasanas (predispositions which colour our thoughts and opinions).
It is this inner variety which results in outer variety, in terms of individual reactions and behaviours in same situations and around same objects. Neither is this a static situation within each individual, as all current experiences add to the store of past experiences and vaasanas to colour future experience and the thoughts and opinions can change - sometimes to polar opposite.
|You can make this picture stand still|
...if you focus!
The worldly person seeks joy amidst their ever-changing moods as well as seeking to satisfy the mood with what is on offer in an ever-changing world. Two shifting parameters will always yield short-term results of satisfaction, if any at all. The only permanent solution is to fix at least one side of the equation and make it a constant factor. The seeker, even during early days of practice, with correct discrimination, comes to the understanding the subject within who seems to experience all the roundabouts and roller coasters of life is, in fact, a false entity and that an equally false world of objects is external to that entity. The misconception is that of the "I" as "Mr/Mrs/Miss/Doctor…" has substance, when in fact it is a mere bundle of thoughts; the mind. In this process, the subject begins to see that mistaking the "I" for being part of the sensory world. Once it is accepted that there is no permanence to it and the problem is the mind which attunes itself externally rather than internally, positive changes can be made.
The Illusory World.
Using the deep sleep model as being the bliss state, we an postulate that if the world and its objects were indeed 'true', they would pervade that bliss also. They do not. Anyone who says they had a bad night's sleep, disturbed by the intrusion of 'the world' has not actually entered deep sleep state at all. That which is the permanent, blissful underpinning of life cannot be affected at all by the vicissitudes of that life.
In deep sleep, mind ceases to function - where, then, is the world and it's mischief? The Vedantic philosophers of old brought to bear their extraordinary analytical acumen and vivid intuitional experience and observed that, in deep-sleep, even the most intimate emotions and memories are shut off from cognitive experience; then as the individual re-enters the plane of waking, there is a bursting forth of memory and experience. Our own knowledge of the world and its objects, the memories of such knowledge, is but trickery of the mind. Where mind is, jagat also is; where the mind is not (as in deep-sleep), jagat is not.
"To gain freedom, we merely have to understand that our enemy is the illusion of our own mind, then to train ourselves to calm down the dreadful emotions that our mental mistake caused!"
Vedanta explains that the world (jagat) has about as much venom as the rope mistaken for a snake. We suffer from our own mistaken perception of the Real Nature of things. Only Knowledge will remove ignorance. Deep and steady inquiry into the nature of the world, of God and of the subject "I", constitutes the pursuit of Self-perfection. Currently we do not know that the objects and the world we crave more and more of holds no more reality than the snake on the rope. We are so identified with the sensations of the world; we yearn for immediacy and ever more extreme consummation of our desires.
The mind must be controlled, for the mind alone is our interface between inner and outer. The mind must be curbed of its tendency to roam randomly from us, bringing back offerings of false desires, illusory fears and fancied joys. The mind has to be decluttered so that it can see the rope and no more mistake it for a snake.
If, then, we think of the mind as 'satan', we come to understand that the real war of life is within us. By seeking the divine within us, the truth mind's delusions and the fact that it too is but an illusion will finally be ours. It is through the five sense organs that the mind experiences the outer world, leaving impressions (vaasanas) which rumble away and generate our thoughts and desires anew. Thus it can be seen that to control mind, we must also take control of our external sensors. Self-discipline begins at physical level.
The technique of training the mind to forget its delusion and to reach for its native state of bliss is called meditation. Meditation alone can raise the individual to the largest state of being so that s/he can remain balanced throughout the daily strife. Through regular and patient practice, meditation gains in steadiness and value. As it soars, a new dynamic power of alertness is generated and true peace enters the thought-free hollow that was mind. At it's greatest level or practice, there can come the blinding flash of true wisdom… "I alone Am". Unification with Self.
In truth, meditator, meditated and meditating do not exist. There is only One Single Truth upon which arises all this illusion. This is the pinnacle of the meditative journey - where all is left behind for the full union with the Divine. The state of samaadhi. Walking in Godhood, such individuals bring such profound wisdom and Love and Peace to the world around them. Such as these are the saints and sages and prophets. They are rare, but not at all an extinct species! The exist in the world even today. Who would recognise them in today's race for the material, however? "...if God Himself were to come right now, He would probably not even be offered a seat unless He wore a clean suit and pretended to be an agent of Mssrs Sin & Sorrow Inc, the famous multi-billion-dollar manufacturers of illusion and falsehood!"