Meditation Mantras – Help or Hindrance?

Today at Sarvodaya's Early Morning meditationThe use of mantras has become a widely accepted tool in meditation. But, are they a help or a hindrance?

The purpose of meditation is to develop Receptivity to Our Soul’s “Voice”, to become Aware of Our Spiritual Self beyond the mental realm. Mere repetition of a word actually keeps us bound to mentality unless there is a clear intention to rise above it. Sadly, that is not usually the case. More often than not, we just want to make our life happier, healthier or wealthier. And, repeating a word over and over, of itself, will not do that. It will only serve to put us into an hypnotic stupor.

It’s only as a particular word or phrase is contemplated for it’s deeper meaning, a meaning that we don’t know yet, that we rise above our normal thoughts and words into a state of Receptive Silence. This is the place where something Spiritual can enter our Consciousness.

So, if  you are going to use a mantra,

  1. Choose the word wisely. It’s no use contemplating a word that you already know the meaning of; that you are not drawn to; or, that is nonsensical. For instance; you would only use the word “om” if you were curious to understand it’s meaning. And, in that case, why repeat it numbingly? If “om” doesn’t do anything for you, it might be better to contemplate the word “Love”, “Wisdom” or “I”.
  2. Don’t repeat the word mindlessly. On its own, it has no meaning whatsoever. It’s just a word. Instead, adopt a curious attitude as if you are waiting for an answer to “What is Love?”, “What is Wisdom?” or “Who am I?” Then wait. To continually repeat a word for repetitions sake would not only numb the mind, it would prevent you Hearing the Response. Moreover, you would find that you couldn’t maintain the repetition for long before you were distracted with other, more “meaningful” thoughts, like “what’s for dinner?”
  3. Do it privately. Our Soul speaks to Us through Our Individual Mind, never as a group. You can be in a group, but the group will not rise together. Beware of so-called spiritual activities like chanting. They can actually hinder your Spiritual progress by bolstering the ego. This was the reason why Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount…”But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” Matthew 6:7

Therefore, mantras can be useful, not for the words we repeat, but for the Spiritual inner meaning of which we become Aware.

How we manifest problems by thinking we are “in” our body.

English: Homeless man, Tokyo. Français : Un sa...
English: Homeless man, Tokyo. Français : Un sans abri à Tokyo. Español: Persona sin hogar, en las calles de Tokio. Türkçe: Evsiz adam, Tokyo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nothing bad can happen to you without your permission!

But, i don’t give permission for my problems to manifest.

Actually, you think you only give permission for the good things that happen to you, but, that is because you don’t really know who you have allowed to do your thinking.

The thinker (the one you think you are) believes it is “in” your body. But by persisting with this belief, we have inadvertently handed over our “consciousness” to a limited problematic “self”.

Don’t believe Me?

Our definition of “conscious” is to be “aware of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc.” (dictionary.com) This would suggest that our body must be awake for us to be “conscious”. That makes us dependent on our body for our “consciousness”. But, during sleep, our bladder holds, our body rolls over a few times, our stomach digests, our heart pumps, and our lungs breathe. Obviously, there is “something” else that is Awake or Conscious, functioning our body to our benefit while we sleep. But, by our own definition, it can’t be our “conscious” self.

Despite our unconsciousness, we trust this “something” to provide rest and rejuvenation and to wake us (and our body) up in the morning. Why do we trust it? Because, deep down, We Intuitively Know that this “something” is Our Consciousness in its fullness. It is not an alien Life-force or Universal energy that our intellect would like us to believe exists, or, some outside “God” of religion. Our Body functions while we sleep because it is being Activated by the same Consciousness that functions our Body while we are awake. That Consciousness Is Us, You and Me; Infinite, Immortal and Eternal. Can Infinite Consciousness be confined to a body that sleeps?

In fact, if the intellect didn’t “wake up” and interrupt proceedings, We, Our Consciousness, would Provide everything we “need” for our existence, like It does for every other creature in the Universe. Do birds worry about their health; are there any homeless fish; do bees fight over a flower; are there poor elephants? Yes, Our Consciousness is the same Consciousness that Provides, Maintains and Sustains the Universe.

Then, why is it that we humans are the only ones that suffer with a vast number of problems?

We suffer because we identify with the intellect that believes it is “in” a body, and, therefore, we think the only way to be “conscious” is to be not-sleeping.

The Truth Is that Consciousness is All that We can be Conscious of, and, that must be Infinite. Therefore, there is nothing outside Our Consciousness. That means, even though we seem to be “in” a body separate from everything we need for our existence; food, clothing, a home, money, work, friends, health, peace, happiness, etc, all those things, (just like the rest we expect when we sleep), are really “within” Our Consciousness.

When we lack Consciousness of this Truth, that’s when we open ourselves to problems.

How?

Well, when you are ignorant that you are Infinite Consciousness, you, the thinker, doesn’t Trust this Source to Provide for all your “needs”. Instead, the “conscious” you interrupts the Intuition and takes over your mind with its doubts and fears about its life-in-a-body. As a result, you start to depend on this “separate” body for your existence.

    • When your body needs food, you are hungry,
    • When your body needs rest, you are tired,
    • When your body loses the roof over its head, you are homeless,
    • When your body contracts a disease, you get sick,
    • When your body has an accident, you are injured,
    • When your body ages, you get old,
    • When your body fades away, you die

But, you are not “in” your body. It is the other way around. Your Body is “within” You, Your Consciousness.

And, if you Know that Your Body is the expression of Your Infinite Consciousness, You would also Know that nothing could happen to Your Body without You. Can Infinite Consciousness be hungry, tired, homeless, sick, unhappy, lonely, old and dead?

If not, where does that leave the “conscious” self-in-a-body and its problems? Nowhere! They were only a thought conjured up by the thinker pretending to be you. Problems cannot manifest with Consciousness.

Please say please. Thank you!

pleasethanksThe next time you go to a restaurant, watch how people order their meal. The waiter will hand out the menu without any acknowledgement. That’s understandable. But when the order is being taken, rarely will anyone say “please”. It’s often “I’ll have…” or “give me…”.

Furthermore, when the food is placed on the table, seldom is there any acknowledgement of the service that has just been afforded to the patrons, no gratitude, no smile, no “thank you”. Not even a grunt.

The justification for the off-handedness is often that it’s their job to serve, but does that excuse the omission of common decency?

When we say “please”, we are not demanding or even expecting but asking politely and humbly for assistance. When we say “thank you”, we show our gratitude and respect. The words lift the speaker and the recipient into an atmosphere of Love.

On the other hand, by omitting these simple words from our speech shows arrogance, rudeness, presumptuousness, selfishness and general disregard for our fellow human. When “please” and “thank you” are lacking in the vocabulary of an individual, that person’s behaviour eventually degenerates into narcissism, a sense of entitlement, anger and depression.

I would even go so far as to say that the lack of a simple “please” or “thank you” would be a contributing factor in disputes of all kinds and not likely to be heard inside prison walls.

Therefore, i suggest that this would be a simple but highly effective way to lift the standard of any society.

Let’s elevate the importance of these words. Say “please” and “thank you” with Consciousness every day.

Please pass it on. Thank you.

The Hidden Meaning of Christmas

christmas-holly

Is it only me? Are you groaning at the thought of another Christmas? Does anyone else yearn for a deeper meaning than consumerism offers? What is the True meaning of the word “Christ” in the word Christmas? We have a vague feeling of good-will at this time of year but “Christ” is usually buried under obligations, a trading of gifts, a holiday and a general excuse for self-indulgent behaviour.

So let’s unearth the Christ? What is It? The church has led us to believe Christ is a person who lived some 2000 years ago. But Christ isn’t a person. Christ Is the Impersonal Divine Spiritual Impulse existing as the Consciousness of every individual on the planet. In proportion to our Recognition and Conscious Realization of this Truth, the Christ shows Its Self outwardly, as the permanent Good in our lives. We can feel it as we allow the “Spirit of Christmas” to envelop us. But It is not something confined to Christmastime or any particular place. It is our own Consciousness revealing Its Self as our experience of good will. That is, our Individual Consciousness IS the Christ.

In Its completeness, the Christ manifests as the fulfillment of our every need. In fact, Its function is to provide, maintain and sustain us in Perfect Harmony. It is the Presence that goes before us to make the “crooked places straight”. It follows behind as a rear guard. All we need to do is Acknowledge this Presence as our Consciousness and It begins to make Its Self felt in and as our experience.

The symbolism of Christmas describes the process beautifully.

The Immaculate Conception didn’t just happen to Mary, mother of Jesus. It is not a physical conception. It is the Spiritual conception of the Divine Idea in Consciousness through our individual minds. The Christ is conceived in all of us, it is only the gestation period that varies. After the Conception, the birth of the Idea in Consciousness is inevitable, depending on a suitably ready mind, through which the Idea will be born. Symbolized as Joseph and Mary, the prepared Mind comes upon an “inn” which they discover is fully booked. The human mind preoccupied with its own ideas, beliefs and concepts has no room for an intangible and Spiritual Idea.

In fact, sometimes we feel the stirring of the Christ when we momentarily entertain a thought of dropping the materialism of Christmas, feeling there must be something more to it. But immediately, the human mind will throw up reasons why it should continue to engage in its old habits. “Christmas is good for the economy”, “Auntie Mable will feel offended if i don’t buy her a gift”, “i’ll be seen as mean-spirited”. The mind plays games of guilt, obligation and expectation to keep the Divine Idea at bay rather than be still and allow the “babe”, (the “saviour” to this unsatisfactory existence) to be born. Moreover, the “inn” of the mind is always full of its intellectual pursuits, self-aggrandizing beliefs and material concepts. A mind preoccupied in this way doesn’t leave any room for the “Christ” (Spiritual Discernment), to be born.

The humble and unadorned stables provide a perfect cover for an Idea likely to be judged as insignificant and thrown out by the human mind. The promise of the Christ is that once It is established in Consciousness, so is our Good.  The “Christ” will only be born in Consciousness when its pursuits and attachments are given up, when the one feeling important, obliged and expectant realizes its folly, and the humility of the “stable” is understood and embraced.

The Three Wise men come bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Wisdom Understands, Recognizes and Honours the Precious, Pure and Other-worldly nature of the Christ. But without Wisdom, Conscious Acknowledgement, Recognition and Realization of the Divine Idea is unlikely. The human mind is reluctant to give up its apparent power. King Herod, the symbol of temporal power, on hearing of the birth of the long-awaited Messiah, feels a threat to his leadership and declares that every male child be sought out and killed. Without Conscious Recognition of its Source, the human mind will be hostile to anything which threatens to dethrone it. Consequently, the bearer of the Idea is Wise to keep Its Self Secret and hidden in the safety of crude surroundings that the human mind finds repulsive.

What does all this mean in a practical sense? Well, if our minds are full of human desires and expectations, ambitions and opinions, we won’t leave any room for our Good to Reveal Its Self to us. We must be still and allow the Christ entrance into our Consciousness. When we drop “our” thoughts, we make room for the babe to be born. We allow the Christ in others to be reflected back to us as our Fulfillment. It appears as Good people and Peaceful conditions, not just at Christmas-time, but at all times.

In the absence of Consciousness of the meaning of the Christ, “we” try to be good and expect that good to be returned to “us” by “others”. But this scenario leaves out the Christ. The Truth is that “we” can’t be good or not-good. Only the Christ of our Being (and everyone else) Is Good and the “not-good” we experience is just an absence of Consciousness of the Christ.

Be still. Let us ponder the True meaning of the Christ this Christmas so that It may be Revealed as Your Consciousness – the One Consciousness where Peace, Love and goodwill to Man Is already established, waiting to be Recognized.

Christmas Group Therapy

What is Mind for?

Mind is an instrument of Consciousness or Awareness, an avenue to tell Us something “we” do not already know.

Do you know the meaning of Infinity? we have a word for it but it has nothing to do with space going on and on forever.

Do you know the meaning of Eternality? we have a word for it but it has nothing to do with time going on and on forever.

Do you know the meaning of Immortality? we have a word for it but it has nothing to do with not dying.

If we don’t understand Infinity, Eternality and Immortality, how will we understand Peace, Justice, Abundance, Love and Life?

Yet we go around purporting to know about these things despite our failure to demonstrate them.

Be quiet.

Let’s admit we don’t know the meaning of Peace, Justice, Abundance, Love and Life because actually, they have something to do with Infinity, Eternality and Immortality.

Let Consciousness Reveal these Secrets. How? Through Your Mind because that is what the Mind is for.

The Mind is not meant to be used for something “you” thought of, or that is all you will get!

~~~~~~~

Shhh…only the Silence has Secrets worth Knowing

How long has it been since you had a day without talking?

What? Never?

What about a day without thinking?

How is that possible?

Well, ponder this…

When you are thinking and talking,

You can’t See the Invisible,

You can’t Hear the Inaudible,

You can’t Feel the Intangible.

So what?

Well, how else will You find out what you’ve never Seen, Heard or Felt?

Shhh… Silence. Didn’t you know?

The Unthinkable and the Unspeakable Is Within your own Being,

With Secrets even more Beautiful than a sunset!

Why non-resistance is NOT a means to Spiritual Consciousness.

For those of us seeking Spiritual Enlightenment, we are constantly being reminded that the hurdle to our goal is “resistance to what IS”.

Surely then, the first question that arises is what is “IS”? And the second question follows – who or what is resisting this “IS”?

Let’s answer the second question first because it is the “who” that doesn’t understand the meaning of “IS” that “causes” the unenlightenment in the first place. The reason for this is that ignorance of what “IS” produces the appearance of duality which keeps humanity in the dark about the Principle of Oneness, “IS-ness”. You cannot know Oneness while entertaining twoness in your consciousness. Therefore, to tell this “who” that it is resisting what IS, is like telling the dark that it is resisting Light. Dark is a state of resistance which produces a “me” that thinks the dark is its reality. Consequently, dark isn’t resisting the Light. The dark doesn’t even know that the Light exists, so how can it be resisting it?.

Dark is just an absence of Light. That is, dark is without substance or law. It only seems to have power and jurisdiction in the absence of Light.

Nevertheless, human consciousness accepts duality, effectively giving evil (the dark) power over Good (the Light). Consequently, humans think disease, crime, natural disasters, poverty and all other discords are part of “what is”. So to tell humans to practice non-resistance is to tell them to submit to these conditions in the hope that, by accepting these conditions, we will somehow miraculously understand what “IS”. But this is like looking for Light in the dark, trying to find what “IS” in what “isn’t”, which simply feeds fear, despair and hopelessness because it can’t be done!

Therefore, from the position of duality, non-resistance only embeds the very conditions that we are now expected to not-resist.

So we come back to our first question. What is “IS”? IS is Oneness – Perfection, Peace, Love and Harmony. This is our True Nature, in fact our only Nature. Therefore we cannot reach Oneness through non-resistance because it would imply the reality of a nature lacking perfection, peace, love and harmony, thereby blocking Consciousness of what IS!

  • If we are not Conscious that Perfection IS, then we are effectively being instructed to not-resist imperfection.
  • If we are not Conscious that Love IS, then we are effectively being instructed to not-resist hate.
  • If we are not Conscious that Health IS, then we are effectively being instructed to not-resist disease.
  • If we are not Conscious that Abundance IS, then we are effectively being instructed to not-resist poverty.
  • If we are not Conscious that Peace IS, then we are effectively being instructed to not-resist war.

Now we can see what Jesus really meant when he said “Resist not evil”. He meant that by resisting evil, we give it reality. He didn’t mean submit to evil. In the Consciousness of what IS, non-resistance is seen as a natural result of an Enlightened Consciousness, NOT a means to gain Enlightenment. Because you can’t gain something which already IS through not-resisting something that isn’t.

The Wisdom of the Flower

A Flower is evidence of an Intelligence and Love we dare not try to understand lest It annihilate us.

What everybody ought to know about Positive Thinking

Positive Smile in Negative Space

Anyone who doesn’t think positive thinking is a good strategy for life must be a party pooper, a naysayer, a pessimist, a prophet of doom, a wet blanket or just plain negative, right? Not necessarily. Look deeper.

The Truth is, to be positive you need a negative frame of reference. That is, positive thinking needs a negative for us to recognise it as positive! So what? Well, “our” thinking created the appearance of negative conditions in the first place. Therefore it is impossible for that same thinking to create lasting positive conditions. Sure, you may have seen it work in a personal sense. But what use is positive thinking if your family, friends and the world at large can’t be benefited? Just look at the news… has it ever really worked?

This is a startling revelation for people who pride themselves on being positive thinkers. So rather than shoot the prophet of doom, let’s see what treasures might be hidden.

The positive thinker is, in effect, an idealist. At dictionary.com, one definition of an idealist is “one whose tendency is to represent things in an ideal form, or as they might or should be rather than as they are”. This definition implies that the idealist acknowledges positive and negative as real but ultimately believes that positive conditions will prevail. This is a futile hope on account of the contradictory and simultaneous admission that things are not as they “should” be.

In effect, the positive thinker’s own optimism precludes the possibility that positive conditions will prevail. Why? because optimism first admits the “fact” of the negative. We would like to get rid of negative conditions if we could, but as long as we identify with the idealist, our efforts are thwarted.

It is as if we are in a room with all the blinds drawn. The Sun is continuously shining outside but we, oblivious to this, are expecting artificial light sources (our positive efforts) to permanently expel the dark. We don’t Know that our dark room and the false light, on which we depend, are both a sham. The darkness will always engulf us because darkness cannot create its own light. Nevertheless we think our idealistic stance, positive thinking and optimistic attitude should work but the substance of our dark room is illusion and an illusion of darkness and our false attempt at lighting our own way can never contact or Know True Light. The idealist is not a Creator, it is a “creature”, an effect of its own thoughts.

Our True Self is already Universally “Positive” and any striving implies it is not, thereby embedding the belief, and the manifestation of, negative conditions. As long as we are ignorant of the illusory nature of this thinker, the “believer” in positivity and by default, negativity, we can’t Know how to Awaken from it. We can’t even see that the blind is drawn. Therefore the substance of our existence can’t permanently change.

Sound hopeless? It is for the idealistic positive thinker, but luckily that is not who We Really are!

The thinker didn’t hear that. It is a bit affronted and asks “What’s wrong with being a positive thinker?” It’s not right or wrong, it’s just misguided. Of course, positive thinking is better than negative thinking and it can work on its own level for a while, but until we see that there is no “thinking” required, our efforts to gain lasting positive conditions will be in vain.

What are we to do? When negative conditions appear, know that they are illusory appearances “created” by the thinker, who believes in both positive and negative. Recognition of this fact (Being Conscious) dispells the myth and melts the negative appearance. In other words, when We open the blinds to the True Light, We Realize that there is neither positive nor negative, just Being, which is already Harmonious, Fulfilling and Joyous. It’s Universal Love Being Revealed. That’s “Positive” without the thinking or the thinker! That’s why Buddha smiles!