Sunday, November 22, 2009

Knowing Thyself, Definitively

One of the first questions that arises after learning to meditate, is how do we interpret our meditations? How do we judge our feelings & sensations during meditations? How to know what we are seeing within is true progress in the right direction? Three approaches are examined below for merits.

Asking Others to Judge Us

Having another meditation expert or peer feel our chakras and work on them is a great way to cleanse. It does not work quite well to get an absolute measure of where we stand within. Asking others coldly to check vibrations, in my experience, is a common mistake. Since we are all progressing towards perfection, getting a definitive answer from someone else is a risky proposition. The answer may be biased by emotion or tainted by the imbalances of the person checking vibrations without entering a good state of meditation. I usually avoid cold calling on awakened friends to check vibrations, as the spontaniety of feeling vibrations is now constrained by emotion, "performance pressure" and other stressors.

Self Checking Vibrations
The act of feeling our subtle energy centers is called checking vibrations. It is a spontaneous process when our attention reports bliss or stress in the subtle energy centers. However, the approach and practice of it varies widely. Doing it ourselves requires complete detachment and a strong witness state. The willingness to face our faults without guilt and correct them with advanced practices, which are beyond the reach of a majority, one can safely state. The lack of detachment almost always results in confusing answers.

Giving Awakening & Inner Experience of Meditation to Others
In my opinion, giving stands out as the best way to investigate our spiritual depth & inner growth. It is independent of our personal biases and present state. Our ability to pass on the experience of bliss to others is the golden yardstick to measure our growth. "We can only give what we have within" The honest and willing reciever will honestly report their inner experience. If our awakening is true, we are able to awaken others by our mere presence combined with their active desire. And to rule out the reciever's inability to report back their blissful state accurately, we can draw a conclusion about ourselves by giving self-realization to many others - to eliminate estimation errors.

If we have the light, it well pass on effortlessly to most people we attempt to enlighten. Daily meditation keeps our mortal shell clean & transplant. A non-daily mediator usually cannot sustain their connection with the universe and any attempt to pay forward the experience will by futile. In conclusion, only in giving others we can really discover what's within us. By giving enlightenment to others we can know for sure if we have nourished our light within. Based on what others recieve from us, we can make a definitive conclusion of who we are. So get going and know thyself!

Wish you all the best in your journey of meditation and personal growth.

At a Quiet Courtyard in Ann Arbor

Last week at one of our meetings in Ann Arbor, an attendee shared a beautiful story of how he was helped with the knowledge of meditation during a stressful time. Here it is, with the name changed to protect his identity

Gerald is a graduate student pursuing his PhD at the University of Michigan in Economics. Most days he can handle the stress and juggle the busy schedule that comes along with being a doctoral student. But Someday even a seasoned student like Gerald cannot find a way to juggle all the balls tossed up so quickly by the virtue of his student life.

Today he had 3 grueling classes and to top it all, a final exam. The pressure has mounted and strolling through the streets of Ann Arbor he searched for a way to relieve his anxieties. That's when it struck him. He could try out some simple stress reduction he learnt at last week's meditation class.

He knew about the perfect spot - a little garden between the Michigan League and the Alumni Center, a small courtyard that would be the perfect place for an activity like meditation.

Ten minutes of silence and saying simple affirmations while placing his hands on his heart and forehead, he was already feeling good. The buzz in the stomach was gone. The racing mind was now working at a more normal speed.

A few minutes that morning put everything in perspective for Gerald He slipped into this dynamic. yet centered state where he was a witness to himself, sorting out a hectic day, one activity at a time.

"Stress" by flickr user otherthings 
"Butterfly" by author

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Work Your Powers - Photography

Yesterday, while collectively listening to the 1982 Vienna address in September on the occasion of the 9-Nights festival, before the talk begins, Shri Mataji was browsing pictures taken by Sahaja Yogis in and around Europe. She then quietly but surely remarked something to the effect that photography has now become one of the powers of Sahaja practitioners. almost 3 decades down, photography has become accessible through digital camera and online sharing mechanisms. This must be taken up by realized souls and enlightened yogis to observe, report and transform their societies. There are a few remarkable blogs already displaying high quality photo blogging efforts (1000 petals). I would like to see some more.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Karaoke and Meditation: Unusual Partners in World Peace

CC licensed image by flickr user fensterbme

Listening to a podcast about technology today, the topic of ethnographic studies came up and the interviewee mentioned how the study of Karaoke had revealed much about the differences of cultures in the east and west. And then it struck me. My use of Karaoke to break ice with acquaintences, was not a random co-incidence. (See Book referred to at the bottom of the post).

Karaoke is such a powerful activity when done collectively, and fails miserably when done alone (I mean REALLY alone, not recording for later distribution as many websites let you.) Over the summer we had Karaoke sessions almost once every month.

Past summer, during a long weekend, we hosted 3 families and a hoard of local friends which had more cultural diversity than one can imagine. Meditation is the activity that has traditionally brought us all together for weekend seminars. However, there were a few accompanying spouses who were not us much into meditation or were just getting their feet wet.

Like other weekends spent together, it seemed like another one where the non-meditating & newly meditating spouses would possibly feel alienated or just bored. Thankfully someone had the idea to jump start karaoke sessions and the ice was broken, melted and crushed into a smoothie. All of us, ALL - pre-teens, children, an Italian, an Irish American, a Indo-Pakistani-American, Russian, Finnish, Bulgarian, Indian and Brazilian were joined in ecstatic enjoyment of each other's company like never seen before. Participative music is the next best thing to integrate us, period.

World cultures, generations and other identities will merge by burning the candle both ways. The integration inside-out comes through meditation and outside-to-in comes through participative music.

What song would you like to sing along?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

7 things you should know about meditation


1. What is it?

2. Who’s doing it?

3. How does it work?

4. Why is it significant?

5. What are the downsides?

6. Where is it going?

7. What are the implications for you?