Meditation Empowers the Mind with Restraint and Intuition


Superconsciousness is always there within us. A simple key to contacting it is relaxation. Step back, become internalized. Meditation requires retraining the way we think. The mind is used to doing external things. Subjugate externalizing samskaras (external impressions) by employing restraint, nirodha. This produces a new impression in the mind, the impression of restraint. In time, through years of practice, eventually we achieve vichara, the power of one-pointedness and cognition. Then something else begins to occur, deep in meditation, intuitions come, and they modify the impressions and we begin to change the total content of our minds. The gradual building of the impressions of restraint and intuitions make it easier and easier to meditate.

Master Course, Merging with Siva, Lesson 193

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Unedited Transcript:

Good morning everyone.

Today's Merging with Siva Lesson, 193

"Learn to Move Awareness

"You must not think the superconscious mind is way out of your reach simply because of the word super, because it is quite the contrary. It is within you. It has always been within you. All you have to do is reprogram the subconscious a little and move awareness out of the conscious mind, and your journey is within. You are superconscious now. You have to accept that. You do not have to 'get to be' superconscious. That is not something that is going to happen to you all of a sudden and then cause you to be different. The thing that is going to happen to you is that you will release your individual awareness from the so-called bondages of the habit patterns of the external mind that it has been accustomed to flowing through. Once it is released, you will automatically flow into other inner areas of the mind because you have been studying about them and now have the map clearly outlined for you."

Well, Gurudeva's point there is our intuition, our superconsciousness is there in everyone. We don't have to do something to acquire it. We don't have to go to the store and purchase it, go on line and download it, etcetera. It's always there within us it's just a question of being in touch with it enough.

Gurudeva gave an interesting example of being in touch. He was talking about charging up the different parts of the body with prana. And he said: "We want to charge the left foot." And lots of people look down to see where the left foot was. Meaning they weren't that aware of their left foot. It was there all of the time but they had to make an effort to become conscious of it.. It wasn't their natural consciousness. We live so much in our head, in the mind that we're not conscious of the body as much.

So, it's there all the time. What's a simple key to contacting it is relaxation. You can be sitting, trying to figure out something out on the computer and you can't figure it out, you can't figure it out. It's just not working and the more you try and figure it out the the less successful you are in figuring it out because you've gotten all externalized. You've gotten strongly into thinking, into the thinking mind. So, what do you need to do? You need to take a break. Walk around the block, have a cup of coffee. You do something to relax and then come back after a few minutes and the answer may come to you right away. It certainly does to some people. Say: Oh!

So we can see the point is they get so externalized we can't solve something. And then we internalize ourselves a bit, take time to do that. The solution can become self-evident just through purposefully stepping back, and relaxing and looking at it anew.

"You may be wondering why, if you were supposed to be superconscious right now, you have not had the wonderful experiences that I have told you about. This is easy to answer. You may be superconscious now but not consciously superconscious all of the time, or even for long enough periods to have these beautiful experiences. So when I say you are superconscious right now, that is true, or you would not even be hearing about it.

"It is no accident our meeting in this way to share some of my inner life and this particularly deep subject matter. It is providential, I would say, and has occurred at the proper time of your unfoldment on the path. Though you are superconscious right now, awareness is still externalized enough that you touch into it only a little bit and then are pulled back to the subconscious or to the conscious mind."

Reminds me of a point I made in Singapore recently. Just popped into my head. Said that there's a tendency the more challenges we're facing in life the more difficulties we have when they kind of peak for a while, we become less religious. We get overwhelmed by the challenges we're facing and we practice religion less often; we go to the temple less. It's human nature. Of course we should do the opposite, right? If we're facing more challenges that's the time to become more religious as we really need it. So, we have to be careful. And that's the same, same point here is that we can get pulled strongly into the subconscious or conscious mind and therefore, when that happens, when we're really kind of attached there and overly concerned about the challenges we're facing, we're not able to be superconscious. We've cut it off by being so attached to the challenges we're facing. We have to step back from the challenges enough, just like we stepped away from the computer in the first example. We have to step back from the challenges enough to have an overview and for intuition to come through. So that's importance of relaxing or stepping back.

"Through regular practice of meditation, one learns to move awareness through the superconscious areas like a dancer learns to move across the stage according to the rhythm of the music. It takes much practice for the dancer to acquire the technique in the preparation of himself to fulfill his calling. He has to live a disciplined lifestyle. It is the same for the contemplative. He has to work with and exercise the currents of awareness so dynamically that he can flow into a superconscious area and remain there long enough to look around a little bit and enjoy it."

The point here is that those who are taking up meditation frequently under estimate the amount of work it takes to get good at it. Dancing is more obvious, you know. I'm not going to become a good dancer unless I practice two hours a day, you know, every day. But somehow we have a concept about meditation that it's easier than it is. But no, it requires practice. We have to retrain the way we think. Retrain the body to be able to sit still; it takes a lot of practice. And we make gradual progress just as a dancer makes gradual progress if we stick at it.

So a couple of comparisons to Patanjali. About samskaras. Samskaras are just what's gone into the subconscious. Called a samskara. Something happens and there's an impression in the subconscious. Not exactly what happened because our mind has interpreted what happened. Usually we label it good or bad etcetera. So our impression of what happened goes into the subconscious creating a samskara. And, again as we know it, in practicing mediation, it's hard at first. We can't necessarily sit there for an hour. You know, sit there for fifteen minutes, we want to get up and go do something else. The mind is used to doing external things.

So Patanjali calls that the externalizing samskaras. So we all start with them. A strong desire to get up go do this go do that.

"The externalizing samskaras are subjugated by employing restraint which in turn manifest new samskaras. This is called nirodha parinama, restraint transformation which occurs whenever restraint is employed."

So he's saying what Gurudeva said in a more technical way. Gurudeva says the more you practice meditation the better you get at it. So Patanjali's saying you're actually putting new impressions into the mind, restraint, samskara. And this causes a change in the mind. The content of the subconscious is being modified. Every time we practice restraint we're putting in a restraint samskara and then that modifies the samskaras so we're less prone to be externalized.

"A tranquil flow of consciousness is produced by these restraint samskaras, the dwindling of being drawn to all objects of perception and the arising of one-pointedness is a samadhi transformation of the mind. Then again when similarity exists between subsiding and arising presented ideas this is known as the one-pointedness transformation of the mind."

So that just means we are able to think about one thing without getting distracted to another. One-pointedness.

Then there's another one that's related.

"These are samskaras produced by nirvichara samadhi."

So nirvichara. Vichara is cognition so intuition. When we have intuition, which is the first subject we were looking at, the intuition creates a samskara which changes the total content of the mind. So not only do we change the content of the subconscious through practice or restraint, nirodha samskara, but we change it through intuition, vichara samskara.

"Then lucidity arises from the nirvichara samadhi, this is then called clarity of the inner self. In that state of upmost lucidity the knowledge that arises is truth bearing. This knowledge is distinct from knowledge that is acquired through teachings or inference because it has a particular purposedness. It generates samskaras that obstruct the other samskaras. When these are restrained the entire mind is restrained and samadhi is then without object."

Which is the highest form of samadhi it's just, you're not, there's not a second thing. As long as there's a second thing it's a lower samadhi. In the highest samadhi there's no second thing.

But the basic idea, when you tie it all together, is simple that practice of meditation is what can help us get gradually better and better at it. And it takes time, just like the dance is. So we don't to think it doesn't take commitment and practice too on a regular basis. Otherwise we kind of start over.

Then the practice impacts us in two ways thus the restraining of the mind creates a restraint samskara, changes the contents, makes it easier to meditate. And then when we have intuitions, that's a samskara from vichara samskara or intuition. The cognition samskara changes the content and also makes it easier to meditate.

So, thank you very much.

Photo of  Gurudeva
Do you know that the ability to live right now, in the instant, is a spiritual power, reflecting the awakening of the soul and requiring a subconscious control of the mind?
—Gurudeva