From Charles Steck, New Orleans, Louisiana
Sahaja Online subscriber and avid meditator
Monday morning it rains and the traffic on the motorway is jammed. I'm late and the boss won't be happy.
I hated my job, but it paid off well.
I grabbed the nicotine and the Red Bull next to me. The combination induced a simultaneous release of adrenaline and dopamine, which provided short-term relief from the fearful thought of discharge. After arriving 10 minutes late, it turned out that the boss wasn't there yet and a big contract that I was working on had arrived!
Life was great, but …
My interest in the spirit dates back to the 1980s. My father was a psychiatrist. His practice included a variety of therapies and techniques, one of which is the so-called "relaxation response". He taught me the technique and I started using it daily to improve performance (study, athletics). It seemed to work and create a calm and focused state, but it seemed to wear off quickly. I insisted on the technique telling myself that there would be a cumulative effect. However, it didn't seem complete.
It felt like something was missing.
I read several books by J Krishnamurti and had very brief states of non-thinking and what he called "indiscriminate awareness" but could not find a way to maintain this state of ease and without struggle. After a while I almost gave up finding this condition and found it impractical and resorted to selfish aspirations and did the best I could with sermons from the Church pastor.
Fast forward 30 years later.
Prayer, positive affirmations, and the relaxation response are combined into an incoherent attempt to escape anxiety, fear, discomfort, worry, guilt, and other negative states. In no way incapacitated, but these negative thoughts and emotions would perish under my normal waking state of conscious activity, not entirely noticeable, but definitely coloring my experience of the world around me.
A spiritual author called this collective and individual dissatisfaction "the background statics of eternal dissatisfaction". It is a kind of unconscious resentment or complaint that occurs automatically, as does the digestive system or the blood flow. The underlying unconscious thinking is, "When something like this happens in my life, things will be great." Until then, I'll be angry about what's ahead of me.
The normal waking state in which the egoic mind devalues and resists the present moment by creating psychological time – the past or the future – what I now know as the normal state of 3rd state of consciousness.
In the third state, my mind obsessively and habitually judges the "now" as not right, not satisfactory, not enough. When something good happens, there is temporary relief followed by the need for more. Life had become a constant series of “Monday mornings”. Highs and lows, highs and lows, the good followed by the bad.
One evening after a challenging day at work, I thought of the Krishnamurti book I had read over 20 years ago. I turned on the television and saw a show with the spiritual writer Eckhart Tolle. He talked about the selfish mind and all the problems that come with it. I bought his books and began to experience brief periods of flight from uncontrolled thinking. After 3 or 4 seconds, however, the voice took hold in my head and put me back into a negative state of dissatisfaction. It was a kind of "prison" it seems. No matter how hard I tried, I could not maintain "presence", a term used by Eckhart Tolle to describe the absence of a psychological past and / or future in the subjective experience ("The Power of Now").
I came to the conclusion that I did not have the strength or ability to stay in the present moment. I told myself that someone must specifically teach a method of how to achieve this state.
I searched the internet for "Thoughtless Awareness" and found Sahaja Online.
The first thing I saw was this:
Until recently, the US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) defined meditation as "a conscious mental process that produces a series of integrated physiological changes called a relaxation response." Recently, the NCCAM appears to have reassessed its understanding of meditation by adding a new key feature: "In meditation, a person learns to focus his attention and expose the stream of thoughts that normally preoccupies the mind," suggesting a shift in a physiological ("relaxation reaction") to an experimental definition (suspension of thought activity) that is more in line with traditional Eastern understanding.
My jaw fell down !!!
This quote summarized all of my previous experience with the mind. The & # 39; relaxation response & # 39; was valid (what I discovered and still practiced as a teenager) but a new key feature was added: “A person LEARNS to focus their attention and expose the stream of thoughts that is usually preoccupied with the mind.
My optimism was restored, I wanted to LEARN, this website would TEACH me.
Before me was a page full of scientific information and every imaginable detail about the mind, conscious states. There were also group lessons.
I spent the next week reading it all and then took the first plunge by signing up online.
Since that first encounter 6 months ago I have had the following experiences:
Negative thinking has decreased by about 50%. I spend a lot of time meditating (about 3 hours a day). During these 3 hours there is NO NEGATIVE THINKING. When I combine that with a small decrease in negativity when I'm not meditating, the overall drop is significant.
I have more space between my thoughts and, over longer periods of time, have been able to perceive with little to no disruption in thinking. The world seems new and more alive. There is a lack of abstraction and conceptualization.
Kundalini always rises when I sit down to meditate. It never fails (I don't take it for granted, I just share my own experiences). I never thought anyone could be excited to sit quietly with their eyes closed, but I do. When the Kundalini crosses my 6th center and the "tent mast rises", as Shankar (one of the Sahaja online instructors) puts it so eloquently. My whole body relaxes and I feel like I'm floating in the air.
It has always been my primary goal to find a way to enter the fourth state.
Sahaja Online describes how it happens.
"Achieving thoughtless awareness with the help of the inner energy is much easier than trying to attain thoughtless awareness at the level of the normal mental plane, where you are surrounded by the thoughts and feelings that you are trying to overcome." The energy that rises does a lot of the work for you and works like rocket fuel, putting you in a state of mindless awareness. When it crosses the sixth energy center or the point of the optic chiasm, the thoughts within us begin to recede and we are placed in the thoughtless state of consciousness. "
I am so optimistic now because I found this thoughtless consciousness, Kundalini, subtle system. Chakras and my mind. The Sahaja methodology gave me a spiritual map and the actual location of these manifestations in my body in my body. THAT REALLY … It's really wonderful. All of the other books and religions that I have tried refer to it abstractly.
Someone used to preach about the Spirit and yet they couldn't tell you where it was … how to feel it … how to find it, how to experience it. As a result, I always had the hope of receiving or feeling something, but that rarely happened. Now it's almost like an algorithm !!!! …. detailed … specific … input …. output … !!!!!!
Increased peace, joy, hope, optimism … I feel a lot of it every day because of the Sahaja practice.
The mantras and regular soaking of the feet have definitely had an effect over the past 30 days. (Sahaja Online offers advanced online courses for those interested in taking their practice to an advanced level.)
Kind of like a personal trainer at the gym … my subtle energy system has definitely gotten stronger (so to speak).