Saturday, June 20, 2009

The acquisition of Mental Culture ( Samskaras)

(I need to update my notes on Pathanjali’s Yoga Sutras, but I am finding it difficult to kick myself into gear after the month long break. So here are some general thoughts on meditation)

The world has changed and our awareness has changed drastically. There is no mystery connected with spirituality any longer. The atheist talks about spirituality more warmly than the believer. Our life has entered a subtler plane than it had ever before in the human evolution. None finds things like meditation and Yoga esoteric now. These have become a part of life to most people. Most of you must be doing something to keep mentally and bodily fit and that is a sort of yoga too.

But real meditation is a little different. It aims at the almost impossible, of knowing the truth. The seekers of truth are truly brave people; they step over Maya with determination, not an easy thing to do under any circumstances. Those who have done that would not mince words.

Bodhidharma who introduced Zen in China must have shocked most of his Chinese contemporaries by the irreverence with which he held many things. The Chinese are great sticklers for form. This man had none of that. The Chinese seemed to have tried to ‘civilly’ end his life by poisoning him thrice because of their chagrin over his conduct. But he survived.

They thought that doing something for the world would reserve them a place in the heaven. May be it would or may be it wouldn’t. But to a true seeker the show the world puts up would feel like a charade, insignificant and worthless. External tools can only do so much. Penances, charity, humility, compassion for the suffering, service etc are a means to an end rather than the end itself.

The end is to find yourself. You do not have to run around the world to do it. You are always available to yourself are you not? But the problem is, none of us wants to face ourselves. Don’t take this lightly; it’s behind most of the failures in the practice of meditation.

The actual practice (that is if you are doing the Sambavi Mudra) is very simple. You only have to keep the mind at one place for some length of time. But there are mental obstacles to it.

There are fears that you can’t speak of and there are things that you don’t care about, within you. There are phantoms inside you that you would rather not acknowledge. These may come up hindering your progress.

But stop worrying, everyone is like that. Everyone has sinned so to speak, with mind and body. It’s nothing new, also it is nothing important. These sins and good deeds are the products of your mind and environment; they have nothing constant in them. They hold nothing against the practice of meditation.

The technique I speak of would liberate even the devil. The only need is application. If you can keep a constant flow of consciousness on the place described, you are there. To some it may occur within no time to some who can’t be constant to that extent it would take a little bit more time. But it would come, once you enter this path there is no turning back.

You will be brought back to it by the mental culture ( Samskara) you have acquired during your practice.

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