The Power of Mantra

Tibetan Buddhist Prayer Wheel by Jay Galvin

Back on Transcending, I explored right mantra for a meditation practice. I’ve also talked about the language of mantra and how they’re often used. Yet there is a much deeper understanding about mantra that’s largely been lost. But first, some background. People talk today about choosing mantras like they’d choose a chocolate. On Transcending I mentioned the importance of proper instruction so the seed is properly planted and we can connect with the tradition of masters for long-term support. To understand this more, we can go back to fundamentals. Consciousness arises from three fundamental Divine qualities: alertness, liveliness and intelligence. … Continue Reading…

Indifference

Indifference by Damian Gadal

“…The unmanifest Being [pure consciousness, Self] coming to direct experience establishes the reality of oneness of eternal existence: That is the pre-eminent path of gaining knowledge (of reality). “There is no effort, no individual inception of the doer on the path to the experience of the unmanifest Being: Being can only be gained by making use of the thinking process without any reference to any existing thing, without meaning. “With complete indifference (during meditation) to the thoughts relating to activities in the relative world, the direct experience of the Self is gained by one who turns away from all distractions. … Continue Reading…

Roles of a Teacher

Teacher by Valerie Everett

By role of a teacher here, I mean the role they play in our spiritual journey rather than how they may position or present themselves as a teacher. A true teaching emphasizes practical application and direct experience, with the understanding to support that. If it’s just philosophy, it may only make the mind stronger. Understanding should be to serve the path, not be the path. (Yes, Gyani‘s have an emphasis on understanding, but direct experience is still the core path. Otherwise, it’s just mind.) For someone to have the role of a spiritual teacher for us, there is what I … Continue Reading…

The Collective

flower

A true spiritual teacher has the realization, the understanding, the aptitude, and the effective means to support others. That combination is rare even among teachers. My first spiritual teacher of consequence was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. I had what had become a rare opportunity to ask him a few questions at the end of a 6 month retreat. It was a powerful experience because his direct attention was like standing in a high wind. This took my mind off-line so there was no one to hear his response. (laughs) Maharishi’s goal was to awaken the world. To enable that, he set … Continue Reading…

The Means of Liberation (Yogas)

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13 Verse 24 Some realize the Self by the Self in the Self through meditation, others through Samkhya yoga, yet others through Karma yoga.   Verse 25 Others, however, not knowing thus, sit near Me [Krishna], having heard from others, they also do cross beyond death, devoted to what they have heard. This lays out the Yogas or paths to liberation. The first is Dhyana Yoga, the path of meditation covered in Chapter 6 of the Gita. These days, it is often taught as Raja Yoga or the Royal road. This is why I emphasize an effortless … Continue Reading…

Using Awareness

I recommend an effortless meditation for that key experience of samadhi or pure consciousness. By taking you beyond the mind (which not all meditations do), you get tastes of your deeper nature and culture the ground for spiritual awakening. Some people have different physiologies that find pure consciousness through other processes, such as the senses or body. Yoga, for example, places meditation along with asana (posture) and pranayama (breath) as arms of the 8 limbs. I know some effective teachers emphasize different limbs. Patanjali described it as the Royal Yoga to combine them. Just be sure it brings that open … Continue Reading…

Amount of Practice

I’ve been getting quite a few queries about “technique time” from readers. I recommend an effortless meditation like TM, normally done 2 x 20 minutes a day. Other things would of course be on top of that. My position is that 40 minutes a day is no problem when it’s balanced with normal daily activity in the world. Where it becomes a problem is if we’re spending much of our attention on remembering experiences, daydreams, seeking guides, and other things that take us away from living our life. The more time we spend “elsewhere”, the more ungrounded we become and the … Continue Reading…

Mantra Effects

The world can be said to be composed of 2 things – flow of attention and vibration of the medium (which gets progressively more dense). In our energy physiology that flow of attention curving back on itself shows up as the energy  channels (nadis) and plexuses (chakras) that underlies our physical form. The flow of energy is given vibratory signals and signatures that add qualities and specifics. I spoke about the call and response process in a prior article. I’ve also spoken of chakra databanks. These signals can be read various ways. For example: as light, as movement, as structure. … Continue Reading…

The 4 Paths

In a recent interview on Buddha at the Gas Pump, Rick spoke with Karunamayi. She touched on the need for patience and tolerance, blossoming from spiritual maturity. She also spoke of how everything will be OK because the Divine is in charge, not the negativity. And she spoke of 4 paths. The path of meditation (sometimes called Raja or Ashtanga), of Karma or service (Seva), Bhakti or devotion, and Gyana or knowledge. I’ve spoken of these 4 paths prior as Karma (also described as the path of perception), Bhakti, Gyana, and Hatha, the path of the body (what some people … Continue Reading…