Only Shiva

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For Baba Muktananda

Don’t speak to me of Liberation

O great yogis who hide in caves

afraid of this silly world.

Mother Maya has you in her clutches

now more than ever.

If your eyes were clear

you’d never speak of such nonsense as

bondage and liberation,

life and death,

the wheel of samsara.

Come!

Walk with me

and see things as they are.

Do not be afraid of wine, women, and children.

Drop your desire to be holy or great.

Drop your desire for enlightenment and liberation.

Drop everything finally for all

and rest in the Natural State.

Then you will see

you have always been free

and all of your antics and anxieties

are mere dribble from a fool’s mouth.

There is only Shiva.

Cathexis

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I was very fortunate as a young child, but it took me many years to realize why. I was what would be called LD, or learning disabled, in today’s world. I did not begin speaking until I was old enough to have my parents pretty worried about it. Family legend has it that one evening we were all sitting around the dinner table and my parents were discussing what they should do about the fact that I couldn’t talk. My brother, who is almost three years older than I am, piped up and told them that in fact I could and did talk, but only to him. They found this hard to believe, so Mike grabbed my bowl of ice cream (I love ice cream) and wouldn’t give it back to me until I asked for it. Which I did. My parents were stunned. It was the first time they had ever heard me speak.

I am also dyslexic. One definition of dyslexia is difficulty in interpreting words, letters, and other symbols. The key word here is “interpret.” Interpret according to what criteria? Interpreting something is a way of making that something fit into the neat box of our personal/social conditioning. When we begin to interpret, we are stepping away from the actual reality of the moment into our conditioning.

I wasn’t exactly a whiz in school. I was not good at being hypnotized. As my mother loved to point out, things would come in one ear and go right out the other. The programming was not working, not because I was fighting it, but because it just didn’t seem to have anything to grasp onto.

At an appropriate age, my brother proved to me that our father was Santa Claus by showing me that all of the little gifts that we left for Santa were hidden away in my father’s den closet. Well, I can’t say I was very disillusioned, as I had always found the whole thing a little hard to buy in the first place. I may have been LD, but I wasn’t stupid, so I never said anything. I loved getting gifts as much as anyone. Years later, my parents finally figured out that we had stopped believing in Santa quite a while back.

By this time in our lives, Mike and I were made to attend church and Sunday school for awhile. And there were a bunch of grown-up, supposedly intelligent and successful adults believing in stuff like a judgmental and wrathful God, who was also loving and forgiving, but only if you did exactly what you were supposed to and believed exactly what you were told to. It took me some time to realize that they really believed all of this stuff was true. More than that, they really believed that we should believe it, too. That really scared me. My question then, and still, is: “How do you know?” Their answer: “We believe!” Well, if I’m going to “believe” in something, I’m going to “believe” in Santa Claus. Simpler story. Nicer guy.

I had learning problems. My poor mother was very concerned about this and began telling me on a regular basis that I had better get through college or I’d be a ditch digger for the rest of my life. (Actually, digging ditches isn’t so bad. Part of what I did as a Conscientious Objector during the Vietnam war was dig ditches out in the woods. You had job security, as no one wanted your job. And the supervisors seldom bothered you, as they didn’t want to have to jump down into the ditch and show you how to do a better job!) My mother finally succeeded in getting me worried about all of this and so I read self-help books, learned self-hypnosis, hung around with very smart girls (a practice I continue to this day), and basically tried to “learn” to give a whole bunch of meaning and significance to things that, on first glance, certainly did not appear to have much meaning or significance at all.

Basically, what I was learning to do was cathect. This was the doorway to hell. Or, as one of my gurus liked to call it, America Maya Land. Take your pick.

The word “cathect” comes from psychoanalytic theory. It means to invest our libidinal energy (creative life force and emotional energy), consciously or unconsciously, into giving meaning and significance to particular ideas, events, objects, or people.

I eventually began to learn to give significance and meaning to money, education, status, cars, houses, political parties, certain people, and, above all else, spiritual and religious teachings and the gurus that offered them. The good news, although I didn’t know it at the time, was that I am LD.

Since I was now seeking significance and meaning in life, I naturally turned to the spiritual path. One of my first teachers was a very powerful and charismatic guru. He walked the walk in that being in his presence did trigger radical and mystical states of consciousness, some of which brought about profound transformations.

He claimed his mission in the West was to bring about a meditation revolution. I already knew the tremendous value of meditation, so I was all for it. My fantasy was that as disciples we would sit at his feet for hours a day in profound states of samadhi, so I spent two summers at his ashram training to be a teacher and meditation center leader and spending as much time in his presence as I could.

What we actually did at his ashram was spend hours a day chanting our brains loose. One of the chants we did every morning for about an hour and a half (it seemed like an eternity to me) was about the glory of the guru. According to this chant, the guru is not a human, but the grace-bestowing power of God. The guru is God. In fact, the guru is greater than God. The guru, with infinite power and wisdom, has taken human form as this little old Indian man, and if we had any sense at all, we would worship the very ground he walks on. And so we did!

Cathect. Cathect. Cathect. The chanting was a crash course in cathecting, given every day when we were barely awake! We were learning to cathect all sorts of meaning and significance onto the guru. Fortunately, I was LD and it didnít completely take. I in no way disparage the incredible value I received from this man and his teachings, but over time I began to see that most spiritual teachers and teachings were waking us from one delusional system only to put us to sleep in another.

Catholics cathect on crucifixes. Buddhist cathect on Buddha statues. Disciples cathect on gurus. Teenagers cathect on rock stars. Adults cathect on movie stars. Infatuated couples cathect on each other. Patients cathect on therapists. Therapists cathect on patients. Readers cathect on books. When the cathexis ends, usually so does the relationship.

I definitely learned to cathect on books. When I was in the second grade, I had to go to a special private school in Connecticut to learn how to read. Once I learned to read, I came to love books. All of the secret answers to the universe were hidden in books, if you could just find the right ones. I knew it. Over the years, I read thousands of books. Most of them were spiritual books. I read them from cover to cover, underlining everything, and then read them again, this time using a red pen to underline the even more significant passages. Books were great treasures. I loved bookstores. In fact, I met my wife, Bonnie, in the wonderful bookstore she owned. I didn’t cathect on her. I clearly saw her as the absolutely perfect and beautiful being she is.

I continued to go to spiritual teachers and spiritual retreats for many years. Eventually, I became a spiritual teacher. As a spiritual teacher, the heat was on. People came to me wanting to hear some comforting interpretation of some supposed truth. Initially, I taught what I had been taught. I “knew” an incredible variety of techniques, methods, teachings and information that I had received directly from the hands of great gurus. I had the spiritual energy thing going. It really worked. People just loved this stuff! It was cool and neat and fun and certainly gave us all something comforting to believe in. Some people actually experienced my spiritual “powers.” Some suspected I might actually be a “guru.” People began to cathect on me. If I had had any sense, I’d have taken the ball and run with it.

Well, the problem was, being LD and all, I began to notice that if I didn’t keep propping up all of this spiritual stuff all the time with an incredible investment of  practice, thought, belief and energy, it kept falling apart. This made me very suspicious!

How true is something if you have to believe in it in order for it to be true?

How true is something if you have to keep propping it up all the time in order for it to be true?

These questions were like a depth charge that sunk to the very depths of my being and exploded.

I realized that if something is true, I didn’t have to believe in it, because it is true. I only had to believe in things that weren’t true, because they are not true.

I suddenly stopped believing in anything.

Suddenly, “I” spontaneously stopped propping up all of “my” beliefs and philosophies. The bottom fell out. The entire universe as I had known it collapsed. “Me,” as I had known “me” to be, disappeared.  The world stopped. Cathexis stopped.

As cathexis ended, it was discovered that the one thing that had been cathected the most was this idea and image of a separate and unique “me!” When cathexis ended, the experience of a separate “me” ended. This cathected “me” idea was the source of all other cathexis. When it is said that you create your own reality what is really being said is that the creative intelligence energy that has become identified with a “me” is now cathecting an entire universe to prop “me” up. When “I” give meaning and significance to something, it becomes the mirror that reflects meaning and significance back to “me.” “My” guru, “my” car, “my” religion, “my” country, “my” beliefs, “my” opinions, “my” experience, “my” husband or wife. It makes “me” appear more real.

The human being, or the human instrument, begins its programming long before it is born into this world. First, it is full of genetic material that gives it so many of its natural dispositions, not only physically, but also in terms of personality and life tendencies. For example, one is born with a tendency to be either an introverted or an extraverted personality. This immediately makes a difference in how one interacts with others and perceives the world.

Also, while in the womb, the growing fetus is influenced by the mother’s blood chemistry. If she smokes, drinks, uses cocaine or other substances, healthy or unhealthy, so does the baby. This influences the baby’s neuroendocrine development. The baby is born with certain chemical preferences already in the system.

Hypnotic regression has demonstrated that the external emotional/psychological environment of the mother profoundly influences the developing baby. If the expecting parents fight and scream at each other, not only is the baby flooded with adrenaline, cortisol and other powerful stress chemicals, but the negative energy of the screaming is felt and internalized by the baby. And if the parents laugh a lot, love the baby, talk to it and send it loving energy, this will have a very positive effect on its development.

And so the human instrument is born already well programmed with certain tendencies and inclinations. Then it is given a name. As soon as the human instrument identifies with the name (Hi, I’m Richard), the name becomes the box, the “me,” that holds its unique and separate identity. “I” am a girl or a boy, smart or dumb, good-looking or homely, Catholic or Muslim, American or Australian, spiritual or material, rich or poor, entitled or undeserving, confident or insecure.

Whatever “I” become, I cathect significance and meaning into it, and it becomes “real” to me. A crucifix seen by a devout Catholic exists in a completely different world than a crucifix seen by a traditional Thai Buddhist, who does not cathect a personal deity out into the universe at all. A Catholic and a Buddhist cathect different universes, and tend to believe their universe is the “real” one.

When cathexis ends, all projected significance and meaning disappear. When this happens, if there is still some belief in a separate and unique “me,” existential despair arises. Uh-oh! If there is no significance and meaning in anything, what is the point of “me”? What is the purpose of “my” life? Who am “I”? How should “I” live “my” life? These are the existential questions of despair shouted out of the now apparently empty and meaningless box of “me.” The “me” is now attempting to give meaning and significance to the fact that life has no meaning and significance. This seemingly nihilistic view is simply another philosophical stance the “me”  mind takes to  protect itself.

A lucky “me” will now run right smack into an authentic spiritual teacher who will have the honor of delivering the coup de grace. Whack! It’s over.

A healthy “me,” facing existential despair, will go to therapy, join a church, find a “new age” guru, take Prozac, get an advanced degree, and one way or another, learn to cathect again. “I” was so lost, but now “I” have been born again and feel so much better. “I” know who “I” am. “I” have taken initiation. “I” have a new spiritual name. From here on out, “I” shall be known as …, as “I” am now a committed believer in … Pick something. It doesn’t really matter what. Cathect. Cathect. Cathect.

If the process of cathecting somehow comes to a complete stop, the pure awareness that enlivens the human body-mind instrument no longer has a separate “me” to worry about and reflect upon. The being simply is, present and aware. There continues to be a functional cognitive center within the body, but not much occupies its psychic space as it no longer has to keep propping itself up. Life creates it, uses it, flows through it, and is it. The being relaxes into life as it wants to be lived. There is no resistance to it being as it is, and no problem, even if it cathects. All the thought that was once necessary to prop up a separate sense of self with its own little world is now gone. There is silence instead. All the life energy once used to hold “me” and “my” world together is now free to dance as it will. And it does.

When the cathecting stopped here, the LD seemed to return big time. This brain now seems to be very allergic to most concepts, stories, beliefs, structures, books, magazines, newspapers, news stories, movies, TV shows (with the exception of The Gilmore Girls), Internet information, etc. It can’t and won’t process most of it. Some kind person will lend me a video to view, a book to read, or CD to listen to and the brain just won’t respond.

Cathecting is not good or bad. It is what the “I” does to give significance, purpose and meaning to its life. Cathecting does seem to cause apparent problems among the apparent “me’s” that actually believe in what they have cathected and then kill, burn, torture, blow up or disparage those “me’s” that have cathected something else out into the vastness. The greatest cathected value is in the separate “me” itself, without which the meaningful world cannot be projected. We love our illusions. We are our illusions. We resist being disillusioned.

The job of a true spiritual teacher is to disillusion us.

This body-mind instrument is learning disabled. It has never been fully programmed and whatever programming seemed to happen was tenuous, to say the least. My mother would always say, “You have to try harder!” “I” tried, “I” really tried! And it all seemed to work very well for a while. Cathect. Cathect. Cathect. But when the trying stopped, it all collapsed back into the silence it always is.

The life scripts and the set of assumptions they are based upon are gone. All philosophical, religious, metaphysical and existential questions are gone. There is no past or future.

Everything that exists, exists now. Everything that happens, happens now. This is it. This is all there ever is.

And if “you” don’t like this, well, cathect something!

Satsang and Natural Meditation

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In the second half of satsang, we meditate together.

WHEN MEDITATING, it is helpful to sit in a comfortable, upright position, with spine, neck, and head in alignment. Let your breathing be relaxed, deep and diaphragmatic. Feel yourself effortlessly being breathed.

Meditation is being, not doing. 

You don’t meditate. You allow meditation to happen.

NATURAL MEDITATION IS SIMPLY RESTING AS EFFORTLESS, CHOICE-LESS, SILENT AWARENESS.

It is a natural, effortless way of being.

Resting means you are not attempting to change, manipulate or accomplish anything. You are simply resting, allowing everything to be as it is. There are no problems to be solved.

Effortless means you are not trying to be anything or anyone, nor make anything happen or not happen. You accept and welcome everything as it is, including yourself and your thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

Choiceless means you don’t have to choose one thought, feeling, or experience over another, nor think or figure anything out.

Silent means resting as the silence out of which everything arises and to which everything returns. Silence is always present and is the source of all there is. Silence is what is. You are this silence. “Silence is the language of God.” ~ Rumi

Awareness allows everything to be as it is.  It is the ultimate context of all and everything. It is the first fact all other facts are predicated upon. You are effortless awareness. This is true under all circumstances. Simply rest as awareness, aware of itself.

If your attention is hijacked by a thought stream flowing into the past or future, simply notice it and gently return your attention to the natural flow of your breath, which is always right here right now. And then effortlessly rest as the vast open sky of awareness.

At the end of each session, we focus in our Hearts and feed the cosmic field Loving Kindness to all beings everywhere as we chant OM three times, and then Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.

Shanti means peace.

 

Do Not Follow the Past.

Do not anticipate the future.

Rest as the present moment. 

Leave your mind alone.  ~ Padmasambhava

 

 

 

 

 

The Joy of Meditation

joyPineStraw Magazine, January 2009

Updated in 2018

We now offer meditation and satsang every Sunday at 11 am at The Yoga Garden PBO. Everyone is welcome!

 

When people find out that I have been meditating regularly for over 50 years, they often ask, “Why? What does it do for you?

There are many reasons why I meditate, but the one that has kept me going all of these years is that it is fun! There is great joy in regular meditation. It is like going on a wonderful adventure every day. Not only is meditating fun, but in these difficult and challenging times, meditation gives us the capacity to be effectively engaged in our lives in a peaceful and joyful way. We stop taking everything, including ourselves, so seriously. We laugh more easily and are relaxed more often. Struggle decreases and flow increases.

One way to think about meditation is that it is conscious participation in the evolution of our being. Scientific research shows that meditation awakens many wonderful capacities within us that often lie dormant.

Meditation has been researched over 2,000 times in over 500 universities around the world for the past 40 years. One of the more recent studies I participated in was from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. The scientific and medical research consistently shows that the regular practice of meditation produces brain wave coherence; stabilizes blood pressure; strengthens the immune system; reduces stress, anxiety, and depression; improves mental functioning; creates a happier, more positive attitude towards life; slows the aging process; dramatically decreases the fear of death; enhances the joy of living; increases self-confidence, creativity, spiritual faith, and awareness; and gives an enhanced sense of the unity of all life. And this is just the short list.

Tami Simon, founder and CEO of Sounds True, the largest and most successful producer of spoken-word spiritual material in America, says, “As a longtime meditator, it has become clear to me that spiritual discoveries — direct experiences of the interconnectedness and sacredness of all life — are self-authenticating. When I meditate on a regular basis, I feel more fulfilled and more in love with life. I have also found that when I meditate regularly, the people around me enjoy being with me more and find me more available for connection.”

Tami’s experience is typical of most meditators. This is why we meditate!

Meditation is simple, but not always easy. From an early age most of us have learned that if we want to get somewhere in life we need to stay focused, have clear goals, and work hard. But if we bring this attitude of effort to our meditation practice we won’t be able to meditate. Meditation occurs in an entirely different domain than the activities of our daily life. Meditation is being, not doing.

Meditation is natural. It is not something we do but something we allow to happen. When we meditate we have to be willing to take our hands off the steering wheel of life for a little while and just let go and allow everything to be as it is. As our minds tend to have multiple control issues about almost everything, this is easier said than done, so we gently focus our attention on one of the most natural, ongoing rhythms of life — our breath. Our breath naturally flows in and flows out all by itself, like a gentle ocean wave.

As we meditate, we relax into this natural rhythm of our breath flowing in and flowing out. Our brain downshifts. As the brain hemispheres integrate and balance, our mind becomes more quiet. The stress and anxiety of our day-to-day life dissolves and a deep sense of peace and well-being permeates every level of our being. The cells of our body begin to vibrate with energy and bliss.

As we let go even more deeply, we simply come to rest as effortless, choiceless, silent awareness. This is meditation. It transforms us completely from the inside out.

As the scientific research on meditation moves into the public domain, more and more people from all walks of life are turning to meditation to find relief from the stress and anxiety of day-to-day living. Not only is the process of meditating very calming and relaxing, but through meditation we discover the unshakeable foundation of peace, love and well-being that is actually the very ground of our being.

 For over 20 years we offered a free, open meditation program every Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. at  The Awakened Heart Center for Conscious Living in Southern Pines. Initially only a handful of people attended, but over the years more and more came on a regular basis. A wonderful community of loving and caring friends emerged. People were often  surprised to discover their accountant, golfing buddy, riding companion, lawyer, AA sponsor, doctor, gardener, mechanic, soldier, jeweler, daughter, old friend, or minister sitting next to them at the program. Everyone was welcome.

A number of years ago a woman called me about attending the meditation program. She was concerned that meditation may be in conflict with her religious beliefs. She told me she went to church every Sunday and was deeply committed to her faith. I suggested that she attend the meditation program and if at any time she felt uncomfortable with what was going on, she was free to leave. And so she came. Her mouth fell open when she saw her minister and his wife sitting quietly in the meditation room. They had been regulars at the programs for quite some time.

Although many religious and spiritual traditions all over the world have practiced meditation for thousands of years, meditation transcends all traditions. We do not have to believe or accept anything to meditate, nor do we have to give up any beliefs we may cherish. Since I was given my teacher’s blessing to teach in 1976, I have taught meditation to people of every religion and every imaginable background from prisoners to priests. To see the stress and worry in a person’s face dissolve into peace, light, and joy makes teaching meditation a real blessing.

For millions of people, meditation is a powerful and life-transformative daily practice. It brings peace, love and a positive perspective to every aspect of their life. Kurt Krueger, founder and chief instructor at the Institute of Sports Psychology, and coach of world record holders in swimming, had been away from personal training for over 11 years. Nonetheless, he decided to enter the Senior (Masters) Olympics swim competition. He won 11 gold and 5 silver medals. His only preparation? He meditated regularly.

Now is a good time to begin to take the time to turn within, meditate, and discover the peace that passes all understanding that always dwells within you. It is the very essence of your being. And inner peace becomes world peace.

We now offer meditation and satsang every Sunday at 11 am at The Yoga Garden PBO. Everyone is welcome!

 

Hamsa: The Natural Mantra of Breath, Prana and Kundalini

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The Secret of the Siddhas!

In 1976, Tom’s guru empowered him with this simple, powerful and effective mantra as a way to transmit Shaktipat, the non-dual tantrik initiation that safely awakens the spiritual intelligence within us known as Kundalini Shakti.

Awakened Kundalini leads to the direct experience that we are all individuated expressions of Supreme Being. The Ocean and Wave are not two.

Pandit Gopi Krishna said, “This mechanism know as Kundalini is the real cause of all genuine spiritual and psychic phenomena, the biological basis of evolution and the development of personality, the secret origin of all esoteric and occult doctirnes, the master key to the unsolved mystery of creation, the inexhaustible source of philosophy, art and science, and the fountainhead of all religious faiths, past, present and future.”


Hamsa is a liberation (moksha) mantra. It is spiritual power vibrating as a sound structure.

The Ham-sa mantra is pulsative. It is called ajapa-japa, or the mantra that spontaneously occurs within our breath.  It balances the flow of prana in the Ida and Pingala nadis thus integrating the brain hemispheres, soothing and toning the vagal nerves, and opening the Sushumna nadi. This safely awakens the Kundalini Shakti. As Kundalini now unfolds through the chakras or spiritual centers of consciousness, many evolutionary capacities awaken and manifest within us and around us. We recognize our true nature, which is the true nature of all and everything. There is only God.

Ham (pronounced Hong like in “song”) is “I AM” or Shiva, Absolute Awareness at rest.

Sa (pronounced Sauh like in “saw”) is “THAT” or Shakti, Absolute Awareness at play. All and everything.

Dynamic Stillness

Not two.

All there is, is Consciousness.

Kundalini is the Mother of all Yogas including Hatha, Raja, Bhakti, Jnana and Karma yoga.

The Yogic Pathways the limbs on the Tree of Life. Kundalini is the sap that feeds them all.

When meditating, it is helpful to sit in a comfortable, upright position, with spine, neck, and head in alignment.

Notice that you don’t really breathe. Breathing happens by itself. You are being breathed. Without any effort at all your breath naturally flows in and flows out like a gentle ocean wave. Relax into feeling yourself being breathed. Let your awareness gently surf the natural flow of your breath, flowing in and flowing out without any effort at all.

Your breath is prana, the radiant life force, and the creative energy of all life. The prana flows in with the soft sound of HONG and flows out with the soft sound of SAUH.

When actually practiced or experienced as the life force, the Hamsa mantra sounds like HONG (like in “song”) with the inhalation, SAUH (sounds like “saw”) with the exhalation.

Gentle awareness of the natural mantra of your breath, Hong-Sauh, helps you relax into meditation. Feel your breath, mantra, and awareness merge together into one beautiful, flowing, living current of energy. This current naturally and effortlessly awakens your spiritual power. As this meditative power unfolds, you no longer make an effort to meditate, as meditation now happens spontaneously by itself. You are meditated.

HAMSA is the spontaneous and natural awareness of I AM THAT. This awareness is all inclusive. It is the ultimate context of all and everything. You are this effortless awareness. This awareness welcomes everything as it is. This awareness is true and present in all circumstances and situations.

“Siddha Meditation is the recognition that everything you see, touch, hear, smell, taste, imagine, think, dream or in anyway experience is the same Divine Consciousness as your Self.” – Baba Muktananda

Just as a pole vaulter has to let go of the pole to go over the top of the bar, so now you let go of all methods as you flow into natural, effortless, spontaneous meditation. You don’t meditate. You allow meditation to happen. You are being meditated. Simply rest as effortless, choice-less, silent awareness. Simply be as you are.

“God dwells within you as you” ~ Swami Muktananda

The Four Expressions of Natural Meditation


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Truth, Consciousness, God is simultaneously immanent and transcendent. Natural Meditation is the spontaneous process of the Infinite Light of Consciousness (Kundalini) living through you as you. This Light manifests as Awareness, Love, Joy, Creative Intelligence,  and Skillful Action. This happens now. The more you rest as the presence of awareness, the greater this Light. There is only this Light.

Kundalini Shakti is this Light of Consciousness manifesting within you as you. There are four expressions of Natural Meditation.

1. Settling the Mind: Exclusive meditation – focusing to quiet the mind.

Sit upright in a comfortable position with spine, neck and head in proper alignment. After completing pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing, Breath of Fire and the Circle of Light), allow your attention to gently focus in the hara (kanda in yogic terms) below the navel and feel yourself being breathed. The belly expands with inhalation and contracts with exhalation. The hara is where the Kundalini Shakti rests. Ujjayi breathing with the Hamsa (Hong-Sauh) Mantra can help focus attention. Ham is “I Am” or Shiva, the Absolute Transcendent Awareness. Sa is “This” or Shakti, the immanent manifestation of the play of Consciousness. With each inhalation, hear the sound of HONG – as in song – in the breath. With each exhalation, hear the sound of SAUH – as in saw – in the breath.  If attention wanders, gently bringing it back to the mantra and the breath balances the currents of life (prana) within you and allows the Kundalini to safely and naturally unfold. If spontaneous meditation begins to happen, let it happen.

2. Resting as Effortless, Choice-less, Silent Awareness: Inclusive Meditation: Being – allowing everything to be as it is.

Your hands are now off the steering wheel of life and “you” are not doing anything. Let go of all control and need to manipulate anything. Welcome everything. There is just the presence of awareness effortlessly and naturally noticing whatever arises. Free attention will spontaneously move within this infinite field of awareness. Simply Be as you are without any modifications. If spontaneous meditation begins to happen, let it happen.

3. Natural Spontaneous Meditation happens. You are being meditated:

This occurs when the Kundalini Shakti takes over. You open and relax completely to the process. This is Divine Love and Intelligence working very deeply within you on every level of your being. This phase of meditation can be called Letting Go and Letting God/dess.

4. Eyes Open or Natural Sahaj Samadhi – the all inclusive awareness of HRIDAYA — The Heart of Conscious Living — I AM Nothing Being Everything:

This is 24/7 meditation based on the awareness that there is only Consciousness, Consciousness is all there is. Consciousness dwells within you as you and as all beings and all things everywhere. You recognize that you, the entire universe and everything in it is the play of the Light of Consciousness. You are this. This is as God as it gets.


“Siddha Meditation is the recognition that everything you see, touch, hear, smell, taste, imagine, think, dream or in anyway experience is the same Divine Consciousness as your Self.” 
– Baba Muktananda

 

“God dwells within you as you.” – Baba Muktananda

Meditation…It’s Not What You Think!

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Henry David Thoreau once said that the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we know that we have frequently experienced that sense of desperation. It is a very uncomfortable feeling that undermines the myths by which we live our lives. Most of us, when we feel that sense of quiet desperation engulfing us, immediately distract ourselves by turning on the TV, picking up a book, calling a friend, or going to our church or therapist. We run from our desperation back into the safety of our world view, which gives us a sense of meaning and importance in our lives. But sooner or later, perhaps in the dark and quiet hours of the night, the feeling of desperation returns.

If we have the courage to be honest, and if we take the time to just be with ourselves without any distractions, we will find that most of what we think we know about ourselves and life in general we really don’t know; that in fact we have just accepted the beliefs and opinions that have been handed to us by whatever authority figures we have had in our lives. And on some level, we are aware that they don’t know, either. With this realization, our desperation grows. If we don’t know and they don’t know, who does know? This open-minded and courageous inquiry into the truth of our lives is the beginning of true meditation. We don’t know. And this needs to be recognized.

What most of us do is seek the answer to the big question of our lives in some outer arena. We turn to a book, a guru, a new age prophet, or the latest authority on love, life, and enlightenment. We search for a remedy for our desperation. And occasionally we find some novel idea or teacher that soothes us for awhile. But when the novelty wears off, the quiet desperation returns and we are off running in all directions looking for another path, another belief sophisticated enough to drug our intellect, another remedy to the emptiness and meaninglessness of our lives.

We don’t know. And this needs to be recognized.

The beginning of meditation is the end of our outer search for the remedy. It is the recognition that we have only one problem in our lives and that problem is ourselves. Meditation is the end of hiding in our hobbies, religions, food, alcohol, drugs, etc. In meditation, we give up the search and finally just sit with ourselves with nothing else to do. We are simply present. And for most of us, this is a horrifying experience. Few of us are able to just be present with no distractions or fantasies for more than a few moments, because our minds begin to go wild as our egos are exposed. We begin to see how we constantly create the melodrama of our lives.

Now we are sitting quietly, doing nothing but being present with ourselves. And we are thinking. The mind is flooded with thoughts. And as we watch our thoughts, we notice that we always have a favorite subject to think about…ourselves! We are truly self-obsessed! We carefully filter all our experience in life through our mantra of “I, Me, Mine.” We are self-obsessed, and yet we honestly do not have a clue who we really are. Whenever we begin to talk about who we think we are, we are in fact reciting programs and scripts we have received throughout our lives as human robots. The fact that we don’t know who we really are is the source of our desperation, and yet at the very same time, to recognize this fact is the beginning of our true awakening into life.

As we sit in meditation, our mind attempts to figure it all out. Like a complex computer, it scans every experience, every belief, every scrap of knowledge, attempting to find the missing link. And the desperation remains. Our mind, which is who we think we are, is incapable of truly knowing who we are. Because who we are is not our mind nor the beliefs, opinions, concepts, attitudes and prejudices that are the programs of our mind. Our mind grasps and struggles and tightly holds onto itself. It is enchanted with itself and is very dear to itself. But one day, if we continue meditating regularly (to exhaust the mind, if for no other reason), this neurotic process of the mind suddenly stops, at least for a moment.

We simply rest as effortless, choiceness, silent awareness.

And then something absolutely profound and unbelievable occurs that can never be described in words because words are of the mind. We get a glimpse of who and what we really are beyond the mind, beyond the mind’s song of “I, Me, Mine,” beyond our self-obsession. We see or, more accurately, recognize the Truth. Not my truth or your truth or even their truth, but the Truth, beyond any form and belief. And then we know who we are and what our lives are about. Our quiet desperation melts away completely into an unshakable peace and joy that is the very essence of being. We realize that which we had been seeking, we were all along. And we are not our mind, no matter what our mind may think. We are not our personality nor our beliefs. What we are is unborn and unthinkable — and free!