Author Topic: Meditation technique  (Read 4764 times)

chrisge87

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Meditation technique
« on: March 19, 2010, 10:26:16 AM »
 Hi, I'm new to this forum so please feel free to direct me to where this has already been discussed. It seems to me that Bhagavan recommended focusing on the right side of the chest in meditation and enquiring "who am I" or something similar (to keep it fresh and more effective now and then) when you find yourself getting too carried away by your thoughts and to bring you back to focusing on the spiritual heart.
 I find that it is quite effective and I can bring my awareness to the feeling of blood being pumped to that area, my chest moving with the breath, occassional tingles and when grace comes my way there is a feeling that words don't do justice to. I do this for at least 30 mins in the morning and in the evening each day (although I wish there was a chance of sangha with a group of Bhagavan devotees here in Melbourne to help me be strong in my practise).
 Can anyone add to or clarify this practise in any way? What sort of meditation practise do you maintain? Do you chant something to a picture of Bhagavan before you begin? Do you focus on the feeling of blood being pumped to the right side of the chest to begin with and/or the chest movement with the breath? I know it depends upon the person but what amount of meditation do you think you need to do to make a real difference to your level of equanimity and peace during the day? Do you have a spiritual community that allows you to practise the way you wish to without forcing you to adopt certain beliefs or gurus?
 Thanks.
 

silentgreen

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Re: Meditation technique
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2010, 01:23:49 PM »
The exact practice depends from person to person so it is better to read the opinions of all and decide what suits you.
Bhagavan said to find out where the "I" rises from. I feel that it is not worth while to search for "I" in any part of the body (right side of the chest etc.) but to take it from where exactly one feels it (which often cannot be exactly related to body) and abide as the space surrounding the "I". However the space surrounding the "I" does not open up unless one practises devotion and surrender to God. Devotion and surrender also mitigates the heaviness of chest and breath-entanglement problem which might occur during self enquiry.

Om Shanti
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

amiatall

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Re: Meditation technique
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2010, 11:07:54 PM »
I don't have any particular hours for practice or whatever. As long as 'I' rises in the morning the practice starts for me and it goes on till deep sleep.
Whatever i do in society, i always inquiring who is doing, who is feeling, but not verbally, in other words, attention/mind is being held at itself actively (i think this is very important to not let mind get into dullness). That's all. Anything that i do not know about myself or my hidden vasanas(lust, pride, anger and all this filth), Ramana shows them in the active situations not only in waking state but in dream state too. Then, when vasanas comes up in the light of consciousness and are understood and not suppressed into subconsciousness till other time, then it leaves you forever. When awareness deepens a bit, future and past gets dissipated and only now is lived and worked out. For people have a lot of stuff to do in the now but they chase future and past and it brings more work (lets not escape this word) to be done for later.
Finally, it may seem that one practices hard, but in actuality one does nothing but remains still and lights up all the darkened corners which are unknown. Understanding comes, hearing happens, seeing happens, smelling happens, walking happens, writing happens.
The so called amount of effort to remain still is equal to the same amount of effort put into separating oneself from Self. So if one is really into thinking and conceptualizing all the time then it will need great effort to break from concepts and shatter that knower of those concepts. If one is not really into thinking and conceptualizing and is STILL then there is no question of effort. For he never took effort to diverge from him Self and know other things than himself.

chrisge87

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Re: Meditation technique
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2010, 04:58:54 AM »
 Thank you for your answers. I am a bit of a daydreamer so I have some work to do before I can be constantly vigilant about asking "who feels this?" "to who are these thoughts coming to?" etc during all my waking hours but I understand that the goal is non verbal "attention/mind being held at itself actively". I feel this should start to be more present during my usual day when I can get my meditation more established.
 I understand that there is no doer and I don't actually have free will anyway, but from the perspective of duality (which I obviously find myself faced with) I find that I still need to make an effort (as Arthur Osborne explains so well). This effort is in my story.
 I recently returned from a 7 day Zen meditation retreat. They recommended constantly following the breath and repeating "listen!" after each breath. I found that the "listen!" became just mechanical after awhile and I began to think of Bhagavan and the things that he had said. He definitely told some people in the past to focus the attention on the right side of the chest but I completely understand what you are saying silentgreen. I have done vipassana meditiation in the past where they recommend focusing on some part of the body and the sensations found there so that the mind can be fixed on something in the present which opens one up to the possibility of transcending the mind to some degree. Until I can find a more appropriate place from whence the "I" arises I need something I can easily feel to focus on to bring me into and keep me in the present moment more firmly.
 During the retreat, they rang a bell and asked people, when they truly listened, where they felt/heard it and almost everyone pointed to the chest. This made me think of Bhagavan's words, so I decided to go my own way with my meditation technique and found it more effective for me. In the past, I used to focus on the point between the eyebrows (Paramahansa Yogananda's technique) and found it hard to follow Bhagavan's advice about the chest, but now that I've had a break from this for some time I am experimenting with the chest. I wonder if visions and ecstactic states are more likely by focusing on the third eye?

Subramanian.R

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Re: Meditation technique
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2010, 10:27:57 AM »
Raja Yoga which includes Kriya Yoga is tough.  And you remain still in
duality.  Try to practice devotion to your God or Guru and make the devotion
ripen to surrender.  This along with Atma Vichara is easier.  Ayye adhi sulabham, anma viddhai.... Bhagavan Ramana said.

Arunachala Siva.

paul

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Re: Meditation technique
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2010, 10:13:31 PM »
The following extracts have helped me to understand that as soon as I wake up in the morning my ego rushes out away from God.

It is from The Path of Sri Ramana (Part Two) by Sri Sadhu Om.
The extract is from Chapter 1. The World and God. Pages 14 and 15.
It is only after the first person feeling ‘I am a man’ has risen from sleep, that the world which is seen in front of us appears. The mind or man who sees this world then feels impelled to infer and accept the existence of an almighty God who is able to create this world, which is seen so vast and multivarious. That is, in the waking state, after the rising of the first person feeling ‘I am so and so’, which did not exist in sleep, everyone has to accept the existence of the other two entities, the world and God, which are second and third persons. The world and God are non-existent only when the first person feeling ‘I am a man’ is non – existent, that is ,in sleep and in the truly awakened state of Self knowledge. At such times no necessity arises to accept the world and God. This is a fact we can clearly understand from the following teachings of Sri Bhagavan:

...After an ‘I’ rises, everything rises…
Ulladu Narpadu verse 23

If the ego comes into existence, everything will come into existence. If the ego does not exist, everything will not exist. The ego itself is everything.
Ulladu Narpadu verse 26
If the thought ‘I’ does not exist, no other things will exist….
Sri Arunachala Ashtakam verse 7.

It helped me to understand from the moment this first person (I) or ego rises it creates through thought, the world(second person) and God (third person). It is all in the mind. That is the case in the waking state. In the dream state the ego creates another world. Hence ‘Waking is long and a dream is short.’

Bhagavan has told us how to get out of this state

I have found extracts from the following books helpful:

a) Who Am I ? (Nan Yar ?)
The Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi.

9. What is the path of inquiry for understanding the nature of the mind?
That which rises as ‘I’ in this body is the mind. If one inquires as to where in the body the thought ‘I’ rises first, one would discover that it rises in the heart. That is the place of the mind’s origin. Even if one thinks constantly ‘I’ ‘I’, one will be led to that place. Of all the thoughts that arise in the mind, the ‘I’ thought is the first. It is only after the rise of this that the other thoughts arise. It is after the appearance of the first personal pronoun that the second and third personal pronoun appear; without the first personal pronoun there will not be the second and third.
b) Ramana Maharshi: His Life
A biography by Gabriele Ebert
An extract taken from pages 128 and 129
Sometimes devotees would not ask their questions orally, preferring  to write them down on a slip of paper. Once a simple woman had written to him, “I am not learned in the Scriptures and I find the method of Self-enquiry too hard for me. I am a woman with seven children and a lot of household cares, and it leaves me little time for meditation. I request Bhagavan to give me some simpler and easier method.” Sri Ramana gave her the following practical advice, “No learning or knowledge of Scriptures is necessary to know the Self, as no man requires a mirror to see himself. All knowledge is required only to be given up eventually as not-Self. Nor is household work or cares with children necessarily an obstacle. If you can do nothing more, at least continue saying ‘I,I’ to yourself mentally all the time, as advised in ‘Who am I?’, whatever work you may be doing and whether you are sitting, standing or walking. ‘I’ is the name of God. It is the first and greatest of all mantras. Even OM is second to it.”
In the 2 extracts here Bhagavan is telling us how to keep our attention on I which because it is close to God will lead us to God

And with advice from some other members of this forum there is some detail on how to carry out the practise.
For example in the post on The Essence and Practise by Sadhu Om:
Know that a vichari (a person practicing Self-inquiry) who makes effort with the liking always to turn inwards to see the “I” with the inner eye, will not be able to experience the pure Self-consciousness merely by the process of sitting ma-jestically with closed eyes for a long period of time at one stretch.
If at one single attempt you strive persistently for long hours without limit, to pull Selfwards and restrain the running mind without leaving your hold on Self-attention, you will find that you are not able to maintain a steady intensity of Self-attention. Therefore, after making one attempt for a few minutes, relax your effort for a while, and then again make a fresh attempt with renewed effort.
 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Meditation technique
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2010, 10:14:23 AM »
Dear paul,

Yes, your approach is quite good.  Bhagavan Ramana completes Ulladu
Narpadu, Aganthai uru azhithale mukti, unar.  Please experience that
the ego's death is Experience.

Arunachala Siva.   

Akira

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Re: Meditation technique
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2010, 11:31:28 AM »
I recently returned from a 7 day Zen meditation retreat. They recommended constantly following the breath and repeating "listen!" after each breath.

I have never heard of this practice.
Which school of Zen is that?
(I am from Japan and practise Zen.)



« Last Edit: March 23, 2010, 05:45:44 PM by Akira »

chrisge87

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Re: Meditation technique
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2010, 05:26:22 AM »
I have never heard of this practice.
Which school of Zen is that?
(I am from Japan and practise Zen.)

The retreat was held by a rather unconventional American Rinzai Zen Master (who is head of the Buddhist Order "Hollow Bones" in the US) called Jun Po Denis Kelly. From what I understand, the following of the breath is typical but the mental repetition of "listen!" is not. Maybe counting the breaths and returning to 1 when your mind wanders is more typical?

matthias

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Re: Meditation technique
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2010, 11:19:12 AM »
I know him, he is a very interessting man, I read about him in an enlighten-next magazin.....crazy life story

:)

Akira

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Re: Meditation technique
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2010, 05:59:59 PM »
The Essence and Practise by Sadhu Om:

If at one single attempt you strive persistently for long hours without limit, to pull Selfwards and restrain the running mind without leaving your hold on Self-attention, you will find that you are not able to maintain a steady intensity of Self-attention. Therefore, after making one attempt for a few minutes, relax your effort for a while, and then again make a fresh attempt with renewed effort.

It sounds like a very tiring job.
Concentration, driving your mind to the object, makes you feel tired.
Vichara is different from concentration.
Vichara should be relaxing. 
It is returning home.

This is only my opinion.


Subramanian.R

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Re: Meditation technique
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2010, 10:58:45 AM »
Vichara is only Sraddha, attention constantly.  It does not require concentration.
"Koorntha madhiyal agandhai ezum idaithai aazhnthariya vendum...."  says
Bhagavan in Ulladu Narpadu.  Keep the attention constantly, towards the place
where from the ego sprouts.  It does not need concentration.  Concentration, I
understand means 'attention' and not in the usual sense of mind-focussing. 
srkudai may please clarify further.

Arunachala Siva. 
 

chrisge87

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Re: Meditation technique
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2010, 11:12:23 AM »
I know him, he is a very interessting man, I read about him in an enlighten-next magazin.....crazy life story

:)
Jun Po Denis Kelly told us some of his stories. Some of the stories made me think of Ram Dass - An American who took a lot of LSD in the 60's, went to India, introduced an Indian sage to LSD who found it interesting but reported that it didn't increase his awareness of God as he already sees God etc.
 Jun Po told me that he used to go and listen to Ram Dass speak and found him enthralling. I'm perhaps a but unfair on spiritual teachers as I compare them all to Bhagavan and there aren't many that even come close to him. The humility and wisdom in Bhagavan's eyes are incomparable for me.
 I've been thinking of Bhagavan and Eckhart Tolle's awakenings (I think Eckhart Tolle has wisdom and humility in the face of great temptation). Both men had a sudden awakening through fear essentially. Eckhart could no longer bear his depression and something cracked open within him. I am hoping to find examples of awakened people that have reached awareness through a path other than great pain. Bhagavan obviously woke very early as there was only a thin veil there but what fate awaits the rest of us? Where are the available masters who became constantly aware through gradual effort? Perhaps Nisargadatta is an example but I don't see the same peace, humility and wisdom in his eyes. Am I being unfair? While at Tiruvannamalai I greatly enjoyed listening to Mooji speak. Perhaps he is a good example? He found awareness through Papaji in the same way Gangaji did. I'm not sure of Papaji's full story however I know that he found awareness through Bhagavan.

Akira

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Re: Meditation technique
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2010, 11:53:39 AM »
Any guru mentioned on this forum MUST have been dead for at least 50 years.

Let us stick to the rule.


chrisge87

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Re: Meditation technique
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2010, 01:04:29 PM »
Sorry. I forgot about the guru discussion rule. Newbie mistake.  :-\