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MEDITATE & DANCE TO THE DIVINE TUNE (Extract from Swamiji’s Satsang )

 Om Namashivaya!!


I know that when I talk about meditation you expect me to tell you how to sit in a certain position and you want me to give you complicated breathing techniques. I am a simple man. I just like to encourage you to first spiritualize your day from waking to sleeping. I like you to always be working on yourself to make yourself go higher and higher in an inner sense.


I also like to encourage devotees to do three or four short meditations a day when they feel ready to start formal meditation. Sit for fifteen minutes in your shrine or make a special place for meditation. Sit in a way that is comfortable for your body or carefully train it (without strain) to adopt a traditional meditation posture such as the half-lotus, if you wish. Now you should cut off mentally from all that is going on outside you. I am not saying that you have to search for a silent place to meditate. I know you will use this as an excuse not to meditate. Realize that the silent place you are searching for is already there inside you. You have to go there.


When you sit, observe the restlessness of the mind! Why does your mind run from one subject to another? This is because it has been involved for so long in the matters of the material world. There are many memories in your mind disturbing you. Let the mind run for a month. Let it become exhausted. Observe what it does. Having watched its ways and studied them you are better armed to control and reduce their hold over you. Be self-confident and trust in yourself that what you are doing is correct. Have faith in the words and ways of your teacher. Try to increase your devotion to the Divine and pray that you may come closer and closer to that great energy through your meditation.


Detach the mind from externals. It is more difficult, however, to cut off from what is going on internally. You see, the mind is normally absorbed in thoughts, but only mildly. You are not always aware of it, but the mind is constantly at work. When you see any object, person, scene or event, the thought process is going on in connection with that subject. Then, when you first sit for meditation, you recall to mind experiences and impressions with a disturbing sharpness. Do not think this is wrong. It is natural in the beginning. Suddenly you may find your mind really concentrating on what you want for dinner. At least you are practising being mindful. You are thinking of only one subject, which is a vast improvement on rapidly jumping from one subject to another!


Every action can be a meditation. You should understand that the body can be active and yet you can fully involve and immerse the mind in Divinity. If you sit and close your eyes you should not allow your mind to wander outside. Keep your mind inside and, after some practice, you will slowly realize the best way for you to meditate.


Train yourself to end thought. When the mind asks what it wants for dinner put a meal timetable in front of it. Then ask it what it wants to know next. The mind will start to feel ashamed because it only wants to know about food when it is supposed to be meditating. Warn the mind not to think about these unnecessary matters. Suddenly a really disturbing sound comes from outside! Children are shouting and playing loudly outside. What! You have just brought the wandering mind under control and now this awful noise comes to disturb it again. Firmly tell the mind, "You have listened to all sorts of rubbish and gossip all these years. Ignore the shouting! After all they are only pure-hearted children enjoying themselves. It doesn't matter."


Again the mind settles down and becomes calm and then....It is early morning and the jasmine flowers in the gardens suddenly burst into bloom sending sweet smells to the nose. The nose becomes lost in the lovely fragrance and the mind follows because it enjoys such a nice perfume.......


How, practically, can you overcome the various obstacles that appear to disturb your concentration? First, be aware of your external environment and then slowly mentally close off from it. Shut out the externals one by one. You can work out a little routine which suits what disturbs you in particular. Second, think of your body - your hands, arms, torso, legs, etc. Third, come to rest your thought in the mind, concentrating on a place (such as between the eyebrows) or on the heart. Fourth, restrain your mind from running away from your chosen place. Always bring your concentration back to your chosen place. Fifth, the mind will gradually become still. Rest in that stillness and become one with it. Now you are there you can touch the Divine.


Do not hurry. Achieve these stages little by little. Do short but regular practice. The mind constantly involves itself in worldly matters and objects of desire. The best exercise is to train it. Establish the mind in something much loftier than the world. Keep a symbol of Divinity always in your thoughts. This can be a form of God or a quality such as pure love or compassion. Some people have much devotion for their spiritual master. They keep the form of the master in mind. That is also good. The main point of this exercise is that you should lose your awareness of your mundane ego-self and replace those thoughts with purer and higher ones.


It is not really at all difficult to control your mind. The main question is, are you ready? You must be ready to know your mind. Ask yourself at a very deep level, "Am I truly ready to control my mind?" Touch your heart and ask yourself this question. Affirm to yourself that you are ready to undertake the spiritual path. Take hold of your heart in a spiritual sense. Do it sincerely, not merely on the surface. Go down deep within your heart and say, "Now I am ready to walk the spiritual way." If you really do that you will find that your entire mind will transform. Feel, feel, feel this important vow way down inside your soul. Only in a strong state of emotion does the mind join the Self. Don't bind to anything outside you. Bind yourself to your Self - your true reality. If you want to seriously meditate slowly disentangle yourself from the web of the world. Slowly let go of worldliness, money, sex - all these take you away from the higher level of life. I wish to push every one of you higher. I do not want just to tell you beautiful words to make you meditate. I do not want to pamper you. Nothing permanent can come from pampering. That will not make you want to see the truth. Then I will have to dance to your tune in order to please you. If you are sure you want to meditate, you must dance to the divine tune. The worldly and the spiritual dances are different. If you are ready to dance the spiritual dance I will come and dance with you personally! Don't get scared saying the ground is uneven and you cannot dance to the divine tune. You always find excuses because you are frightened. Don't be frightened to go into deep meditation.


When one is able to sufficiently still the thoughts, the awareness of 'I' seems to diminish. This is not an illusion. It is natural for these kind of things to happen when a person leads a life of regular meditation. It is always good if this happens. It is good that there is a reduction of 'I'. There may be fears accompanying this feeling. However, you need not fear. It is a benefit.


I always stress that you need self-confidence to meditate. Do not compare yourself with others. Each one is at a different level. The senses speak differently to each person. Your senses are completely individual and do not resemble those of another. Take notes on your own five senses and find out what are your tendencies and preferences. Try to satisfy the senses to stop their longings but only in a spiritual or religious way. Try to turn away from the sense gratifications that lead you off the spiritual path. The demands of the senses reduce your capacity to meditate and control your mind.


I advise you to practise self-enquiry alone. Try not to discuss your inner practice with others. This is a secret matter. Your senses may be a little crazy and wild. They do not benefit from being discussed in company. Deal with them secretly and sincerely. This will lead you to true self-knowledge and you will build up your self-confidence. In spirituality it is better not to discuss innermost things even with your life partner. It is good, however, to discuss them with your spiritual master and follow his advice. That is why I advise you not to read too many philosophical books because different writers and teachers follow their own personal methods. I encourage you to study yourself by yourself. I want you to know how your senses work and then work out how you are going to deal with them with your master. You can then calmly follow your inner way individually and steadily. Mature yourself naturally to a high level. It is not possible to do this if you do not yet understand your feelings and reactions to different life situations. Nearly everyone enjoys the senses for selfish reasons and personal enjoyment. I suggest that you try to turn your individual tendencies to common use by giving some kind of service to others. Your master knows your character better than you do. He or she can definitely guide you towards the correct service activity that is most suited to you.


I advise you not to try self-enquiry and meditation if you are very upset or angry. Leave it a little while. If you do anything when you are full of emotion and tension I can guarantee that nothing will work out well. The secret here is to calm down and wait until your over-emotional feelings settle down. You cannot see anything clearly when the mind is disturbed. If you try to reason at these times you will make a mistake and you may get very badly hurt. Let the mind race around and watch it. The mind will dash all over the place wildly and then it will get exhausted and sadly let go of running. After you can analyze what happened to you and how to prevent it happening again.


None of you is at a low level. Each of you has come to a higher stage. It is not good to depress yourself by thinking you are at a low spiritual level. Each of you is capable of progressing a great distance in this life. Do not think you are inferior. Small problems upset you and you feel you are not progressing. Please get rid of these thoughts. They are hindrances to your progression. Doubts bring you down. You are reaching for the heights so why should you come down? Go on higher. Go up. If you go up you will then fear that you will fall down. At that time of doubt during your meditation you release your hold and you fall. That is why I tell you to have faith, hold on and go up. I will be there to take you farther and farther.


When the mind is still, one may begin to experience divine music, inner light or ambrosial tastes within. I do not know the tastes of the world. I only know the taste of God. I am happy with that. I have no problems at all. I want you to reach this stage through your meditation. If I am within you and you keep me within your mind and heart then your meditation will flourish quickly.

Om Shanthi


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