Monday, November 23, 2009

Talking To God

One of my favorite techniques: At the point when you are just falling asleep and yet you are awake, talk to your Ishta(chosen ideal) or God. 

You are really relaxed and on the verge of falling asleep and yet you are awake enough that you are subtly aware (without being consciously aware) of your body and surrounding and know you are not unconscious yet. 

This is a very powerful place to pray from. I generally talk to Nithyananda from here and the beauty is, generally Nithyananda never is in the form of Nithyananda, he has morphed from Krishna to Jesus to Ma Kali to Durga to Ramakrishna and some gurus I don't even know. 

Any intention you have at this point will manifest... mainly I think its because your mind is relaxed and ready to sleep and is out of the way and your intentions at this point is pure.

Dropping Into The Heart

When I would find myself really caught up in mind, I would bring my attention down to the heart. The way I did this is I would use my mind to put my awareness on my heart and think from my heart.  

But there is a more effective way to bring attention to the heart... just drop into the heart from the inside.  

So you are in your head, now just drop from head thru your throat into your heart. It's a subtle relaxing movement from head to heart while following your awareness from head to heart.  

The mind is not involved in bringing attention to the heart, the mind is left back in your head. When you can do this, there is an experience of emptiness and thoughtlessness (even if for a few second) when you "drop" in here. (Works great for solar centering too.)

A variation to this technique was posted at the AYP Forums by Scott:

Dropping into the heart...

Something you can try instead of starting from the head and dropping down, is beginning with the awareness within the heart and imagining/feeling that you're shining or radiating outward.  Then the energy in the head is naturally sucked down without trying.

Everyone is different, so this is just a perspective shift that may make it easier for some.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Movie Screen.

For years I have heard about the "us being a screen and life projecting it's movie on us" analogy. I have used it many times. It is so perfect. Really, watch the screen, it is not touched by what is going on in the movie. This screen is the silence on which the colors of life project and make the movie.

Well, over a bit more than a month there has been a shift. I did not have words to explain what this shift felt like, but it came to me this morning.

So far when I give the movie screen analogy, I am looking at a movie screen and how the movie with all its drama is passing over it without touching it.  Well, the shift that has happened is that now, I am the movie screen and the drama of life is passing over this screen.

Read the next few lines from the perspective of "I am a screen" and not "what the screen out there is experiencing". Like when in school,  they made us write autobiography of inanimate objects, like a book... you become the book and say what the book is experiencing... like that read the rest of the lines in this post as tho it is the screen talking and not me talking for the screen.

When I say I am the screen, I am not talking about this body mind, I am talking about something that cannot be expressed in words, not a witness, not something separate from me... more like a solid (and yet made of air, completely transparent and hollow) wall of silence (the canvas of silence on which things are happening.

The body mind reacts to things going on around me... there is laughing and crying and happiness and anger and singing and loving and hugging and being silly.

The difference, when I am the screen, I don't experience the movie... so the body mind which seems like a part of the movie right now... reacts to external stimuli, however being the screen I don't get to partake in any of it since it is all being projected on me. Like, unless you stand in front of a mirror you cannot see yourself, so if people have painted your face and put some silly clothes on you and put signs all over you, you would have no clue what was happening and you can happily go about your day without knowing what has happened to you... unless you look in a mirror you don't see things on you. Like that the screen has no idea what is going on on it.

When the scene being projected changes, the previous scene is gone without leavening a mark and the next scene is enjoyed.  There is no evaluation of what is happening and hence there is no attachment or aversion to the previous moment or current or future.

Since the projection is happening on me, I don't see the reds and blues and yellows and greens... since I don't see them I don't label them red, blue, yellow and green, there is no evaluation,  the reds and blues and greens and yellows all become a part of the same picture and blend in perfect harmony.

Then there is no wishing for anything different since every scene, every color has a part in the movie, no part is more or less intense to the movie screen.


The Blues and Reds and Yellows and Blacks and Whites all merge to make a beautiful painting.
You may love the color red
but dislike the color blue.
And yet
When they are together in a painting,
You see the beauty in the harmony of all the colors
not individual ones.

Life is like that.
There is laughing and crying and joy and sorrow...
There is praising and scolding and accepting and blaming...
There is loving and rejecting and hugging and brushing aside.
But together they make a beautiful painting on the canvas of silence.

If you just look at only the red color in the painting because you are attracted to it
and ignore the blue...
You don't see the harmony of the painting
If you look for only the good in life and ignore the bad
you miss the beauty of the painting of life.

All of it is present in perfect harmony,
Unless we decide we prefer one color over the other.


Friday, November 20, 2009



The Blues and Reds and Yellows and Blacks and Whites all merge to make a beautiful painting.
You may love the color red
but dislike the color blue.
And yet
When they are together in a painting,
You see the beauty in the harmony of all the colors
not individual ones.

Life is like that.
There is laughing and crying and joy and sorrow...
There is praising and scolding and accepting and blaming...
There is loving and rejecting and hugging and brushing aside.
But together they make a beautiful painting on the canvas of silence.

If you just look at only the red color in the painting because you are attracted to it
and ignore the blue...
You don't see the harmony of the painting
If you look for only the good in life and ignore the bad
you miss the beauty of the painting of life.

All of it is present in perfect harmony,
Unless we decide we prefer one color over the other.


Breaking The Mind Shaft.

When I started with the "Gap technique", someone at the AYP forums told me about some videos to watch on the Shiva Sutras by Swami Nithyananda.

Swami Nithyananda's main teaching is to "be unclutched". He explained how every moment in our lives is a new moment. We however connect these moments and make a long shaft of pleasure or pain (shaft of "depression" or "poverty" or "unhappiness" or "happiness"). We connect every moment and say the pain I feel today, and the pain I felt yesterday and the pain I felt a week back are all connected.

The day we can see that each moment is individual, unconnected moments.. the min. we unclutch from the shaft,  find the "gap" between every moment, we see none of the moments are connected. But we connect it all and make a shaft of pain and/or pleasure.

We try to break a pain shaft and try to elongate a pleasure shaft using external means. Neither of them will help. We need to stop connecting the moments that make the shaft (through methods like meditation, self inquiry). He said when you ask for healing.. all he does is replace the pain shaft with a wellness shaft.. but only YOU can stop making shafts.

So how do we break the shaft? 

This can be done at two levels.

The first one is at a practical level

It can be practiced as we go about our day.

At the end of the day, when we decide to label the day as a "bad day" or "stressful day" or "depressing day", go through the day in your mind and make mental notes of things that  happened based on which we are labeling the day as we are.

Now, if it was a "bad day" or a "feeling down day",  make an effort to pick on the moments in the day when you were happy, if you enjoyed your morning tea, if you smiled at someone or someone smiled at you, if you laughed at a joke, if you saw something that made you smile.. watch how these break the lows in the day... Identify these moments that don't fit into the label of "low day" and break the day up into moments of happiness and moments of lows...  don't connect the lows.

We use up a lot of mental energy (hence the mental tiredness, depression) in connecting the lows to make a shaft of one big low.. when we stop connecting we free up a lot of mental energy. We need to break the mind shafts we have formed. We also need to break the mental pattern of thinking we have created that make these mind shafts stronger.  It wont happen in a day, but starting out with small things, observing the day is made up of moment by moment by moment.. and each moment  is free of the previous (memory) and next (imagination).. will help you break shafts and you will find you have freed up the mind so it can rest.

At first the shaft may be years long... for instance, a person thinks:

"I have been suffering from depression for 10 years." 

Well the depression you felt 10 years ago and the one you felt 5 years ago, and the one you experienced 6 months ago and the one you experienced a week ago are not the same. We connect these and make it one long shaft. 

And, so to to dissolve the shaft, we can go back and identify the moments when we were not depressed. We can remember how we enjoyed a party or a movie or a vacation or a night out or a book or a trip or a job.... and see how these broke the depression of 10 years. So the one shaft of 10 year long depression is now broken into smaller shafts of depression. It no longer is a huge monster, but little ones that came up in the 10 years.

Then we try to break up the day... maybe break it to  half a day.. then as you keep identifying the breaks in the day.. breaks when you are not feeling low... your moments will refine to hours, minutes, seconds... you will be able to actually watch how each second is independent of the previous and next.

The second technique is actually finding the gap (which is experienced as silence) and live from this.

The second technique is based on the technique described here:

One way to catch the gap is between inhaling and exhaling:

inhale <--gap--> exhale <--gap--> inhale <--gap--> exhale <--gap--> inhale <--gap--> exhale

We don't hold our breaths between inhale and exhale. However we catch the gaps, the slight pause between the inhale and exhale. Notice how during the gaps there are no thoughts. Try to catch and remember how it feels between in breath and out breath. Now try to take that feeling, that silence with you into the breathing. It's a very subtle movement of stillness into your inhale and exhale. At first it will be a very short moment of silence that may be easy to miss.. but you will soon be able to feel the stillness moving into your every moment.

Another way to access the gap, the silence is between two thoughts.

So we try to find a gap between two thoughts. A thought arises and subsides and the next one arises. Between the points of a thought subsiding and the next thought arising is a gap.
               u                                                  u                                                u
           o      g                                        o         g                                     o        g

       h                  h                             h                 h                            h               h
 t                             t<--gap--> t                          t<--gap--> t                        t<--gap-->
 Need a new pair <--gap--> Sales at Macy's <--gap--> cant afford it  <--gap-->
      of shoes                                                                                         this month    

So we identify these gaps and experience the silence there is between two thoughts. Try and remember this experience and without effort (very subtly)  try and pull this experience into the next thought. Also try  to increase the duration of these gaps between the thoughts. So make an effort to delay the next thought hence prolonging the gap.

As Nithyananda explains in one of his videos... the duration of the gap and the duration of a thought are the same. However we experience the thoughts more than the gap because we focus more on the thoughts. If we can slowly move our focus, our attention to the gap, we can actually increase the time we spend in the gap/the stillness for longer periods than we do in thoughts.

Another way to access the gap is with sight. Focus on an object.. then slowly get that object out of your focus and focus on something else... the point when neither of the objects are in focus you should feel be able to experience the gap.

If you can do this with your thought.. you don't need to practice it with your breath.. doing it with your breath is what you need to do when you cannot access the gaps in your thoughts.

Work on it with your thought or breath through the day.. every time you remember take yourself into the gap and take this gap into your activity... operate from this gap.

The other thing to try is keeping part awareness on yourself no matter what else you are doing. So if you are reading this post.. you will find yourself completely focused on that task.. but consciously bring part of the focus into yourself.

Finally you should be able to live from this gap all the time.. while you are completely engaged in this world. These are just tools we use between our sitting practice session to cultivate the habit of accessing the gap and staying in it for as long as we can. Some people are lucky to wake up and be in this place.. some of us have to practice unlearning living externally and learn to live in the internal bliss once we have access to some .

Helpful videos: 

Monday, November 16, 2009

Does the mind chatter ever stop?

In my experience, the chatter does not stop.. at least it hasn't here... but the attachment and judgment of the chatter is less and less and less. 

Before practices.. it's like your mind has a 100 acres filled with thoughts. When you start meditation, the 100 acre increases to maybe 200 acres with 100 acres of thoughts and 100 acres of silence. As you keep going, you experience your mind as 100,000 acres with 100 acres of thoughts. The 100 acres of thoughts stays there always, that is what the mind does.. but the silence increases and so the thoughts seem like a tiny spec in  that vast silence.

I waited for a long time for the mind to stop the chatter.. but clearly it has no plans of stopping.. and the harder I tried, the more frustrated I got and the focus on the mind chatter got stronger. 

One thing that did help was the Drop till "You" Drop  technique, when you realize you are thinking, drop the thought, don't give it a logical end, don't give it any explanations or importance by saying "I have to get this chatter to stop".. chatter.. drop.. chatter.. drop again... so on. 

This technique is not for thoughts that need self inquiry. But random (at times annoying) thoughts that surface all day long and take up so much on our energy... like "Oh, the sun is so warm, I just love walking around in the sunshine. I don't get why I have to tell myself I am enjoying the walk. Why does my mind need to tell me what I am already experiencing. Why? Why? Why? Shut Up mind!!!".. when you realize you are thinking the thought.. just drop.. stop thinking the thought.

How do you pray?

I ask in silence and let go. Not expecting anything, just knowing and trusting the silence (which has many names like Jesus, Buddha, Shiva, Krishna, truth, stillness) knows and will grant you your prayer in whatever way is right for you (not necessarily the way your mind thinks it should be).

Practice.. Open.. Allow...

When someone tells us .. we will meet God.. we have an image of what God is.. and when he brushes our face as a butterfly.. we miss it.. because we are waiting for him to show up in the form we have made up in our mind.

This journey is a journey to achieve "nothing". If people tell us this.. no one will follow the path. So spirituality is made to sound like something that is so magnificent and so vast and so very out there (which it is because it is beyond the mind's comprehension that "nothing" can be so awesome).. when in reality.. it is right here.. right now.. and if we just stop trying to measure our progress with the measurement scale we have let our mind create.. we will find we have actually moved far ahead and we don't know it because we are trying to see it with what our "ego" has defined progress in our mind. We have a preconceived idea of what we should feel and see.. and when we are stuck to this.. we miss the endless blessing and miracles happening every second in our life.

The hardest part of yoga is to unlearn all the concepts we have imagined.. and when we drop that.. when we drop imagination.. when we drop the concepts.. when we drop the ego stories of what it should be.. we will experience "what is". Just because our mind is not getting the satisfaction of seeing progress like it thinks progress should be.. we think there is nothing happening. If we drop the thought.. "I need to experience bliss", "I need to see through my third eye", "I need to experience scenery".. we will actually experience all we are looking for.. just not in the form we are expecting it. 

Just allow.. just open.. be ready to accept whatever comes our way, in whatever form, with an open heart, without analyzing, explaining, contemplating. 

Practice.. Open.. Allow... that is all there is for us to do.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dropping the "me"

Aug 06 2009

Before self inquiry, any time I suffered, it was someone else's fault. After self inquiry, I saw how no one else was responsible for me. I create my "heaven" and "hell". I could then drop many many many stories, labels and be free from suffering. The bigger ones (like people should behave a certain way, I should be treated a certain way, I should have all these things to make me happy, etc. ) are easier to drop, but the ones that are closer to heart and an ingrained part of our conditioning (subtle) are harder to drop.

Over the past couple of months, I have been going through loads of highs and lows. None of them last long, but they were getting thrown my way left, right and center. Although in my heart I knew it was important, I was really getting tired of this. Over the two months I have had many openings and realizations. But after every opening, the longing, uneasiness in my heart just came right back. It was like my bhakti was not going to let me rest in my opening and enjoy the high that came with it. I was getting frustrated, because I know and have experienced how the mind keeps all the suffering in place, and yet when in a low, I was completely pulled in. No self inquiry helped.

Here is how I saw it:

Awareness <-------------> Me (mind/body)
      |                    |
      |                    |
      V                    V
(stillness)             (highs/lows)

Things happen and when I am closer to awareness (stillness) I can let it all go.. I know its not happening to me.. it just is. When I am tired, or going thru purification, and the exact same thing happens, I now believe this is all happening to "Me". The beauty is while in awareness and when stuff happens, I can let the attachment to things go.. this becomes a habit, so when in the middle of "identifying with me".. the natural habit of identifying with me now drops faster. Hence the suffering of 3 years can be 3 min now. However, when identified with the "Me", self inquiry did not seem to help at all.

Whenever there is a true letting go, the situation will not cause any reaction, doesn't matter if we are identified with awareness or with our body/mind. If something can cause us any kind of flutter even for a second, we have not let it go completely. But I could not see how to let go the things that were causing me these flutters. That is when I realized, there was more to this than just the mind level self inquiry I was doing. There was healing and letting go needed at levels beyond the mind.

Anyways, three days back I was blessed with a huge opening without the usual "high", just stillness.. access to complete stillness and expansion. I have also had something major revealed to me. I could actually bring up and feel the emotions that accompanied many of the attachments I have not been able to separate myself from. It came to me to bring up the stories and let them go into the stillness I was experiencing. Like samyama. So I did. I brought one up, "my children may not love me in the future", and let it go in stillness. "My mom-in-law may come live with us", let it go, "I may be able to write, but I cannot teach in public, I may make a fool of myself in front of people", let it go, and a few others. As I continued with this, I saw the common thread in all of this... "fear". I saw how everything, everything that was bothering me and that I could not let go had the common emotion "fear" driving it.
So I began to do samyama on the situation, dropped it into silence, then "fear" and dropped it into silence (bringing up the situation brings fear to the heart, so along with the word, I dropped the emotion) and then the "I" and dropped it into silence. I could not see how the "I" fit into this, but since it was "I" feeling this emotion due to the situation, I just went with it.

Soon the situations dissolved and only the emotion of fear remained. I remember someone once telling me or reading somewhere, "you can let go one situation at a time, or you can let it all go at one time. The first way will take forever, but the second will work in an instant". I was clueless as to how I can drop it all at once. There are so many things that make me sad or upset or scared. So I have been going with one thing at a time. Flutter.. hmmmm look into it.. ahh.. identify the story.. OK now drop it.. For the first time, after I saw the common emotion in every situation was "fear". I got how I can let it all go at one time by identifying the one common thread that keeps the string of suffering together.

So I continued samyama on the energy of "fear" and "I". Other than doing a sitting practice of this, outside my meditation time, I started doing this all through the day any time I felt a flutter in me. I looked into what caused the flutter, looked for the underlying emotion, it was always fear, fear of not being perfect, of being judged. So I picked up "fear" and dropped it in silence, then the word "I" and dropped it in silence. I still could not see how the "I" fit into this.

Then yesterday, while doing this practice, I suddenly saw..

"Who is this fear happening to?", "Me".

Who is this me? The container of this energy.

What me? A mother/friend/daughter-in-law.

    |                                     |           |
    |                                     |           |
    |                                     |           |
    v                                     v           v
The situation (not a good mother) -----> fear-----> "Me"

So the mother (label), the fear (emotion) and Me (the container), were three components that kept the "I" in place. No wonder I could never really completely let go. Now when the final component of "me" is dropped the "I" dissolves. I am still working on it. But it seems big and so I thought I'd share it here. Maybe it will help someone else who is having a tough time with "who am I" kind of inquiry.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fall in love with...

Sept 23 2009
 Fall in love with...

Fall in love with the gift being given to you
Not the box it comes in.

Fall in love with the silence
Not the practices that bring you silence.

Fall in love with the truth being revealed to you
Not the guru or system that is delivering the truth.

We miss so much by focusing on the form that delivers the truth to us.
The ego will analyze, judge, defend, a guru or a system.
That is what the ego loves to do.. engage itself in something.
But when we let go the judgment, the analyzing, the defending...
We let the actual teachings in.
These teachings are real subtle and beyond the mind.
Hence the mind does not get it.


Let go the attachment to the gift box
And start enjoying the gift.
The truths being sent to us
The blessings being poured into our lives.

Fall in love with....
The guru in you...
The silence.


Let go

Sept 17 2009
 Let go

Let it go my dear

Don't hold on to what is no more
Let it go
Let go so you can make room
For something new...
Something that is waiting patiently round the corner
Waiting for you to let go and make some space
So it can sneak in and fill your heart.

This one came to me in meditation and at that point it seemed to be especially for a dear friend. I felt her presence and a strong connection with her during meditation and then the above words arose. But the words above were so true for me and many I know that I thought I'd put it out here. It is for anyone who is touched by it.

Turn around..

Aug 25 2009
Turn around..

Walking backward into the ocean..

Wondering if the next wave will hit me hard or be gentle..
Afraid of the unknown I step into...
based on the memories of the past waves that hit me.

Just turn around..
Now you can see the waves as they form..
Each one has nothing to do with the waves that passed by..
Each wave is new.

Walking backwards into the future..
Looking into the past..
Afraid of the unknown I step into..
based on the memories of the past experiences that hit me.

Just turn around..
Now step into the future.
Each moment is new.



Jun 26 2009

I was caught up in my mind.

When others suffered, I suffered with them.
It hurt to see the pain others went through.

I realized my mind.
I watched in amusement.
I went into my "now" bubble
And said it is what it is.
I am living in the present.

This now is so perfect.
This now is so peaceful.
Nothing can touch me here in my bubble.
No pain exists here.
This now is where I want to be.

But through it all,
Yogani said,
"in order to get enlightenment,
you need to give it away."

The words of Nithyananda haunted me
"Enlightenment is not just living in the now,
It's living the past, the present and future, now"

Why do they say that?
Why not live here?
There is nothing wrong with this moment.
I am bliss right here right now.

I now am in the now.
It still is all what it is.
But there is more to this "now", than living in my bubble.
There is much doing to take care of.
Even if it is just an intent of "not suffering" for the other.
There is more living now.

I suffered with my eyes open.
I closed my eyes and enjoyed the "now".
I was in awareness and no pain exists.
It's time to open my eyes
And live in the "now".
No more hiding in awareness.

Everything is as it is.
Things will happen as they will.
But I am the instrument through which the divine flows.
And I have rested in my loving Ma's arms to heal,
Not once did she ask me to be any way I did not want to be,
But I have rested long enough...
"now" its time to carry out the will of my Mother.

So I pray to one and all,
And I pray to my Mother,
Give me your blessings.
So I can become the channel
Through which my Mother flows.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dropping Boundaries - Atma-Shatakam - by Adi Shankara (continued)

Apr 16 2009  

Note: This is continued from here

The meaning of this song is so much deeper than I had comprehended and getting deeper still.

My heartfelt thanks to Sri Adi Shankara.

I am going to make an attempt to put in words things that are beyond words. The meaning of the lines below cannot be understood with the literal words.. they come from an understanding that comes from letting go.. from un-understanding the ideas we have associated with the words.

Few weeks back during meditation, the words arose, "drop your boundaries". It felt like a balloon deflating and the air from inside the balloon, that was bound to the limited space of the walls of the balloon mingled and mixed with the air outside losing its definition, while the walls got smaller and smaller. The boundary became smaller while the contents held within the boundary grew boundless.

We are so defined by our self imposed boundaries. We have many labels and attach limitations to our being based on those labels. We really are limitless beings. We believe we have boundaries, and hence we remain bound to the limits of our imagination. It also came to me, by dropping our boundaries, it does not mean we drop who we physically are.. we don't physically stop being a mother, a father, a child, a sibling, an employee, an employer, a friend... we just drop the mind idea of what the limitations to that role are. We don't try to change the physical limitations based on a new set of imagination, rather we drop the imagination.

My idea of a mother is not the same as what someone in Africa thinks a mother should be (for that matter, it is not the same as what my neighbor may think a mother should be). I draw my boundaries of being a mother based on my "idea" of what a mother is. When I drop that boundary, I don't stop being a mother, I just let go the tightness that comes with my "mind idea" of a "mother". When I am a friend.. a limitless, boundless friend.. imagination of limitless and boundless keeps me bound.. but just a short samyama-like letting go.. limitless, boundless friend.. Ahhhh... yes! This part of letting go is the part I cannot put in words. It's a very subtle shift.. I read an email from a client, I feel a slight discomfort, I look within.. I identify myself with the role of an employee.. I drop or expand the boundary of what I believe my role as an employee is.. not go into mind stories and justification of what my role is.. it's a very vague boundary that I have of this role.. and I let it go. That's all.

With every moment or every meditation, we just bring up the concepts we have very vaguely and let them dissolve.. opening and allowing the boundaries to dissolve. This way, without physically trying to change the world and our way of living, we only let go the "ideas" we have of our world and us. Drop the boundary. Not expecting anything to happen... expecting is again getting the mind involved.. just expand/drop our boundary... and watch. Like Jason Mraz sings.. "open up your plans and damn you're free".. let go the ideas we have of us.. and we no longer are bound to "Me" and "Mine". We can still be a friend, we don't physically try to change anything, to us a friend is "this" and "this" and "that, just drop the definition of friendship, and our horizons, inner knowing expand beyond what we know a friend to be.

The words to this song (at this point in my life) says exactly this..
I am not the mind, intellect, thought, ego, or a supreme being.
I am neither the meal (bhojanam) nor the one who consumes (bhojyam) or what is consumed (bhokta);
I am neither a father (pita) nor a mother (maata),
I am neither kin/relatives (bandhu), nor friend (mitram);
I am not a guru and nor am I a disciple (shishya).

These lines started off meaning I am not physically any of my labels.. but right now it is more a case of I am not bound by the "idea" I have of these labels. When I drop my boundaries, I can be all of my labels and yet not be bound to any one of them.

We don't have to renounce the world, just our ideas of the world.

Atma-Shatakam - by Adi Shankara (Shivoham)

Nov 20 2008

A few months back, as I sat meditating one day, after something that happened that caused me to feel very disturbed... I watched how "I" dissolved when I meditated, and yet every time I went back into thoughts.. the "I" started rising like flames of a fire.

I began to play with this.. brought back the thoughts and "I", as a daughter, mother, wife grew stronger.. when I relaxed back into the bliss of meditation.. "I" dissolved.. I was not a mother or daughter or wife.

The need to protect my image dissolved.. the need to protect my place as a daughter, as a mother, as a wife did not exist.. and yet when I brought back my thoughts.. like adding fuel to fire.. "I" came roaring back.. the more thoughts I added.. the more defined "I" became. The more there was a sense of "me" and "mine",  the more "I" existed, the more protection "I" needed, the more "I" wanted, the more hurt there was,  so much energy went into keeping the "I" in place....

...and once again I immersed in letting go the thoughts and dissolve in meditation.. the "I" vanished. It was an amazing experience.. to see how my thoughts keep "me" in place.

Since then this song has become very meaningful to me. I listen to it very often.. and anytime I go into feeling any kind of discomfort.. I watch the "I" grow.. and I sing this song:

I am not the mind, intellect, thought, ego, or a supreme being.
I myself am the joy of pure consciousness I am Shiva (the silence).

I am not the air (prana) nor a part of essential five gases (pancha vayuhu) nor the seven-fold material (sapta dhatur), I am not part of five coverings (pancha koshaha) that help to build up the personality. Nor am I the five organs of action.
I myself am the joy of pure consciousness I am Shiva (the silence).

I am not attached to any punya (righteousness) or paapa (sin); I have neither pleasure (sukhya) nor sorrow (dukham); I don't need Mantra or pilgrimages (tirtham) or  sacred scriptures (veda) or sacrifice or rituals (yagnaha); I am neither the meal (bhojanam) nor the one who consumes (bhojyam) or what is consumed (bhokta);
I myself am the joy of pure consciousness I am Shiva (the silence).

I do not need  Dharma (Law of Life), Artha (Wealth), Kama (Desires) and Moksha (Liberation). I have no fear of death, nor do I have caste distinctions; I am neither a father (pita) nor a mother (maata).. I was never born; I am neither kin/relatives (bandhu). nor friend (mitram); I am not a guru and nor am I a disciple (shishya).
I myself am the joy of pure consciousness I am Shiva (the silence).

I am free of thoughts and beyond imagination (nirvikalpo) since I have no form (nirakara rupo);
I myself am the joy of pure consciousness I am Shiva (the silence).

I would like to share the song that helps dissolve "me" ..  If you have a few mins please do listen to the song... not only are the lyrics beautiful.. but you can really feel the shraddha (devotion) in her voice and the vibrations of the Sanskrit words dissolving you.

This is the version of the song I listen to: its called ATMASTAKAM from the album Chant of Shiva or more popularly known as Shivoham Shivoham ... it makes me melt into nothing when the "I" gets strong..

A more western version of the same song:

Here are the Sanskrit words to the song (in red) and the English translations (in blue)

Mano buddhya-hankara chittani naham
Na cha shrotra jihve, na cha ghrana netre
Na cha vyoma bhumirna tejo na vayuhu
Chidananda rupah shivoham shivoham . (1)

I am not the mind, intellect, thought, ego, or some form of the supreme being; I neither have ears, nor tongue and I neither have nose (nostrils) nor eyes; I am not the sky, earth, light or the wind; I am the fortunate, joyful, supreme being who is the very emblem of truth, knowledge and eternal bliss.
I am consciousness and bliss. I am Shiva, I am Shiva.

Na cha prana sangno na vai pancha vayuhu
Na va sapta dhatur na va pancha koshaha
Na vak pani padau na chopastha payoo
Chidananda rupah shivoham shivoham .(2).

I am not the most essential air that everyone breathes. Nor a part of essential five gases related to bodily functions (which are Prana, Aparna, Vyana, Udana and Samana). I am not the seven-fold material (Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa, Medas, Asthi,Majja and Shukra) that help in body's physical development, I am not part of five coverings that help to build up the personality (food, air, mind, knowledge or wisdom and pleasure). Nor am I the five organs of action (which are speech/mouth, hands, feet, reproductive and rectum), I am the fortunate, joyful, supreme being who is the very emblem of truth, knowledge and eternal bliss.
I am consciousness and bliss. I am Shiva, I am Shiva.

Na me dvesha ragau na me lobha mohau
Mado naiva me naiva matsarya bhavah
Na dharmo na chartho na kamo na mokshah
Chidananda rupah shivoham shivoham .(3).

I have no likes or dislikes; Not I have any greed or delusion; I have no pride or arrogant vanity; Nor am I jealous of anyone or in competition with anyone ; I do not need the four main necessities of life (which are Dharma (Law of Life), Artha (Wealth), Kama (Desires) and Moksha (Liberation); I am the fortunate, joyful,supreme being who is the very emblem of truth, knowledge and eternal bliss.
I am consciousness and bliss. I am Shiva, I am Shiva.

Na punyam na papam na saukhyam na dukham
Na mantro na tirtham na veda na yagnaha
Aham bhojanam naiva bhojyam na bhokta
Chidananda rupah shivoham shivoham .(4).

I am not attached to any righteousness or sin; I have neither pleasure nor sorrow; I have no need for any Mantra; I have no need for pilgrimages ; I have no need for any sacred scriptures; nor do I perform any sacrifise or rituals; I am neither the meal nor the one who consumes or what is consumed;
I am the fortunate, joyful,supreme being who is the very emblem of truth, knowledge and eternal bliss.
I am consciousness and bliss. I am Shiva, I am Shiva.

Na me mrutyu shanka na me jati bhedah
Pita naiva me naiva mata na janma
Na bandhur na mitram gurur naiva shishyah
Chidananda rupah shivoham shivoham .(5).

I have no fear of death, nor do I have caste distinctions; I neither have a father nor mother because I was never born; I have neither kin/relatives nor friends; I have no gurus and nor am I a disciple; I am the fortunate, joyful, supreme being who is the very emblem of truth, knowledge and eternal bliss.
I am consciousness and bliss. I am Shiva, I am Shiva.

Aham nirvikalpo nirakara rupo
Vibhur vyapya sarvatra sarvendriyanam
Sada me samatvam na muktir na bandhah
Chidananda rupah shivoham shivoham .(6).

I am free of thoughts and beyond imagination since I have no form; I am all pervading and exist everywhere; I am the king of all sense-organs; I am always impartial to everything and everyone,; I am free from everything and I have no attachment to anything; I am the fortunate, joyful, supreme being who is the very emblem of truth, knowledge and eternal bliss.
I am consciousness and bliss. I am Shiva, I am Shiva.

Drop till "You" Drop.

 Aug 25 2008

This technique is based on something that Nithyananda talks about:

As you go about your day.. and you realize you are caught up in thoughts.. drop the thought.. meaning stop thinking the thought. Like Nithyanada says don't give a logical end to the thought.. just  drop the thought.. then the next thought comes up.. drop, then next.. drop, and so on.. then your mind will fix on the dropping.. then drop the dropping. It's like the technique of "neti neti".. "not this not that".. It is really amazing.

The sutra is (I enjoyed both Nithyanada's way of explaing it in the video above and Osho's way [you can read it if you click on the sutra below]):

Now this was hard for me to get at first. Like Osho says:
"It is impossible (to contemplate beyond perception), but that's why it is worth doing, because in the very effort something will happen to you. Not that you will become capable of perceiving - if you try to perceive something that cannot be perceived, all perceptions will be lost."
But my mind could not think of what to perceive.. what was beyond the perception... so I started off with Nithyananda's technique of dropping everyday thoughts. And some more.. and some more.. Always doubting if that was the right way to do it.

Yesterday tho.. I had the most awesome experience. During our AYP Long Distance group meditation.. and thanks to whoever participated... and also to all the people around the world who were praying, chanting, meditating yesterday.. because it was Lord Krishna's birthday.. there was love energy going into meditation itself.. but then when I started off.. I felt myself expand.. it grew and grew.. it engulfed people around me.. my family, friends.. then the world.. then the masters.. then Ma herself.. but it went beyond.. it grew far beyond.. the universe.. and more.. till I could not go any further.. but it kept expanding.

A few times I found myself back in thoughts.. "what's for lunch?", "when should I take the kids swimming?", "need to get the fertilizer in and add the weed block  and water the plants".. the min I realized I was in thoughts.. I dropped the thoughts and was again transported beyond thoughts. I experienced, "Thoughts are so limiting".. it keeps us bound to what we know. We find the need to think our solutions here in these thoughts.. but just a little beyond it is a world where we are not limited.. where the limiting thoughts have no power.. where all problems seem like the head of a pin.. and the grip the things have on you are lost.. how can something that seems so big when we are in it have any hold on us when we look at it from outside the universe.

The best part was samyama.. I took the names of the members of my family and let go... the names traveled far into the universe and beyond.. till I lost it... and yet it seemed to travel on. The mind dropped in to try and control the outcome.. as to make sure this and that are taken care of in the prayers toward my family.. but for the first time the mind was humbled by the beauty and vastness of letting go because it saw how small and limited it was.. and there was so much more beyond the mind... for the first  time it saw the pleasure in "not knowing but just trusting". It still attached a few clause to the samyama.. like.. "OK I give you a week to make this work" .. but for the most part. my mind for the first time experienced "resistance is futile"... and felt defeated.. but like Yogani had once told me.. feeling defeated is not bad.. because after defeat comes surrender. And tho the mind surrendered to this vastness.. there was no sense of loss.. it was more a feeling of "ahhhh... now I can relax and let the universe take care of Shweta".

Living in the present

Jun 13 2008
Living in the present

Living in the present does not have to be a mental struggle..

Just love what you are doing...

and you are here.


Experiencing The Gap.

Feb 21 2008
I have been following a technique for a few months that has really helped me a lot and maybe it will help others. This technique would not have worked for me a year back. Some amount of inner silence is required for this to work. Anyone reading this, if you don't get it, please don't try to get it.. let it go and come back to it after a little while. It works wonders.. and it will work. So if for any reason you are wondering "what the heck is she talking about".. just let it go for now.

Thoughts like anything else in life, come up as waves. There is the point when the thought is forming (Creation-Brahma), when you are thinking the thought (Preservation-Vishnu) and when the thought drops/fades away (Destruction-Shiva)... to come up with the next thought. To make it clearer.. lets say you are looking at the screen.. now you move your focus to a pencil on your desk.. so.. you are bringing the pencil into focus (creation), you focus on the pencil (preservation), then you look at the screen again.. so your focus on the pencil fades (destruction). The same things happens with thoughts.

Even a year back if someone told me this, I would not have seen it. To me thoughts were a continuous flow without breaks.. constant chatter.

The technique:

Close your eyes and think about something you are really passionate about. This is important in the beginning when you are first learning the technique. It must be something that makes you really happy (you could do it with something that makes you really angry or sad.. but it's more fun starting off with something that makes you very happy.) Now bring up the thought in your mind and just before the thought forms.. STOP.. and stay in that gap. You will feel a lot of bliss and ecstasy. Stay as long as you can in this gap.. it may be a few seconds or a few mins. Then bring the thought up in your mind... then drop the thought (let it fade away).. and just as it is fading away from your mind... Stop.. You should feel the same bliss.

As you continue with this practice the time you can stay in the gap increases. The prominence of ecstasy reduces (as with all practices) and you can actually live in pure awareness for a few mins.. no thoughts just pure bliss.

Any thoughts, emotions, feelings that bother you (the stronger the feeling the easier it is to observe how effective this technique is)... Consciously bring it up into your mind.. and just before the thought/emotion/feeling can manifest.. stop. You may have to try it a few times, but the entire thing just dissolves. You will feel yourself physically relaxing too. It comes very handy to unlearn the physical tensions that our body has not forgotten .

As you get better at this, you can use it in every moment of your life. The more you use it.. the more you will start living in your inner silence. This technique is like a key that unlocks the door which gives you access to your inner silence/bliss any time of the day. It has not caused any overloads in me and actually helps calm any overloads that may happen as a result of other practices. Whatever the symptoms.. bring it up in your mind and before it manifests stop and it dissolves in the bliss. Has worked for stiff neck and back (dues to stress), slight headaches etc. When you wake up from a nightmare that scares you and you find it hard to go back to sleep.. bring up the dream and let it dissolve in the bliss. When something irritates you.. again bring it up and let it dissolve in the bliss. When you are worried, tired, stressed, sad.. really just about at any moment.. you can let it go in this bliss. It is also a great way to center yourself in awareness. Anytime during the day you find yourself mindy.. just do this technique and you will be centered in your awareness.


The above technique is something that came form reading the commentaries of sutra 22 in the book Stanzas on Vibration Mark Dyczkowski...


Five Stages.

Dec 18 2007

I've gone through what seems like 5 stages so far in this lifetime.

The first stage was the phase where I had no concept of spirituality. There was God and religion. Yoga was a set of stretching exercises that kept your body fit and meditation was a technique used to calm the mind and relax, reduce stress. Spirituality was something that happened to the yogis and holy men dressed in saffron clothing and lived somewhere in the Himalayas.

Then I got introduced to spirituality and the wonders of visions and siddhis and bliss and finding God.... with that came trying to "get" and wanting to achieve and looking for signs that it works and aiming for a goal.. etc I realized yoga was more than just a bunch of stretching exercises and meditation was wayyyyy more powerful than just a stress reducing technique.

Then I came to a stage where I realized there was a mind, an ego and I tried to understand my mind with my mind. . I also got tired of trying and looking and kinda realized I had to stop looking and do my practice without any expectations. I had to let go and let flow. These were still concepts and I was still trying to get it all with my mind.

Then came the stage where I started watching the mind doing its things and not be involved in it. This involved understanding beyond the mind. , . I could let go and let flow. Everything I was trying to get with my mind, I got without my mind and realized I knew all of this all along.. all I had to do was drop my mind's non-stop commentary/translation/explanation of every second of my life and not be limited to the mind's understanding of everything. Be ready to accept what came my way.. without having to dissect it or explain it or understand it.. and when I stopped trying to "get it" with my mind.. I "got it" without my mind. (Have you ever tried listening to a person or reading something without your mind translating every word for you.. try it.. it really is possible to listen and understand without your mind translating the words for you. Till a while back I did not realize, I never did listen to anyone.. I listened to what my mind thought they were saying.)

And now I seem to be in the fifth stage.. where I realize there is no "me". For some time now, I have been saying.. whatever has to happen will happen, it's all Ma's/God's will and the more we allow and let go.. the less resistance we put up.. the easier it gets for life to flow. For some time now I have also been saying.. I do nothing.. Ma /God does it all. But all this time, I had a concept that life energy/Ma's blessings flowed through me.. I was Shweta, in this body, very much alive. Everything was being done to me, through me... I heard and read many many many times the words "there is no Me"... but just did not get it. Few days back the "me" dropped. There is not just no "I" doing anything.. there is no "I". The best way to explain the experience:

It felt like the invisible man. Just like the clothes and bandage and gloves made him real/visible.. its this form that makes me Shweta.. Just as he is not there when his bandage, hat, gloves, clothes, shoes come off and yet he can do everything... so too the "Me" dissolves when the form Shweta drops and yet I function like I always did. I have a headache.. I feel the pain but I don't live the pain.. I am tired and achy.. every muscle in my body hurts.. but a part of me has no association with it.. there is pain.. which feels like a dream.. I feel it.. but it does not stop me from anything because I am not living it. I feel stress, I get into ego.. then it dissolves and is forgotten. Every morning is a like the first day of my life. If you ask me.. so what did you do yesterday.. my mind kinda goes in a panic (and it's stories.. see you are losing your mind :-D.).. since there is no resident memory of it in my active mind.. and yet if I think I can tell you exactly what I did yesterday with perfect clarity. Living in the present has never been so natural. Once again, it is so hard to put this experience in words.. this is so beyond the mind and so beyond words.

None of these were stand alone phases.. they all kinda merge into each other.. but is a beautiful evolution. It reminds me of the butterfly and Yogani's reference of the butterfly emerging from a cocoon, in his book The Secrets Of Wilder, has a different depth/beauty to it. When I was 37 (loooong years) I looked at my life and thought, I have wasted all these years of my life, if I knew about spirituality earlier I could have lived so much better and had such a productive life and would have found Ma by now.. and today 3 years later.. I feel like the 40 years is such a short period in the life times I have gone through and the years/life times I still have to go through. And would not have wanted even one second of this lifetime to be different. I have never felt so much heartfelt love and gratitude for life.

Mind Filters: Dropping the "Love" Story.

Sep 09 2007

Note: This was an experience based on the "Mind Filters" post.

In my own experience, the term "Love" has always been attached to many emotions and sentiments (mind filters:)). I had no idea there was something like pure love.. a feeling that is not associated with any emotion.. It does not feel like romantic love for a partner, or caring, protective love for a child, or grateful, respectful love for a parent, etc. It is just pure feeling arising from the heart with absolutely no emotions/labels attached. We have all experienced this at some time or the other, however they may have been very fleeting feelings that we have not realized existed, and that we may not have recognized as Love.

Yesterday I was reading the Alchemist by Paul Coehlo.. and there was a part where he says "He tried to deal with the concept of love as distinct from possession, and couldn't separate them". Later during meditation a though arose "you can love without possession". This thought started expanding.. it was spreading and automatically being applied to people in my life.. a feeling of just pure love with no stories attached. I stayed with it for a bit.. then finished my meditation.

Later I was driving alone when the thought of someone who has been a very negative influence on my life came to me. I saw her in my mind.. and before last night , any time I thought of her, my emotions took over and I would get sad and depressed and drown in self pity. But this time was different. I could see very clearly.. I realized that she really did love me and all her possessive, controlling, trying to change me, was her own distorted way of showing me her love. That is the only way she knew how to show love. When that filter of all the mental and emotional abuse she put me through dropped, all I saw was the love behind it. I am not saying what she did was right or it was OK for her to treat another human the way she did. All I am saying is when I saw the story, I could drop it and become free from it. I realized that it was not how she treated me that kept me imprisoned, it was the story my mind made around the situation that kept me imprisoned.. and when I drop the story, all that is left is love.

I realized what the statement, "you can love without possession" meant. Possession does not have to mean physical possession.. just holding on to a mental story is also a kind of possession.. and dropping this mental story is really loving someone without possessing.

I went through the entire evening, enjoying this new opening, this new freedom.. it was such a tiny switch, but such a huge relief. All through the evening, my ego tried to create another story to show me how flawed my thinking was.. but it just could not stick. I could appy this to many other situations in my life.. and it was so easy to feel love.

As I sat with this all evening, I felt love emanating from my heart. Such pure emotionless, sentiment-less, story-less love. It expanded and took over me.. and then around everyone I knew.. I had no identity.. I was not Shanti, I was not a woman, nor was I a mother or wife or daughter or friend.. I was just love with no boundaries. I looked up to thank Ma, and my awareness was drawn within.. I realized, Ma was in me, Ma was me, I was Ma. I had tears of love and gratitude rolling down my cheeks.

And the best part of this whole thing.. None of it was mystical, no lights and bells and angels and aums.. No image of Ma.. No blessings from the skies.. Nothing.. just a pure feeling of love, a pure essence of Ma and a pure joy in my heart. Nothing changed in my life.. and yet everything has changed. I am lighter and see more clearly.. and yet every one of the situations that existed before last evening are still there. I just don't have an attachment to it. It is such a minuscule shift in perception.. and yet such a life changing shift.

I don't know if I manged to convey anything in this post. It is so hard to put these experiences into words. All I can say is, it comes your way when you least expect it.. and is as normal a feeling as looking at the palm of your hand. You may be looking at it everyday.. and suddenly one day you will see it

Mind Filters.

Jul 26 2007

I have realized something that I would like to share. Feelings arise in us.. good and bad.. and once you learn to observe your mind/ego (I will use the word mind in this post).. you will see that any time a feeling arises, the mind tries to make sense of it and runs it through a life filter. It will either pass it through a filter of something that is happening right now and associate the feeling with it, or if it cannot fit it into anything happening right now (like everything is going great.. and yet you feel sudden sadness in your heart).. it will go back and look through it's memory bank and find something from the past that will fit perfectly with that feeling.

The feeling is just there.. it was always just there.. till the mind decided to do its job and process it by passing it through a filter, put a label on it and tuck it away somewhere in memory for future reference. When you learn to watch your mind, you can see this clearly.

When the emotion arising is a weak one, you can actually ignore the label being attached to it by the mind.. and ride the feeling.. happy or sad or angry or silly.. till it dissolves.

When the emotion is too strong and the mind attaching a label to it seems hard to get past .. allow the mind to get its way.. but don't get attached to the label.. if I try and fight the mind at this point.. I kinda get frustrated.. well, I am still learning and maybe after awhile it gets to a point when you can ignore labels to the strong emotions the same way you do the weak ones.. not sure.. but for now... let the mind have its way.. but know, that is what it is.. the mind having its way .. don't get attached to the label.. don't act on the label.. this strong feeling too will dissolve.. and depending on how much you decided to attach yourself to the story your mind spun, based on the filter.. it will dissolve in a few hours.. or few days.. or a lifetime. (When a child is playing and has a make believe world, you go with it (the story) and enjoy her imagination and play along with her.. but don't get attached to it and believe it to be a true world.. she may, but you don't.. just like that.. the mind believes its a true story.. but you don't have to).

All the negative feelings we have been holding on to so dearly with our lives are nothing but stories our mind created to explain the feelings arising in us.. once we can let go of the stories.. we will feel the feelings for what they are.. just energy.. nothing negative about them really. Energy is energy.. it is how our body reacts to the energy that determines how we react to it... The same goes with thoughts.. they are all finally energy.. energy(thoughts/feelings/emotions) arising in us, no need to label them.. just experience them.. go with whatever way the body reacts to it.. brings up a smile, brings up tears.. and ride through it.. without associating a word to it. Oh I smiled.. so this is a happy energy.. Oh I am crying.. so this is a sad energy.. Really, no need to label them. They are just there.. let them flow and enjoy the feeling of lightness that follows it when you don't attach to it.

The Journey...

Mar 27 2006

Last night I was thinking about something... last year... I was focused on my destination... there was nothing I wanted more. This year... I still hope to reach my destination... but, nobody ever told me that the journey itself would be so beautiful. There is no book I have read that tells you about the journey.. just the destination... This beautiful journey has its downs, but each down just opens a new door.. it is no longer a search for me... I am no longer looking for an answer... somehow I am at peace... somehow I know I am at the right place... with the right people... I am home.