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Methods in Meditation

by Swami Veda

Book Cover: Silence Volume 2 Light Beyond the Mind[This passage has been taken from the upcoming book titled Silence Volume II, Light Beyond Mind, to be published by Himalayan Yoga Publications Trust and planned for release during the Ahymsin Global Sangha Gathering of 2019 at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, Rishikesh].

A meditation guide needs to know these processes that go on in the minds of the students and disciples. There are certain very subtle signs by which a meditation guide knows where a student’s meditation is going at any given time. The random visual imaginings are replaced by prescribed visual concentrations. Just as random verbal thoughts are replaced with the prescribed verbal mantra so also the random emotional associations and related visual imaginations are replaced by visual mantras.

The science of visual mantras is even more complex than the science of verbal mantras.  For example, concentrating on a flame or drawing a little dot on the wall and concentrating on that is a visual mantra. These are beginner-level practices.  We do not teach those practices although they are known.  The second stage may come when you have been observing, for example, a flame. Then you close the eyes and maintain the flame in your mind and see how long you can maintain that flame. The third stage is when you do not need to look at the flame or at the dot. You can produce the flame from memory whenever you wish.

In our Tradition, we caution that these are externalized practices. Our purpose is to go into the deep internal faculties and energies. Although I am describing these to you I would not want you to get lost in practising each of these. Keep to the essentials. Our Tradition has given us certain shortcuts. For example, the five-minute meditation we just did is a shortcut.

Now, to understand a little more of visual mantras: Just as in external worship, we change the use of our daily objects to a sacred purpose, in the same way we may use our memory objects for a meditative purpose. For example, a flame in your memory, or seeing a cave inside of you.

Here again [is] an important caution in understanding this process. Even though I am giving you all these details, in order to really fully understand them, read them many times.

Let me explain a simple principle of Buddhist-Vedanta-Sufi philosophy: Whatever you experience in the world is a projection of something that is first in your consciousness. There is nothing outside that is not first inside you, but you forget that.

यदेवेह तदमुत्र यदमुत्र तदन्विह
yadeveha tadamutra yadamutra tadanviha
Whatever is here is outside elsewhere and whatever is outside is first inside you.
Kaṭhopaniṣad 2.1.10

यन्नेहास्ति न तत् क्वचित्
yannehāsti na tat kvacit
That which is not here is nowhere else.
Mahābhārata 1.62.53

Editor’s Note:

For all Swami Rama’s and Swami Veda Bharati’s published works, please visit www.yogapublications.org or email info@yogapublications.org.

Published works of Swami Rama and Swami Veda Bharati are also available at other venues.



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