22 October 2010

COMMENTS ON MEDITATION, MENTAL SILENCE AND THE GUIDE


COMMENTS ON MEDITATION, MENTAL SILENCE AND THE GUIDE


(Silo with members of the Bombay’s structure, in 1980)
Cassette’s transcription.


People meditate any way they can.
We’ll see what is not meditation. Meditation is not concentration.

What is concentration? Concentration is maintaining the attention on a fixed point. That’s the thing. I’m representing an object; this object may appear or disappear. The characteristics of the object I’m representing are brightness, permanence (the object remains or disappears) and selection.

I say that my concentration is good when the object’s three characteristics, force, permanence and correct selection are present. But these three (characteristics) are related to the object’s permanence: concentration is maintaining the attention on the object. (1)

But also concentration is the effort I make in maintaining the attention on the objects. Thus, it could happen that the object appears and disappears, but because I’m making the effort of being concentrated on the object then I’m attending to my attention, in which case I’m not longer concentrated on the object but on my attention.

In turn, concentration on the attention allows three forms. I can observe the fluctuation of my attention, which means that it does not have enough adhesion. It may happen that now I’m no longer engaged in my attention and a totally unrelated memory appears in which case the selection in the attention is lacking. And it could also happen that my thought is very weak, in which case the force in the attention upon the attention is lacking. (2)

Now, a third step, I am aware of what is happening with my attention. We are trying to distinguish between what is meditation and what is not. We have said that concentration is not meditation and we have said what concentration is. Concentration is the attention directed toward an object. We have also said that the attention on the object admits three forms.
But at the same time, the attention upon the attention also admits another three forms.

I’d like you to notice the following: One thing is the object I see, another one is the object I’m representing, and the other one is the attentional mechanism that is referring to the object I’m representing. A third thing that is related to the (degree in) depth is the attention that refers to the attention. These are the different degrees in depth of concentration. This is not meditation. (3)

When attending to an object I observe that there are three forms: brilliance, permanence and selection and all of them vary.

When I’m not concern about maintaining the object but I allow the object – without disappearing – to change and fluctuate in my consciousness, even becoming modified in its characteristics, but I keep all of this together in the consciousness, this fact of not getting out of theme even if the object changes, this is in general meditation.

But the meditation needs to have a proposal in order to work. I cannot just meditate about any thing because if I do I will lose the object. So, I must fix the limits of the meditation, that is the objective of the meditation.

What is the difference between divagation and meditation?

Divagation works by mechanical free association and it lacks direction.

Could it be a meditation that may proceed also by association? Of course it could, but it would have to hold a connective thread and an objective.

Having established the limits of the meditation – a proposed objective and a connective thread for the associations, we must also admit different forms of meditation.

For instance, I can meditate on a problem. (4)

If I were to concentrate on a problem then I won’t be able to resolve it because it would lack the dynamics.

If I concentrate on the following proposal: two by two equal… and I suspend my attention on this formula then, I won’t be able to give the response that is four, because in order to do that I will have to give dynamics to it. I will have to allow my thought to be in movement. If I concentrate on the two by two then there is no possible solution.

It is false that concentration can resolve any question because the nature of concentration is holding the attention on a motionless point. And if we fix the attention then there is no dynamics, therefore there is no solution to the problem.
What could concentration be useful for? Perhaps, it could be useful as an exercise to educate the attention.

We are talking about different forms of meditation and we are seeing several possibilities.

For instance, I can meditate on a problem by looking at the problem from different points of view, trying different solutions and making comparisons among them, etc. but I never get out of the question about such a problem.

I have fixed the subject and I do my movements within certain parameters, searching for the solution to the problem.
What is fixed and what is mobile? The objective I want to achieve is fixed, to resolve the problem, and all the procedures I use in order to look at the problem from different angles are mobile. This is one of the forms: to fix the problem and to have mobile points of view. You know this form. Empirically you do that, sometimes with a method and sometimes without it. It is a form generally known where one advances more or less like this when trying to solve a problem.

But there is a different form of meditation that we call dynamic meditation because we do not established the problem or the solution. The problem is mobile and the associations are also mobile. But, one may say, how are we going to solve the problem if we don’t even know what is it related to?

These are the characteristics pertaining to dynamic meditations and are based on the following experience. I know what internal resistance I have, but when I begin to move the images around a certain direction I detect that my images are restrained or deformed, therefore the problems show up.

Consequently, I began by knowing what the problem was and the direction (solution?), but when putting the associative chains in motion the resistance appeared, and when the resistance appeared I discovered what my problems were allowing me to work on them in a more organized way. This is the form we use in the guided experiences. (5)

Therefore the form of a dynamic meditation is very different from the first form we were investigating.

There are also other forms like those mentioned in the Inner Look: “Carefully meditate in humbled search.” There, other implications are mentioned that are not so cold or so technical as those we have been studying, instead a particular internal disposition for the meditation is mentioned.

It is a disposition that works by eliminating certain believes; it is disposition that not only does not have prejudices about things but also about oneself. It is a disposition that shrinks the I. “Carefully and in humble search.”

This third form of meditation has other implications that are not only technical. It is as if in order to do a careful work, a laboratory work I have to previously take a bath and arrange the conditions for things to go well.

This third form of meditation requires prior conditions from the person doing the meditation. It considers the state in which the meditating person finds him/herself. The interest is not directed to the object or technique that is going to be used for the meditation.

In this instance, the object proposed is a literary work. The attention is not placed on my understanding of this object but on my disposition when I go toward the object. This is a little unusual because I have this literary work and I’m not being told to study it instead I’m being told that I should take certain placement in front of this work. “Carefully and in humble search”. One is trying to place oneself in a state prior to the meditation as when we relax before doing something interesting and we place ourselves in a previous condition. Here we are talking about a similar thing but related to the field of the meditation.

THE GUIDE
If one considers the internal guide as an object, then it is an object.

One may place the object in front of oneself, in which case the consciousness refers to the object. But I can presume that there is a tendency behind my consciousness that moves my consciousness in one or another direction.

Where do I place the internal guide, behind or in front (of the consciousness)? Therefore I say: “the internal guide is the tendency that gives impulse to my consciousness.” If this is so, with what do I perceive this internal guide that impels my consciousness?

What are the conditions of this consciousness in order for this guide – situated behind – to appear?

If I say that sometimes I don’t perceive the guide because it is situated in a profound level, how do I know it is in a profound level?

Therefore, I’m no sure the guide is in a profound level. It is possible that it is there, and that due to certain conditions of the consciousness this need or search –sometimes felt as a presence - appears.

But the nature of the guide is not so clear and according to what was said, it doesn’t matter what the nature of the guide is because I don’t want to convert it into an object.

Then, one shouldn’t worry if the guide is or not in a profound level, because the guide is there when I want to be in contact with. Then the question is not about the nature of the guide.

I can feel the internal guide without seeing it. How do I do when I want to remember a particular music or the hunger I felt yesterday?

I have to lower the mental tensions and the dragging of contents in order for the meditation to proceed. Otherwise, the direction of the meditation will deviate. The lowering of mental tensions and the dragging of daily contents.

Another interesting alternative is to do a mental silence. If I am able to do a mental silence without a doubt the mental tensions will decrease. There are different techniques and one of the most interesting one is as in the work with the guide… (interruption.)

Let’s see this subject of the mental silence. How do I do a mental silence? When I want to do a mental silence how do I do it?
It is possible to do a mental silence and to lower mental tensions during the meditation as well as in daily life by resorting to the sensation, the mechanics of the mind and also to a meaningful question.

In all these instances the attention is always referring to something different than the problems that are generating tensions. I always have to work with the attention. (6)

But we also see that when I want to do a mental silence I’m not able to achieve the silence. This is because I’m applying tensions in the effort of doing a mental silence.

How can I attend without tensions? In order to do a mental silence I need not to worry about the noise in my consciousness. I need to be concerned about other objects and never say: “I have to do a mental silence.”

We have said that achieving a mental silence is related to the direction of the attention.

When I try to listen to something that is coming from far away, and which I barely hear, in order to listen to this far away thing I do a metal silence. (7)

I’m not concerned about doing a mental silence, instead I’m attending to this far away thing, and this creates the conditions for the silence to take place. And when I ask something to my guide I don’t worry about doing a mental silence. I’m concerned about to clearly listen the response that comes from my guide, and in order to listen clearly I have to do a mental silence.
Therefore, these two important works, the work with the internal silence and the work with the guide are one and the same. And if anybody were to ask me, which is the most important work? We should say that this one, the work with the guide in silence.

(The experience of calling the guide takes place)

When invoking “Oh Guide! and I pay attention to the response, then automatically the silence is produced. The more attentive I was to the response the more silence was produced. When I got distracted or when I was not waiting for the response then the noises began. So, it is understood that when trying to listen then the silence is produced.

Another issue is when the response does not come, but you felt the answer. This means that the response did no come from the guide, the response came from you yourselves.

Thus, we see two things: it is possible to do a internal silence by being attentive to the response and it is possible to have a response even if it didn’t come from outside.

Let’s study more this case, this instance of launching a question and waiting for the response, as in the ceremony for Accepted members.

The fact that I have launched a question and I’m waiting for the response and already I’m doing a mental silence. This does not guarantee that a response will come, but I’m able to do the silence because I’m waiting for the response.

When the response comes, then I say that it comes from my guide. But it happens that there are different degrees of depth. Sometimes one may recognize that the response came from one’s own thoughts. Sometimes one notice that the response had a very deep flavor of truth, that it didn’t came from the memory, the consciousness or from the noise my consciousness produces, because I was able to obtain a good internal silence.

When this happens and it has this internal flavor of truth, then I say that it came truly from my guide.

This subject of doing a mental silence by properly directing the attention and this other subject of a response with a true flavor are the best works that can be done with the internal guide. Internal guide and silence are the same mental technique.

Let’s now suppose that I do ask for a response, let’s suppose that now I am alone, let’s suppose that now I am depress and I have many problems. I concentrate on myself and I say something to my internal guide. I’m not asking for a response, for instance I asking for company or force or I ask my guide for a warm emotion or an internal smile and whatever I do I do it with attention. “Oh Guide, give my force!” “Oh Guide give me an response!” Oh Guide, accompany me!” We ask the guide in all instances. The contact with the guide is always a request. And when I do the asking I pay attention to the response to that request, and when placing the attention on the request we are doing silence, and when we are doing silence the response comes to us.

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