Monday is AUM-day; in search of meditation.
The text being referenced for the next few weeks is "The Art Of Contemplation". Obtaining the booklet for yourself would be a good move. Use it as your prompt, your guide - even as a note book; don't fear to scribble points for yourself within the pages! The exercises might be looked at separately; but there is a 'step-ways' progression, so best to begin at the beginning!
|Morning prayers, Jagadeeshwara Mandir|
Sandeepany Sadhanalaya, CM. Powai Mumbai
Recapping, last two weeks we have explored the importance of balancing both knowledge and devotion (jnaana and bhakti) for a the fullest spiritual expression. There will always be a pull for one or the other as a preference, but we must also overcome preference as it can have us fall into habit, creating comfort zones, even building barriers and perhaps arrogance. Knowledge is the essential component of moving to the Higher Element, but it is nothing if not given purpose through devotion. Dry knowledge may provide inner peace, but will lack joy. Pure devotion is joy devoid of peace. Both must work together to reach the Unity.
Important to note that jnaana and bhakti are sequential; they cannot be practised at one and the same time. Devotion will require action of some description and the engagement of thought for that, whereas Knowledge (Contemplation) requires the opposite. The devotional aspect in contemplation is the use of mala, the chanting of mantra. These must be left behind, however, to move into meditation to contemplate fully on the Self.
Those who are newer to this kind of spiritual practice, must pay heed to the process. The steps of saadhana have been laid down over millennia by many, many who have travelled the path before us. Just as with any study we undertake on any subject, there is an essential 'baby steps' component, then a 'learn to walk' component, followed by a 'toddle' component… and so on. Success only comes with regular and determined practice. Eating once a week is not sufficient nourishment for the body. A Sunday sit-down at the piano, will not a maestro make. Little and often and with regularity of time and place is the key.
Do your meditation before going out to work or starting the chores. This may entail getting up half an hour earlier than you have till now. What will start to happen, for the serious student, it that naturally there will be an earlier bedtime to compensate. The self-discipline becomes self-managing in a surprisingly short time. We remember the 'early to rise and early to bed' adage and begin to see and feel the wisdom of it. As has been said, the mind can get bruised and agitated throughout daily life, but as much as anything this comes back to ourselves and how we manage (or don't) the situations presented to us. In holding onto ego and brushing our vanity, even the most innocent of things can seem like an imposition and attack upon our little selves.
In the seat of meditation, forgiveness of all those perceived offences is imperative; equally so is the recognition of one's own part in them. Forgive others, then beg forgiveness in return. Allow mental prostration to take place, before others, before your chosen Lord and before the Higher Element you have yet to see. Find the deep devotion and Love within you as you allow all the pain to dissolve.
This is how the spiritual student, the saadhaka, brings about the transformation of the inner being at al levels, physical, mental and intellectual. If you are not ready for change within yourself, your time is wasted in attempting the spiritual path. There must be commitment to that change within. Regularity, sincerity, Love, forgiveness. Cultivate these with a passion and Bliss will be yours.