Sunday, August 7, 2011

108 nights ~ how meditation prepares us for enlightenment

108 nightly sessions of meditation from 8-7-11 to 11-22-11

I have decided to begin again, a new cycle of nightly meditation in bed. I think diving into Tantra/Mahamudra reminded me to think less and be more, but I also think that what felt so homey about it is how it excuses the laziness and resistence of the ego. To the ego, the small self that doesn't want to disappear, the idea of not challenging oneself with any discipline is exciting.

I was enjoying my sessions until I found an excuse to stop. I was learning a lot from them, and I witnessed so much egoic resistence to practice, although it was actually relaxing and enjoyable.

I won't set a forceful time limit, so ten minutes will be my basic standard, but more as I feel comfortable, following my bliss.

The goal of meditation is to enter consciously into Samadhi, a state of super-consciousness. To enter peretually after years or lifetimes of practice is enlightenment. But initially, entering Samadhi is like falling asleep: one can't force it to happen, one can only present the proper condusive conditions and let it happen naturally. So our practice of asanas, pranayama, bandhas, mudras, and meditation is all designed to prepare our mind and body for the intensity of Samadhi. We prepare, practice and let it happen.

Samadhi versus our typical state of awareness can be likened to electricity: the voltage of typical unconscious living is very low, whereas the voltage of Samadhi is extremely high. So through years or lifetimes of practices, we can cleanse, strengthen and prepare our nervous system, mind and body for that very intense state of consciousness.

In each moment our brain weeds out a vast amount of information, only presenting us with a very simplified version of what is actually pouring in through the senses. As we practice yoga we can handle more information, we become more conscious. We can experience heightened senses and I even find that greater sensitivity translates into occaisional overload, especially in boldly stimulating places such as malls, department stores, grocery stores. Continuing dilligently we can handle the greater and greater load with more and more peace and equinimity.

By practicing our indentification with "the witnessing consciousness", or sakshi in Sanskrit, our indentification with thoughts and body decrease and we abide more and more in a witnessing state, where we have peace and equinimity. From there we can develop the concentration and openess for the experience of Samadhi. From there we begin to live from our heart and in harmony with the higher Self.

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