“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there – buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.”
~ Deepak Chopra
It’s a quiet, sleepy morning here on St. Thomas. We’ve been contemplating Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, and in the most basic of terms, in Sutras 1 through 4, we’ve learned: “Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak”. I am not my mind.
In the next series of Sutras, we learn that there are 5 types of mind, or some would say, that which is ego. “All through the day, our mind is in one of these types of modulations. When not in one of these patterns, then that is the moment yoga has happened. You find you are just by yourself in the journey of your own Self, the source of joy, the source of love, the source of peace and knowledge.”
Yoga Sutra 1-5: There are five types of patterns or modulations of the mind, including both hurtful and benign (not hurtful).
Yoga Sutra 1-6: They are:
- Right perception (wanting proof of everything)
- Misperception (lack of comprehension)
- Conceptualization (imagination)
- Deep sleep, and
- Remembering (memory)
1-7: Right perception arise from direct observation, inference, or the words of others.
1-8: Misperception is false knowledge, not based on what actually is. (The Buddha refers to this as one of the 3 poisons or ignorance).
1-9: Conceptualization (or imagination) is based on linguistic knowledge, not contact with real things. (I like to think of this state as daydreaming or the act of creative thinking).
1-10: Deep sleep is a pattern grounded in the perception that nothing exists.
1-11: Remembering is the retention of experiences.
1-12: Both practice and nonreaction are required to still the patterning of consciousness (or mind).
1-13: Practice is sustained effort to rest in stillness.
1-14: This practice becomes firmly rooted when it is cultivated skillfully and continuously for a long time.
1-15: As for nonreaction, one can recognize that it has been fully achieved when no attachment arises in regard to anything at all, whether perceived directly or learned.
1-16: When the ultimate level of non-reaction has been reached, pure awareness can see itself as independent from the fundamental qualities of nature.
1-17: At first, the stilling process (meditation) is accompanied by four kinds of cognition: analytical thinking, insight, bliss and feeling like a self.
1-18: Later, after one practices steadily to bring all thought to a standstill, these four kinds of cognition will also fall away, leaving only a store of latent impressions in the depth of memory.
1-19: These latent impressions incline one to be reborn after one leaves the body at death and is dissolved in nature.
1-20: For all others, faith, energy, mindfulness, integration, and wisdom form the path to realization.
1-21: For those who seek liberation wholeheartedly, realization is near.
I think of Yoga Sutra 1-21 every day. It is the foundation upon which I live my life. It provides me with hope, a reason to meditate to the sunrise.
Jesus said: “The Kingdom of heaven is within.”
Buddha said: “The ultimate reality is that there is no separate self. If you believe that God is outside of yourself, then you are not embracing the absolute law, but an inferior teaching.”
Krishan said: “God lies hidden within the heart of all.”
“Yoga is when you drop this search and abide in the Self. Abiding in the Self does not need proof. Truth cannot be understood through proof. God is beyond proof. You cannot prove God, nor can you disprove God. Proof is connected to logic and logic is very limited. This is the same with enlightenment, the same with love. Love can never be proved or disproved. This is not in the realm of the seer. The seer is beyond proof.”
“Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.”
What path will you choose today?
There’s an old Zen saying: You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – Unless you are too busy – then you should sit for an hour.
Namaste. To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders. Happy meditative Saturday!! I hope you make it to your mat …. 🙂