Thursday, December 31, 2015

One-pointed discriminative enquiry by Atman Nityananda

We cannot perceive or see our true Self in the same dualistic way we perceive an object. It is not a subject-object experience.

We can only Be our Self! We can know our Self by being our Self! The paradox is that we already are the Self (ATMAN or Consciousness). But we take our Self to be our body.  This happens because the ego puts a veil and causes a mutual identification and superposition between the body and Consciousness and thus creates the illusion that we are the body named Mr./Mrs so and so. Ego creates the illusion that the Beingness which is what we really are is something that belongs to the body.

 Thus the ego is the main obstacle that impede us realize that Beingness or ATMAN is beyond mind, body and ego itself and unattached by them.

Awakening happens when is realized intuitively by self-enquiry and the power of discrimination that our true Self which is pure Beingness and awareness is distinct from the body and ego and that we are That.

Any effort  to be aware of our Self  done by the ego, intensifies the identification with our ego and thus the illusory veil and the mutual superimposition remains. Thus it is of great importance to be aware  how we identify with the ego and stop this identification.

Vivekachudamani. Verse 181. Therefore the seeker after Liberation must carefully purify the mind. When this is purified, Liberation is as easy of access as a fruit on the palm of one's hand. Adisankaracharya

'If the aspirants have not one-pointed mind, which is possible for him who has pure mind full of sattva, dispassion, discrimination, etc., Self-enquiry is impossible.' Sri Ramana Maharshi

Although Self-enquiry, discrimanation and meditaiton are possible for those of a pure sattvic mind, that doesn´t mean that we cannot deticate some time for these practices from the beggining of our spiritual journey. We can follow an integral sadhana which will include a variety of spiritual practices such as japa nama, prayer, pranayama, study, kirtan, devotional rituals, repetition of mantras, introspection, etc. and will dedicate some time for meditation and self-enquiry. Of course these practices will flourish in course of time according our maturity, dedication and intensity of our practice.
By One-pointed discriminative enquiry we can break ego's identification and superimposition and be aware of what we already Are (pure awareness, peace, freedom and ananda). We can realize that we are the Beingness itself and that this Beingness is distinct and unattached by the body, ego end mind. That Beingness, is without form, time and causation, ever present, blissful, peaceful, unattached and unaffected by anything.
'It is easy, the concentration on the Self, for him who has qualities like dispassion, discrimination, one-pointed mind, renunciation, etc. For the rest, it is either less or more, depending on how much one has these qualities. For those who are not prepared, it is very difficult, if not impossible.'
Sri Ramana Maharshi

Although awakening is possible to happen at any time (not necessarily during deep meditation and samadhi), the clear 'vision' of our true Self is possible in the absence of ego. When the ego in deep meditation subsides totally then what remains is pure Beingness, peace and bliss; and when in the deep Nirvikalpa Samadhi the ego dissolves totally together with all its branches, then liberation is attained and the abidance in the Self as the Self becomes effortless, spontaneous and unbroken.

'Effortless and choiceless awareness is our real state. But one cannot reach it without effort, the effort of deliberate meditation. All the age-long vasanas (impressions) carry the mind outwards and turn it to external objects...'  Sri Ramana Maharshi

The force of impressions is tremendous. Unless all the impressions are thoroughly burnt through entry into the state of the pure Nirvikalpa Samadhi, it is not safe for one to stay a long time in one’s native place. He will still be in the danger zone.”  Swami Sivananda
May God's grace let you realize this and live the freedom of your own Self!

The  practice of  One-pointed discriminative enquiry that mention here is not the same as the Self-enquiry that Sri Ramana Maharshi suggested, You can read about Sri Ramana´s Self-enquiry as well other articles about Self-enquiry in the links below.

Peace, love, harmony

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Quieting the mind and meditation by Atman Nityananda

Quieting the mind and meditation 

Without to silent the mind (to still the mind, to make it Serene and tranquil) deep meditation is impossible. Without deep meditation, liberation and self-realization is also impossible

But to make the mind still and silent is easy to say but not so easy to achieve. The mind never stops thinking on something, -only very rarely-, because the core of the mind is the desire for sensual pleasures. Desire by nature is insatiable and constantly seeks variety, better and more intense pleasures. Thus if we wait that the mind will shut up by itself we will wait thousands of years or lives.

It ie easy to quiet the mind and make it still when it is pure and sattvic. To purify the mind and make it sasttvic is a long and demanding process and it takes perseverance, patience and constant practice for many years. To do  this steadfast and regular sadhana above all it is necessary a burning longing or aspiration to realize the truth. Without this strong and steady aspiration our efforts will lack of determination and since the obstacles are many and the resistance of our ego very srong and persistent we cannot succeed in this endeavor. That`s why many are in a spiritual process but very few reach their goal.

But although it is a difficult and demanding task, nothing is impossible for him who has a strong and steady determination to realize truth at any cost.

Moreover  remember that we haven’t to do everything simultaneously. We
only have to face the present moment. We have to go step by step and do our best in this very moment; and this is not that difficult.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Meditation and Action Part I & Part II / by Swami Sivananda

Meditation and Action Part I & Part II 
by Swami Sivananda   

 A microscopic minority only are fit for full and deep meditation. The vast majority should combine meditation with action in the beginning. When they really advance in meditation, they can slowly give up action.

That man who meditates in a cave in the Himalayas finds it difficult to work in the world. He cannot meditate in the upstairs of a building that is situated in the heart of a city. That man who works in the world finds it equally difficult to remain in a solitary place. Both have not got a balanced mind. Both are not perfect. Both have a one-sided development.

The man who can meditate in a solitary retreat for six months and who can work in the world for another six months whole-heartedly, is an ideal Yogi or a perfect man. He is the ideal Karma Yogi. He is really a strong man. He has integral development. Nothing can upset his mind even when he is placed under any unfavourable conditions and bad environments.

If one has practised Pratyahara or abstraction of the senses he can withdraw his mind, just as the tortoise or snail withdraws its feet underneath its shell. No sound can disturb his mind. The firing of a cannon, the rolling sound of motor-lorries and bullock-carts in the streets cannot make any impression in his mind. He is practically dead to the world, but he is really very busy inside. He can convert a busy city into a big forest. 

But if a man has no abstraction or concentration he will find a big city in the thick of the forest. 

Aspirants should watch and test the mind always. They should try to keep this perfect balance. 

Real meditation gives immense inner strength. 

If one cannot realise this inner peace and strength, surely there is some error in Sadhana or meditation. Building castles in the air or Manorajya, Tandra and Alasya, sleepy state, brooding, and other negative states of the mind should not be mistaken for Samadhi or meditation. Untrained, inexperienced aspirants always make mistakes and are deluded.

Meditation and Action PART II

Man consists of Atman, mind and body. The Atman has two aspects, changeless and changing. The latter is called the world and the former God. World also is nothing but God in manifestation. God in movement is the world. Not that the world does not exist, it has a relative existence.

Atman is all-pervading, all-blissful, all-powerful, all-knowing, eternally perfect and pure. It assumes these names and forms called the world (Nama Rupa Jagat) of its own free will. There is no desire, because there is no outside object. This will is called Shakti. It is Atman in action. In Nirguna Atman, the Shakti is static. In Saguna, it is dynamic. Atman has no desire, because it is perfect, and because there is nothing which is objective to the Atman. Desire implies attraction, which presupposes imperfection. It is the very negation of will which is decision for action from within. The Atman wills and the universe comes into being. The will of the Atman upholds and governs the universe. Human beings are driven hither and thither by egoism, desires and fears due to identification with the limiting adjunct of mind and body. This idea of limitation is called egoism.

The realisation of oneness in all existences, manifested and unmanifested, is the goal of human life. This unity already exists. We have forgotten it through ignorance. The removal of this veil of ignorance, the idea that we are confined within the mind and the body, is our chief effort in Sadhana. It logically follows that to realise unity, we must give up diversity. We must constantly keep up the idea that we are all-pervading, all-powerful, etc. There is no room here for desire because in unity there is no emotional attraction, but steady, persistent, calm, eternal bliss. Desire for liberation is terminological inexactitude. Liberation means attainment of the state of infinity. It already exists. It is our real nature. There can be no desire for a thing which is your very nature. All desires for progeny, wealth, happiness in this world or in the next and lastly even the desire for liberation should be completely annihilated and all actions guided by pure and disinterested will towards the goal.

This Sadhana-the constant attempt to feel that you are the all-can be practised or rather ought to be practised in the midst of intense activity. That is the central teaching of the Gita. It stands to reason also. Because God is both Saguna and Nirguna, with form and without form. Let the mind and the body work. Feel that you are above them, their controlling witness. Do not identify yourself with the Adhara (support for mind and body), even when it is employed in activity. Of course meditation in the beginning has to be resorted to. Only an exceptionally strong-willed man can dispense with it. For ordinary human beings, it is an indispensable necessity. In meditation, the Adhara is steady. So the Sadhana, the effort to feel Unity is comparatively easy. In the midst of activities, this effort is difficult. Karma Yoga is more difficult than pure Jnana Yoga. We must, however, keep up the practice at all times. That is absolutely essential, otherwise the progress is slow; because, a few hours' meditation on the idea that you are the all and identification with mind and body for a greater portion of the day, do not bring about rapid or substantial advance.

It is much better to associate the word-symbol, OM, with the idea. From time immemorial, this symbol has been used for expressing the idea of unity. So the best method is to repeat this word OM and meditate on its meaning at all times. But we must set apart some hours for meditation, pure and simple, in the morning and in the evening.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Concentration and Meditation by Swami Sivananda

Concentration and Meditation
by Swami Sivananda

Concentration and meditation are the royal roads to perfection. Concentration leads to meditation.
Fix the mind on one object either within the body or without. Keep it there steadily for some time. This is concentration. You will have to practise this daily. Purify the mind first through the practice of right conduct and then take to the practice of concentration. Concentration without purity of mind is of no avail. There are some occultists who have concentration. But they have no good character. That is the reason why they do not make any progress in the spiritual line.
He who has a steady posture and has purified his nerves and the vital sheath by constant practice of control of breath will be able to concentrate easily. Concentration will be intense if you remove all distractions. A true celibate who has preserved his energy will have wonderful concentration.
Some foolish, impatient students take to concentration at once without in any manner undergoing any preliminary training in ethics. This is a serious blunder. Ethical perfection is a matter of paramount importance.
You can concentrate internally on any of the seven centres (Chakras) of spiritual energy. Attention plays a very prominent part in concentration. He who has developed his powers of attention will have good concentration. A man who is filled with passion and all sorts of fantastic desires can hardly concentrate on any subject or object even for a second. His mind will be jumping like an old monkey.
A scientist concentrates his mind and invents many new things. Through concentration he opens the layers of the gross mind and penetrates deeply into the higher regions of the mind and gets deeper knowledge. He concentrates all the energies of his mind into one focus and throws them out upon the materials he is analysing and finds out their secrets.
He who has gained abstraction (withdrawing the senses from the objects- Pratyahara) will have good concentration. You will have to march on in the spiritual path step by step, stage by stage. Lay the foundation of right conduct, postures, regulation of breath and abstraction to start with. The superstructure of concentration and meditation will be successful then only.
You should be able to visualise the object of concentration very clearly even in its absence. You will have to call up the mental picture at a moment's notice. If you have good concentration you can do this without much difficulty.
In the beginning stage of practice, you can concentrate on the 'tik-tik' sound of a watch or on the flame of a candle or any other object that is pleasing to the mind. This is concrete concentration. There is no concentration without something to rest the mind upon. The mind can be fixed on any object in the beginning which is pleasant. It is very difficult to fix the mind in the beginning on an object which the mind dislikes.
Those who practice concentration evolve quickly. They can do any work with scientific accuracy and great efficiency. What others do in six hours can be done by one who has concentration within half an hour. What others can read in six hours, can be read by one who does concentration within half an hour. Concentration purifies and calms the surging emotions, strengthens the current of thought and clarifies the ideas. Concentration helps a man in his material progress also. He will have a very good outturn of work in his office or business house. What was cloudy and hazy before becomes clear and definite. What was difficult before becomes easy now and what was complex, bewildering and confusing before becomes easy within the mental grasp. You can achieve anything through concentration. Nothing is impossible to a man who practices regular concentration. It is very difficult to practice concentration when one is hungry and when one is suffering from an acute disease. He who practices concentration will possess very clear mental vision.
Meditation is the only royal road to the attainment of salvation or Moksha. Meditation kills all pains, sufferings and three kinds of Taapas (fevers) and five Kleshas (sorrows). Meditation gives the vision of unity. Meditation produces sense of oneness. Meditation is an aeroplane that helps the aspirant to soar high in the realms of eternal bliss and everlasting peace. It is a mysterious ladder that connects earth and heaven and takes the aspirant to the immortal abode of Brahman.
Meditation is the continuous flow of one thought of God or Atman, like the continuous flow of oil from one vessel to another. Meditation follows concentration.
Practise meditation in the early morning from 4 to 6 (Brahma-Muhurta). This is the best time for the practice of meditation.
Sit in Padma or Siddha or Sukha Asana. Keep the head, neck and the trunk in a straight line, and concentrate either on the Trikuti, the space between the two eyebrows, or on the heart with closed eyes.
Meditation is of two kinds viz., Saguna Dhyana (concrete meditation) and Nirguna Dhyana (abstract meditation).
Saguna Dhyana (concrete meditation)
In concrete meditation the Yogic student meditates on the form of Lord Krishna, Rama, Sita, Vishnu, Siva, Gayatri or Devi. In abstract meditation he meditates on his own Self or Atman.
Place the picture of Lord Hari with four hands in front of you. Gaze at this picture steadily for five minutes and then close the eyes and visualize the picture. During visualization move the mind on the various parts of Vishnu. See with the mind His feet first, then in the following order, legs, His yellow silk cloth, His golden necklace set with Kaustubha gem on the breast, the earring, Makarakundala, then the face, then the crown on the head, then the discus in the right upper hand, then the conch in the upper left hand, then the mace in the lower right hand, then the lotus in the left lower hand. Then come down to the feet and repeat the process again and again. Finally fix the mind either on the feet or on the face. Repeat the Mantra, Hari Om or Om Namo Narayanaya, mentally. Think of the attributes of the Lord such as Omnipotence, Omnipresence, Purity, etc.
Nirguna Dhyana (abstract meditation).
Meditate on Om and its meaning with feeling. This is Nirguna Dhyana. Repeat Om mentally. Identify yourself with Atman. Feel "I am the all-pervading immortal Self or Atman. I am Sat-Chit-Ananda Brahman. I am Sakshi (silent witness) of three states (waking, dream and deep sleep state) and all modifications of the mind. I am pure consciousness, I am distinct from the body, mind and Prana and senses, I am the self-luminous Light of lights. I am the eternal supreme Soul."
If you have contentment, cheerfulness, patience, unruffled state of mind, sweet voice, one-pointedness of mind, light body, fearlessness, desirelessness, disgust for worldly things, think that you are advancing in the spiritual path and that you are nearing God.
O Prem! There is a place where you will neither hear any sound nor see any colour. That place is Param Dham or Padam Anamayam (painless seat). This is the realm of peace and bliss. There is no body-consciousness here. Here mind finds rest. All desires and cravings melt away. The Indriyas (senses) remain quiet here. The intellect ceases functioning. There is neither fight nor quarrel here. Will you seek this silent abode through silent meditation? Solemn stillness reigns supreme here. Rishis of yore attained this place only by melting the mind in the silence. Brahman shines in native effulgence.
Forget the body. Forget the surroundings. Forgetting is the highest Sadhana. It helps meditation a great deal. It makes the approach to God easier. By remembering God, you can forget all these things.
Taste the spiritual consciousness by withdrawing the mind from the sensual objects and fixing it on the lotus-feet of the Lord, who is ever shining in the chambers of your heart. Merge within by practising deep silent meditation. Plunge deep. Swim freely in the ocean of Sat-Chit-Ananda. Float in the Divine river of Joy. Tap the source. March direct towards the fountain-head of Divine Consciousness and drink the Nectar. Feel the thrill of Divine Embrace and enjoy Divine Ecstasy. I shall leave you here. You have attained the state of immortality and fearlessness. O Prem! Fear not. Shine now. Thy light has come.
Practise regular systematic meditation during the same hours daily. You will get the meditative mood easily.
The more you meditate, the more you will have inner spiritual life, wherein mind and senses (Indriyas) do not play. You will be very close to the source, Atman. You will enjoy the waves of bliss and peace. All sensual objects will have no attraction for you now. The world will appear to you as a long dream.
Jnana (knowledge of Atman or true Self) will dawn in you by constant, deep meditation. You will be fully illumined. The curtain of ignorance will drop now. The sheaths will be torn. The body-idea will vanish. You will realise the significance of the Mahavakya, "Tat Tvam Asi." All differences, distinctions, qualities will disappear. You will see everywhere one infinite, illimitable Atman, full of Bliss, Light and Knowledge. This will be a rare experience, indeed. Do not tremble with fear like Arjuna. Be bold. You will be left alone now. There is nothing to see or hear now. There are no senses. It is all pure consciousness only.
Thou art Atman, O Prem. Thou art not this perishable body. Destroy the Moha (identification an Infatuation) for this filthy body. Do not utter in future "My body." Say, "this instrument." The sun is setting now. It is drawing within all the rays. Now sit for meditation. Again have a dive in the sacred Atmic Triveni within.
Collect all the rays of the mind and plunge within quite deep into the innermost recesses of the heart. Give up all sorts of fears, cares, worries and anxieties. Rest in the ocean of silence. Enjoy the eternal peace. Your old Jivahood  is gone now. All limitations have disappeared. If the desires and old cravings try to hiss, destroy them by the rod of Viveka (discrimination between real and unreal) and the sword of Vairagya (dispassion). Keep these two with you always for some time till you get Brahmi-Sthiti (fully established in Atman).

OM is Sat-Chit-Ananda.
Om is Infinity, Eternity.
Sing OM. Feel OM.
Chant OM. Live in Om.
Meditate on OM.
Roar OM OM OM.
Hear OM. Taste Om.
See OM. Eat OM. Drink OM.
OM is Thy Name! May that OM guide you!

Pratyahara (abstraction or withdrawal of the senses) By Sri Swami ...
The step which inner yoga begins by Swami Chidannda

Dispassion and Discrimination by Swami Sivananda
The art of discrimination (viveka) by Swami Sivananda

Pearls for Vairagya (dispassion) by Swami Sivananda
Dispassion & Renunciation (Vairagya and Tyaga) \ by Swami

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Daily meditation on purity love and peace \ Atman Nityananda

 Daily meditation on purity love and peace

This meditation can be done in our morning and evening meditations for 5 minutes or more according our convenience.

Purposely I have put the 'I am' after the positive affirmations of love, purity, peace which are qualities of our true nature. Because if I say first the I am ie. 'I am purity' etc. unconsciously due to habitual function of the egoic mind, I affirm that 'I as an ego I am purity, love and peace, ie. that these are charectiristics of the egoic body-mind entity we think we are, while this is not the case. On the contrary when I say 'purity I am', 'Peace I am', "Love I am', I affirm that Love, peace and purity itself is my identity. In order to be this clear in our mind we can also do this meditation negating first our lower nature and then affirming our divine nature. (See below).

Mechanical repetition has poor results; it is very important to say these affirmations with feeling. If we have experienced in the past, moments of pure love and peace we can bring them from our memory and associate them with the affirmations. Never forget that in meditation (not only in meditation but in every moment) the most important is to be aware of the silent space within.

Purity I am, Peace I am, Love I am
Om purity, Om peace, Om love
Om, Om, Om!

You can do it also by negating first your lower nature:

I am not the body, I am not the mind, I am not the ego
Purity I am, Peace I am, Love I am
Om purity, Om peace, Om love
Om, Om, Om!

Regularity, perseverance, patience, faith, vigilance, concentration, observation, discernment, son necessary for positive results.

Normally every thing we start to exercise in daily basis it it takes at least six months in order to become a part of our consciousness and note obvious changes in our meditation mood and in our mind.

Of course this meditation as well as any kind of meditation in order to create a major change in our mind and psych has to be practiced for years a long with other practices as well as the development in a high level of discrimination, dispassion, will power, determination, detachment concentration etc.

 I suggest you to begin this meditation with the prayers of the previous post:

Prayers for World Peace

Peace, love harmony

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Prayers for World Peace ~ Atman NItyananda

Prayers for World Peace

When you sit for meditation in the morning and evening hours, send out currents of your love and peace to all living beings. By repeating these prayers from the heart we create divine vibrations which permeate the astral and mental worlds as well as elevate and purify our mind and fill it with sattva. These prayers prepare the mind in the best possible way for the practice of meditation. 

You can repeat them also any time during the day, when you are irritated, upset, frustrated,  in stress, anxiety, etc.; their vibrations will bring peace in your mind and will remove the negative energies form your energy field.  

Remember that is important to say the prayer with feeling because the feeling fecundates the thought and becomes creative. Simplicity, one pointed mind, faith and awareness of the silent space within are also important components in prayer.

First we say all these verses below three times  the whole serie:

Sarvesham swasti bhavatu - May auspiciousness be unto all;
Sarvesham santir bhavatu - May peace be unto all;
Sarvesham purnam bhavatu - May fullness be unto all;
Sarvesham mangalam bhavatu - May prosperity be unto all;

Om sarve bhavantu sukhinah
- May all be prosperous and happy;
sarve santu niramayah - May all be free from illness;
sarve bhadrani pashyantu - May all See what is Auspicious;
ma kashcid duhkhabhaagbhavet - May none suffer;
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti - Om peace, peace, peace

Asato mā sadgamaya - From ignorance, lead me to truth;
Tamasomā jyotir gamaya - From darkness, lead me to light;
Mrityormāamritam gamaya - From death, lead me to immortality
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti - Om peace, peace, peace

Om Purnamadah, Purnamidam, Purnat, Purnamudacyate
Purnnashya, Puurnnamadaya, Purnamevavashissyate
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
Om, That is Full, This also is Full, From Fullness comes that Fullness,
Taking Fullness from Fullness, Fullness Indeed Remains.
Om Peace, Peace, Peace.

We continue with the verses below;  we repeat each one of them three or more times according our convenience and then we continue with the next one

Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu - May happiness be unto the whole world.  
(3X) or more times
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti 

Peace, Love, harmony all over the world
 (3X) or more times
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti 

May all beings be happy;
May all beings be blissful;
May all beings be peaceful;
(3X) or more times
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti 

At the end we close the prayers by saying:

May all these prayers be realized for the well being of all. 
 Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

Om Tat Sat 

NOTE: Each one will find its own way to do the prayers and also to select only some of them. My personal experience is that by doing this sequence of prayers my mind becomes serene, luminus and light and subsequently I can easily do japa nama and meditation.