Only from the human level is enlightenment possible. Consciousness increases as the ego-encapsulated view of life is transcended. The self-inquiry process takes energy out of the karma-making-factory ego. It allows the heart chakra to become stabilized and in due time compassion and love find expression. A great deal of understanding comes that we’re all in this together and we see the lovability of all things, that all exists with its own integrity and identity and that all equally deserve to be honoured for service to mankind. By this time a lot of work has been done and changes are obvious to you and others.
A properly functioning heart chakra is the springboard to expanded awareness and insight.
But the tenacity of the ego should not be underestimated. Its demand to be the centre of attention must be dealt with in some way.
The intention of spiritual practices is to redirect our interest to the higher realms. We need some technique or method to cause us to be somewhat deaf to the ego’s chattering.
Many spiritual practices have evolved over the centuries to facilitate disidentification with the ego. Investigate to find methods compatible with your personality, lifestyle, prior spiritual experience and level of consciousness.
Anyone can successfully meditate without joining an organisation. Focused, concentrated introspection can be both peaceful and fulfilling but also quite frustrating. Start with a few minutes working up to 20 minutes or so. Sit comfortably with the spine straight focusing on the breath going in and out. The thoughts will be there, unbidden, but the aim is to stop following them. We can stand back, so to speak, and observe how the ego functions. Intend to detach from the notion that the thoughts are ‘mine’ or represent ‘me’. Pay attention to gaps between thoughts and experience the spaciousness. Try not to judge your experience; just be with it. Deep results are: Right-brain dominance increases, endorphins are secreted, immunity is boosted and the track to emotions becomes slower.
Help comes via:
Mudrá – mystic hand poses that influence energies of the body or mood. Traditionally they are used to guarantee the authenticity of spiritual rites. Meditation is definitely encouraged by jó-in. Palms up comfortably place the left hand on top of the right hand in the lap with the thumbs raised and touching lightly together. Using this pose anywhere will bring calm and focus but don’t miss your bus stop!
Äsana or body postures are in the same domain as mudra; to help the flow of energy in the body. Asana contrasts the constant movement of physical activity and signifies a withdrawal from things that impinge on us as human beings. Hatha yoga classes abound. Also T’ai chi is a movement meditation that helps still the mind.
Mantra is a phrase or sound uttered over and over, audibly or inwardly. The vibrations of the resonance of the syllables invoke a higher energy field. A formidable one is OM. This is the 13th vowel of the Sanskit alphabet and denotes life force/universal sound. Make sure the pronunciation is correct or benefit is lost: it is as in ‘loan’.
A ritual bell dates to pre-Buddhist times. It is small, metallic sounding and often tulip shaped. The best bells instantly bring the mind to a point of stillness – listen carefully to a single toll. CDs are available of bell soundings at a chosen time to call you into or out of meditation.
Affirmations gather energy and convert into reality when repeated out loud. We receive suggestions all the time so let’s autosuggest being selective and specific. When emotion backs up the statement you may be pleasantly surprised how quickly change happens. Form the phrase with positive grammar concentrating on what you want. Example: ‘I will be more accepting of people’ rather than ‘I shall not criticise’. Adding ‘more & more’ and ‘everyday & in every way’ covers all areas. Start with something simple like ‘I am more and more relaxed everyday & in every way’ progressing to ‘I sustain an open and full heart with the demands of daily life’ and onto ‘Through humility and peace I am relinquishing any cherished negative’.
Spiritual First-Aid (taught by Dr John Diamond).
To terminate an upset:
- Thump the thymus gland – located behind upper breastbone – 3 times with a closed fist, also saying ‘ha-ha-ha’. After a pause repeat the process. Smile and picture someone or something you love.
- Breathe spiritual energy from the base of the spine to the crown chakra. Picture it as white light.
- While doing the breathing think or sound OM.
- Picture someone you love.
- During the process find willingness to surrender anything and everything to ‘God’.
- Follow-up with prayer and meditation focusing on the whole picture.
Next time: Higher Powers.