Saturday, February 11, 2012
“And then the seer stands in his own nature (when all modifications and mental activities have ceased – see stanza 2).”
Paramhansa Yogananda is oft quoted saying “When motion ceases, God begins.” This stanza of the Yoga Sutras reminds us that our native state is that of perfection. We are complete in our Self. This must be the meditator’s goal and constant affirmation.
We are taught that meditation has three stages: relaxation, concentration, and expansion. Real meditation begins when all meditation techniques cease and we are still.
The Old Testament says, “Be still, and know that I AM God.”
When, in meditation, we are still, we can feel the transcendent, timeless, eternal, ever-new, ever-satisfying, immortal Presence which underlies our consciousness and, by extension, all creation.
“Stand,” therefore, in your “own nature.” Live more in the spine, centered in your Self, free from desires, attractions, repulsions, likes, and dislikes! As Krishna exhorts Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, “O Arjuna, be thou a yogi!”
I encourage meditation students to create a new self-image: that of the meditating yogi! Yes, it’s true that all mental modifications (internal images) must cease before we enter the kingdom of heaven within us, but in our present state, we have a plethora of self-definitions:
I am a man; a woman; young; middle age; old; I am healthy; sickly; artistic, scientific, business-like, successful, a failure, a parent, a child, a co-worker, a manager, and on and on. There’s nothing wrong with the simple fact that we play many roles in life. But to what extent do we identify with these roles as our self?
So begin your self-transformation with a new and overriding self-definition: that of a meditator (yogi). If you think of the image of a person sitting in meditation (on the floor), you have the shape of a triangle, or, if you prefer, a mountain. Use this image to re-create your Self.
At work, at home, driving, relating to your family and friends, hold the self-image of yourself as one who meditates each day. What is this? A yogi is one who sits in the stillness, withdrawing his awareness from the senses and from the body, and lifts his consciousness (and energy) upward in self-offering to the Self of All, at the feet of the Infinite Lord….retracing his steps from the creation to the Creator in whom all things exist and from all things have come and return!
“Stand,” therefore, in your “own nature!” Stand tall like a mountain: majestic, serene, forever calm and wise, beneficent, giving, sagacious and gracious! Walk through life like a sage!