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Jag är en självständig och bestämd människa som älskar Livet och allt som finns i det.Mitt motto är "Ge allt och få allt"
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måndag 31 oktober 2011

Prayer of samyama

Prayer is the most commonly used spiritual practice in all of the religious traditions around the world. Prayer comes wrapped in many forms of culture and ritual. Yet, it is essentially the same practice everywhere. It involves placing attention on an object, or series of objects, repetition, and surrender of the object(s) to the divine.

Does this sound familiar? It should. It is the application of the principles of samyama. It should not be a surprise. The principles of samyama are universal and are contained within all of us. They are found manifesting in prayer practice in every religious tradition. The principles of samyama are inherent in everyone, and for this reason prayer has been found to work, more or less, for thousands of years.

What do we mean by, "Prayer works, more or less"?

Certainly, all prayers are not answered to our satisfaction. The more we are externally invested in the particular outcome desired from prayer, the less likely that specific outcome will be forthcoming. This is because the cultivation of expectations for a specific outcome is not true prayer (or samyama). Expectations are external projections of the mind that have little to do with prayer. Our personal desires will short-circuit the divine outflow.

On the other hand, it will be a different story if we offer a specific object in our prayers and release it to inner silence (the divine) within us without hanging on to expectations. This will always lead to a result, not necessarily exactly what we expected, but something fruitful all the same. What comes from prayer is a function of our surrender, not our expectation. This is the key point in all prayer.

Surrender of the object to the divine is the essential operating principle in prayer.

This is beautifully expressed in the Biblical phrase, "Thy will be done."

This is not an invitation to lead a passive life without active participation. Real surrender is not passive. It is tremendously dynamic. It is the rise of the active witness. It is the birth of stillness in action. All sorts of miraculous events will flow out of this kind of awakening – this kind of active surrender.

Effective prayer is effective relationship with the divine within us. It is dynamic relationship. In this kind of relationship, the attention is brought to many objects, sometimes in structured practice and sometimes spontaneously. With the rise of stillness in action, the natural flow of desires is steadily elevated, and so are the objects selected, which are released into stillness. And the divine flow pours out from within, increasing from its own momentum, like a snowball rolling downhill. Active surrender!

Our own activity in daily living is part of this process. We can be very active, pursuing our goals in life, and in surrender at the same time. As a matter of fact, the more active we are in moving toward our goals, the more effective our spiritual practices and prayers will be. There is the expression, "The Lord helps those who help themselves." It is true. This is especially applicable for those who are engaged in daily spiritual practices, because stillness becomes very active, and this means action in the form of outpouring divine energy.

When we speak of the object of our prayer, we can apply some additional useful knowledge from the principles of samyama by considering the application of the concept of sutra. Recall that a sutra is a code word or phrase that contains meaning stored deep in our consciousness in the seeds of our language. If we have understood a sutra before we enter samyama practice, we will not have to be understanding it during samyama practice. We just pick it up and let it go. The word or phrase will contain the meaning. This is a highly effective way to release content into stillness, including in prayer. We are shrinking the proverbial camel, so it can pass easily through the eye of the needle into stillness. From there, inner silence will take over.

Let’s consider a practical example. If we have a dear relative or friend who is ill, we may wish to offer a prayer for them. We know their name, and that they are ill. Deep within us we have the essence of who they are. It is contained deep in our consciousness.

So, what is the best way to offer a prayer for this person? Does it have to be a long, drawn out prayer? If so, how would we surrender such a long and drawn out petition into stillness? While our prayer may be rich in words, how can we cram all of that richness through the eye of the needle into stillness? Stillness does not need our elaborate words. More is less in this case.

It is much better to do a simple repetition of the person’s name, faintly picking it up and releasing it into stillness, letting it go for about 15 seconds, and then touching the name again on the boundary of stillness in a very faint way. Then we can let it go again. And again, for as many times as we feel appropriate, but not to the point of excess and strain. Everything we know about the person and all that is needed to enliven divine healing energy is contained in the simple procedure of releasing their name into divine stillness. We can be certain that divine healing energy will be stirred by our prayer. It is very simple.

5-10 minutes is a good period to engage in a prayer when applied with samyama. It will be very powerful, particularly if we have been cultivating inner silence through deep meditation beforehand. Therefore, a good time to engage in such prayer activity is soon after our sitting practices. If this is not the case, then 5-10 minutes of deep meditation right before prayer will help stabilize a good initial condition of inner silence. If we do this, our prayer will be more powerful.

The degree of help that may be received by another is also dependent on the degree of receptivity, so it is good for the person in need to be aware of the prayers being offered on their behalf. Receptivity is the greater half of the equation. If this were not so, sincere prayers would have much greater effect than is often the case. If the recipient is open and receptive, the entire universe will run to fill the need. As has been said, "Your faith has made you whole."

It will be a good idea to take some extra rest after doing samyama-style prayer. Keep in mind that while we are helping others, we are also advancing our own inner purification and opening, so some rest afterward is advised to avoid the possibility of some irritability occurring when we get up and go out into our daily activities.

The same kind of procedure can be used with traditional prayers, meditating first for 5-10 minutes, and then picking up each phrase or line of our traditional prayer faintly and releasing it into stillness, letting go for about 15 seconds before picking up the next phrase or line. It can be done while using a rosary or mala also.

In many traditions, group prayer is used to multiply the effects of individual prayer. When refining our prayer using the principles of samyama, and doing it in a group, the effects can be greatly amplified. It is not mandatory for a prayer group to be physically located in one place. It has been found that a coordinated prayer offered by many people in many locations, synchronized in time, is very powerful in its positive effects. With the advent of the Internet and instant worldwide communications, there are many possibilities for groups to work together in this way for the betterment of family, friends, and all of humanity.

The guru is in you.
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måndag 24 oktober 2011

What Is the Role of a Spiritual Teacher or Mentor

In general, a teacher or mentor is a person who guides, instructs, or helps another in the process of gaining knowledge, understanding, or skills. What about a spiritual teacher or mentor? What is their role? And more specifically what does a spiritual teacher or spiritual mentor in the nondual or Advaita tradition do?
Spiritual Teachings with Spiritual Mentor and Spiritual Teacher, Nirmala.

A spiritual teacher/mentor’s role is unique in that the goal is not to transmit knowledge or understanding as much as it is to somehow bring about a recognition in the student of the student’s own pre-existing nature. This is a much more subtle thing than simply teaching someone a skill or understanding. It is not that a spiritual teacher never provides spiritual teachings or knowledge or understanding, but that knowledge or understanding by itself is not the goal. A student can have a broad knowledge of spiritual principles, and yet can still not have truly recognized those principles as being inherent in his or her own being. So spiritual teachers or mentors may teach a lot or they may not teach anything, depending on what the student needs in that moment to experience this deeper recognition of their own true nature.

This may seem like a subtle distinction between the role of a spiritual teacher and a regular teacher, but it makes a huge difference. The regular teacher usually has something specific to transmit, and there is often an implied assumption that the student will have more understanding or be better off when the teaching is completed. But the spiritual teacher is pointing to something that is already present in the student. It is like teaching someone to have shoulders. You can’t really teach the having of shoulders to someone who already has shoulders! But you can make them more aware of the shoulders they already have.

In the case of an Advaita or nondual spiritual teacher, the teacher or mentor is pointing to the most fundamental qualities of the student’s already existing nature, specifically, the qualities of oneness, awareness, and emptiness. Advaita means not two and is referring to the mysterious oneness of all existence. Fundamentally there is only one substance of reality that everything is made of, including the teacher and the student. (Click here for a further definition of Advaita and an experiential exploration of this oneness.)

Some take this fundamental truth of our nature to mean that there can be no such thing as a teacher or mentor, or a student for that matter. If it’s all one, then distinctions or differences are taken to be meaningless illusions, including the difference between a teacher/mentor and a student/mentee. Yet. while ultimately all appearance is temporary and, therefore, not fundamental to our being, our being exists on many levels, not just on the absolute level of our ultimate nature. It also expresses on this relative level where there is an apparent teacher and an apparent student. And these roles function on the relative level until students have recognized their true nature and there is nothing left to teach them.
So the teaching function of a spiritual teacher operates on the relative level until it’s simply no longer needed because the student has realized his or her deeper nature. There’s nothing wrong with this functioning, and there’s no need to take the identity as a teacher or as a student too seriously. It’s a quirk of our language that we turn concepts that are actually best expressed as a temporary verb into the implied permanence of a noun. Someone whose function is to provide medical care becomes a “doctor,” which is just a conceptual way of expressing the association of that function with that person. It’s not a permanent or fundamental quality of their true identity. Similarly, spiritual teaching and mentoring is simply a function that sometimes serves in our spiritual unfoldment. It’s not a fundamental part of anyone’s true nature and is not any more real or unreal than any other functioning of our relative lives. One way this is expressed is that not everyone who realizes their true nature is also equipped to be, or even interested in being, a spiritual teacher.

There are some practical considerations in the choosing of and working with a spiritual teacher. There are qualities one would expect to find in someone who is truly serving this function of pointing to the deeper truth of Being. Unfortunately, there are many examples of teachers that don’t always live up to the ideal. While even a poor teacher may serve someone’s spiritual unfoldment, it’s just common sense to use some discrimination. As a starting point you can view this list of qualities one can look for. In this age of abundant information available on the web, it can’t hurt to do a search and thoroughly explore other people’s experiences and perspectives of any spiritual teacher you may wish to be involved with, while keeping in mind that any individual’s experience expressed on the internet is colored by their own conditioning and particular experience.

Lastly, there’s the question of surrender and/or devotion to the spiritual teacher. Is it necessary to completely give up all control and direction to the spiritual teacher in order to receive the deepest benefit of their teaching? In a word the answer is no. It’s not necessary. It does sometimes serve especially within the context of a long term committed relationship with a particular teacher who is of the highest level of integrity, but it’s not absolutely necessary. All of the true nature being pointed to is already present in the student. There is nothing that the teacher has to give you or take from you for the recognition of this deeper nature to occur. Anytime there is a surrender or insistence on total devotion, there is also equally a danger of misuse and abuse of that power. Beware of any teacher who demands this kind of total surrender. The truth can be freely given, as it is limitless, and doesn’t need to be guarded or doled out only to a few.

However, there is another form of devotion or love that can naturally arise within the teacher/student relationship which is the immense gratitude that arises when the truth is seen. And while ultimately, every experience is our teacher and with the fullest realization there is gratitude for all of existence, there can also be a natural deep appreciation for the apparent person who has pointed you to that truth. It’s a strange kind of gratitude as you are grateful to them for everything and nothing, but it is there nonetheless. So if there is a human teacher, there may be this gratitude and love that arises in response to the gift of spiritual teaching they have shared with you. But of course at that point there is no need for surrender or giving up of control, and a true teacher or spiritual mentor doesn’t need devotion or surrender from anyone, even if it does arise.

The true spiritual teacher is here simply to serve your own recognition of your true nature. The final measure of his or her functioning in this capacity is the degree of your own depth of realization. The rest is relatively unimportant unless it serves this simple but subtle goal.

måndag 17 oktober 2011
Det finns inget som är säkert och ingen säkerhet i något.
Säkerhet är en illusion, som vill gripa om ditt ego till evigt liv. Det finns inget evigt liv för egot eller för kroppen. Gud ger, Gud tar. Ju mer du försöker gömma sig bakom en falsk sköld av säkerhet desto svårare är det att falla. Släpp illusionen, och förenas i Guds nåd.
Marija ♥
There is no safety, no security.
Security is an illusion, a grasping of your ego to eternal life. There is no eternal life for the ego or for the body. God given, God taken. The more you try to hide behind the false shield of security, the harder will be the fall. Let go of the illusion, and abide in God's grace.
Marija ♥


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