Sustain Your Listening
attention without feeling, is only a report
There are said to be seven attributes, according to a text called the Gheranda Samhita, that contribute to the evolution into a fully matured human being in the realm of mastering consciousness. Even if you have no desire to read that point in this lifetime, these attributes are worth looking at, working on and developing in order to experience a full, rich and abundant outlook and experience of life.
The first weeks and build up toward the full moon are working on two of these attributes. Developing purity and steadiness to give us the clarity we need as confirmation we are on the right path.
That clarity informs our determination to keep working at this practice that excavates beneath our learnt behaviours, thought patterns, conditioning, ego and emotional turmoil in order to get us closer to that stillness and silence that is beneath it all.
Then what this process starts to do is slowly eliminate all that heavy stuff, that weighs us down in expectation and mind stuff, allowing us to cultivate lightness. Look at those examples we have, those who are evolved in spiritual practice - the Dalai Llama being one, and look at the buoyancy in his being. As we balance our determination to continue on these 40 days, to catch the tampering and questioning nature of the mind, we use the practice of langhana. An emptying out, or quite literally “to diminish back to its cause”, looping us back to the first attribute of purity in order to create steadiness, we continue to use our sadhana to lighten our load in order to see clearly how to nourish our life.
As we develop lightness, we find what we need from there is patience. 40 days is a long time, but we also have a lifetime to work on this. To let the effects unfold and develop as we open our perception. We will look further into the final two attributes direct perception - seeing things for what they are, and dispassion or non-attachment as we continue on.
Below are our practices as we move beyond the full moon, riding the next wave as she wanes and we keep listening.
Your commitment is to listen and record what it is you hear. There might be a swamp of thoughts to wade through before you get to that place and journaling is a helpful practice to assist that purification process.
#1 Stream of Consciousness Journaling
Take a blank page, set a timer for 2 minutes, put your pen to paper and do not remove it for 2 minutes. Write all the mental chatter down, don’t worry about complete sentences just write as it comes. As the time is up, finish the word you are on, pen down and let the words settle and release.
#2 What do I do next?
Take your sankalpa, write it at the top of your page and looking at the day ahead of you, (or remaining hours of your day, or if you are doing this practice at night look at the night and the next day) and starting from the moment you finish your practice what is the first thing you can do to contribute to your sankalpa. Please include your responsibilities, but also look at the things you might be putting off. Perhaps spending an hour sorting out your tax will support your sankalpa, or finishing some chores before you can spend quality time with loved ones. Make your list as practical as you can.
#3 Pinpoint what needs to be eliminated
Go through your list, pausing at each item and notice the quality of your attention or energy as you get a feeling for your achievement of each item you have ahead of you in the day. Are there feelings of hesitation, or avoidance. Do you feel you’ve packed too much in and there is no ease or flow? Is there worry of distraction? Pinpoint what you may need to eliminate in your mindset or in your list, to give a sense of steadiness as you approach the day to come and if need be rewrite your list.
You are not meditating for the sake of meditating, but you are now meditating because the quality of your life depends on it. Every time you put aside those 15 minutes it is a choice you make towards the attributes of purification, steadiness and determination.
Continue on with the Shrim meditations, with one addition.
Before you begin take 6 deep breaths, making the exhale last as long as you can. When you are empty, allow yourself to stay empty for as long as you can before the next breath begins.
Once you have done 6 langhana breaths, continue on with shrim noticing the richness in the experience of the mantra after you have done those purifying and steadying breaths.
You may be really comfortable using the few langhana breaths above to drop you into the bija meditation, or, use this recording below to drop you a little more deeply in to the stillness and silence beneath your thoughts.
Empty yourself out in order to really feel the depth and richness of life.