Meditation Series ? (1) Why Meditate
I would like to share some thoughts about meditation. We will take it in stages. Firstly WHY Meditate (today), then WHAT is meditation, what is it’s essential nature, WHEN to meditate and then HOW to meditate. WHO is the meditator is also an interesting question which we can weave into our discussion.
Please read this information slowly, let it sink in, if you don’t have time now wait till you do. The reason I ask this is if you are not practising meditation regularly it’s because you don’t see it’s value and so WHY is a vital question.
So WHY. First we need to appreciate that meditation is difficult because turning away from the world is difficult. However it is needed now more than ever because life is moving and changing faster and faster.
It was more static before and this gave more empty space, which helped with sanity.
What used to be six weeks worth of stimulation and information we are getting in a single day.This means there is about forty times the pressure to learn and adapt. Increased pressure leads to two things either neurosis and mental health issues or transformation.
The essential problem is we don?t feel peaceful because we don’t feel grounded and we don’t feel grounded because there is no link to our soul nature. “”No matter what we achieve, our successes are hollow unless we fulfill the soul’s yearning to bring higher consciousness into our daily lives.” (Yogi Bhajan)
We feel depressed, a sense of separation that there is something essential missing. Since our soul is our essential nature and we do not allow the time for the soul to speak to the mind to heal this split in us, we’re right to feel this way.
When we don’t feel happy we start to live a compensatory life and this leads to confusion, fear, doubt and paralysis. Yogi Bhajan termed this ‘cold depression’; if you look into may peoples eye’s it can seem like no-one’s at home, you can’t feel the person’s presence, they are literally not present.
Most of our problems are self imposed; ill conceived beliefs, poor habits and unconscious living. We become aware of our neuroses through meditation. There is a chaos inside which we have created and we have to move through it. These problems originate because of how we use the mind. Your mind is not you. Your mind is you?re past constantly trying to control your present and future. Therefore nothing new can come, only repeating patterns that give the illusion of safety, which means we accept the predictability of the past. This is called living by fate. We react, rather than have the presence of mind to respond. Re-action just means to go over again in the same way. Meditation is to know through experience there is a world of your mind and a world of you.
The Mind is supposed to be our servant not our master, it needs to be trained, cleansed (so that it doesn’t dump into the subconscious) and it needs to be conquered, not just silenced.
Nature of the Mind
We are very advanced in terms of what we can do, of how we can manipulate our world but the mind is not developed/honed/polished; not usually realizing the light which illuminates itself (be transparent not opaque). The mind is usually representative of our self-image. The ego id, creating it?s own projections (based on family, cultural, societal conditioning). Hu = light Mana = mind; So human means enlightened mind. A transparent mind is one that is illuminated by the teachings (not it’s own agenda). It is sacred teachings that give us the right perspective, right understanding, right proportion, right seeing and right value.
The mind is part of the collective unconscious, the universal mind. This is what yoga means, the ability to tap our finite self, our (relatively!) small mind into the universal mind. Yogi Bhajan talks about the need to give the mind an infinite horizon.
The mind is mostly automatic, fast and beyond the restrictions of time and space, it supports your actions with many more thoughts than you could ever act on. ?The result is that it is not you who thinks. Your mind thinks, not you. It floods you with thoughts, both wanted and unwanted, intended and unintended. Not all thoughts support the you which is you’.
?The mind has no fundamental reality on its own. It requires your direction. In order to act and create you must use the mind, but the mind can also use you. It can convince you of something, encourage you, then abandon you when it is wrong.?
The mind is full of intrigues. For example; hoping, justifying, concluding, seeking and avoiding attention, proving, arguing a point, blaming and shaming, ourselves and others, identifying causes, revenging, looking for ways out, excusing, compensating, seeking criteria for success or failure, punishment or reward, clever questions and answers that go nowhere. None of these are to be considered good or bad. It?s just to make the games we play transparent by becoming an observer of the mind. ?Either your mind is under you, or you are under your mind.?
The mind is constantly in motion producing thoughts at a very rapid rate. We start with a thought and then we have a thought about the thought. This double thought produces a feeling. Then we have a thought about the feeling, this produces an emotion, that is, we have started to invest energy in the feeling. This is about the descent of the idea into the body. The pineal gland which is also linked to the the 7th chakra and the 6th chakra is linked to our visualization, fantasy and projection. It is producing a kind of mind-babble [1000 thoughts per second]. Then we give some thoughts weight; we catch the thought, we start breathing it. This means we feel it. In meditation we are trying to reverse this so that we can get back to where the thought originates from.
Then we can get to the root of what is driving our desires. This awareness make us (temporarily, at least) greater than our desires and that awareness in itself is more pleasurable than the fulfilment of any desire.
By turning our attention inwards we notice the patterns of motivation and assumption that drive our desires, the paradox is that it is ?through the spontaneous restraining action of deeper awareness there arises a pleasure greater than any that desire could offer?
When you are not hankering after anything you learn to relax because there is nothing to be tense about.
The small things of life start having new meaning, new significance. Then nothing (all) is (in) small
Yogi Ji said of this devotion ?there is no sadness, no sacrifice which is not easily done. It is a kind of bewitchment of mind in which man is totally possessed, he?s happy with what he?s doing, his world is his own, his game is his own, his destination is his own and he shall make it?