Friday, September 20, 2013

Things are Looking Up! "Listen up:" Hints for Meditation.

In the world around us, things are looking up, but only sometimes; other times, life is just routine, sometimes rather boring; other times, tragic, or at least, "looking down."

But at the heart of everything, whether matter, energy, or consciousness, is an elemental and essential reality that knows no opposite. This reality is the existential source of all the subsequent differentiation and opposites that result from the pendulum-like movements away from this central reality.

In the science of meditation, we are taught where to "look" for this non-dual state. This "paradise" of happiness lies in the "east" of the body, at the point between the eyebrows.

As an aside: North of the body is the top of head; south, the bottom of the spine; and west, the back of the head, at the medulla oblongata. East is whence comes enlightenment, knowledge, power, and inspiration. West represents our conscious mind and intentions, our present egoic state. South represents our past, our habits, tendencies and post and pre-natal influences. North is the way out, the path to liberation. But enlightenment precedes liberation. Only when we are fully enlightened does the pathway to the north open up, like Arctic ice melting in the summer to create a northern passage.

Returning now to "looking up." When, in meditation, behind closed eyes, we lift our inner gaze, peering through the point-between-the-eyebrows we find, by experimentation, a shift in consciousness and feeling. With open eyes, standing tall but relaxed, try looking up and declaring, "I am depressed!" It simply can't be done, at least not honestly. When we are sad or unhappy or discouraged, we look down. When we are happy and life is good, we tend to look up.

Our bodies are made this way and our bodily movements reflect our shifting attitudes as also does the subtle movements or currents of life force (energy) coursing through our veins, tissues, and organs. The eyes, in this example, look up more frequently when happy and down more frequently when sad. We can't help this universal fact.

The Christian Bible, new and old testaments, have repeated injunctions such as "Look up unto the hills from whence cometh the Lord." "Look onto the eastern gate......" And so on.

We can use this principal of "looking up" to change our state of consciousness from sadness or discouragement to a returning sense of hope and renewed encouragement. When we combine the habit of looking up with standing tall with good posture we discover the raw fundamentals of yoga practice itself.

In meditation, however, it is of course more subtle and takes greater focus to keep one's eyes in that position. Throughout one's time of meditation, one should periodically check to make sure one's eyes are still looking up. In fact, when the mind wanders, the eyes automatically lose their inner focus and generally begin to look straight (conscious thought) or down (daydreaming, drifting thoughts).

The sensation and awareness of our egoity lies at the base of the brain, at the back of the head, in the region of the medulla oblongata: you can feel the valley-like depression running north-south at the back of the head. At the upper end of that valley lies, approximately, the medulla oblongata. It is from this point that the embryo in the womb begins to build the tiny body of the child. It cannot be operated upon. Life energy and consciousness enters and exits the physical body (at birth; at death) through this doorway, described by Jesus Christ, as the "mouth of God." (The mouth of man is in the front where we take in food and water, but physical sustenance has no value to a corpse, one without life within!)

When we are meditating and gazing upward through the point-between-the-eyebrows ("PBE") we do so as if sitting in a theatre, seated in the back (at the medulla) looking up at the screen at the PBE. This should not be done with excessive will power, but on the basis of a relaxed, natural curiosity and positive interest. Imagine, for example, that you are peering through the darkness of closed eyes waiting for the movie to begin; waiting for someone to appear on the screen; waiting for some momentous revelation or at least very interesting appearance!

The eyes shouldn't "cross." Holding your arm outstretched in front of you and slightly above the forehead with your thumb upraised, look at your thumb. If this feels comfortable, then close your eyes and experiment with where the "sweet spot" of the East exists for you. Press your thumb against the natural flat spot at PBE and inwardly gaze at that. See if that works. Or, look up at the juncture of the opposite wall and ceiling. Experiment, then, with where this paradise lies. Then during meditation return to it as often as you can remember to check.

The most common complaint of meditators is restless thoughts intruding upon one's devotion or concentration or inner peace. Looking up (from the medulla forward to the PBE) creates what I describe as a current of energy rotating back and forth between these two points (the negative and positive pole of the sixth chakra). This current creates around this "pole" or line of current an electromagnetic field that holds at bay or drowns out, so to speak, the noise and chatter of the subconscious mind below which constantly calls out for attention. I experience this like standing in a hallway all by myself and having an adjoining or nearby room filled with people laughing and talking. I can hear their noise but can't distinguish their words and I naturally lose interest as I gaze down the hallway to a window or light at the far end and near the top of the far wall!

Notice what happens with your eyes when you need to remember something and you stop what you are doing and instinctively look up. The self-talk mind chatter instantly stops as if your mind, like a computer, is searching for a file on the hard disk. In other words to recollect something, you naturally stop the chatter and your eyes naturally look up! This is a kind of inner yoga posture, or mudra, that helps quiet the mind.

Swami Kriyananda, in his popular book on meditation, "Awaken to Superconsciousness," describes meditation as the art of listening. Here, too, when we strain to hear someone we cock our head slightly to the side as if to turn our "good" ear in their direction, and the mind chatter instantly quiets.

Thus in meditation we should both look up and listen. These two "mudras" of meditation are very effective poses to assume in order to have a deeper and more satisfying meditation. (There's no need to cock your head to one side, however!) Like the rural railroad crossing signs say: STOP, LOOK, AND LISTEN! This is the art of meditation.

In deeper states of meditation, the inner astral lights (and the "spiritual eye") and the inner astral sounds (of Aum and of the chakras) are seen and heard in each of these places: the PBE for the one, and inside the right ear for the other. Thus adapting these meditation mudras helps prepare you for the appearance of these inner astral guides to appear to you in meditation. They can, with proper instruction, guide toward superconsciousness. As this article is not about such a lofty topic I will say no more than to point to a deeper purpose for these using these meditation "mudras" (as I call them).

Well, happy meditating!


Nayaswami Hriman