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Deep Meditation and Analysis
AYP Plus Additions:
397.1 - Hanging on to
Experiences During Deep Meditation (Audio)
The Pros and Cons of Discussing Spiritual Experiences (Audio)
Can Sharing Experiences Hurt Spiritual Progress?
May 3, 2010
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
Q: In my case, meditation is usually an exciting
ride with all sorts of lights and inner dimensions revealing themselves. I
often find it difficult, not even desirable, to come back and focus on the
mantra, which is not nearly as interesting. It may be flat and
counter-productive. With so much else going
on in meditation, it is more than enough for me to assess and understand
these unusual and fascinating experiences. At least, that is the rationale
that occurs during meditation. A strong tendency toward analysis is a
long-time habit of mine. It is what I do all day in my job. What would you
A: I would advise developing the habit of always gently
favoring the procedure over the experiences that come up during deep
meditation, no matter how glorious
they may be. Deep meditation is not supposed to be entertainment, or produce
particular experiences. Neither is it a time for content
analysis. It is a cleansing procedure, which is known to bring
into our daily life. The process is driven by the procedure of favoring the
mantra, not by the experiences that may occur.
experiences may be in deep meditation, they will not be unique in terms of
what they can bring to our growth. Dramatic experiences are not necessarily
unusual, and they are not causative. They are a result of purification and
opening occurring in our subtle nervous system, caused by the simple
procedure of picking up the mantra whenever we realize we are off it, and
letting it refine naturally.
If we have a tendency to analyze
experiences during our practice, this may seem natural for us because
a long-time mental habit. But during that 20
minutes of deep meditation twice each day, we are culturing the habit of
doing something else - easily favoring the inner sound of the mantra. If we
are consciously favoring analysis instead, it can become an obstruction to
our progress. Therefore, when interesting experiences and analysis come in
deep meditation, we just ease back to the mantra. That's all that is
necessary. It is not a focusing or a hanging on to the mantra. It is a
gentle favoring when we notice we are off into something else. It does not
matter what that something else is.
All of the traditions have
evolved "maps" that attempt to tell us where we are with experiences in the
overall scheme of things. Such assessments undertaken during practice will
be at the expense of our progress. Figuring out where we are in the inner
realms has absolutely nothing to do with our
practice, and, in fact, can arrest our unfoldment in "analysis paralysis."
Much better to practice according to the procedure and go out and live
fully. If we are inclined to analyze outside our practice, that is fine. But
even then it can be a distraction. Which is of greater value, analyzing
life, or actually living it fully in the divine flow that is emerging from
within us as a result of effective daily practice?
practitioners in the know, regardless of the tradition they come from, will
tell you the same thing: Keep practicing with consistency, favoring the
procedure of your practice over the scenery along the way. This is not a
guarantee of consistent experiences of any kind during practice. It does,
however, guarantee your spiritual progress.
Anything can happen in
practice, with thoughts, visions, lights, sounds, or nothing at all. The
mantra can be big, small, loud, soft, flat, shimmering, clear, faint, fuzzy,
irritating, ecstatic, anything. Wherever
happens to be is where we
up, with no strain or fuss about what we'd like it to be.
The mantra and our experiences can go on in a particular mode for
days, weeks, or months, until purification and opening lead us into more
realms of inner stuff that are purifying and opening. None of the
particulars of experience matter in relation to the procedure of deep
What matters is how we are feeling during the day. Are we
more relaxed, energetic, creative, loving, finding more synergies occurring
naturally in our life's journey? These are the things that indicate that our
practice is working. This is where practices pay off, not in what happens
while we are sitting in meditation.
The only reason to discuss
experiences that occur in meditation is to coax practitioners back to
application of the procedure, and to boost confidence to proceed with
consistency. Other than that, there isn't much reason to discuss the
scenery. It is yours. You
with enjoyment (or not)
it comes along, and then ease back to the mantra. Whatever is there is there
until it isn't anymore, and there is no benefit in being concerned about
anything being there or not being there, or in analyzing what it might be.
It is suggested to continue
developing the habit of
the procedure of deep meditation and see what is happening outside
practice in ordinary living. As you gradually let go of the need to be
analyzing the internals of your meditation, and go out and live fully, the
results will be there. That is the payoff. It is not about labeling the
content of our meditation, or our life. It is
about living it.
Practice wisely, and enjoy!
The guru is in you.
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