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Lesson 226 -
Expansion on Our Mind (Audio)
Date: Wed Aug 18, 2004 10:51am
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q: I am practising meditation and pranayama for the past two and half
months. The effects I got are:
First of all, I got the ability to concentrate on one thing in my life for
the first time. I have tried a lot of methods before, but there is an inner
satisfaction now only.
After each meditation session for the next hour my mind gets filled with
peace and happiness.
In my last two meditation sessions one or two times I lost the ability of
watching myself whether I am thinking the mantra or not.
Now my questions:
Can I meditate more than twice a day?
Can I meditate one hour after meals and before bed?
In this stage can I go to next step of siddhasana? (I have not yet
experienced any special colors and sounds as you mentioned.)
Can mantras like Gayatri mantra when repeated large number of times help me
for my development?
Guide me please.
A: Thank you for writing and sharing.
I am very happy to hear your meditation and pranayama are going well.
Meditating more than twice a day in our regular routine is not recommended.
It is easy to have too much of a good thing in yoga, and that can lead to
excessive purification, discomfort, and less progress. In a retreat
situation more than two meditations can be undertaken if there are no
responsibilities and the routine is designed to accommodate it. If you go to
the web site and look up "Retreats," you will find a couple of lessons
covering this. At home in our regular work schedule we should stay with the
measured twice-daily approach. With experiences like you describe, we all
would like to expand it for sure. The way to do that is to gradually add
practices into our twice-daily routine. The lessons are for that.
Meditating before eating is preferred, so meditation will not be competing
with digestion. An hour or more after eating is okay too. But close to
bedtime is not recommended, as it can lead to restless nights. Meditation is
preparation for activity, not sleep. Daily activity helps stabilize the
inner silence and ecstatic energy brought up during meditation, pranayama,
and other practices. That is why we meditate before the morning meal and
before the evening meal. Then we have some good activity afterward, which is
the right dual cycle of meditation and activity each day, producing the most
Siddhasana is after spinal breathing, mulabandha and sambhavi in the
lessons. If you have already stabilized these, one at a time, then you may
be ready for siddhasana. Try not to take on too much all at once, as it can
lead to an unwieldy routine that is hard to stabilize. Step-by-step, you
know. Rome was not built in a day. You are the one in charge.
If you undertake other mantras during the day, like Gayatri, it will
certainly speed up purification, but maybe excessively. With all the good
techniques available these days, the challenge is not in achieving the
purification. It is in digesting it in a way that facilitates stable
progress and the rise of ecstatic bliss over the long term. The lessons take
a particular approach to the task. There are other approaches too. Mixing
them together may not bring the best results.
In the approach here, daily activity is used to stabilize the effects of
practices. The best way to do this is to go out and engage in worthwhile
activities of our choice. Then our activities, inner silence and ecstatic
energy are naturally blended to bring about higher functioning in our
nervous system. The end result is life lived in ecstatic bliss with divine
love flowing out into everything we do. Our life naturally becomes joyful
service, wherever we may be.
There are many things you can do that will hasten purification in your
nervous system. But there is only so much purification the nervous system
can assimilate in a given period of time. The order in which practices are
done is important too. Think of it as being like athletic conditioning. It
takes time, particular exercises, and a gradual build-up. That is the
approach here. The practices in the lessons, combined with prudent
self-pacing (very important), provide a means to go gradually faster without
risking excessive instability. Then we can keep up our daily practices
indefinitely without overloading and burning out.
Stable long-term daily practice is the key to enlightenment. The journey is
more like a marathon than a sprint. With right practices and good
self-pacing it can be a pretty fast marathon!
You are doing great. Keep up the good work. I wish you all success on your
chosen spiritual path.
The guru is in you.
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Note: For detailed instructions on building a
balanced daily practice routine with self-pacing, including suggestions for
practice on retreat, see the
Eight Limbs of Yoga Book,
and AYP Plus.
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