Friday, October 26, 2007

Aananda or Bliss.

A friend asked me how does it feel when I meditate. I was perplexed, how to explain it to her. The only way I can put it is, imagine if most people in the world had only four senses instead of five. Then if few of us said that we can smell fragrance of a flower where as rest can only see it and touch it. People would have ridiculed us. It would have been an unbelievable concept. It would become very difficult to explain what fragrance is. How come we can smell it ! There is no way one can put the concept of smell in words. You can only experience it. It is very real even though it might sound like mystical or magical. similarly, I feel there is nothing magical or mystical or beyond comprehension about meditation. When we put on our receivers we become open to the Cosmic Energy. This energy awakens those neural connections in our brain which have been unused so far. We start utilizing those ares of our brain which we didn't have access to earlier. Our five senses begin to expand to six, seven, eight, and so on. All of us have either heard about or experienced what we call the sixth sense. There is lots more there inside us. It only needs to be awakened. In some people it can happen very fast and suddenly, like me, others have to work harder at it. all we need to do is look with in. Its all there. Its pure Ananda.

My Belief.

I was questioned just now if I was hallucinating when I saw Ka'ba. To be honest I had my doubts as well the first time I encountered something like this. I have done my BA with honours in psychology, abnormal psychology being my major subject. I studied law after that and thus have a questioning mind. My mind told me I was not fantasizing all this. I realized this was something different from my conscious state. I don't have a cognitive or thinking disorder. I am not schizophrenic. I have never had auditory or visual hallucinations nor was I ever delusional. I haven't read too much on this subject in order to stay away from self induced illusions. I do not do drugs nor take any hallucinogenic medicines. I don't see these things because I want to or because I expect to. I started off as an atheist. I never go to temples much and being a Hindu how come I saw Ka'ba and not one of the million Hindu deities we have ! If it was my mind playing tricks on me then I should have been in presence of some one expected. Yet it was happening to me. I cannot explain it. I cannot deny it either. All I can say is that it is extremely fascinating. I have embarked on the journey of a lifetime and I intend to enjoy it to hilt.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ka'ba as I saw it.

During one very intense session of meditation. I found myself floating near a pool of blue light. I had encountered such a light in the past as well. When I got near enough to touch this light, I saw an amazing site. I was standing near a breath taking beautiful cube made of something like crystal. It was radiating light in all directions. I could see through it and thus all its angles were visible to me. I would term it translucent rather than transparent. It had a milky white touch to it. I cannot describe how I felt standing next to such a beautiful and powerful thing. It was as if it were a powerhouse of energy. I heard the voice of my guide after ages. He told me this was Ka'ba. I found myself reaching out to touch the cube instinctively. The touch send a jolt of energy down my spine which was too much for me to bear and I suddenly widrew my hand. I had tears in my eyes looking at the sheer beauty in front of me. I cannot estimate the size but it would be as tall as 10-12 floors of a building. My guide told me a few things about the source of energy which alas I couldn't remember when I came out of my meditation. I sure wish I can go back there some day.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How to Meditate

I recently got a comment which made me realize that I have never talked about " How to meditate ". Out there on the net you will find dozens of techniques, I will talk about what worked for me and may just work for any beginner.

Its a good idea to walk around your house and find a place which you love. The area should be as neat and clutter free as possible. Also keep in mind that it should be a place where you are least likely to be disturbed. It makes good sense to meditate at the same place every day . The simple logic behind this is the creation of energy field in that area which will act as a positive reinforcement for you.

Sit in a comfortable position, making sure your back is straight. You don't have to sit cross legged on the floor. You could sit on a straight chair or on a floor cushion with your back supported by the wall. keep your hands in your lap. Let them fall naturally in place, they should be connected or over lapping.

The aim is to concentrate. I repeat my mantra to help me gather my energy and still my mind. Some people like to listen to slow rhythmic music. You could try focusing on the flame of a candle. It could even be a thing of beauty like a flower.

I start by closing my eyes and focusing on my breathing. Breath deep and slow. I concentrate on the life force gushing inside me with each breath I take. Don't fight the thoughts that assault you. Watch them . Let them flow over you. Don't get involved. When ever I find a thought getting stuck in my mind I do the balloon thing. I just smile and tie a balloon to that thought and see it drift away. After a little practice I got better at this. I am not telling you to become completely free of thoughts. Just decrease their traffic a little.Having said all this, don't get stuck in rituals or routines. They are there to aid you, not distract you.

Morning is a good time to meditate. If I am able to fill myself with positive life force early on, negative energies have no place to foster themselves. Just remember any time is good time if it works for you. Go by you body clock and rhythms.

When you sit with your eyes closed concentrate on the area between your eyes. This is the last energy chakra. If it makes you uncomfortable try to focus on the same eye level but a few inches away from your face. Initially try to sit for ten minutes and slowly build on from there. The key is to enjoy this experience and not get frustrated if you cannot focus . The more relaxed you are the better you can concentrate. The key is to be happy in what you are doing. Don't try to be the master of your thoughts, just flow with them and one day you might be surprised by the fact that you have left them far behind......

Friday, October 12, 2007

Benefits of Meditation

I had promised to take up benefits of meditation in another post so here are a few more.

RELAXED MIND: Meditation brings about a calm and relaxed mind. When you meditate, the heart rate slows down, and your breathing becomes more even. The inner chatter that fills us up quietens down and we feel more at ease. In physical sense it helps to lower the blood pressure and cholesterol. It sends signals to your body to find its balance and be in harmony with the nature.

FUN: This may be the last thing one would associate with meditation but its true. Meditation makes you fun to be with. The pleasure quotient people feel when they are with you goes up. The most simple explanation for this is your relaxed state of mind. When your are stressed you are less tolerant. You demand more and give less. Meditation sets you free from the clutches of stress. When you are at peace you will be happier. When you are happy, your positive feelings radiate towards people you love.

PRODUCTIVE: If you were to ask yourself when are you most productive, the answer will be when you are relaxed. Meditation increases your power of concentration, learning ability and memory. It enhances your power to assimilate data better. It has been scientifically proven that with meditation there is a shift in brain activity in different area of cortex. The wave activity decreases in stress-prone right frontal cortex and moves to calmer left frontal cortex. There is also less activity in the amygdala, where the brain processes fear.

ENJOYMENT OF LIFE: Meditation helps in enhancing the quality of our lives. It makes us aware of little things in life and teaches us to enjoy them fully. It changes our perspective about imperfections in people we love. It encourages us to view others in more positive light. Using a often used term,it makes us want to stop and smell the flowers on our way.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

How Meditation helps

Its difficult to put it plainly how meditation can help us. Each individual tends to react to the same stimulus differently. What works for me may not work for you. Still there are certain benefits which can be termed as universal.

LOVE : Meditation enhances self love. This is often denounced in our society as being selfish. There is a huge difference between the two. Meditation enables us to love ourselves better. When we love who we are then love permeates every aspect of our life. It shows up in how we treat our selves. Others perceive these undercurrents and many a times treat us accordingly. Only if we love ourselves will we allow anyone else to love us. This self love thus creates more love in our lives.

POSITIVE ENERGY : When we meditate the flow of positive life force increases. We are brimming with energy. The effect of this positive energy is two fold. We are filled with positive mood enhancing thoughts. We work better. Our creativity is at its zenith.

CLARITY OF THOUGHT: Another benefit of meditation is clarity of thought. The silence inside us helps in contemplation. When we are serene we can notice even a little ripple . It helps in seeing things in the right perspective. Our reactions are more attuned to the situation.

FORGIVENESS : Meditation helps us in cultivating forgiveness. It makes us realize how human we are. Forgiveness is very important especially in the context of self. Sometimes it is more difficult to forgive ourselves. When we carry a grudge in our hearts, we carry dead weight. When we are able to forgive that weight lightens. Light hearts can soar.

The benefits are endless. I'll take them up again in a new post.

The Joy...

Apart from the disbelief, lots of people question my act of meditation. I do not meditate any longer for any interesting experience. In my heart I don't carry any desire to meet my father. Why do I meditate then? The benefits apart, there is untold happiness in it. When you meditate you empty your self of all thoughts. This includes the negative thoughts as well. Negative thoughts are most efficient at burning our life energy. That's why we feel drained when we are sad or angry. When you are empty positive life force can fill you up. Positive thoughts give you inner harmony. They make you feel happy and at peace. When you are happy you can work better, live better, love better. This doesn't mean I never harbour any negative thoughts. Oh i do ! Its just that I know its better to get rid of them fast. I haven't risen above the worldly things. I have just come to appreciate them better. I fall, and fall often. I just try harder the next time not to repeat my follies.

Positive life energy or the cosmic energy is all around us. Our receptor has to be switched on and at the right frequency to receive it. There is nothing very mystical about it. Sometimes if we are reading a very absorbing book or listening to our favorite music, we are completely immersed in the experience. We can feel the joy and peace washing over us. This is akin to meditation. Meditation just not mean just sitting down with your eyes closed chanting a mantra. Meditation means living for the moment, living in the moment. Experiencing and enjoying it completely. Giving your all to it. We just need to simplify our lives a little. We need to have sometime to contemplate, to be silent. If we can cultivate silence inside us. Rest of the things like will follow.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Love Never Dies

As I said earlier, I did listen to the advise of the wise master but did I heed it....hmmm NO. My mind was was entirely focused on one and only one thing. When will I get to see my dad, feel him, or hear him. When you seek actively you get no where. You have to be quiet inside. Quiet and still and at peace. Then and only then you can focus. Even actively seeking can put you out of focus as it is distracting You have to an empty vessel only then there is space for something to move in. I wasn't. I was too full of my pain. Pain and desire. I guess the owner of the voice realized I was stubborn or maybe it was pity, I would never know but he helped me in a way only a master can.

Like most days I went into meditation with a simple prayer of help. I was deep in meditation when I realized I was in midst of lush green meadow. The green of the grass was unlike anything I have ever seen before. I was glowing, flawless, vivid, almost alive. I was looking around me wondering where was I ! It was quiet and peaceful. I could feel the joy welling up inside me after along time. I turned around and saw my father. He was glowing as if he was made of light, oozing with happiness. I don't remember much about what we spoke about. I just know that all my questions got answered. I did not want anything more out of life. In my heart I knew my father was happy and at peace. I could feel his love all around me. I wanted to go and hug god, master, guide, who so ever it was who helped me. I wanted to dance with joy. I have never felt lonesome again. I feel my fathers love all around me now. Everyday every where.

I know this isn't easy to believe. I wouldn't have believed if I hadn't experienced it . For days I contemplated if I was dreaming or was it self fulfilling prophecy. I don't think so. It was real because the feelings were real . I got over my obsession. I knew he was there waiting for me. I knew we will meet again.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

More about the Masters

The Masters or guides are highly evolved souls. Obviously not in physical form. I am unsure whether we are assigned one guide or as and when we need guidance some one comes along. The message I got was very wise for sure. Did I heed it ! Well that's another story.

It is said that once we die our soul goes through a learning process before we are born . When you meditate you need guidance at every step. These souls help us in both the process. With my progress in meditation I slowly realized how important these Masters are. They have constantly been my pillar of support and have patiently explained things as they developed. Their importance will unfold slowly as you read along.

The Master

Most of the lessons life teaches are soon forgotten by us. After the experience I had had you would think I would never grieve again. But then such is human nature. We never value what we have. We always want more. Greed has no end. I wanted to meet my father once. When ever I sat down to meditate my mind would just wander. I could not concentrate. All I could think of was how do I reach him. HIM here should have been the father of universe but in my case it was my father. For months I saw and felt nothing. The pulsating colours just disappeared. The peace I associated with meditation was no where to be found. I thought I was just wasting my time. I was getting no where. One day I was reading a book when I had this sudden urge to go in to meditation. Before I could gather my energies to concentrate properly I was cruising along the black tunnel. At the end of the tunnel I saw the blue light again. My mother had explained it was the light of knowledge.

This time the light got more luminescent as I got closer. As it engulfed me I heard a voice. It explained to me that I was wasting my time and energy. I had to let go of this foolish pursuit. There was no progress in store for me if I still hung on to it. I called up my mother and asked her to explain what I had experienced. Who was this voice and why was it taking pains to ensure I understood what was good for me. She told me he was a master, my cosmic guide. I wanted to find out more about these guides so I logged on to the net. I came across a book called "Many Lives, Many Masters" by Dr Brain Weiss. It was amazing to realize that many people have reported having experiences similar to mine. It was heartening to say the least. I wasn't hallucinating . There were more like me out there. What a relief !

The miracle

I lost my darling papa to cancer. It crushed me completely. I was so numb that even my pain could not reach me. My father passed away so peacefully in my brother's lap, holding on to my hand, that it was difficult to look at him and think of death. He had such a wonderful smile on his face. I knew all this was for his children. He could not never bear to see us cry.He would have hated the tears so I buried them inside my heart. My mother needed all our love and support so I didn't grieve. I didn't have the time. On the sixth day of his demise all the people who knew him and loved him got together to pray for his soul and to share their grief. I left Chandigarh(my home town) that day and cried all the way to Delhi. I just couldn't stop. My papa used to tell me all the time that no one in this wide world was as Lucky as him. No one ever had a daughter as sweet as his, no one has a daughter like his and no one ever will. I was the only one. Unique . One of a kind. This phrase that he used so often kept playing on my mind. I cried for what I had lost . No one would ever tell me this. We left Chandigarh at six o'clock and reached Delhi at two in the night. I went to bed in tears. No one could console me.

When I got up the next morning there was a missed call from my mother. I immediately called her back. We spoke briefly. I didn't know how to react. A miracle was unfolding right in front of me. My mother asked me not to cry anymore. I was completely awestruck. No one had told her I was distraught for obvious reasons. How could she know my state of mind in the exact time frame! I hadn't shed a single tear all these days I was with her. She explained that during her morning meditation my father had contacted her. He was very sad as he could not bear to see me in this state. He told her he tried his best to tell me I was still his darling daughter and always would be but I couldn't hear him. In my heart I had heard him, I never understood it though. Now I realized why that one quote of his kept playing in my mind. People die. Love never dies. It stays with you forever. Only if more of us understood this.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The black tunnel..

Weeks passed before my next experience. During this time I saw the pulsating band of colours many more times. Sometimes it was primarily blue and violet, at other times I saw red and orange as well. One day I was sitting in meditation. After about half an hour I felt as if I was thrown into a vortex of black. A whirlpool which was sucking me in. It was pitch dark and I felt as if I was inside a very long tunnel. I was speeding towards the end but before I could reach it I moved as my back was really hurting. The shift in concentration brought about the end to this feeling.

A few days down the line I had the same experience. This time I came to the end of the tunnel and saw the most amazing blue light. It was very bright but still didn't hurt your eyes at all. Bright but soothing. I was floating surrounded by this amazing light. It was so peaceful. May be this is what infants feel inside a mother's womb. Safe, secure, peaceful, calm, happy. The list of words can go on and on but still won't be able to capture the true feeling. It can only be understood by another who has experienced it.

The colours...

The first few times, actually much more than few, I just sat with my eyes closed trying not to think about anything but in vain. It has always been difficult for me to sit still for more than a few minutes and here I was trying to make my mind sit still. Suddenly one day when I least expected it I saw something. It was a pulsating band of colours, right in front of my forehead. I was completely flabbergasted. I wanted to run to my mum and ask her for an explanation. The lawyer in me kicked right in and I asked her instead what would be the first sign I would see. I had asked my mother not to describe anything I was likely to encounter. I didn't want my mind to play tricks on me. I didn't want to experience something because of self induced hallucination. I was completely taken aback when my experience matched with her description to the tee.

I called up two more people to ask what their first experience was like. I realized that there were too many similarities in their description for it to be a mere coincidence. How could four different people see the same thing. It had to be there for sure. There was no other explanation to it. My guru told me I had had an out of body experience. These kind of colours are experienced when your soul leaves your body for a divine journey. If my soul wasn't there how was I alive. I had a hundred questions milling about in my mind. Where and how will I find the answers.

The two experiences..

These two experiences got me thinking. What exactly was happening to me. I had seen my parents meditate. Both my parents have authored books on meditation, kundalini, mysticism apart from various other topics. It wasn't openly discussed in our house till we reached our twenties because our parents wanted us to grow up without preconceived notions and biases. Now that we, my brother and I, were of the right age they shared some of their experiences with us.It got me thinking. My parents weren't raving lunatics. What if they were right. I wanted to find out for myself. How could I make up my mind about something without experiencing it first hand. At the back of my mind was another thought that I shared in my first post. I decided this was something I would like to explore further. I didn't want to proceed in a haphazard manner where things were happening to me. I wanted to go out and seek them. I need to train under a master and I didn't need to look very far. The difficult part wasn't trying to find a guru. People waste years, sometimes a lifetime trying to find s apt teacher. My problem was looking at my mother with different perspective. My mother was my cute little mum, she didn't fit the picture of a guru at all. I contemplated for weeks and the suddenly it dawned on me that she was my first and sweetest teacher. She had taught me to walk, to eat, to talk, everything. Why was I having any difficulty looking up at her as a teacher now. So I took the plunge and asked her to be my mentor and guide. What followed was a journey that is very difficult to describe in few words. It has been most amazing, interesting, intriguing, experience of my life so far.

How it all started...

My first brush with meditation was involuntary and sudden. My mother had organized group meditation in my house. This group meets every month under her guidance to meditate together. My job was to ensure a clean house and hot tea. I was curious but sitting with a group of people to meditate thinking about god was not something that came naturally to me. To top it all Iwas a confirmed atheist. I was sitting in my dinning room wondering if anyone of them was going to do something dramatic and interestingThe room was quiet and the people still. After a while I felt a little woozy and shifted from the chair to the floor. Next thing I heard was my mother's voice warning my father not to disturb me. I wanted to answer back and open my eyes but I couldn't. I had a feeling as if I wasn't here completely. It was a very intense and strange feeling. I had no idea that an hour had passed by. I did not want to accept anything but a scientific explanation to what had happened. It must have been low blood pressure or low sugar or something I told myself. I was ready to accept any explanation but the divine one.
A few months later my visit to my mother's house coincided with another group session. this time I was not present in the same room. I was in the bedroom watching my son paint. I felt my eyes getting heavy but not the way sleep overcomes you. I could hear what was happening around me but as a background score. I felt a kind of stirring in between my eyebrows. When you close your eyes in daytime you never experience complete darkness. I felt as if i was in a pitch dark void. Before I could experience anything else my son jumped on my lap to show me his latest painting. I told my mother how I felt. she just gave a knowing smile and said this was bound to happen to you sooner or later. What did she mean by that ?

And God came along..

I never set out to find God. My reason to start meditation was much more human and blase. My father was suffering from terminal cancer and I was almost paralysed with fear of loosing him or to be honest loosing all the love and attention I got from him. I have realized slowly that none of us cry for the one who is gone. We cry for what we will not get for that person is now gone.I had heard that it was possible to transcend the physical plane and reach the other world through meditation. That's precisely what i wanted to do, to be able to reach him sometime somewhere. The solace that it was not the final goodbye was all my heart wanted. god was not even on my mind