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Deep Meditation Reminders (Audio)
AYP Plus Additions:
355.1 - Recognizing the Witness (Audio)
How to Handle the "Monkey Mind" in Deep Meditation
August 17, 2009
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q1 (1st practitioner): I've been a long time
student of the "change your practice every week" school, making lots and
lots of lateral progress, and you've been the first to offer me something so
effective in it's simplicity to make me want to settle in.
Here's what I've found
to be going on with my I AM mantra meditation. Intent Keeping the mantra in
the foreground at all costs what this is about to me, is not just focusing
on the sound... playing with that has let me feel passive about it. Strong
intent on keeping it front and center has had a totally different effect.
Not my long accepted notion of meditation as a practice of cultivating calm,
or any other emotional state. In actuality, sometimes embracing quite
negative states. What I've found is that when I use this mantra and mean it,
any thoughts that I interrupt, I now own. The thing I've found about a
wandering mind, is that I get lost. I focus on things outside of myself to
the point that I forget that I'm the one thinking, that it's an active
process. I forfeit control. Become victim to my surroundings. When I step
into the middle of any thought process with a deliberate and meaningful I AM
suddenly those thoughts are just my thoughts again, not some reality that's
bigger than me and I am a part of, contrarily just a part of me.
So what's happening now,
all this stuff that used to make me suffer, well I'm becoming very decidedly
responsible for it. I'm seeing how it's all been me all along. And there's
some ugly stuff in there. Ken Wilber talks about psychoanalysis and the
shadow, but it's easier than that. Eckhart Tolle talks about pain bodies,
but it's easier than that. It's just what I AM. And there's power in owning
even the ugly stuff. The ugly stuff causes suffering because I'd rather not
own it, so I project it on the outside world by getting lost in my thoughts
and forgetting that I'm the one thinking them. Owning them gives me back
that part of myself.
So I'm thinking that
karma is essentially the workings of the parts of ourselves which we deny.
Moments in time that we forget to be present so as to avoid confronting some
of our uglier elements. And I'm planning that by taking back ownership and
responsibility for those ugly parts that I'll learn to love them in such a
way that my karma "burns off" or more honestly, aligns with what it is I am
meant to be.
Thanks for sharing your experience. Just a reminder that picking up the
mantra is an easy favoring, and not an "at all costs" kind of thing. When we
realize we are off into thoughts, including thoughts about what is happening
or supposed to be happening in meditation, we just ease back to the inner
mental sound of the mantra at whatever level of clarity or fuzziness we
happen to be at in the mind. From there, we will lose the mantra again, and
once we notice, we can ease back to it again at that level of vibration, and
so on. By this procedure we go steadily deeper during our session. So the
mantra is a very flexible vehicle for our attention to go from clear mental
pronunciation to very faint and fuzzy barely noticed vibration. In this way,
the mantra and the specific procedure for using it take us deep into our
inner silence, which is pure bliss consciousness beyond all thinking.
Also, we do not meditate
on the meaning of the English words, I AM. We use the sound only. It can be
as though we are using a different spelling, AYAM, where there is no
It is fine to analyze after meditation, but
analysis during meditation is to be regarded as just another stream of
thoughts, and then ease back to the mantra again. It is a very simple
procedure. If we stick with it twice daily, within a few weeks or months, we
may notice some changes in our daily life more inner stillness, peace,
creativity, and energy. This "abiding inner silence" we are cultivating is
the foundation of enlightenment, and everything else we discuss in the AYP
lessons flows from that.
In the beginning, it is
common to think of the mantra as being a kind of battering ram for knocking
down the wall between us and our enlightenment, for furthering our mental
strategies, whatever they may be. This is what we sometimes call "the clunky
stage." Like many things in life we are doing for the first time, meditation
can take some getting used to, and then the practice will refine naturally
as we settle in. The truth is, we do not knock down the wall. With deep
meditation, we become like a very fine vapor and go right through it. So
there really isn't anything we have to own our karma, or anything else. As
we move forward from deep meditation with the addition of practices like
samyama and self-inquiry, our independence from karma, our thinking, and
ego, becomes increasingly clear. This is the rise of the witness. Then we
can naturally penetrate thoughts, feelings and energy obstructions in a way
that neither pushes them away nor requires us to "own" them.
In time, the wall (our
inner obstructions) is dissolved from the inside, and pure bliss
consciousness blooms forth naturally, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. We
Q2 (2nd practitioner):
The mantra disappears during practice for sure, but it is the refining of
the mantra that I think I may be lacking. Is the refining a process of clear
mental pronunciation to a more subtle sound? Is it like going from a low
note to a high note?
A2: Yes, during deep meditation the mantra
naturally goes from clear pronunciation to subtle sound in the mind. It is
not a matter of pitch (high or low), but degree of clarity. Pitch can be
anything, whether the mantra is clear or fuzzy. This is not something we can
regulate. We can only allow it. "Letting" versus "controlling." Then this
creeps out into our daily living, making life more harmonious and fluid. We
may or may not notice effects in our daily life right away, but they are
there. Not to fret much over it. Just let it happen. The more we are able to
allow that natural refinement during deep meditation, the more we will be
able to allow it in daily living. It is the habit of rising inner silence.
There is a direct relationship.
In deep meditation
practice, disappearing mantra is good. Then when we realize we have gone off
the mantra, we ease back to it. We may be experiencing thoughts very clearly
in the mind. In that case, the mantra will be a clear pronunciation. Or we
may be very floaty and fuzzy. In that case, we ease back to the mantra in
that mode of floaty fuzziness. Or we may be in stillness, barely aware we
have gone off the mantra. In that case we favor the mantra as stillness
itself. That last one may seem to be a paradox -- favoring something in
nothing. But that is what it is. This is all we have to do come back to the
mantra wherever we are, rather than forcing pronunciation to be somewhere
else, either clearer or fuzzier. Letting it go will usually lead to more
fuzziness, but not always. Purification occurring in the nervous system can
lead anywhere. We just allow whatever happens, and ride it wherever it goes,
easing back to the mantra wherever we find ourselves. Nothing more for us to
Q3 (3rd practitioner):
The mantra is really doing me in at the moment it's like a pot of honey
attracting flies and wasps, busy, insistent, complex thoughts/daydreams but
this has happened before and I'm expecting it to pass. The question well, I
suppose two questions.
Does the mantra act like
a psychic magnet, sucking all this junk out of my subconscious?
Second and more relevant
question: I've given up all the other practices except samyama while this
phase continues. I
was doing spinal breathing pranayama, chin pump, yoni mudra kumbhaka and
cosmic samyama, and doing fine with them. But do you think spinal breathing
should, if at all possible, be done as a necessary adjunct to deep
A3: It sounds like you
are getting some delayed reaction from using a "full boat" of practices
earlier. It can seem fine, but underneath a lot is being loosened and then
one day the dam breaks. This is why we add practices carefully one at a
time, and give them plenty of time to stabilize before adding more (months
at least, not days or weeks), so we will know what the effects of each
practice will be over a longer period of time, and can navigate accordingly.
It will take a little
while to settle down, but it will. Be sure to continue self-pacing and
grounding as needed. Also keep in mind that bhakti and any other spiritual
activities we are engaged in can aggravate an overload. So self-pacing
reaches beyond the AYP practices alone.
As for the mantra being
a "psychic magnet," I don't think that analogy holds, since we are
repeatedly going beyond the mantra and all thinking during deep meditation.
So there is no mantra or external (psychic) function we are cultivating. The
mantra is only a vehicle into stillness a very effective one. Rather, it is
the resulting rise of inner silence that loosens everything up.
Obviously, we'd like to
be releasing our inner obstructions, but the pace we do it at is important,
as too much at once can cause delays while we stabilize excessive energy
flows. Keeping a balance between our practices and normal daily life is the
key. When the two are kept in balance, spiritual progress can be very fast
if we are fully active in the world.
If it is still too much
release at the present duration of deep meditation, it is okay to back off
more on practice time until things settle down.
Spinal Breathing can
provide stabilization in some cases. You will not know for sure until you
try a bit of it before deep meditation. See Lesson
more discussion on this.
The guru is in you.
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