Almost all religions and spiritual schools use incense in one form or other. Fragrant sticks, flowers, spices, perfumes and various other methods have been used for thousands of years in ritual worship and meditation sanctuaries. What role incense plays in spirituality and religion?
Some people eat to live, while others live to eat. What about you? How far would you travel for the best meal of your life?
I neither eat to live nor live to eat. I eat so that I can meditate. I prefer eating things which are helpful for meditation. I was born in a vegetarian family but I also chose to be a vegetarian. Sages have recommended harmonious diet and I try to follow their advice on it. Gross part of food creates your body whereas subtle portions make your mind. Food which is light and moderate in quantity is conducive to meditation. An adept in meditation might eat anything but someone willing to advance must be cautious about diet else chances of advancement will remain tenuous no matter how hard you work!
Food which is spicy and has too much oil in it leads to diseases. Food which has not been cooked more than three hours before consumption promotes good health. Stale food increases sloth and inertia whereas spicy food increases passion in you. It makes your immune system weak. Taking multiple meals with moderate quantities preferable to taking just one or two heavy meals. Drinking a lot of water is good for health. Instead of taking food at regular intervals it’s wiser to listen to your body earnestly and eat when you feel hungry.
I feel whatever I get to eat(despite my preferences for certain things mentioned in the paragraph above!) is the best meal. I do like a few things more than others but acceptance is part of Sadhana and it means being content with any meal you could get. I accept whatever is given by life humbly and feel grateful for it. Therefore, I don’t think I need to travel to get my best meal.
I feel it’s kind of obvious to most of us, then why this discussion? This is to reinforce what you already know. Positive reinforcement is a must. Classical yogic texts call it Satsang(holy company.) You meet up with like-minded positive people and you discuss things which matter.You are not worried about repeating things which are vital because as you keep discussing them you are making the programming inside subconscious stronger for the positivity!
Sleep is essential for good health and well-being of our organisms. I have read that some meditation masters don’t need much sleep. They transcend sleep. I have also read that some experts believe that your meditation is not effective enough unless it can give you nourishment like sleep does. Well, I have not been able to find as much relaxation in meditation as in sleep so far. I feel no matter how many hours of meditation I practice I still need sleep. But sometimes I observe certain things which suggest that meditation has its own role.
Arjuna asked “Why does man get compelled towards sins even when he doesn’t want to do them? As if he is being forced by some unseen power?” ||36||
Sri Bhagavan said “Oh Arjuna! Its cause is lust born by contact with rajo guna which becomes anger later on and which is all-devouring enemy of this world||37||
–Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 3, Karma Yoga
In the battlefield of Kurukshetra Arjuna who was dumbfounded by overwhelming emotions is being addressed by Krishna. Krishna tells him why he must perform his duties without attachment. When Arjuna asked about sins, Krishna tells him that it’s lust born when senses come in contact with rajo guna which is the root cause of all sins. Continue reading “Rajoguna: The WordY FrYdaY NerdY!”
Surrender meditation is different from other forms in that it’s more of relaxation than concentration. You simply lie down and witness the flow of energy. Since we are not mindful in our activities there is a lot of energy trapped in muscles. We also have a lot of energy trapped in unwatched mind–in emotions. Witnessing this energy brings it into awareness and releases it. If we aren’t aware of this energy then it remains in the dark and causes unease and stress. When you surrender, you do nothing but accept life, the moment and flow of energy. The aware intelligence is itself working to create balance-to release stress and energy which is trapped in muscles and emotions.
In Terms of Energy
Meditation is saving energy of your organism. When extraverted energy becomes introverted it starts transforming your life for better. You may call it chi, life-force, prana or vitality, it’s the energy of consciousness which creates life, moves it and sustains it. The energy is spent in working, exercising, talking, thinking, sex and everything you do. Thinking is most compulsive consumer of your energy. Endless chain of thoughts consumes vital life force energy prana. Negativity makes your thoughts drain it even more. Continuous thinking, no matter good or bad takes a great amount of energy, and writing, talking, eating, sex etc. consume it too but biggest drain is through negative compulsive thinking which is triggered by darkness inside you. Hidden aggression, emotions, trauma and negativity which are buried deep into our karmic store are trapped energy forms. If this energy is free and available for use -it makes us healthy, vibrant, happy and active but if there is a great deal of it lying and lurking down there in the basement of subconscious it triggers negativity in our life situations. Apparently there will be no reason to frown and get agitated but you will find yourself discomfited at everything most of the time.
Aum is an Onomatopoeia
Onomatopoeia are sound imitative words, like ‘meow’(imitates the sound made by a cat), ‘bang-bang’( imitates the sound made by a gun) and so on. Aum has been misunderstood mostly. It has been taken for a holy word. It is not only a holy word, it is much more than that . Aum is also called ‘Pranava’. If you observe you will find that almost every mantra in Hinduism, which is considered holy and important, begins with Aum. Aum has been given much importance by the tradition but a lot has been lost in the mystic fog over the eons since its importance was understood at first.
What was the true importance of Aum? Continue reading “Aum: The WordY FrYdaY NerdY!”
Tell us about the experience of being outside, looking in — however you’d like to interpret that.
I once saw a dream. I saw my body and I was outside the body. I dragged my body and could feel that I was certainly not the body. What was I? Who was I? I didn’t know.
What I had was Drashta Effect getting fructified. Many people call it OBE (Out of Body Experience) and it usually happens while you are awake to meditators and non-meditators equally. Sometimes it happens when you are in a dream-like state. In those days I was in college and used to practice witness sense all the time. That coupled with an urge to see myself from outside might have induced that state during dream, but in any case it was one of the strangest dreams I ever had.
Drashta Bhava or Sakshi Bhava is one of the essential ingredients of Yoga. Patanjali has spoken about it in detail in his classical treatise Yoga Sutras. The easiest way to practice it is to start writing down your ideas without giving regard to quality. You can also describe your ideas out loud on a tape recorder and that will do it better or to a live listener whom you trust completely. It’s difficult to divulge everything to a live listener so a tape recorder or a notebook is recommended. When you keep practicing witness sense–it gets stronger and your attachment to body, feelings and ideas becomes weaker. The witness is thoughtless state so you find more gaps and less thoughts. Negativity drops and judgement drops.
Yoga and Its types
Yoga means to integrate, to add. The general idea is that in the quagmire of Maya, in the existential suffering, the soul is separated from the supersoul, so Yoga is integrating it back to supersoul. Whether it is separation or merely an illusion of separation, is the key discussion which takes place when we talk about Maya. Here we will talk about Yoga. Yoga is of many types: some broad categories are as follows: Continue reading “Karma Yoga: Its Relevance For Meditators and Devotees!”