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Chakra Meditation: Why and How?

Chakras are not just curious energy centres around the body but one way of liberation from the bondage of illusory existence. It is a progressive path from a constricted human existence to revelation of truth. The meanings of chakras are best expressed by the corresponding mantras.

Om Bhuh, mantra for the earthly life at mooladhara located in the anal region on the spine.

Om Bhuvah, mantra for the basic instinct of procreation, swadhistahana located in the genital areas of the spine. This mantra releases one from lust.

On swah, mantra for the self centered body instincts  located at the core region of the spine. Chanting this mantra releases one's selfish instincts.

Om mahah, mantra for the heart region of the spine opens up ones heart to all there is in love for all truth.

Om Janah, mantra for the throat and neck region of the spine opens the channels of communicating the truth internally and externally.

Om tapah, mantra for exploration of all there is in meditation, located at …

Ripples in Still Waters

No matter how much effort you put in, throwing a pebble into a lake will create waves.




With the mind, all you can hope to achieve with clear knowledge, is that those waves are not imagined into a tsunami.




Mind having imagined tsunamis in the past will again try to do that. Reason, another part of the mind comes to the rescue.


When all these forces work together, peace results. Some call it unification of minds. But in my opinion its just nicorette subbing for cigarettes, far less toxic.




You have it, you lose it, you have it again, and so goes the waves in the real stillness which never really changes.


Another perspective; what is calm waters for a super oil tanker feels like a storm to the little sailboat caught in a the middle of the ocean.

The Hard Problem of Consciousness

You may have heard of this. There is a philosophical conflict brewing between spiritualists and neuroscientists getting worse each time a new artery is opened explaining yet another channel of explaining why sentient beings do what they do.

My understanding of the problem is as follows. Science can explain or extrapolate all the way from big bang to living bodies. There are some gaps such as how do amino acids which can be created from simple hydrocarbons, air, lighting and heat in a flask, somehow make it to proteins and then to single cell orgasims or the self replicating dna's. Even that can be assumed to be just a matter of time before we find the answer. The Hard Problem is how do we go from a body which we have in common with a wide variety of species to something called consciousness?
What about consciousness? Isn't it also extrapolated from natural principles? Not quite. Why is there a survival instinct? Electrons are attracted to protons becuase of the charge but the…

Nirvana of a New Born

Teachers often point to the serene simplicity of a new born as a metaphor for Nirvana. A newborn sees no separation, sees the universe as its own extension, doesn't yet know how to delineate snensations; a loud noise or intense hunger both  have the same feeling to a child, that of a general discomfort. And the child cries until it gets the desired result releasing dopamine or the happy chemical. A purturbation subsides back to its ground state or serenity and nirvana.

The big question is how and why does it get lost? Why don't we maintain this state all our lives obviating the need for spiritual seeking later in life when dissatisfaction sets in as nothing produces enough or sustained level of happy brain chemicals?

The answer lies in the natural buiild of the body that supports life and has an inherent program to sustain the species. Happy chemicals are naturally designed to reward actions of the body towards preservation of the species.

Consciousness on the other hand star…

Unscholarly Buddha's Four Noble Truths

Great spiritual masters like Buddha or Christ didn't write a prescription for elite scholars and bourgeois  Yet millions of pages fill interpretation of their work through the centuries. Followers struggle to understand and follow the paths pointed by the Buddha. Perhaps a better way to follow him is to use your heart and place yourself in his heart. Something happens when you do.
Become a privileged young man with all pleasures of a principality, castles and servants. Or become a privileged child today with no financial worries, a good job, seemingly good life. Then cast your heart onto billions who suffer. Do you feel their pain? That's the feeling that caused Buddha to abandon it all, like doctor without borders or volunteer workers in war torn parts of world even today. Just like you, Buddha searched for an explanation of why all this suffering in a world that is apparently protected by an almighty benevolent kind God. He followed priests and gurus, did penance, chanted hym…

If You're Unhappy Clap Your Hands

I tweeted a while ago that if you're unhappy, you are making a mistake. Actually you are making two mistakes.

First is you are identifying a suffering emotion as being unhappy. Your mind is creating this feeling of unhappiness to protect you from further harm. Remember the prime objective of your brain and mind is to keep you happy, healthy, safe and at peace. Unfortunately it often acts without deep wisdom and makes mistakes. So these mistakes cause another suffering and then it acts again. This is life. And this is why Buddha said life is suffering.

Second, there is no one to be unhappy.

So, he prescribed something to end suffering. Mindfulness meditation to gain wisdom. A natural outcome of ultimate wisdom is compassion. Compassion for all and hence a wish to make everyone happy, safe, healthy and at peace. Without this, we are all unfulfilled.

So, anger is mind's way of releasing the body's frustration from being unable to achieve its perceived contentment. Sadness as…

Why do anything?

Sometimes in the midst of chaos and anxiety and activity and wellness programs and satsangs and sadhanaa, a question like this has to pop up. The mind wants to know why are we doing anything at all. Gita does have an answer. When Arjuna asked Krishna about inaction and action. Krishna replied that there is really no such thing as inaction. Sure, it may seem like you have solved your immediate problem of facing adversity and unpleasantness by withdrawing from the battlefield or picking up a good book and vegging out on the couch but that too is an action. Whatever it is that you are avoiding by ignoring never eally goes away.

 Like Buddha said, even if one person is unhappy in the world, that  will someday come to you or your progeny or what you call home. He went on to instruct his bhikkus that you must act to bring about enlightenment and happiness by ending suffering for all not just yourself. One enlightened being is a very temporary affair and no enlightenment at all.
You may go …

Gems from Culadassa

Insanity

Paraphrasing Culadassa(at 1:31 to the end. you tube clip}, Insanity is whenever you do not accept or rather reject what is at the present moment.Definition of insanity is to resist what is.

This summarises Gita's teaching on Karma very well. Your action at any moment is based on your mindfulness principles now. You have a vision now what is the right choice. When the future arrives you must accept what is. Any time you resist what is, you will gain insanity.

Doesn't mean you don't do the absolute best every moment what you think has to be done without resentment without prejudgment. We are born every moment. Live in that space.Outcome is what outcome was, you are just noticing it now.

Suffering and Empathy

Suffering is essential for awakening otherwise it is simply a theoretical or hypothetical exercise. How else could a Buddhist know what compassion is? Be mindful of compassion done to you, that is the best teacher and will linger in your mind longer than any th…

Are you the body?

The first and toughest block on the path to liberation is the body. From the moment of birth, everything in the body is designed to establish itself as a separate, successful and protected unit. This is of course a throwback from the days as hunter gatherer when we neded protection against predators. Animals are gone but the threat is still encoded. We act 24/7 as the body with a name, owner of stuff, related to other bodies with a vague feeling that there is more.

Is there any direct evidence to support that you are the body? First, is there such a thing as a body? Well, there is flesh, there are bones, there is blood, there are limbs, there are glands, all conceptualized into a label called the body. Even the components are labels attached to cells, tissues and further down into molecules and atoms and so on.

There is another organ called the brain which receives inputs from five senses in form of electrical signals translating into images of vision, taste, smell etc. What makes th…

The Heart of Sutras

This should be called the heart of sutras rather than a heart sutra. Very little in the sutra refers to the heart, love, compassion or meta bhavana.

Here are some excllent explanation of the sutra.


prajna paramita hridaya sutra
(perfect wisdom heart sutra)

aryavalokitesvaro bodhisattvo
(Saintly Avalokateshvara bodhisattva)

gambhiram prajnaparamita caryam caramano vyavalokayati
(deep perfect wisdom action perform luminously)

sma panca skandhas tams ca sva bhava sunyam
(saw five bundles them own nature empty)
THEIR EMPTY NATURE
pasyati sma iha sariputra
(crossed beyond all suffering and difficulty. Shariputra:)

rupam sunyata (...) va rupam rupan na prithak
(form emptiness evidently form form not different)
THIS EMPTY NATURE OF IMAGE IS THE IMAGE NOT SEPARATE
sunyata sunyataya na prithag rupam
(emptiness emptiness not different form)
EMPTINESS IS ALSO EMPTY AND HAS NO OTHER IMAGE
yad rupam sa sunyata ya sunyata sa rupam
(this form that emptiness this emptiness that form)
AS IS EMPTINESS…

The Heart Sutra

FIVE AGGREGATES ARE EMPTY OF THE CHARACTERISTICS THE MIND ASSIGNS THEM. SINCE THERE IS ONLY THE MIND THAT ASSIGNS THESE CHARACTERISTICS IN REALITY THEY ARE EMPTY. SO, ALL CHARACTERISTICS ASSIGNED BY THE MIND LIKE THE SENSES, FEELINGS, EVEN DHARMAS, BIRTH AND DEATH ARE MIND's ASSIGNMENT. THEIR TRUE NATURE IS EMPTINESS. THIS INSIGHT IS NIRVANA..

METAPHOR BY GIL FRONSDAL, MOVIE SHOWN FRAME BY FRAME. FORM APPEARS TO BE FORM BECAUSE MIND PROJECTS IT TO BE. IN FACT IT IS EMPTY.

A TABLE IS ASSIGNED TABLENESS BUT IT HAS IN FACT MANY OTHER QUALITIES AND NOTHING AT ALL AT A MOLECULAR LEVEL. EARS ARE ASSIGNED HEARING ALTHOUGH IT IS ALSO FLESH, COULD BE LUNCH FOR MAGGOTS AND AGAIN NOTHING. SO TABLENESS AND HEARING ARE IN REALITY EMPTY. ALL THE CHARACTERISITCS ARE IN FACT EMPTY ONLY HAVE MEANING TO THE MIND WHICH ITSLEF IS EMPTY.

SIMILAR TO IMPERMANENCE TEACHING BUT A DIRECT PATH. IMPERMANENCE TEACHING ASSUMES THE CHARACTERISTICS OF FIVE SKANDHAS REAL BUT IMPERMANENT, I.E. CHANGING FROM FRAME…

The Heart Sutra

Om namo bhagavatyai arya-prajnaparamitayai!
Om! Salutation to the blessed and noble one! (who has reached the other shore of the most excellent transcendental wisdom).
(In this invocation the perfection of transcendental wisdom is personified as the compassionate mother of bodhi -- wisdom -- who bestows enlightenment upon the bodhisattvas who had vigilantly followed the course prescribed for the aspirant to full enlightenment -- samyak sambodhi.)
Verse 1
arya-avalokitesvaro bodhisattvo gambhiram prajnaparamitacaryam caramano vyavalokayati sma: panca-skandhas tams ca svabhavasunyan pasyati sma.
The noble bodhisattva, Avalokitesvara, being engaged in practicing the deep transcendental wisdom-discipline, looked down from above upon the five skandhas (aggregates), and saw that in their svabhava (self-being) they are devoid of substance.
Verse 2
iha sariputra rupam sunyata sunyataiva rupam, rupan na prithak sunyata sunyataya na prithag rupam, yad rupam sa sunyata ya sunyata tad rupam; eva…

What are you?

You can not be both a body and a soul and they can not be the same.

You have to first agree on what is meant by the question itself. If we define a something as being detectable by our five senses or extension of them through scientific instrumentation then there is no you as no object can be found that meets the qualities of you. There is a sense of presence other than the five or there is an idea, neither of which can be confirmed by conventional means.

If we settle on you being an idea or a concept like truth or lies or sky or space; meaning a label for something whose presence can be felt but only indirectly by the senses, then by that definition the body turns out to be a concept too. A hand is a label, all you know is the tactile sensation. No one has actually seen their own eyes or her own taste.

This has incredible implication. If you can not find a you then how can you find suffering? Who is suffering?

Will Humanity Ever Wake Up?

Isn't that the question for majority of us tired of wars personal suffering and future worries?  Buddha has been quoted as saying 2500 years ago that it was not he personally who got enlightenment but it was all sentient beings who now know the truth. In common parlance that's like seeing is freeing. How often do you question whether the moon is a sphere  not a disk or that earth goes around the sun not other way around?

Of course a general and common understanding of who we truly are is unlikely to be sudden and soon. Decades before and after Gallelio was hanged, many still believed that earth is at the centre of the cosmos. But just because you don't believe something doesn't mean it is not true. It is the very fact that all of us suffer, the search for relief will never end. And that points to the fact that our ultimate destiny is enlightenment. There is no alternative. The mind will continue looking for material solutions to suffering through more stuff, more cons…

Who Meditates?

The body is a label for a complex array of sensations and experiences. The mind is synonumous to thoughts, although some ancient teachers see the mind to be a substratum of an all encompassing Mind at Large. Nevertheless my mind and my thoughts are not two.

Then, who actually meditates?
To answer that we have to first establish, what is meditation? Nearly all meditation techniques require you to concentrate on something; the breath, a candle, a thought, a deity etc.
 Patanjali delineates meditation from concentration. He teaches a system of three limbs; dharana or concentration, dhyana or mental absorption and samadhi or complete self absorption. This he calls samyama. 
Zen teaches concentrating on your breath to let thinking subside.
Most religions ask you to concentrate on God or Divine.
So to answer the question we must now look at concentration, which mostly requires focusing your attention on the chosen object. Which means ignoring all other objects and bringing your attention t…