Meditation on the radiant forms

16 The Light Experiences sutra 55 or (by) the sorrowless radiant (mental perception) Shankara explains this as a much more important practice, and many teachers make it the first step, omitting the previous ones. The centre of attention (dharana) is the ‘heart centre’, roughly where the ribs meet. Some yogis put a dab of sandal paste there before sitting; the fragrance rising helps them to keep attention centred. Two hours is not too long for the practice, says the teacher Swami Mangalnath in the Heart of the Eastern Mystical Teaching. When the yogi can hold attention steadily at that spot, he generally becomes aware of something like a lotus, made of light, and he meditates on it. Many Westerners have only a hazy idea of what a lotus looks like, having only seen them from a distance. Like many of these traditional similes, this one has been chosen carefully to …

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How To Use Realization of the Supreme Self for Yoga Practice

You have to know enough theory for a working basis; there is no need to read the subtleties of the intellectual background yet. Establish a daily rhythm of study, meditation, self-discipline and devotion as explained in the readings. Get up one hour earlier to create space for the practices. Set apart a quiet place to do the meditation and study without fail at the same place and time. Choose one meditation text from Chapters 9 or 10 the six week period and focus on it for twenty minutes. Once the Line of Light has been established in the meditation period, it can be maintained during the day,at first at quiet moments, and then even in disturbance. It gives many advantages both physical and mental.

Formal meditation posture

The Thinker, East and West It has been an axiom for thousands of years in the Eastern traditions that the body reflects the mind, as the mind reflects levels deeper than itself. Rodin’s ‘Thinker’ is here side by side with the 8th Century clay figure of a Chinese Lohan or Buddhist saint. Both of them have been thinking, but what a great difference! In fact, the wonderful technique of Rodin conceals the unnaturalness of the posture. Most people, asked to sit like the famous ‘Thinker’, put their right elbow on the right knee. They are quite surprised to find out that it should be on the other knee, an uncomfortable position that cannot be held for more than a short time. The knuckles of the right hand are pressed so hard against the mouth that the lips are pushed out of shape. In spite of the apparent calm of the …

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Samskara impressions are latent and dynamic

Line of Light Spiritual training at the outset can look unrealistic. It says: ‘Do this!’ or ‘Don’t do that!’, but a bare command can defeat its own purpose. It is like the King in Alice in Wonderland, who angrily tells the trembling witness: ‘Give your evidence. And don’t be nervous. I’ll have you executed if you’re nervous!’ There are some things that cannot just be commanded. We feel that an order not to be nervous is like an order not to feel cold, or an order to like eating something unpleasant. The question is whether feelings can be controlled by a simple order, even when backed up with a threat of beheading. In yoga the words used are more gentle; perhaps something on these lines: A student of yoga should do his actions without personal hopes or fears about the result. But the point remains: how is this to be …

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