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|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - Mar 20 2012 : 12:56:43 AM
A few times lately I have been drawn to change my object of meditation from the mantra to the intention behind the mantra. Going a layer deeper, I meditate on the source that is behind intention. Losing the object and coming back to it at that point, it sucks anything else into it like a black hole. I lose track of whether I'm observing the source or it is observing me. There is such equanimity that nothing seems to exist because it is all so much the same.
I could ramble on about it. But it's some new level. Inner silence, the witness, etc. My question is, should I go back to the mantra, or keep using this new object of meditation? Perhaps meditating in this fashion is a self inquiry method I should reserve as a separate practice. What are your thoughts and experiences with this?
|13 L A T E S T R E P L I E S (Newest First)
||Posted - Apr 02 2012 : 2:13:38 PM
Hey Michael. Thanks for the reality check. I had been planning on going to Kripalu this year, but a conflict came up just a couple months ago. I missed everyone too, and thought of you all a few times over the course of the week. Hopefully next year.
||Posted - Apr 02 2012 : 1:01:56 PM
Jeff--missed you muchly on this year's Kripalu retreat! I think you are making something VERY simple into something way too complicated. Repeat the mantra easily and effortlessly, and come back to it easily when you notice you are off it. Period. Nothing more need be said or done (or thought or analyzed) regarding the meditation practice--the mechanics of doing the technique. ANYTHING else cannot be said to even be meditation--call it contemplation, concentration, whatever else you might wish to say. Meditation is just the process of easily beginning quiet mental repetition of the mantra, and quietly returning to the mantra whenever you notice you are off of it. I'm going to venture that all of this other "stuff" happening in your mind is "off the mantra" time--just return to the mantra when you notice you are off on these tangents, whether they are analytical, reflective, experiential or observational. Return to the simple, natural easy process...
||Posted - Mar 23 2012 : 09:05:19 AM
If I am correct, desire is an illusion. It is one of the 10 fetters that a soul needs to leave behind in order to achieve release from the cycle.
1. identity view
3. ritual attachment
5. ill will
6. lust for material rebirth
7. lust for immaterial rebirth
That being said, its hard to understand how to meditate on an "object" that is not real.... I'm confused. Anyway, I wish you the best JDH.
||Posted - Mar 22 2012 : 4:39:16 PM
Yes escapado, I think we're on the same page. It was a profound experience for me, but being able to do it "relationally" as Yogani says, seems to not always be available. Maybe it had something to do with having taken 3 weeks off from practices, and then coming back.
||Posted - Mar 22 2012 : 4:25:46 PM
The intention behind the mantra. It's hard to explain it better than that. But I will try. Every deliberate action for me has an intention behind it. Repeating the mantra, I count that as a deliberate action because it is not something that I just naturally and involuntarily do. So each time I repeat it, there is this intention behind it. It is conscious energy that leads to me repeating the mantra. I am using the same conscious energy to choose what to type right now. It's just the choice to think the mantra. If we didn't make that choice, our thoughts would be something else at that moment. You could think of the "intention behind the mantra" as the "favoring" of the mantra. So I use the DM technique on the "favoring" itself.
Zooming out a level, the mantra meditation also exists as a whole habit. There is some intention and conscious energy that is leading me not only to each individual repetition of the mantra, but also to choose to repeat the mantra over and over, every single day in a meditation habit toward spiritual growth. It is bhakti. It is what leads me to choose to do mantra meditation. It exists both outside of meditation and during meditation. It is the part of me that wants. It is always wanting, and doing, and looking for better. It is driving my whole meditation habit, as well as each individual repetition of the mantra. It is also driving many other choice in my life. Something is missing and it wants that really bad. And it tries everything to get that even though it doesn't really know what that is. This is the essence of the object.
So I used the same old DM technique with bhakti as an object (I haven't done it since I started this post). I favor that "wanting/doing" object and come back to it whenever I am off it. This object is not the idea of all this, but the actual experience of it.
Zooming out (or in?) again, I meditated on the object that was giving rise to the bhakti. I'm getting outside the realm of words here. But what is before wanting? Being is. When I went off the object of being, I was still on it. And yet my experience still moved around in a muted fashion, spewing off truths of self inquiry that didn't even matter because they were still the same as the object I was meditating on.
I realize this probably all comes across as useless blathering, but it was useful for me. Another thing of note is that I didn't decide to go do this... I was just kind of drawn into it during meditation. Even the last couple times I have sat, I wanted to try this again, but once I was meditating, I just kind of stayed on the level of the mantra the whole time. So maybe it is not so much an active pursuit as it was a special treat that I had for the first few sessions after coming back.
||Posted - Mar 22 2012 : 05:47:21 AM
JHD: if I understand it right you mean favouring the intention of coming back to the mantra (when you notice you're off of it) and then going deeper layer by layer (or as you said source by source so to say)?
Like looking specifical (but neither intellectually nor by conscious - egobased - intention) for the source of awareness?
||Posted - Mar 22 2012 : 02:37:22 AM
I tried that out - just for you
I am not sure what you meant by "the intention behind the mantra" ; I do not intend the mantra in anyway, unlike the sutras in samyama where there is intent. That said, I did try to focus on the witness instead of the mantra but cannot go beyond that first awareness - this is why I keep saying I don't get this self-enquiry method. A short while later I automatical switch back to the mantra because that is what my poor brain has been conditioned to do
That was totally unhelpful
||Posted - Mar 21 2012 : 7:04:37 PM
Hey Bourgo. I bet we're closer than you think. Thanks for the bit of advice guys. Putting the perils of the path aside, I'd still be interested to hear any other thoughts or experiences on using the DM technique with the a different object like self/bhakti/lifeforce/intention/desire. I start with the mantra and then meditate on its source. Then on the source of that. Then the source of that, and so on. I don't label the objects during the process, these are only names afterward that I am giving them. While doing it, they are experiential objects. Other times I just meditate on the mantra the whole time. Anyway, I will just use it as I see fit. The guru is in me.
||Posted - Mar 21 2012 : 08:43:16 AM
I am nowhere close to where you are and have never experienced what you're seeing/feeling, so take my advice with a grain of salt.
At some level, you cannot change what is. Basically, if the reality of everything is that "the source" is just a vast web of energy and experience and knowledge, then it can't help but treat all knowledge as knowledge. In mathematical terms, its like always using the absolute value of numbers. Whether its +6 or -6, the source just calls it simply "6". If this is true, I'm not sure how we are capable of experiencing the positive and negative, the good an evil behind actions and experiences, but we can. Knowing that, I think its important to follow your own compass....you can only ever do that. If you would like to be a positive, good person....then be true to that person inside.
Good luck friend.
||Posted - Mar 20 2012 : 06:30:23 AM
I could only compare it to the time I spent accidentally meditating on what I might describe as a black hole. I could happily orbit it without getting sucked into the interior while all thoughts rushed passed and were obliterated in its vastness. This is/ was the source of everything.
On the second part, yes, it's the 60,000ft view. That's what I meant by the mountain. Eventually you have to come down and it normalises. Your description of "everything the same" sounded like that had happened. I think maybe you haven't yet come down, you tried by stopping practices, that doesn't do it you just go back to a certain point as you probably discovered ( I also tried that).
Really, the best advice is to just follow the AYP system of practices, self pacing, rest and grounding, nothing else is required.
I think our experiences begin to widen dramatically at a certain point and it becomes more difficult to follow another's path. A bit like we sart off in a team to climb a mountain and as we get higher we ate all experiencing the mountain but from an entirely different perspective. No one way up.
Anyway best of luck.
||Posted - Mar 20 2012 : 04:53:27 AM
More like meditating on the meditator. First I meditate on the mantra. Then I shift the object to the intention of the mantra. Then to the source of that intention. Bhakti, or being, is the object I'm talking about. Not the idea, but the real experiential thing. I use the same method of coming back to the object every time I am off it. At the deeper levels of bhakti/being/self, going off the object is still the object in this sort of infinite mirror situation of observer and observed. This of course sparks domino effects in self inquiry which spiral out of meditation back into daily life.
A few days ago, I have just begun practices again after a few weeks away. I was burdened by expectations and attachments to practices after having done them daily for two years, and really questioning what is their effect. It was good perspective.
I'm not sure where you're coming from on the second part. I will rephrase for more detail. In my deepest moments of meditation lately... the kernel of truth in this whole process... in that place, all love, hate, fear, anxiety, joy, happiness, desire, intention, observation, morality. Everything. It is all the same. It is just pure, vast, unadulterated being. Equivocal to all things. Going back out into my daily life from this point, I feel sad, indifferent, and uncaring to have experienced this. My desires and actions, steered by my understanding of right and wrong, good and evil, happiness and pain - do not seem to matter right after meditation. Right after meditating, I could witness an atrocity, or win the lottery, and either way I would have to remind myself to care. Part of taking a few weeks off was just to remind myself that I can care about things and build up energy around things, without it being sapped away in meditation every day. It gives me doubts about whether good comes from these practices, or if it is self sabotage. Looking behind the curtain and ruining the magic, so to speak.
You are right about lighter burdens with a sense of being robbed. The splinter of anxiety and fear that is often times with me is also dissolved in the great uncaring. But so are hope and desire and energy. A catch-22. I can't have my stillness and enjoy it at the same time.
||Posted - Mar 20 2012 : 01:59:23 AM
It sounds like you are meditating on the idea of Stillness? It's an intoxicating thing, very attractive. I had the same thing happen, it seemed like yoga Nidra. Anyway I suggest back to the Mantra as that is an active meditation. If you feel a degree of stillness then try self inquiry but go gentle.
On your second question. Yes, up the mountain and down he other side. Back to everyday ordinariness followed by the feeling of outgoing love. It comes in cycles, eventually you stop wanting the Mountain. I think that for several people it indicates that they should stop doing practices, it can be a difficult time, there are many. The out flowing feels fantastic and will lead to a greater knowledge of your inner workings and how they relate to what you see around you.
You mentioned how you know if you are genuine in your self ( aka Evil bastard ). This is because you have the mistaken belief that you have obtained a power of some kind. It's the Ego puffing itself up again after it has been kicked out of orbit. Your moral compass remains intact. I'm guessing you feel a bit 'less' than you remember? Weaker in some way and slightly less sure ? But somehow lighter as if your burdens have been been lightened, although with the sneaking suspicion you might have been robbed
I don't know how to guide you if this is where you are. Just helpful to know that others have been through this point. It can be sobering and uplifting in equal measure and takes some settling down.
||Posted - Mar 20 2012 : 01:03:02 AM
PS. Have any of you seen the truth of it and been completely indifferent. To know that what I've been hoping and looking for... it is all just to find out that everything is the same. That god doesn't care about the difference between hate and love. It swallows them up both equally. It just seems anti-climactic. It brings into question a lot of my morals. A lot of what I thought was wrong or right before seems to just not matter at all. I want to form a love train, but what if I'm an evil bastard.
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