This morning I’m going to talk about the various different methods of meditation. The yoga sutra Patanjali starts out with the phrase yoga citta naroga, which is a definition of yoga and roughly translated into English it means yoga is the cessation of mind waves. The word citta means roughly consciousness except that we don’t have the same richness of words in English for aspects of the mind which they have in Sanskrit. They see that the word big neon which is also translated consciousness’ chitter it’s a different word which we just call consciousness and the manner. In which we translate mind, and so it goes. Now citta i analogous to the water in the pool that I was talking about the reflecting pool. And vriti is a word which means basically a turning that is to say a sort of a churning motion naroda means cessation, roughly. So the sensation of the turnings of the mind has quite an elaborate meaning. And different schools of thought interpreted in different ways. For example, when you get this pull completely still. It is another Sanskrit word is used for it which is NirviKalpa. Now, one school of thought will interpret this as the mind in such total stillness that nothing at all is registering it. In other words that there are not only no thoughts but also no feelings and no sensory input, quite blank. Perhaps not so extremely as to say quite blank. It is also held that this kind of blankness is also called satcitananda, which means reality consciousness bliss it is in a state of bliss of a kind of formless blissful luminosity. But if you look into the word nirvikalpa and see exactly what it means, the same word nir as in naroda, again means cessation about the caliper means concept. As distinct from percept. So, my own interpretation of the word because nearly Kalpa is the mind operating without concepts. That is to say, thoughts are not being formulated and by thoughts I mean symbolic tools such as words such as numbers such as abstract symbols by which we represent the physical world. In other words, in a state of nirvikalpa, you would be perfectly aware of everything going on in this room. Only you wouldn’t be talking to yourself about it, you wouldn’t be naming things. And you would therefore be reflecting your sensory input. Very very clearly. Also you can say. Say that cittavriti, the mind waving or mind turning is a state like worrying. Where you’re going around and around and around in a sort of vicious circle that’s turning you can also interpret the same phrase to mean the mind attempting to turn back on itself like a dog chasing its tail. So there are at least four meanings of this phrase. But I simply take the one that means. The attainment of Nirvikalpa samadhi some of the meaning. Difficult word again to translate it referring to a state of consciousness the root of the word some is related to our word some. Which means therefore complete an idea of totality in integrity. Some of these sometimes translated trance but that isn’t very good. Somebody is often understood to mean the disappearance of any distinction between subject and object, the knower and the known. And probably that does rather well because as I explained yesterday when after some time you have simply allowed. The art mind to think whatever it wants and to feel whatever it wants and to perceive whatever it wants. You will become aware of yourself not as a sort of separate observer, but simply as the flow of experience, so that there is no experience facing an experience or of vice versa but simply a process of experiencing which is unitary. Even though it is differentiated as we speak of sensory differentiations only you don’t call it differentiated that’s a concept. You can’t point to the difference between somebodies fingers, because the difference between them is conceptual. The idea of difference is purely conceptual.
So, in this state then of Samadhi, it means it is a state of quietness because there is no further agitation going on between the process of experience the panorama of experience on the one hand and the experience of on the other who is either accepting or rejecting or commenting upon the constant flow of nature. Now, how then, or what are the various methods of getting to this state? We might big begin with ananpranasmiti, which means watching over the breath. This is done it is basic to almost all techniques of meditation. And it may take the form of simply allowing breath to go on, however it feels like going on, that say counting the breaths. There are two reasons for this. Number one, by watching breathing you concentrate your mind. On something which absorbs your attention but which isn’t a concept. Also number two, breathing is a very curious faculty because you can experience it as happening either voluntarily or involuntarily. You can say I breathe. That’s normal in our speech. Even though you don’t say I circulate my blood. Because you don’t experience that as a voluntary action. But so you can consciously control the rhythm of your breath but within limits if you stop thinking about it it goes on by itself and happens in voluntarily. And therefore through becoming aware of the breath in this way you see that the division between voluntary action and involuntary action is arbitrary. When you do something voluntarily, like opening and closing your hand, which is not something labile to go on automatically all the time or the are thinking about it or not then you say I do it and it does seem to be voluntarily voluntary it seems to be under your control and yet you don’t know how you do it you are not in voluntary control of the processes which enable you to do something voluntarily. You don’t know how you managed to be conscious. You don’t know how you exert will. And so again the border line is quite arbitrary.
And so, as you simply become aware of breathing and sit for a while and do nothing but breathe. You begin to get into that state of mind. Where what you do and what happens to you become the same. And also the easy unrestricted flow of breath works on the rest of your consciousness like a pacifier. And everything becomes still and quiet. After a while the breathing the comes so gentle. That you could say, almost, that you have stopped breathing. You haven’t of course actually stopped. Although some expert has a yogi can hold their breath for an unbelievably long time and will even roll back their tongues in a certain way and literally stop breathing and be buried underground for seven hours and then be brought out and immediately resuscitated. That’s a sort of a musical trick. There’s no point in it. But actually, what is called the cessation of breath. Simply means that it’s become extremely quiet and very very smooth. On the other hand breathing exercises are practiced are quite a complex nature. Whereby for example you take your fingers and you breathe in at the left nostril and then out through the right nostril and then in through the right nostril, and out through the left and in through the left and up through the right and then through the right and out through the left and through the left and out through the right and so on, and then as you do this, you imagine that the current that you’re breathing in goes in when you breathe in through the left nostril so it goes down a passage in the spine which is called the solution. And it has two channels and it one is called the ida on the left and man it’s called the pingala on the right. So that when you breathe in through the left you imagine the current is going down through the ida. And it goes all the way down to the bottom of your spine and strikes on a center called a muladhara chakra. Chakra and of the word literally means a wheel. And there are sometimes equated with. Neural plaques I or ganglia. Base the longest. Final column but I think one should take these in a more symbolic way and not really in a literal way. The muladhara chakra is always represented as being an inverted triangle that of course represents the feminine sex dog. Inside the mall or dark choco when it is drawn on yoga maps of the body there is an erect phallus, around which is in twined a serpent who is asleep and this gentleman is known as the kundalini. The can delineate represents the divine essence. And it was said therefore that in ordinary people the divine essence is asleep. And needs to be awakened. And the process of yoga or what is strictly called Raja Yoga the royal yoga. Or many kinds of yoga Raja Yoga consists in awakening the kundalini and drawing it up the spinal cord up the social and as it goes up it energizes all the different chakras on the way in there in all seven of them. I’m not going into the geography of all the chakras except to say that the top chakra is called the sara chakra, which means the thousand-petaled Lotus. And that is as it were, the cortex. Now all this has a very very deep symbolism in it. It is this. That the skull represents the vault of heaven. And in the top of the skull that is supposed to be an aperture out of which your life departs when you die but it’s also represents the sun. Because the sun has been considered as a dog in the firmament of heaven through which you see into heaven. So the sum dog is at the top of the load of all that have. There is a great tree called the actual tree of the world and that is the spine. And the Sartre chakra the thousand battle notices as it were the great flowering top of the tree. And it goes down and it has roots and the muladhara chakra is the root place and the sleeping serpent at the bottom will find a complete parallel to this in Norse mythology where the world tree is called a dress seal and at the bottom of it there is the word needle who is always knowing the roots. And about you see. Also you will see the medieval representation of the crucifixion. Where there is likewise a serpent at the base of the cross. Sometimes you will see crucifixes on which there is a serpent instead of the Body of Christ. And that is called in a hushed UN in Hebrew the serpent which Moses lifted up in the wilderness made of bronze so the two ever looked upon it was cured from the plague of snakes. Why is it also that doctors represent their profession stuff with serpents intertwined around it why does Hermes carry such a staff it, a Caduceus, what is this business of serpents on rods. Well, to get the simplest answer to that question you look at the constellation of Pisces an astrological symbolism, where you will see that one fish is going up and the other fish is going down, or you take the in young symbol of the Taoists and you will see two fish like comers interlocked with each other, one black and one white. One is the Yang who is white one is the yin who is black. And each one has an eye of the opposite color. These are respectively going up and going down going in and going out going away and coming back they represent the fundamental vibration of nature. Or you could call it involution and evolution. So the when you take the the this breathing process that you see of the breast going down the eater up the pingala down the Beguiler and up the eater and getting the can do the can really need to wake up and come up again you are starting the process of evolution. So this relates to the Hindu idea that the universe is from on the Supreme of the star going to Brahman that is to say the. To be active aspect of Brahman. Playing hide and seek with itself. Now you see me, now you don’t. Now I know who I am, now I get lost. And as Brahman imagines that it’s all of us that is the serpent going down and hiding in the roots they also have the image of going down the tubes inside a Lotus stem. And you know when you eat Lotus roots they’re for they they’ve got holes through them because the tubes through the stem and goes down and hides in the depth of the Lotus root under the surface of the water in the sea in the mud. And then when it comes up again why that’s why you always see Buddha sitting on top of the Lotus he’s come out so naturally he sits on the top of the Lotus. Thank you.
So, likewise also, Buddhas are born at midnight why at midnight because that’s the time when the sun is right underneath you and that’s the lotus on which you’re sitting. All these images and figures from all over the world that fit together in a funny way. So then, as you go on practicing this pranayama It’s called, the breathing technique. And you energized the kundalini. And as it creeps up the spine and energizes each chakra you get all sorts of strange changes in your consciousness. You may start by hearing all sorts of bell like sounds, smelling the most beautiful perfumes. Seeing things that you just never saw before. And you must be very careful as you do this not to get sidetracked, because you may think oh these sounds are gas and I’m going to really absorb and explore all that you see but if you do that you’re apt to get sidetracked because that’s not the main issue. Then when it gets higher, you begin to get very strange experiences of reading other people’s minds or of knowing. The past in strange ways and of foretelling the future and again you mustn’t get sidetracked. These are not important. The thing is to go right on and get that going to Leni right up to the Sahara chakra. And then you are enlightened but you are what is called Mokhta which means liberated in the in life. As distinct from the day how Mokhta, which means liberated at death.
Now, and then of course the yogi as he’s drawn on this map that I’m describing is shown sitting in the lotus basket and always above his head there is a flame. And that is the final liberation of the kundalini force escaping through the sundog at the top. And this is the death of the fundamental design of what is called in India a stupa. S.T. U.P.A. where you see a go to like structure with a dome and a spike on the to. Out of it so that dome on the stupa is the skull and the spike is the flame. That is modified in the far east as the pagoda it is also called the Dagobah you see the word pagoda is Dagobah it is also the fundamental design of the New England church spire. And the pattern, the architectural pattern of that though chutzpah is really the same as that of a stupor or The Globe. In Tibet it’s called a chart and. So here is this wonderful sort of map of man’s. In a lifeless psychic Constitution. And the process going on so finally see if you avoid all the traps if you avoid being beguiled by city which means supernormal powers. You are eventually liberated, because you see through the whole cosmic game. And naturally when people use pharmacological agents like L.S.D. and many of these chakras this is least what an Indian would say are touched off. And in life and as a result of that you hear all those sounds you see all the strange sights you smell the marvelous perfumes you become aware that the whole world is a throbbing electronic vibrating thing. [It’s] is diaphanous and. But you will you see when when people do this and they get fascinated with what I would call the by products of L.S.D.. They may get on a very wrong track and that’s what leads people to take L.S.D. over and over again so that they can have a marvelous time. You know listening to Bach turned on and seeing the way they can the music evokes color, because you see as this process works you get to the point where you experience the unity of the senses. But you see to do that is in a way, to get lost in all the ramifications of the psychic world. So if you use things of this kind you must be very careful indeed because they are really nothing more than starters to get a person who is absolutely cannot understand what all this is about, to take a peek into paradise as it were. And see that there are more things in heaven and earth than I dreamed of in your philosophy. And it is of course often the occasion for a person who was really very boring. To become quite interested in life to see that there really is something going on in this world that is extremely exciting.
But, it, it’s strongly to be advised, that once you have seen the point where. You understand quite clearly. That this whole world is in fact the play of a single energy. And that it has this harmonious property. Whatever may be said about things on another level conflicts, wars cruelties, diseases what have you. Then it’s time for you to stop. Employing anything so powerful as L.S.D.. and to switch instead to meditation. Because at that point you had it you got the message. And no point going back and back about. Because when you come down out of a state of consciousness like that, there’s a very critical moment as you come down which is seeing that the real insight doesn’t consist in some exotic experience, it consists in the realisation that ordinary everyday consciousness is it. That in other words, if I may put it in the crudest possible terms, that you see quite plainly, that what is going on now is what God is doing. And you are that. And just this is so simple a matter of picking up the pipe and chewing it is a completely divine act. I don’t even know why I use the word divine but I do it in order somehow to call attention to something that people don’t ordinarily seem to see. So then, in yoga, when you’ve gone through all this. And all that jazz, was the way that kundalini was going up you get to a state which is beyond Nirvikalpa samadhi. And that is called Sahaja. S.A.H. A.J. A. And that means the natural state. And so a great master Great One might almost call him an avatar like Sri Ramana. Who lived in fear of animal law and in my dress died about oh I suppose twenty years ago. He spent a certain time sitting in meditation but on the whole he sat back and read the new. Paper and. Write in his account in a compound. And hundreds of pilgrims would come from all over. And they would sit around in practice meditation they would occasionally ask him questions and he gave that what he was doing was called giving Darshan. Darshan meaning view he’s on view and he’s as and he’s just as much an object of veneration as a put image. But he returned back on his couch and read the Hindustan Times and ate meals and carried on an everyday life because he was in the state so harder which means that he lives that can live the life of a perfectly ordinary person. And there so that in the same way many people who have undertaken Zen training. And gone through the whole thing they don’t become Zen masters they just disappear. And they might be scientists or shoemakers or what have you in the formal way most of them being priests sons which is not to get an idea go go on to be priests take over their father’s temples but many people who have completed Zen training just disappear. And indeed that’s considered a very good thing to do, because you don’t leave a track. The Buddha once in the dumb a part or likened the way of an enlightened person to the path of a bird through the sky it leaves no trace and as an poem says, entering the forest, he does not disturb the blade of grass entering the water he does not make a ripple. And there was one Zen Master very it was very much respected Bankei, who was a contemporary of Hakuin. Now, Hakuin dominates the Rinzai Zen to this day seventeenth century. His method. Bankei was a contemporary go in left eighty successors Bankei left none. And Bankei is that a little bit admired for this city he didn’t as this and saying he didn’t raise waves when no wind is blowing. So that kind of trace listeners. They would say you know it takes one to know one and if. The maybe a pope or someone who everybody else thinks is just ordinary like themselves but then man would perceive that he was was and like and. So, that roughly describes the cost. Of Raja Yoga meditation. And. It’s not always easy to know just in what sense this is to be taken whether the thing is how far it’s symbolic how far it’s literal young always took it in history in a very symbolic sense of not referring to anything that had actually a connection with the spinal cord or the brain. I feel the truth is somewhere in between. And that this is a way of doing things. My own experiments especially with psychedelics that lead me to believe that there’s really something in it. But that it’s like all these things. When you study medieval European medicine., you find out all these there’s a doctrine of signatures. Say somebody has got as of a sour disposition wells and suddenly he needs sugar. Or because a sudden flower has that bloom or a leaf that corresponds to him by resemblance to certain parts of the human body then that’s a medicine for those parts when they’re affected one of the funniest things is that one of the very few really effective drugs we have is aspirin and the way aspirin was discovered. Was that. It was reason that in swampy land where people would contract that humors you would find the appropriate drugs for curing those that humor. Cause it was always said that next to the poison you found the healing. There’s of course again the two supplements sitting on the could uses one of the poisonings up and one of the legs up. So they dug around in marshy land and of course willows grow in marshy land and from willows you get salicylic acid which is Aspen. And it was that was how it was found out and it was for reasons which today we would consider absurd.
So, the modern scientist looks at these old mumbo jumbo those, not entirely with disrespect. But chairs. There must be something in it. What in for example in some frightful stew that one is advised to make up with a rope from the gallows and boiled knew. What was the active ingredient what was essential and so I look at these things over these ancient methods of meditation and I asked whether they really doing. What is the essential ingredient? Because now we can we have that many many ways of looking at all this physiological neurological psychological pharmacological. And perhaps derive from all this, a yoga that is appropriate for Western man in the twentieth century. And perhaps very much more efficient this like a technology is a very efficient technology. So, what one sees then going on is a process of a person becoming aware of a world, which is far far richer. Than the world as he ordinarily knows it. Why is this? Because the world as ordinarily known is being screened. And the major screening activity. Results from the fact that throughout our lives we are taught what to experience. And we are not altogether too aware. That what is experience depends on certain social regulations. There are experiences which are taboo. There are experiences which really aren’t allowed. And as we are brought up. In the same way that we are taught about gestures. There are certain gestures which are considered uncouth. Vulgar, hostile you don’t do that see so in exactly the same way experiences is regulated. So, it’s like the old joke about the psychiatrist saying to a person well do you ever have strange thoughts. Do you ever have weird feelings. You know everybody had strange thoughts and weird feelings. Because, the input from exteroceptive and proprioceptive sense organs is colossal. And now we ordinarily say and people commonly put it like this. You can’t deal with all that input because there’s too much of it and it’s too complicated. Now that’s not true. It is only too much and too complicated when you try to analyze it and translate it into words. See, let’s take a flower. How many things other in a flower? Well it depends how many you want to count. It depends how long you want to spend splitting it up. And analyzing it under a microscope and giving names to all the Wiggles. From another point of view, there aren’t any things in a flower. It’s all perfectly simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s not wiggly. Yes, it wiggles very much. But that doesn’t make it complicated so when you try to understand it that is to say translated into words of figures then the flower becomes complicated the flower isn’t complicated the process of translating it is complicated. So in the same way, how many things you are aware of when you’re aware of this room? Well it depends on how you want to count the things now you play that game where you put a lot of objects spalls of thread of found in a bottle of medicine, saucer and a thimble on a plate and so on you expose it for a moment person looks at it then you cover it how many can they write down. That’s not the same thing as awareness. That’s simply a kind of intellectual dexterity. But this it awareness is quite different from that it isn’t counting things at all. But it comes up you see, when the mind is quiet and and when the process of ‘thing-king’ which is the way we manufacture things is suspended. Then of course if you’re not thinking about the world the difference between the no or in the known simply disappears because that’s conceptual in the nirvikalpa our non-conceptual staid there is no difference also in a way there’s no unity because unity is also a concept. That’s what is meant by the Zen word mu. It doesn’t mean nothing. It means. No thing. Neither one thing nor many things there’s another call on saying when the many are reduced to the one to watch of the one be reduced. It’s also called the state of things is called. In Sanskrit Tathata, which means proximately, vastness, that-ness or such ness. And that’s something that comes out very powerfully in these states of consciousness. Now I have to explain it if I can. It’s very easy to understand and very difficult to explain. When a baby is first born, the first sound it makes is ‘ta’. And males and fathers and their vanity I think it’s saying that it. That it is not saying that it’s saying that. Look at something. So the word tathata in Sanskrit is really that. Like we have the other in Western art I was some kind of feeling after this. Now what is such an it’s. Well you can say it’s just the way things are. But it’s a little more than that and let me try and illustrate it. When you talk to someone, they understand the meaning of what you say. And it to change takes place. And I am going to ask the question. The process of talking. Making sounds that have a meaning conveys information to someone else. Or to yourself. The question is, what does it mean that we do that. Well it doesn’t mean anything. Why should it? Words have a meaning but that doesn’t that cause it that of the whole process including words but the process itself wasn’t a word. It was a dance. So you look at nature! Why, you know, you hear all these trees reaching out and leaves absolving things and all the little creatures running around and breeding their family and then they eventually disappear just as a breath has to go out in order to come back in and so they disappear into the soil and then the new little generations of the same things which is the this is kind of a dozen. All over again it comes out and they wiggle around and they eat and they breed their families and so little of a little bit of it all is going on and when you look at it in that way you are seeing it from the standpoint of such ness that’s just, it’s the jazz. And you see everything is just like that. And. When you do anything happens you sort of stop panicking about it. And so you say well it it just does the whole thing doesn’t have any meaning. In the West, that sounds like a put down because we say everything has that meaning you must do something meaningful. Why of course we say that because we’re completely hypnotized with words. And so, if you do something that has no meaning people say you’re crazy It means you’re not acting in accordance with the order of concepts. But lots of people love it they get a little get away with doing things that are completely meaningless but they but they managed to give the impression that they’re very important. Take music for example. Music from a practical point of view is a total waste of time. It doesn’t do anyone it you know doesn’t feed anyone unless you make money by playing music but music as such you see has. Absolutely that it you make the sum and it disappears it’s not like a product that you can bring out and slap it on the counter and there it is you know. And that’s the best music has no meaning. It doesn’t represent anything it doesn’t convey any particular message the medium is the message in music. And so were all these people blowing through to certain complicatedly lucky little patterns of. Pulling strings and and hitting on drums and making blasts through trumpets. And why, everybody can say anybody who is anybody has to go to the symphony and contribute to its maintenance for all these weird people. Blowing through tubes. And this gentleman and greater power all gets up in front of them all you know and the conductor is a great orchestra leader and he comes out of a very ritualistic way and waves it that hung and sort of leads all these people and keeps them together and makes this fantastic blast. Of us all out of the. Well, it’s culture. You could describe music as an addiction. To a very very hallucinatory state of consciousness called Cord-itis. And even worse what this is gong to Logic’s. And but you see that the whole world is like that. So then, there’s another form of meditation I’m going to go into that’s related to music and it’s called mantra yoga. Actually you see, in India the principle yoga is the first Raja Yoga the royal yoga. Then this come on yoga, karma, action. Yoga being practiced through all the pursuit of one’s professional vocation. Whether it’s position housewife University professor shoemaker whatever. Next comes between you and I yoga which is a kind of intellectual yoga. It doesn’t go through all those chakra things it’s a very direct yoga. Represented by the Vedanta by the doctrines of Sankar. Then there’s bakti yoga, which is usually a vice Navarra thing in others or the worshippers of Vishnu and they like to concentrate on devotion so back to means the yoga of devotion of love. Christianity is bakti yoga. The devotion to Christ. The beloved with the divine is always called the beloved and buck to yoga. Dennis Hopper yoga which is not so much a way of liberation as a very elaborate system of physical exercises passed years ago. All the complexities of breathing and so on then there is Mantra Yoga. Mantra yoga then is the use of sound as the method of. Arriving at the near a week out of thoughtlessness. And this is a for many people a very good way indeed. Because for some reason or other. Sound will concentrate you more than vision. It’s much easier to give your whole attention into a hum. Than it is to stare at or to keep your eyes fixed on a certain point. Or even than to just watch your breath. Because sound has a little more activity in it it is a stronger vibration than just breath. And so, the the mantra means, a single syllable or a seek shot sequence of syllables, which are chanted in a certain way. Even out loud or subvocally in your imagination. Usually gurus of who you work with mantras will give each individual his own Mundra. Yes he does he says in mantra yogi. Are in the same way that as an teacher will give each person his own special can’t and you’re not supposed to tell anyone else what your column is or what your mantra is. Now I vaguely suspect a little bit of hocus pocus that if I do know the point in the in the car on which is that. If the students start discussing their cars together well it lends to a little bit of cheating. But I don’t see how that would be so with the mantra perhaps the idea is that when you’ve got a secret. You’ve got something sacred sacred secrets. And, that may be it. But anyway, you have to say the basic mantra is the word aum. And that is used because. Fully spelled in Sanskrit, it is A U M. And that starts you see are is right at the back of the throat the little comes up and is with the lips so you got the whole range of sound in that word and therefore it represents the universe the whole energy of the universe. And so if you hum own. It sets out of but beautiful thing is great to do it in a circle of people. By staggering it. It goes on all the time. You can get it on a tape and listen to it that way.
Now, the Buddhists extend that into the mantra. Um Mani Padme Hum. And that means very little. Um means everything, mani means jewel, padme means Lotus, om means it’s sort of an explanation. And, they will hum this very very slowly. Taking a full breath on every syllable. And keep keep doing this. They’ll often ring gongs and things along with it. And you can get well like that. Is just great. Then they have the Hindu is often used polish the last big amount try like that Howdy Krishna How do you Don but I’m a Christian I read on. Die die die. Die die die I’m. Howdy how he how do you how do you things like that and I and. This in the fella call Harry if it. Means one of the names of God. Now, he has to say the trouble for Americans is the pope’s a man of the world you can’t slap on the back and called Barry. But anyway, doing that is mantric. Now in exactly the same way, the Christians have used mantra look in the Eastern Orthodox Church there is a way of meditation which is called hesychasm. And is used by the say the monks of Mount Athos and of Russiam and it simply consists of what is called The Jesus prayer. And it is simply the endless repetition of the name of Jesus. And they describe all the cycle physical symptoms that will follow for this the change of temperature the warm feeling in the heart all sorts of things like that but that’s what it is is the effect of going on and on and on and on and on like this then in the in the western church there are mantras to. Say why does a priest say as your penance say five Hail Mary’s Well you know how I’ll marry a set. Now that I guess about it I don’t know if I was of and I don’t know if it was about that. And. If that is the slightest attention to the meaning of the words. In the same way with it with. For centuries and centuries the mass was always on my side in Latin which was a very good idea because nobody paid any attention to what it means. It’s meaning that gets in the way. And this awful translation of the mass into English is ruining the whole Catholic Church. Because everybody discovers what it means and it’s just terrible. So then they worked out the Gregorian chant which is a very powerfully mom trick chant. Even though unlike the eastern chance it has a much more melodic structure. Whereas, the eastern charm keeps up a pretty steady beat. All the syllables. Pretty much the same sound you know it but done. As an on the down be so. On and on. Be. Me that be. That I me be as out on. And so on. In the West you know your get. It moves along in a small little ting way but. You will see that as the difference between the traditional Western chant and say a mask by Bach or Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. Because there is no doubt when you hear the the mass in B. minor that it was written by Bach. The style is right there ,and Beethoven of course. Well now, mantraists say no, well that’s not good. Because it’s still much attached to a particular personal style. And the role of the of the chant is to depersonalize. It has likened to this that when you chant you become a flute. And the Holy Spirit blows through you. So it’s the God of himself that’s blown. When you sing the chant. And therefore an impersonal form is given to it. And so you will hear when monks chant the Psalms. They keep up an absolutely I’m very in its At first you think it’s monotonous but it will go I mean in any in any in the the. Meaning you need any meaning the you need anything any meaning the I got here Part three and spirit is tall so you could add in principio sampled upper arm you know sake it was less Thank you a lot and you know just on and on and on like that I’m not very good singing this morning.
But, yeah you’ll keep that up you go say to the the Holy Week service of Tenebrae in a monastic church. When they have a service that goes on for about three hours. And it slowly gets darker and darker as they put out all the lights but this rhythm is keeping up all the time until it gets completely black Well you ask Stoned by the end of that. Those months are not thinking about what it all means. They’re practicing contemplation if they know anything about it there. And they are slowly coming to what is the Christians call the divine darkness or, the Cloud of Unknowing. And that is the same thing as need of a cult personality. It is the adoration of God without any concept or image of God in your mind. And really nobody has ever been able to explain it because the moment you open your mouth you bring in words and the state itself doesn’t have any words. Now, because beyond that the mantra go get take me in an electronic age can be vastly souped up. You can get a continuous electrical note. And work on that. You can get a stroboscopic light. And work on that one. You can get revolving moray patterns. And look at those. You can get fascinated with an oscilloscope. There are endless things that can be done to facilitate meditation by technological means. A few warnings. Don’t, don’t push it too hard ever. Take it easy. Stop If you anything you do gives you a headache or seems to strain your eyes or if you start getting buzzing in the ears. Don’t over do any breathing exercises never strain your breath. There is an exercise called kumbhaka. Kumbhaka is simply…retention of the breath. People do when it’s moving part that practicing. But actually it don’t ever keep up kumbhaka too long. You’ll start reeling because you’ll get sort of hyper oxygenation. And then people when they do breathing they tend to exit emphasize the out breath. And maybe that’s a little bit better for us because when you relax you sort of give a sigh of relief. When you’re frightened you suck your breath in and the breath the in breath is more tense of the outbreath more relaxing, and what they would say in Zen is do the out-breath and don’t pay any attention to the in-breath, it will come back by itself. And so I would say in general don’t overstrain anything in the meditation process now you see that the object of all these gimmicks. Is that they are like a clever teacher catching people’s attention. In order to get them make it easy to understand the subject. So they are all of them crutches or spectacles or gadgets to help still the mind. There are those like Krishnamurti the won’t have anything to do with them because he says if you make your mind still it is of if fake it’s not natural stillness and he says natural stillness can come only by observing, being aware of all the job mind is doing without judgement without criticism without interference until in the course it will just give up and then it’s naturalist ill. And of course there’s a good deal to be said for that but I’m rather open minded about all these things and I say each man to his own way.