Basic candle concentration
Place a lighted candle in front of you and seat yourself a comfortable distance from it. Sit comfortably erect and place the palms of your hands over your spiritual heart in the centre of your chest. Imagine above your head a cloudless, blue sky. With each breath inhalation, imagine that all the thoughts, images and pictures in your mind are dissolving into this blue, vast sky. Feel no necessity to replace the thoughts and pictures. Eventually feel that your mind itself is dissolving into the sky above you.
As you breath in and out, imagine now that your breath is passing through your hands directly into your spiritual heart. As the breath enters, simply “ride” on the breath, leaving the mind-room and moving deeper with each gentle breath into the space behind your hands, the heart-room.
Open your eyes and look into the candle flame. Don’t look at anything else – only at the flame. For about two minutes, try to penetrate the flame with your concentration. Then close your eyes again and imagine the flame right inside your spiritual heart, just a few centimeters behind your hands. See the flame perfectly still there and concentrate on it with the same intensity.
After about a minute or so, open your eyes again and once more look at the physical candle flame. This time imagine yourself drawing the flame into your heart. Try to place it as deeply into your heart as possible.
Then again, close your eyes and once more see and concentrate on the flame in your heart. Remain still for a minute more. When you feel ready, take a deep breath and reopen your eyes.
(from the book “A Twenty-First Century Seeker” by Pradhan Balter)
Imagine or recall in your heart a time or some experience with which you associate a sincere sense of gratitude. Recall that experience in your heart, almost like replaying a video, and at the same time invoke and relive the gratitude you felt at that time. With each gentle inhalation try to make the recollection and the gratitude more intense. Do this for about one minute and try not to allow anything else to come into your mind.
Then let go of the specific experience and try only to remain with the feeling of gratitude. With each passing breath, try to expand this feeling of gratitude into the space around you. Remain in this space for as long as you comfortably can. Imagine that you are gratitude itself.
When you open your eyes again, try to see with gratitude. Wherever your vision falls, offer your gratitude to what you see. Look out at the world with gratitude.
(from the book “A Twenty-First Century Seeker” by Pradhan Balter)
Listen to the meditation mantra’s we have been singing during the class: You can sing along with the music!
Aum Govindaya Nama (protection):
Aum Rudraya Nama (transformation):
Aum Aparajitaya Nama (invincibility):
Aum Amritaya Nama (nectar-delight):
Aum Shanti Supreme Beloved (inner and outer peace):
Meditation Podcast: The Vastness of the Sky
This guided meditation is a visualization of the sky, inviting you to identify with vastness.
Sri Chinmoy spoke about the quality of vastness in meditation:
If we can feel the existence of the vast ocean or the vast sky inside us, then we will find ourselves growing into this vastness. Meditation means our conscious growth in the infinite. In meditation, the mind becomes calm and silent and we consciously allow ourselves to be nurtured and nourished by Infinity itself. Meditation is our conscious awareness of the Vast, and from this point of our meditation we grow into the Vastness itself.
Voice: Jacky Spears
Music: Parichayaka Hammerl
Breathing in peace and joy.
Each time you breathe in, try to feel that you are bringing infinite peace into your body. The opposite of peace is restlessness. When you breathe out, try to feel that you are expelling the restlessness within you and also the restlessness that you see all around you. When you breathe this way, you will find restlessness leaving you.
After practising this a few times, please try to feel that you are breathing in power from the universe, and when you exhale, feel that all your fear is coming out of your body.
After doing this a few times, try to feel that you are breathing in infinite joy and breathing out sorrow, suffering and melancholy.
Feel that you are breathing in not air but cosmic energy. Feel that tremendous cosmic energy is entering into you with each breath, and that you are going to use it to purify your body, vital, mind and heart. Feel that there is not a single place in your being that is not being occupied by the flow of cosmic energy. It is flowing like a river inside you, washing and purifying your entire being.
Then, when you breathe out, feel that you are breathing out all the rubbish inside you — all your undivine thoughts, obscure ideas and impure actions. Anything inside your system that you call undivine, anything that you do not want to claim as your own, feel that you are exhaling.
If you want to develop the power of concentration, then here is an exercise you can try. First wash your face and eyes properly with cold water. Then make a black dot on the wall at eye level. Stand facing the dot, about ten inches away, and concentrate on it.
After a few minutes, try to feel that when you are breathing in, your breath is actually coming from the dot, and that the dot is also breathing in, getting its breath from you. Try to feel that there are two persons: you and the black dot. Your breath is coming from the dot and its breath is coming from you.
In ten minutes, if your concentration is very powerful, you will feel that your soul has left you and entered into the black dot on the wall.
At this time try to feel that you and your soul are conversing. Your soul is taking you into the soul’s world for realisation, and you are bringing the soul into the physical world for manifestation.
In this way you can develop your power of concentration very easily. But this method has to be practised. There are many things which are very easy with practice, but just because we do not practise them we do not get the result.
Becoming the soul
In order to purify your mind, the best thing to do is to feel every day for a few minutes during your meditation that you have no mind. Start by saying to yourself, “I have no mind, what I have is the heart.” Repeat this phrase 7 times out loud, and then in silence. Meditate on that reality.
Then after some time, say, “I do not have a heart. What I have is the soul.” Repeat this phrase 7 times out loud, and then in silence. Meditate on that reality. When you say, “I have the soul,” at that time you will be flooded with purity.
But again you have to go deeper and farther. So after some time, repeat the phrase “Not only do I have the soul, I am the
soul.” At that time, imagine the most beautiful child you have ever seen, and feel that your soul is infinitely more beautiful than that child. Repeat this phrase 7 times out loud, and then in silence.
The moment you can say and feel, “I am the soul,” and meditate on this truth, your soul’s infinite purity will enter into your heart. Then, from the heart, the infinite purity will enter into your mind. When you can truly feel that you are only the soul, the soul will purify your mind.
(adapted from Sri Chinmoy’s book “Meditation”)
Kindly imagine a flower inside your heart. Suppose you prefer a rose. Imagine that the rose is not fully blossomed; it is still a bud. After you have meditated for two or three minutes, please try to imagine that petal by petal the flower is blossoming. See and feel the flower blossoming petal by petal inside your heart. Then, after five minutes, try to feel that there is no heart at all; there is only a flower inside you called ‘heart’. You do not have a heart, but only a flower. The flower has become your heart or your heart has become a flower.
After seven or eight minutes, please feel that this flower-heart has covered your whole body. Your body is no longer here; from your head to your feet you can feel the fragrance of the rose. If you look at your feet, immediately you experience the fragrance of a rose. If you look at your knee, you experience the fragrance of a rose. If you look at your hand, you experience the fragrance of a rose. Everywhere the beauty, fragrance and purity of the rose have permeated your entire body.
(from the book “Meditation: man-perfection in God-satisfaction” by Sri Chinmoy)