People feel, “You can’t purify our mentality, our personalities, our complexes. They can’t be purified; it is like trying to wash mud clean”. But that’s not the yogic experience. There is a technique for doing it. When we begin a spiritual piece of research and thinking, it is a good idea to bring the mind and attention and feeling to one of these points and this one is between the brows. If you touch or tap with the finger or press the finger nail, or you even pinch there, and use the after-sensation to bring the mind to this point, bring your feeling to this point. Discard the other things, come back to this point.
If you would like to just try. Sit reasonably upright and then just press the finger nail or just touch here and use the after sensation. Take your hand away, use the after-sensation and just bring the mind back to this point. I’ll say the name of God ‘OM’. So just touch here.
‘OM’. MEDITATION IN PROGRESS. ‘OM’.
This technique is well-worth practising. Times of crisis come in life, when there is no time to philosophise, there is no time to think of the rights and wrongs. But if we have practised occasionally, just to make a little break – I am writing furiously and, just for a moment, put it down. Then to take it up again. Learn to make this very small break. An athlete knows this. Even in a very intense contest, there is just a moment, a few seconds sometimes, where nothing is happening and it is possible to relax and then some of them can go again into action. It is a very useful thing. It has been called the 10-second break. You can make it 10 minutes if you are waiting for a bus, yes, but it integrates the body and the mind and has a calming effect.
When Western people – and not many Western people – read the traditional texts, there are many things where we feel: “Oh, this can be discarded. These are modern days. There’s no need to bother with that”. Well this is an instant I was aware of: A young chap was vaguely interested in Yoga and had read somewhere about a particular sect of Tantrism who have a rite at the full moon. And there they meet and they have a sacred ceremony which culminates in sexual intercourse. But it is blessed by the gods and by nature and it is done in extreme reverence. He and his girlfriend discussed this and they thought that it might help to revive their own affair and prevent it just becoming mechanical.
So they asked a Yoga teacher who said these things are not in the main traditions, but the young chap persisted. He said: “Well, won’t you tell me about it?” So the teacher finally said: “Alright. I’ll tell you”. So he gave him just a brief description of the ceremony which takes about 2 hours. And then the teacher said: “This is on the full moon night and before that, of course, there is no [intercourse] – you mustn’t even discuss these things.” So the chap said: “What?” The teacher said: “This is for the full moon. Before that there is no sexual intercourse at all”. “Oh!” The teacher said: “You people think these things are a license, but actually they are for people of very uncontrolled passions and they form a restriction. And it is to limit this and to try to make it elevating that these ceremonies are held. But they are not in the standard orthodox traditions.
Well, that was an example, you see. He had thought that we can just take one part of that particular branch or sect and everything else is free and easy. But it wasn’t so and when he found out about the restrictions he somehow lost interest.
© Trevor Leggett
Titles in this series are:
Part 1: The source of Inspiration