Meditation

“The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self.

Our task must be to free ourselves; by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

 Albert Einstein, 1954

 

Meditation can move us closer to promoting compassion within ourselves and those that we touch.

Through meditation we become more responsible.  This responsibility lies in the balance we discover by unlocking the synergy of our mind….. our heart….. and our inner spirit. We propose that through a continued and ongoing dedication to a personal meditation practice, great strides are possible for ourselves, our relationships, our family, and our society.  It allows us to subdue the self.  It allows us to “just let go”.  In doing so, a remarkable thing happens.  We do not cease to be.  We do not lose control.  We do not lose self; instead we liberate it.  We find a beautiful place of peace, harmony, and balance.  We now frame the self within a much purer form of loving and nurturing energy.  We begin to see a clearer picture of the world and our place in it.  We learn the art of alchemy in converting passion into compassion.  Our decision making process then incorporates a powerful and far reaching wisdom.  We are in tune within a rhythm of life, our surroundings, and those we touch.

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”

 Dalai Lama

A great soul once responded when asked the question, “What is the most important time?” 

The response went somewhat as follows, “The most important time is this present moment.  It is the only time that we will ever have control of.  It is what we do in this present moment that determines the direction of our lives.”

We can use this time wisely and responsibly or we can diminish its value.  Remember this; the value of this present moment is colored by our deepest feelings and subsequent thoughts and desires.  Any decision in life will have their imprint.

 

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”

John Lennon

 

Ask yourself these questions:

Who am I?

Where am I going?

How will I get there?

Who am I?  Where am I going?  How will I get there?

These very important questions take on a very different response when we open our heart to discover its secrets.  Through the act of quieting the mind, we allow the content resting deep within the heart to awaken.  When we contemplate our awareness and again ask these same questions after cultivating the heart, our responses are altered and given a much deeper meaning and significance.

 


 

 

 “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”

Lao Tzu

 A “loving kindness” meditation

After a long day, including some difficult personal encounters we tend to build stress within our bodies and our mind.  Our mind keeps going over the situations reviewing the negative pictures and the emotions attached.

Take the time to brew yourself a cup of tea, preferably green or herbal, sit down in a comfortable and quiet setting, alone by yourself.   

Sip your tea and inhale, filling the lungs while lowering the diaphragm with breath, enjoying the beverage.  Review the day, the good and the bad.  Continue enjoying the tea and the review.  After a few minutes…..close the eyelids…..

Inhale, filling the lungs lowering the diaphragm…..on the exhale…..say the word “listen” quietly on the exhale letting it last as long as the exhale itself.

Inhale, filling the lungs lowering the diaphragm…..on the exhale…..say the word “observe” quietly on the exhale letting it last as long as the exhale itself.

Inhale, filling the lungs lowering the diaphragm…..on the exhale…..say the word “value” quietly on the exhale letting it last as long as the exhale itself.

Inhale, filling the lungs lowering the diaphragm…..on the exhale…..say the word “embrace” quietly on the exhale letting it last as long as the exhale itself.

Inhale, filling the lungs lowering the diaphragm…..on the inhale…..say the word “I”….. then say the word “love” quietly on the exhale letting it last as long as the exhale itself.

“I…….Listen”

“I…….Observe”

“I…….Value”

“I…….Embrace”

“I…….Love

Repeat the above, quietly feeling the impression of each word, surrendering to the emotional impact of each word and each breath.

After a few rounds, just say the word, “I” on the inhale and “love” on the exhale, surrendering to the ebb and flow of the breath.  Start to let the breath find its own rhythm without any personal effort.  Allow the breath to breathe you.  Surrender to its mastery of the moment itself.  Now is when the meditation begins.  Now is when we listen to the breath…..we listen to the awakened heart.  Do not be concerned when you find the mind begin to wander.  This is normal.  It’s what the mind does.  Gently bring the attention of the mind back to the breath, back to the mantra.  The mind is like a young excited child.  Be loving, kind, and gentle with it.  The words on the inhale and the exhale help to still and calm our mind.  The relationship between our awareness and our breath is our goal.  This relationship unlocks the secrets of our heart.  It is only when we subdue the mind can we discover what the heart has to say.  It is as if the mind is a like a pond that has stones cast into it relentlessly.  It is only when the stones are stopped that the surface of the pond finds its calm.  It is then that we can see the beauty hidden beneath its surface.  The breath will guide us.  The heart beckons us upon our journey.  We just need to listen, then observe, then value, and finally surrender and embrace what we find.  In this moment we are open to the very magic of the heart.  Rediscover, in the solitude of your being, the very private and special tenderness that goes before no other soul.  Let this place and this moment embrace you with its wonder.  Let the Love and Grace found within your being expand to every cell, every breath, and every moment.  Breathe Love – Be Love.   Let it last as long as you will.

Upon completion of this meditation, revisit the problems of the day with this affirmation:  “I let go….. I listen….. I love….. I forgive…..  My heart – My love, extends to all that I meet in loving kindness.” 

 What do we hear when opening our heart?

…..Listen to the silence.

What do we see when opening our heart?

…..Observe the stillness. 

What do we find when opening our heart?

…..Value the fullness of this moment.

What do we do when opening our heart?

…..Embrace this moment with the compassion of loving kindness.

Listen to the silence of a loving heart, observe the stillness of a loving heart, value the fullness of a loving heart, and then, embrace this special moment in time with compassionate courage, generosity, and humility born from loving kindness.

 I listen, I observe, I value, I embrace…….I am…….I love…….In thee, I am…….In thee, I love.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

Proverbs 4:23

The act of meditation has not the goal of gaining anything.  The purpose of meditation is to surrender, to release, to “let go”; to just listen and observe.  We then value and embrace what remains.

What do we find when we still our mind?

…..Love

 

“Our knowledge of God is perfected by gratitude: we are thankful and rejoice in the experience of the truth that He is love.”

Thomas Merton

When do you recall ever having taken the time to explore the depths of your own heart?

Will the discovery of the secrets lying dormant within your heart alter the direction of your life’s journey?  Have you ever wondered which fork in the road to take?  Have you done all the necessary preparation to make the choice valid?

May we extend this invitation to self examination.  

We are all given gifts at birth.  Discover them for yourself and their ultimate power for personal transformation.  Explore how their cultivation can add meaning to your life and the lives of those you touch.

“I always begin my prayer in silence, for it is in the silence of the heart that God speaks.  God is the friend of silence–we need to listen to God because it is not what we say but what He says to us and through us that matters.”

Mother Teresa


 

The Aum Meditation by ananda.org

Aum Technique

WHAT IS AUM? THE PHILOSOPHY OF AUM

AUM is an aspect of God — it is the divine creative vibration of the whole universe. Everything in creation is vibrating with God’s power. AUM is the sound made by the vibration of God’s presence within us and all around us. Where there is vibration, there is sound, and if there is sound, we can train ourselves to perceive it, to “hear” it, and to attune ourselves to it, thus actually heightening our own vibrations — changing ourselves from material, ego-centered beings, into superconscious, free souls. The AUM technique offers a scientific way to listen and commune with the sound of AUM.

Traditionally in India, AUM is the third aspect of the three-fold nature of God or Satchidananda (Sat, ever-existing; Chid, ever-conscious; Ananda, ever-new joy). This three-fold nature is called as Sat, Tat, and AUM. Sat represents the God beyond creation, uninvolved and unknowable through ordinary human consciousness. Sat is universal, timeless, formless, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipresent.

When God (Sat) manifested the universe, the only “building blocks” available were movement, since before that, there was only oneness or perfect stillness. Thus that one, unmoving Presence “moved” or vibrated and thus creating Maya, or opposites, such as left and right; up and down; in and out, darkness and light, and so on. This movement or vibration among opposites is called AUM or sometimes called the Divine Mother. Through the Divine Mother (AUM) was born the second aspect called Tat, the Son of God or Christ Consciousness, which represents the presence of God within all creation.

  • Sat: God beyond creation
  • Tat: God within creation
  • AUM: The cosmic vibration, making it all possible

To go from the knowable to the unknowable, to merge into oneness with God — this is our divine destiny. An efficient way to approach God-realization is through the agency of sound (listening for the AUM vibration).

Interestingly enough, sound is one of the eight aspects of God mentioned in the path of yoga (love, joy, peace, wisdom, calmness, power, light, and sound) and actually is said to be the best and most effective way of all the eight to reach God. Thus we re-trace our steps back to oneness with God, first through perceiving God’s vibration within ourselves and all nature (AUM), to God’s actual presence in ourselves and everything (Tat), to the final liberation and oneness to God, both within and beyond creation (Sat).

WHY WE MEDITATE ON AUM

The meditation technique called the AUM technique is a tremendously powerful tool of God realization. Through absorption in AUM, we soon come to realize that the AUM is the bridge between human consciousness and Cosmic Consciousness.

There are many names in many spiritual traditions for the AUM, such as the Comforter, the Faithful Witness, the Amen or Amin, the sound of many waters, and the music of the spheres. It has also been called: “The loveliest sound in the universe.” Everything in the universe vibrates with AUM! The sound of AUM may also form itself into words to guide us intuitively, increase our creativity, and to help us continue to deepen our attunement with God. It is truly a powerful meditation technique and will bring great blessings to those who practice it regularly and faithfully.

To put the AUM technique into the context of Paramhansa Yogananda’s path of Kriya Yoga, the AUM Technique as taught by Paramhansa Yogananda is the third technique in the path of Kriya Yoga. The first and second are the Energization Exercises and the Hong-Sau Technique. Once you have learned and practiced these first two techniques for about six months, it will be time for you to learn and add in this sacred technique to the first two techniques.

The Energization Exercises teach us to be aware of prana or conscious cosmic energy, to bring more of it into our bodies and to consciously direct as a powerful flow of life-force it to wherever it is needed. Meditation is not passive — it takes a great deal of energy!

But great amounts of energy are not helpful if they are too scattered or unfocused. Therefore we have the Hong-Sau Technique of Concentration, which takes the gathered up energy and helps to further direct and focus it on calming the breath and the mind. Thus learning to deeply concentrate and calm the restless mind, we need something upon which to concentrate it, for we become that upon which we concentrate.

And so we come to the AUM technique, which gives us a specific attribute of our own divine nature on which to concentrate, which eventually allows us to merge into this aspect of God called the sound of AUM.

HOW AND WHERE CAN ONE LEARN IT

The AUM technique is not a difficult meditation technique to learn and practice daily. Great calmness and joy will come through the AUM technique, along with an increasing sense of oneness with God.

At Ananda we ask that you learn the AUM technique in conjunction with taking Discipleship Initiation. The reason for this, as Swami Kriyananda has explained, is that for many spiritual teachers in India, the AUM technique is taught as the highest and most powerful techniques of meditation (inner communion).

In Yogananda’s path, Kriya Yoga Initiation and the Kriya technique is the most important technique and is also given only through initiation rather than just taught in a class or a book — to give it the sacredness and emphasis it deserves. But the AUM too is very holy and very, very important to the Kriya Yoga practice.

When it is time for you to learn and add the AUM technique to your Energization and Hong-Sau practices, you will then begin to practice all three of these techniques and continue them all for at least six months more to be eligible for Kriya Yoga Initiation.

Practicing all these techniques will also deepen your devotion to God and Gurus and prepare your nervous system for the powerful practices of Kriya Yoga. They will give you plenty to do during your meditation sessions, keeping you still and focused, getting you used to longer and longer times of silence and stillness which are so necessary to deep, effective meditation.

To learn the AUM Technique and all the techniques of Paramhansa Yogananda’s path of Kriya Yoga mentioned above, please contact the Ananda Kriya Ministry or visit our Kriya Yoga section. We will help you to learn and establish a strong, daily practice of the AUM technique.

May you be blessed to achieve oneness with God quickly and in this lifetime!

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