Tag Archives: meditation

A movie on Sri Kumaré, the Guru

Sri Kumaré is an enlightened guru from the East who has come to America to spread his teachings. Kumaré sets off to Phoenix, Arizona to build a following. He takes with him two disciples — Kristen to teach yoga and Purva to book events — who will become Kumaré’s first followers and greatest public messengers.

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The psychic joy derived from a selfless act

In the course of her talks with Ashram inmates, the Mother Mirra Alfassa would from time to time casually reminiscence incidents which had occurred in France.  One particular anecdote she discussed was that of a woman who had experienced a spontaneous psychic joy after an act of generosity.  Even though the woman is unnamed, given the personal details revealed, it is quite possible that this woman was the Mother herself.  Alternately, it could be her friend Alexandra David-Neel.  Irrespective of who the woman was, the incident is uplifting to read.

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Surmounting the unpleasant images and negative thoughts which occur during meditation

Many novices to Yoga discover that once you have pacified the restless body and harmonized the breathing process before meditation, you might experience a few minutes of mental silence, but this illusory peace is quickly shattered by the sudden uprush of disturbing images and negative thoughts.  These unpleasant ideas come partly from within and partly from outside.  Within us, there are repressed parts of the personality which rebel against any imposition of harmony while on the external front, we are constantly bathing in the vibrations of the world and a desultory attempt to cut our mind off from these pervasive vibrations is bound to fail.  In an age of rapid technological change where we are being continuously bombarded by powerful and seductive audio-visual content on a wide variety of electronic devices, the frequency of this problem has probably increased rather than decreased.  These are some remarks by the Mother on this perennial botheration.

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Gorakhnath’s enumeration of contemplation methods

Goraknath was a yogi-philosopher belonging the Nath Path (Brotherhood of the Supreme) who lived around the 9th-10th century.  His Guru Matysendranath was the progenitor of this influential brotherhood of ascetics.   Gorakhnath authored several works on Yoga including the Goraksha Samhita, the Goraksha Gita, the Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati, the Yoga Martanada, the Yoga Siddhanta Paddhati, the Yoga-Bija, and the Yoga Chintamani. You can read more about him on wikipedia.   This article briefly outlines the meditation methods that Gorakhnath first enumerated in his work Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati.   The material is condensed from A.K. Banerjea’s Philosophy of Gorakhnath[1].

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Why spiritual experiences do not repeat?

The spiritual path often seems like a walk through the arid desert.   Intermittently, one may encounter an oasis of water in the form of a  replenishing soul moment, but the rest of the time one has to trudge through the scorching heat of the hardships of daily life.   It is in this context that the Vedic Rishis spoke of the spiritual seeker being like a Divine child who is suckled by two Mothers – Dawn and Night.  In such situations, one may wonder why spiritual experiences never seem to repeat; why can’t one recapture that stirring rapture one had experienced before? The Mother Mirra Alfassa provided some striking and sagacious answers to such often perplexing questions.

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Anandamayi Ma as the Guru

“How would the lives of Western women have been different if they had been raised to believe that God was a Mother, all loving and all powerful?”  It is with this thought-provoking question that Lisa “Prajna” Hallstrom opens her book Mother of Bliss on the life of the Bengali woman saint, Anandmayi Ma(1896-1982).  Hallstrom, through this book, sought to understand the phenomenon of female spiritual Gurus in India.  (See her website)

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Stages of meditation

It is known that the restless mind cannot immediately enter into a state of thoughtlessness.  That is why meditation is practised in stages.  A 2005 paper “Meditation and the Neuroscience of Consciousness” by Antoine Lutz and his colleagues contains a very succinct description of this graded process accompanied by a concise table, which we highlight in this post.    Continue reading