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Meditation Versus Time | Mortal Enemies Forever

Timelessness and Meditation

Meditation to Transcend Time

Thinking involves time and that prevents meditation, and meditation involves being and that destroys time.  This is the fundamental battle raging in our lives.  Either we absorb ourselves in time and thought, or we give ourselves to the eternal now and transcend it.  The direction to take is really obvious, for with meditation you get bliss and with time you get suffering.

Time means you are constantly involved in the battle of becoming, acquiring and achieving.  Always enslaved by desire, thus chasing and seeking, while meditation means you are a student of the present, always aware of what is, the here and now, and moving with it spontaneously.  Which will you do?  That separates a life spent superficially, versus a life spent deep in the heart of Reality.  It is up to you.

Meditation Versus Time Mortal

For further inspiration, here is a wonderful quote from J. Krishnamurti explaining how meditation and time cannot coexist.

Book:  Meditations

Author: J. Krishnamurti

Topic: Meditation and Time

To meditate is to transcend time.  Time is the distance that thought travels in its achievements.  The traveling is always along the old path covered over with a new coating, new sights, but always the same road, leading nowhere – expect to pain and sorrow.

It is only when the mind transcends time that truth ceases to be an abstraction.  Then bliss is not an idea derived from pleasure but an actuality that is not verbal.

The emptying of the mind of time is the silence of truth, and the seeing is the doing; so there there is no division between the seeing and doing.  In the interval between seeing and doing is born conflict, misery and confusion.

That which has no time is the everlasting.

Meditation and Time Summary:

So what needs to be done?  Be constantly aware.  That is all.  Be constantly aware of of your thoughts and feelings.  Awareness is the answer.  As Nisargadatta Maharaj, the great Advaita Master has pointed out…

A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet. As the sun on rising makes the world active, so does self-awareness affect changes in the mind. In the light of calm and steady self-awareness, inner energies wake up and work miracles without any effort on your part.

Take this weekend and give yourself to this practice of constant self-awareness.  All else will take care of itself and your life will move gracefully towards Divinity and Timelessness.


Swami Nithyananda Sex Scandal Videos – Lessons to Learn

Nithyananda Sex Videos Scandal

Nityananda Fraud Allegations

I have recently received a few emails regarding the recent sex scandal involving Swami Nithyananda, asking for my thoughts on this matter and I will present those in this article.  For those who are not familiar with this sex scandal, essentially Paramhamsa Nithyananda, a Guru who had claimed to be celibate and who had renounced worldly pleasures, was recently caught on video in some very compromising sexual positions with two (or same) women on separate occasions.  His devotees are claiming fraud and conspiracy, but the evidence so far is looking very damning.  I am not claiming one way or the other, but think this is a good opportunity to discuss some of the issues related to spiritual gurus, priests, swamis and sexual scandals.

Swami Nithyananda

There is of course a great deal of anger, hurt and disappointment amongst the faithful who feel they have been badly cheated by a Guru who had declared himself as Enlightened and Self Realized.  This has led to a great deal of unrest at his ashrams and centers, many of which have had to take security measures to maintain decorum and safety.  There are several aspects of this scandal which I would like to address and will do so individually below.

1. Sex is Not the Problem

I have explained in the past the great power of sexual energy.  It is the most concentrated form of energy available to the physical body and properly conserved it is very useful for healing, strengthening and rejuvenation.  In addition, this is the one form of physical energy that can be used for spiritual growth as well.  Conserving sexual energy can boost your creativity and many Kundalini Yoga techniques, such as Sat Kriya, can help you raise the vibration of this energy and employ it for spiritual growth.  That being said, you do not have to be celibate to be enlightened.  

So having sex is not the problem and the sex videos would not have been as scandalous had Nithyananda not claimed to be celibate and had he not required the monks that join his order to remain celibate.  Emphasizing celibacy and renunciation and requiring it of others, but not adhering to it himself, is where the problem lies.  The videos, if true, reveal him to be a liar, which means he was not celibate and if he lied about that, then he loses credibility. 

So the problem is the dishonesty and not the sex itself.  Many great masters and enlightened teachers in the past have lived the life of householders and still do, so sex and enlightenment can coexist just fine.  The hurt and anger being felt by his followers is due to the fact they feel cheated and lied to.  They feel they have been taken advantage of and their trust has been betrayed.  It can be heart wrenching.  The followers now feel, if he lied about celibacy, perhaps he lied about being enlightened as well?  They will have a hard time believing anything now.  This is the problem.

I cannot over emphasize honesty.  I have written about it time and again, and what is important is not just honesty in your interactions with others and the world, but brutal honesty when you look at your mind, thoughts and feelings.  This is absolutely essential to spiritual growth and the following 3 articles go over this topic in more detail as well:

5 Key Principles of Living an Enlightened and Good Life

How to Live Life

Silent Mind Meditation Program – Power of Honesty

2. How to Find Your True Guru

The topic of Gurus and Swamis is another important topic that this scandal allows me to discuss, so I want to share some thoughts on it with you all.  Specifically with regard to Nithyananda’s sex scandal my friend and evolved spiritual soul Desika Nadadur discussed this scandal and wrote a great article exploring the importance of being your own master and you will find his wonderful analysis in the following article.

I suggest all those interested in the topic of self mastery and Gurus read this article. Paramahamsa Nityananda: A Saint or a Sham

I have written before that the true guru lies within us (How to Find Your True Guru).  That we must find the strength and courage to follow our heart and inner voice, which is how life speaks to us.  The true guru IS impersonal Intelligence and Awareness in action.  Rely on that and you will never be led astray.  This though is not to say that a teacher is not valuable.

A teacher, as I have pointed out in the article For Spiritual Growth can a Teacher or Guide Help, can be a source of great inspiration, great guidance and protection.  He/She can point out the way and indicate the pitfalls.  The teacher can thus help accelerate your spiritual growth.  In addition, the company of evolved people will raise the very level of your vibration and direct you towards infinity, and remind you of the meaninglessness of worldly things.  Thus, a teacher can certainly help.

In addition, a wise teacher can indicate techniques worth trying and by so doing you can find out for yourself the Truth in what they are saying or teaching.  Such was the case with the enlightenment of Nisargadatta Maharaj, which you will find here: Transcendence Techniques from the Spiritual Science of Advaita Vedanta.  But a Guru is not a requirement.  Self Realization does not require an external Guru and with external Gurus come this danger of fakes and phonies.

There is another subtle but important aspect of understanding the risks of authority when it comes to spiritual growth, and I will mention that briefly here and address it in more detail in a future article.  Authority of any kind when it comes to the mind, leads to pursuit and imitation.  Whether that is the authority of your own past experiences or the outside authority of a guru.  This authority sets the ideal, which leads to chasing and chasing IS the factor that prevents enlightenment.  So when all authority is forsaken, including that of past impressions, you will discover true freedom.

3. Dangers of Gurus and Priests

In the article, the Helpful Tips to Avoid the Big Risks of Meditation, I pointed out that the charm, magnetism and powers gained from meditation are often misused.  All too often we hear of spiritual leaders, priests and swamis, misusing their authority and taking advantage of their followers and devotees.  The case of Nithyananda, if true, is certainly not a unique occurrence, although the sex was not forced in this case and was consensual.

Recently the Catholic Church in Germany is in disarray due to the sexual abuse by the Catholic Priests (German Catholic Church Sex Scandal) and the Church of Scientology is being implicated in abuse charges as well, by many of it’s former members.  Those are just recent scandals, and if you were to do a quick check you will find endless such events tied to religious organizations and spiritual authorities. 

Unfortunately, these organizations and gurus tend to prey on the innocent, such as children, or on the fears of others, when due to great stress or uncertainty people get conned by the false promises of these fake priests.  Therefore, if you are a great meditator, do not be tempted by the pitfalls of power and authority, and if you are a person having difficulty in life, don’t blindly follow others simply because of the promises they make.

4. Money Money Money and Gurus

How do you detect the scammers and phonies?  Generally, you will find that once they suck you into their organization they will start to try and suck your wallet dry .  This is the tell tale sign that you are heading for trouble and heading for the poor house.

The “advanced” training will start to become more and more expensive and of course without it you have no chance of finding God, they will say.  If thousands of dollars start to go from your bank account to theirs, start to be wary.  Before all those who offer spiritual services for money start to yell at me, which happens too often when I speak on this topic, let me say I am not against receiving money for spiritual services, but I am just saying that if an organization starts to demand huge sums of money in order for you to continue your progress on the spiritual path, it is time to put up the red flag and do some serious thinking.

For more on this topic, you can read the following articles:

No Shortcuts to Enlightenment

Should Spiritual Services Be Free Or Not

Summary of Nithyananda Video Sex Scandal

One final point I would like to also make is that the teaching is always far more important than the teacher.  In addition, any thing or person can be a teacher for you, at any given time in life.  So even if the teacher is not perfect, if there is something to learn from them, the teaching still holds value.

I believe many thousands of years ago, Buddha saw the changing role of Gurus in the future and he saw them transforming more towards being a friend (Maitreya) than an absolute authority figure.  I find this very palatable.  In the past, true Gurus were your friend as well as your teacher and guardian.  Today, it is best if Gurus embrace this view and take on a role more of a friend, even as they continue to be teachers and guides.  I think that will work best.  After all, we are all divine beings, so there is no need for excessive hierarchy.  We are after all just the One Consciousness, so from my divine aspect to yours, a warm and love filled Namaste.


Transcendence Techniques from the Spiritual Science of Advaita Vedanta

Spiritual Science of Non-Dualism

Transcendence via Advaita Vedanta – Nisargadatta Maharaj

Advaita Vedanta is the great spiritual science of non-dualism.  Many of the profound spiritual teachers that are helping the world transcend the ordinary dualistic mind come from this rich Hindu tradition.  Advaita Vedanta is essentially the teaching that the underlying Truth is complete Oneness and that there is no separate individual self or entity.  Realizing the non-dual nature of Reality and experiencing the Truth of Oneness brings transcendence, awakening and Self-Realization.  

Advaita Vedanta

The techniques used by Advaita Vedanta are very close to my heart.  They resonate with me very deeply as they deal with awareness, the mind and thoughts, and the meditations that deal with these dimensions are the ones that I find most direct, pure and powerful.  I have written about my experience with using the Neti Neti Advaita Vedanta meditation in the following article, Enlightenment Through Advaita Vedanta Neti Neti Meditation and you will also find more details about this spiritual science in the following articles, Understanding Hinduism Buddhism and Non-Dualism and The Miracle of Self Awareness – I AM ALL.

Today, though I would like to give you another powerful Advaita Vendata meditation, which was used by the profound spiritual master Nisargadatta Maharaj to attain realization and Self Awareness.  Here is a quote directly from him regarding how this technique helped him transcend the false dualistic mind.

Advaita Vedanta Master Nisargadatta Quote:

“My Guru ordered me to attend to the sense ‘I am’ and to give attention to nothing else. I just obeyed. I did not follow any particular course of breathing, or meditation, or study of scriptures. Whatever happened, I would turn away my attention from it and remain with the sense ‘I am’. It may look too simple, even crude. My only reason for doing it was that my Guru told me so. Yet it worked!”

“My teacher told me to hold on to the sense ‘I am’ tenaciously and not to swerve from it even for a moment. I did my best to follow his advice and in a comparatively short time I realized within myself the truth of his teaching. All I did was to remember his teaching, his face, his words constantly. This brought an end to the mind; in the stillness of the mind I saw myself as I am — unbound.”

“I simply followed (my teacher’s) instruction which was to focus the mind on pure being ‘I am’, and stay in it. I used to sit for hours together, with nothing but the ‘I am’ in my mind and soon peace and joy and a deep all-embracing love became my normal state. In it all disappeared — myself, my Guru, the life I lived, the world around me. Only peace remained and unfathomable silence.

The Secret Behind these Spirtual Sciences and Techniques:

As you traverse the spiritual landscape you will come across such techniques and meditations and as you study and practice them, you will notice they tend to have 1 very important common denominator.  They all de-emphasize the mind and ego, and they all emphasize pure awareness or being in the moment.  Even the technique above from Nisargadatta Maharaj, implies that one must be aware at all times, in order to stay with the feeling of “I AM”, and one must not get caught in the thinking process.  As getting caught would then take one away from the moment and further strengthen the sense of separate existence and duality.

So whether you prefer the Silent Mind Meditation Technique, which I use, prefer the Mindfulness Meditation of Lord Buddha, like the Advaita Vendanta Neti Neti Technique or resonate with this simple yet profound method used by Nisargadatta, you will find you are essentially negating the false/ego/mind and remaining is the light of simple awareness and the Witnessing Consciousness.

The most important thing is to try what is being suggested.  As you can see from Nisargadatta’s experience, it does not matter why do it, it is important that you do it.  No one can do it for you.  You have to do it yourself and there is no better time to get started that right NOW.


Best Spiritual Books

Best Books for Spiritual Growth

List of Best Spiritual Books  

In the article, 3 Simple Tips to Inviting Enlightenment, one of the tips for attracting enlightenment experiences was reading great spiritual books.  Although, these suggestions came from personal experience, comments scattered throughout the blog have confirmed that these techniques have worked for others as well.  Below are examples of such testimonials with regard to enlightenment experiences taking place simply on account of reading great books on spirituality. 


The goal of this article is to compile a list of the best spiritual books out there and this will require your help to do .


Readers Experiences Just from Reading Spiritual Books:

Mahesh Says:

I got and read some books regarding enlightenment.  Now I feel same like Anmol.  I did not do even a continuous meditation.  I got kundalini pressure in my spine too.  I got only love, all other are same like before. Happiness but no reason. I have told to my wife.

You know, I feel more happy and I never felt before.


Malini (who had spontaneous Kindalini Awakening simply from reading), says:

My question is: “is it possible to have the awakening without any effort?”  Because I never tried or wanted that. I even never heard of Kundalini.  Only thing which I think might have contributed to it was resigning from my job (from World Health Organization) and sitting at home and reading Bhagawat Gita. Though I don’t know whether I did that consciously.  It was very unlike me.

Stewart says:

Anyway after my friend left, for about the next two weeks i started reading my bible and borrowed an old cassette tape with songs on… On a sunny day in April 1994, i was walking throw a park listening to this tape, the song was ”Breath of God Breathe on Me” as i listened to this acappella song and the harmony unity in all the singing, something inside me broke, gave up, i started crying and as i did i was suddenly overwhelmed with this amazing love, heat, and i felt something travel up through and out of top of my head. For the next 3 weeks or so, i felt this burning ball of energy in my navel/stomach area, and was in love with everything, i mean a deep divine love and i felt so pure.

Nyporter says:

(I get) Intense pressure/energy in crown head area when in temples/religious places and reading religious scriptures.

Best Spiritual Books:

One of the best aspects of blogs and the internet is that the sharing of knowledge and resources can take place so easily, and my hope is that in this article and thread we can share with each other what books we have found to be helpful with regard to spiritual evolution. These can be books on spirituality, meditation, yoga, God, enlightenment, religion, anything at all which you have found was helpful to your spiritual growth.  This way we can compile a very useful resource of the best spiritual books, which can then be used by others to accelerate their own progress. 
To that end, I would like to share with you some books on spirituality and meditation which were instrumental in helping me on my own spiritual journey.  Although, this can be a long list, I want to give you a few of those which I found to be the very best.
If you are interested in getting these books, make sure you search for them on the web first as some are freely available as online e-books.  If you want to purchase them, you can use my quick links at the bottom of the article.
Best Spiritual Books:
  • Think on These Things – J. Krishnamurti (other books by JK are great too)
  • Krishnamurti’s Notebook – J. Krishnamurti
  • Courage, The Joy of Living Dangerously – Osho (other books by Osho are great too)
Best Books on Advaita Vedanta (Non-dualism):
  • I Am That – Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • Ease of Being – Jean Klein
Best Books on Zen Buddhism:
  • Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind – Shunryu Suzuki
  • Everyday Zen, Love and Work – Charlotte Joko Beck
Best Books on Yoga & Tantra:
  • Autobiography of a Yogi – Paramhansa Yogananda
  • Aghora, At the Left Hand of God – Robert E. Svoboda

Best Spiritual Books Summary:

From the reader testimonials above, The Bible and the Bhagavad Gita have been mentioned as well,  which I am sure is not a surprise .  So what other books have you found to be great?  What other books do you feel you were lucky to come across and have been helpful to you in your spiritual and personal growth?  Which spiritual master pieces are your favorites and you feel should make the Best Spiritual Books List?  Please do share these with us in the comments section below.  

If you are interested in purchasing any of these books from Amazon, you will find easy and quick links on this page using my affiliate account .  Thanks and Happy Reading!


How Yoga Helps Still the Mind for Enlightenment

Yoga to Still the Mind

Yoga to Facilitate Mindfulness, Peace & Awareness

In this article I want to explore further the framework which can be most suitable for the pure Witnessing Consciousness to emerge (a.k.a. Enlightenment).  The Witnessing Consciousness, or pure awareness without center or sense of separation, is the Reality that all serious spiritual seekers thirst for eventually.

In this non-dual state, all appears as “I”, or all is just seen as Oneness.  I explained this state in the article, The Miracle of Self-Awareness, I AM ALL, and also discussed it further in the article, Understanding Non-Duality, Hinduism, Buddhism & Enlightenment.

The core of the practice that leads one back to pure Witnessing Consciousness is meditation and moment to moment self awareness, but in this article I want to explore the role that Yoga plays in helping facilitate this evolution.

Yoga Helps Still the Mind

By Yoga here, I am referring to Asana (Posture), Bandha (Body Locks) and Pranayama (Breathing Exercises).  Of course if you take Sage Patanjali’s definition of Yoga (Raja Yoga or Asthanga Yoga), then you include in it meditation as well, but here I am going to discuss the value of the “physical yoga” and it’s role in enlightenment.

Yoga of course has a wide range of wonderful benefits.  It’s popularity and longevity is a testament to that.  You can read about these benefits in the article Top 10 Benefits of Yoga Practice, but the greatest benefit of yoga practice, for those passionate about enlightenment, is the tranquility of body and mind that it helps bring about.

Non-Dual Master Jean Klein Speaks on Yoga & Mind

I will let the great non-dual, enlightened, master Jean Klein explain the value of Yoga in his own words.  Jean was a Westerner who had a thirst for the Truth.  He made his way to India to study under the non-dual masters there (Advaita Vedanta teachings in line with Ramana Maharishi & Nisargadatta Maharaj).  He sub-sequentially merged and lived as the Witnessing Consciousness and transmitted the profound teachings of non-duality in many of the excellent books he has authored.

Below is one small excerpt from his amazing book Ease of Being and I think it brings forth clearly the benefits and role of Yoga for those of us passionate about living an enlightened life.


Did you practice yoga to come to deeper levels of surrender and alertness?

Jean Klein:

The word practice generally means habit.  We must use it only in the sense of becoming more and more aware of body and mind.  We must see that the body is a field of fear, anxiety, defense and aggression.  However, the emphasis must not be on the body but on presence, on listening.  What is important is to become acquainted with the field of tensions and see that the constantly interfering I-image is not separate from this field but belongs to it.  When this is clear, tension finds no accomplice, the perception is freed, and energy integrates in its totality.  The traditional approach is through listening to the body, not mastering it.  Dominating the body is violence.  But one can sweep the floor or wash the dishes and be in listening.  It makes no difference.

Exploring the body brought me to deeper layers of relaxation and this relaxation brought about the cessation of repetitive patterns in the body and mind.  In welcoming the body I became more and more aware of the feeling of letting go, so in this way the yoga participated in the fore-feeling of reality.  But it only led me to where I no longer emphasized the object, the body, but the ultimate subject.  Yoga brings you to a kind of alertness, a tranquility, and a tranquil body reflects tranquil mind.  But of course you can come to the peaceful body-mind without yoga!

I think the above quote is a great summary for what Yoga can do for the spiritual aspirant.  It is an excellent vehicle for bringing peace to the body and mind, and raising your level of awareness and energy, which are all key aspects in your journey back to the Source.

How to Approach Your Yoga Practice

I would like to make one additional point with regard to how you should approach your Yoga practice, if indeed you are sincerely interested in enlightenment.  To make my point here, I will take the help of another great master of non-duality, this time from the Zen Buddhist tradition, Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki.

In the article Shunryu Suzuki Speaks on Enlightenment & Zazen Practice, Master Suzuki explained how to approach Zazen (Zen Meditation Practice).  He explained that one should simply do one’s daily meditation, while forgetting about all gaining ideas and all dualistic ideas.  This same approach should be applied to your Yoga practice.  Just do your Yoga practice with full awareness and don’t place emphasis on goals or results.  Just remain a silent witness during your practice and allow everything to progress naturally.  If you are sincere, eventually the stillness will emerge and the blossoming of Truth will occur.

Some Free Yoga Resources

If you are interested in integrating yoga into you spiritual practice, to help you still the mind, you are welcome to join the Free Online Yoga Courses here on Mastery of Meditation, or check out the Free Online Yoga Videos or other Free Yoga Tools & Books that are available. 

Don’t forget, stay alert!


3 Simple Tips to Invite Enlightenment

3 Practical Tips for Enlightenment Experiences

Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

The vast majority of humans go through life without ever experiencing Reality beyond what the ordinary dualistic mind projects.  Bound tightly by the ego-centric mind, they live their entire life stuck in mediocrity, mostly struggling for this or that, while experiencing a few fleeting joys.  One of the things that I hope to accomplish on this website, is awaken in you a passion for the Supreme, for the highest, and to that end, I think having an enlightenment experience or two can go a long way.

Enlightenment experiences are glimpses of that aspect of life and your being, which are beyond time, space and self.  These enlightenment experiences come in infinite variety, and in addition to giving you deep insight into the True Nature of Reality, they also inspire you to live life at your highest potential. 

Simple Tips to Invite Enlightenment

Seeing the Truth of Singularity makes you question the nature of duality and thought, while experiencing the utter freedom of these states, makes you question the value of your attachments.  So how can we go about facilitating these experiences?

Enlightenment experiences are not subject to your will.  In the article Understanding Non-Duality, Hinduism, Buddhism & Enlightenment, we went into how enlightenment experiences occur when there is a shift of awareness beyond the ego-centric mind, and defined life as an opportunity for setting the stage for such shifts to take place.  In this article I want to explore this idea further.

Mastery of Meditation is of course full of tools, techniques and tips to help you create a vessel into which infinity can descend.  Some of the best tools for creating such a vessel are without a doubt, Meditation, Pranayama and Yoga.  But, in this article I want to share with you some simple everyday tips, which I have noticed through personal experience help create situations that are conducive to enlightenment experiences occurring.

3 Simple Tips to Invite Enlightenment Experiences:

1. Napping:

Yup that is correct, you read it fine – napping.  I have noticed time and again, that when I end up napping during the day, the phase between wakefulness and sleep invariably opens the doors to infinity.

It does not matter where I nap.  On the bus to New York, on the sofa, in bed, does not matter.  This has been true for a very long time for me.  I actually don’t chase enlightenment experiences, so I have not used napping consciously to help bring them about, therfore these naps are always due to a lack of sleep for whatever reason.  Having said that, I am well aware that as I drift off, if I maintain my awareness, I am in for a treat.  So usually when I nap, I remain alert as sleep comes and see what magic takes place.

I want to mention here that I have had the same experience with simple nighttime sleep as well.  Although, the probability of a shift in awareness is less than napping, I have noticed that the phase when the ordinary wakeful mind is diminished and sleep is yet to come, is a very conducive time to penetrate veil of the dualistic mind. 

In addition, if you can develop a habit of meditating prior to sleep, this transitory phase and overnight sleep itself can become a very spiritual, precious and cherished time for you.

2. Long Nature Walks:

In the article 10 Things to do Everyday for Enlightened Living, item number 4 was “Spend Time in Nature”.  Taking long walks in natural surroundings, or spending time in the beauty of nature, I have also found to be very helpful in developing and finding spirituality.

These walks, if possible, should be taken alone and if they are taken with company, then should not be full of conversation and chatter.  Instead, just walk with simple awareness of the surroundings.  Take in everything and be sensitive to the moment.  Just watching life and being with life.  You will find enumerable emotional, mental and physical benefits from this simple activity, and of course, if you are lucky, you will be showered with blessings from beyond.

3. Read Enlightened Material:

I have found the direct words from enlightened masters to be automatic triggers for uplifting your awareness and giving you direct insight.  Here one has to be a little careful though, as reading endlessly can also just be an escape from life and also, it can be hard to be sure, if the author is really an evolved being or not.  Having said that, good books certainly carry spiritual vibrations and their content is without a doubt, one of the most inspiring sources for spiritual growth.

Authors whose work I have read and subsequentially found myself immersed in the boundless are masters such as J. Krishnamurti, Osho and Nisargadatta Maharaj, to name a few.  At the very minimum, such books I have found to be very helpful in “keeping my eye on the ball” so to speak.   There can be times when I don’t read for many many months, but then, if I find I am in need for spiritual realignment, I will pick up a good book and use it give me the right perspective again.

Of course, in today’s day and age, perhaps good spiritual blogs also carry high vibrations and can be helpful to inspire and uplift you ;-).


So there you have it.  For enlightenment, take a long walk, sit under a big tree and fall asleep reading a good book :-D.  Well not quite, but I couldn’t resist.  I hope the above practical tips give you the opportunity to catch a glimpse of Ultimate Reality and are useful to you in your journey back to the Source. 

If you have some tips for inviting the Wonder and penetrating the mundane, please share them with us as well.  I am sure it will be beneficial to all.




Enlightenment via “Who Am I” Advaita Vedanta Meditation (Neti Neti)

Enlightenment Experiences:  Advaita Vedanta: Negation Meditation (Neti Neti):

Journal Entry: Jan 09, 2007

Yesterday had been a good day, the unseasonably warm weather not allowing winter to squeeze the joy out of us here in the North Eastern United States.  Connectivity with nature, is connectivity with life and the winter elements, that normally keep us locked down, isolated and disconnected, were missing their bite this year – perhaps global warming was not such a bad thing after all ;-).  Late in the evening after battling with the 3 year old and 3 month old, bruised and weary I finally got to bed.  The time before sleep, has been for years now a time for me to meditate.  I am one who is unable to sleep on his back so in that position, I discovered long ago, I could meditate effectively without falling asleep.  In fact, before I ever began sitting meditation I would only meditate in this posture.          


As I have described in the Silent Mind Meditation Program there are many approaches one can use when watching the mind, many angles with which to negate it.  One such angle, that I have not employed in some time, is the profound Vedic meditation technique of Neti Neti (not this; not this).  It is the corner stone of Advaita Vedanta – the Hindu school of non-dualism.  Some of the teachers of Advaita Vedanta are giants like Gaudapada, Ramana Maharishi and Nisargadatta Maharaj and at the heart of their teachings is the absolute non-duality of existence.  The technique itself is quite simple.  One puts the question “Who am I?” to oneself and negates everything that comes up.  What comes up is known, whether it be the body, feelings, ego, thoughts, etc, and it is identified for what it is and negated as not being the answer to the question “Who am I?”          

Many years ago Swami Dayananda Saraswati (of Arsha Vaidya Gurukulam fame) did a Jenoi ceremony (thread ceremony which servers as a reminder primarily to be a good human being) for my cousins and myself, and in a question answer session after words we discussed this question, “Who am I?”  At that time he answered it as I described above, “It is what you do not know.”  I remember the conversation like it happened yesterday.  I remember not being clear on the answer and bugging him again to explain.  He was quite happy to do so and explained, that what you can identify as something, is exactly that thing, and it is not who you are.  I was never fully satisfied, or just never quite understood, until much later when I came upon and practiced this meditation Neti, Neti.          

So last night I revisited that technique.  After being rudely interrupted by my 3 month old a few more times, my prayers were answered as my thoughtful wife whisked him downstairs for some TLC and left me alone with my restless mind.  I finally got down to the business of watching my thoughts.  The meditation was on.  Keenly I continued to inspect each thought, comprehend it and reject it as it was Not I.  I pushed on.  Meditating at this time, as long as you don’t drift off to sleep, I have found to be very effective and it was no different last night.  The mind began to slow and a great focus emerged.  No thought was escaping awareness and each was being “digested” by the furnace of intelligence.          

Soon, as often happens with these meditations, sweet joy and vast energy made their welcome appearance.  No analysis was being used.  Simply, thoughts were being seen for what they were and being rejected as not being “Who I am”.  Awareness and intelligence were is full flow, both were acute and inclusive. Insight was fully operational.  The state grew very pleasurable and seemed to continue on and on.  I remained as vigilant as possible, not allowing anything to stick – not attaching to any thoughts.  At some point much later, I had turned and fallen asleep, but throughout the night there were episodes where I was awake and watching, negating, enjoying.  To me, this is so much fun.  At another point even thought formations seemed to just cease, but the watching continued.  Neti, neti – not this, nor this.  The secret here is that it does not matter who you are, it only matters who you are not.   

The mind moves, so what?  It is in its nature to move.  Don’t fight with thoughts, just learn to stand apart, un-touched and be a good witness.  If you watch carefully, amazing things will happen.  Like it has been said, the only book you need to read is the one that is built in you – your mind – and unfortunately, so few of us pay attention to what is really going on there.