Spirit is independent of the body
(… continued from ‘A fundamental practice of yoga’)
Imagine vividly, someone has smacked us on the face or insulted us. Vividly imagine it and then bring the mind here (between the eyebrows), just for three and a half minutes. Now, if you would like to try. Vividly imagine something. A flowerbed that I have cultivated and somebody tramples on it. “Well, why did you do that?” “I don’t need a reason. I just felt like it. That’s all. I wanted to see you go, ‘Oh, you’ve ruined it’.” Now, bring the attention back here.
Another exercise which was given in the same book, is to imagine that we have to make an important errand. To do that, we have to walk down a very dark street then it’s something that needs to be done. We imagine ourselves walking down the dark street, bringing the attention here and feeling that spirit is independent of the body. The body is an instrument. We feel ourselves walking down the street. With the attention here, there is a spirit which is independent of the body. Now again, if you would like to try. We are walking down the dark street with tension between the brows, but spirit is independent. Then after that pause, we can have our anger or have our fear (like the man can have his cigarette), but this time, now we are in a position to look at it. Look at the anger and look at the fear. The point is to make a gap in the immediate reaction, to be able to make that gap.
There is a story on these lines of a monk who recommended this, so they thought they would try him. When he was carrying a bowl – it had to be carried carefully – down a long corridor, there was a turn in the corridor and as he turned round, they jumped out on him and yelled. He went on and put the bowl down very carefully and then he shouted, “Ooooh!!” Well, in that way he was demonstrating, to make a gap and then we can have our anger or our fear at the right time.
Then when we become a little bit experienced at making this gap in the chain of action and reaction in everyday life, we will find it much more easy to begin to give up, to shed these reactions at the time of meditation and then our actions will become free and pure from them. We are asked to study the holy texts in order to furnish our yoga with a conviction. If we don’t study, we won’t have conviction and if we don’t have conviction, we will never be able to keep up the practice of meditation and of yoga.
One of the examples given is this (interrogators use this). You are in a lighted room and there is a mirror but you are just by yourself. The mirror, in fact, is two sheets of plate glass and the further one is lightly silvered . Now, in fact, it’s a one-way mirror. It reflects. You are in your lighted room and it reflects. But there is a room beyond the mirror which is completely dark. So when you look at this mirror, this plate glass, you just see the reflection of yourself.
Now, this example has been given about a spiritual meditation. While the whole of the light of our interest is in this room, in our worldly activities and engagements, then the light is all here. Then when we try to look beyond, we shall only see reflections of ourselves. So the teachers say, “You may see something beautiful, but it is an idea that you have created. This is the reflection of yourself.” And so you soon get bored of it.
But through study and through interest and searching the far room begins to become lighted. If your vital energy begins to go into the far room and light it, then you see through into what is actually in the far room. You are no longer seeing reflections of your own ideas, but you are seeing realities in the far room. This is the principle on which the meditation brings us to the realities which are beyond this mirage of the world.
Now, if we just read a short passage from one of the training books, which our teacher wrote, called, ‘The Heart of the Eastern Mystical Teaching.”
Reading: “Choose a picture of the object of your meditation, whether Shiva, Rama or Krishna, and install it in the region of your heart; then think of it with all love; or look at a flame carefully and endow it with the form of the object of your meditation and concentrate on it in your heart. You may have seen, if a little child has shut himself up in a room, with what great love the mother tries to induce him to open the door.
“The Lord is hidden in the chamber of one’s heart so let the jiva, by loving meditation for a few hours daily, induce Him to manifest Himself in the region of the mind. The rest of the day should be spent in reading about Him, discussing Him with fellow devotees and in trying in practice to imitate His great virtues. This is a most important aid to meditation. May I tell you that my own object of worship was my holy Guru Bhagawan whom I saw as Shiva and as Krishna.
“If you meditate daily in this way for eighteen months and every now and then devote a week or two entirely to it, you will, in your meditation, lose consciousness of both the world and yourself and experience only the object of meditation. You will see an extraordinary light resembling the colour of a lotus in its intensified form in your heart and all mental limitations will disappear. This state is called samadhi.”
© Trevor Leggett
(Continued in ‘One of the programmes of Yoga’)
Titles in this series are: