We always begin meditation with half a minute of feeling the silence within, we identify with that silence then we start the mantra and let it go. We witness the conscious thinking mind from this deep inner silence as it thinks the mantra. Our experience is true effortless thinking of the mantra, just like it takes zero effort to observe the engine of the car as it runs, it takes zero effort to observe the conscious thinking mind as it thinks the mantra. When we can maintain our awareness in the silent mind, which is our subtle mind and our direct connection with Krishna, as the conscious thinking mind is performing Dharana (thinking the mantra), we have progressed to the second level of meditation called Dhyana.
It is our objective to maintain this witnessing quality throughout meditation and Samyama. If we can do this, the meditation time passes quickly and effortlessly and blissfully! It is truely a delight to spend these moments in meditation. On the other hand, if we are unable to separate our mind into these two levels, conscious thinking mind and silent witnessing mind, and cannot witness the conscious thinking mind from the silent witnessing mind throughout meditation, then our experience of meditation is far less charming. We feel bored, uneasy and time moves very slowly, with many thoughts of “is it over yet?” as we may frequently check the time. If this is your experience, then you are not “effortlessly thinking the mantra” by detaching from your conscious thinking mind and witnessing from the subtle mind.
Effortless thinking of the mantra can only be experienced by transcending the conscious thinking mind and becoming identified with the silent, subtle mind. Then we are like the driver of the car instead of the car. Being a car is not effortless at all – we have a motor to run, transmission and gears, and wheels and tires, and all the aparatus of the machine to operate. But as the driver, we simply sit comfortably in the drivers seat and steer the vehicle. This is not a perfect analogy, they never are, but probably you can see the parallel with conscious thinking mind and silent witness mind.
The purpose of the Moksha Advanced Course is to give you the experience of this separation of conscious thinking mind and acting body, and the silent witness that is effortlessly observing the activities of the meditation session and beyond into daily life. Even more important to having this experience of the silent witness is to become this silent witness. That naturally dawns with regular, deep experience of the silent witness. It just happened to one of the Course Participants on the Moksha Advanced Course – here is her experience:
"I meditated. I was associated with inner silence and watched the conscious thinking mind as it thought the sutras. I watched it, then I realized that inside there was an ongoing conversation. I watched the interview and told myself, my body has needs, it is living the life; and this interview runs within the body. It's not me. I'm the one who watches this interview. Then came the question, where am I? What am I? I withdrew even more inside, behind it all, and I teamed up with interior silence. Then I felt something strange. I felt this internal silence is me! I stayed with the team of silent mind and thinking mind until the end of meditation. This was the first time I felt one with the inner quiet and I did not have the feeling that the inner silence is something outside of me with which I should join. I am this inner silence - inside is quiet, beautiful Bliss. I am this Bliss.”
Another experience on the following day:
"It was an experience that I am the silence within me, without words, only the endless silence. This was my last meditation of the day, the first and second as if searching for the way to what was now in this meditation. Very easily I arrived at the point of deep silence within me and I felt I did not want to do anything, not even repeat the sutra. Why is this necessary? I'm so good when I am just immersed in silence and live the silence. It is beautiful and the sutras disturb me when I have to think the sutra. Still I hear inside during meditation the sutra being sopken. It's as if the sutras are explicitly inside, but for me are so noisy, as if they are said aloud. Then I again realized, those words are not me. I'm the unbounded silence without end and without words. If there is a change. the voice inside is completely stopped. Inside, I remained speechless and sutras are perceived only as faint vibrations that are dwindling. Sutras remain without words, and within me remains silent. Like concentric spheres, the sutras are all aound while I remain only as the inner silence at the core - the sutras seem to float inside my physical body."
And another experience on the Course:
"During meditation, when I began to perceive myself as the eternal silence, it was as if I hugged myself. And immediately I swelled into the whole space of the room, then the building, then no limits, I am not the physical body, I am everywhere. Also now as expanding I hear the sound of flutes, it is very intense and it is everywhere. It is wonderful, because Krishna communicates with me in His own way. And now I understand that the sound of His flute is like the breath that fills me. "Who I am?" was my question to Krishna and this is His answer.
As I come out of meditation I see myself in all things, all beings, all people, all plants, everything! I am with Krishna and He is in my heart."
Our time of meditation is a laboratory for experience and training the mind and learning how to witness the conscious thinking mind as it performs various tasks. First we give it the most simple of tasks, thinking a meaningless word, the mantra. What could be more simple than that? We learn to witness the conscious thinking mind as it thinks the mantra. Our experience verifies that we are not the conscious thinking mind – no we are that silent witness of the conscious thinking mind.
Then we give the conscious thinking mind a more complex task, called samyama. We have sutras that are much more complex than the simple mantra, and the sutras have meaning as well. Plus there is the timing between sutras and there are several sutras, each of which should be thought for a specific amount of time. With this change we challenge the mind to remain established in yoga (silence) while performing action – yogastah kuru karmani (BG 2-48).
Then as we advance in our practice of the yoga sutras we come to the flying sutra and engage the whole body in performing action while remaining established in yoga. The opens the door to full-time Moksha during daily life and activity.
The practice of samyama is essential for attaining Moksha, as Krishna tells Arjuna in the
Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 6, Verse 46:
Direct Translation of Each Word:
tapasvibhyo: than the ascetics (those who renounce mundane human life); adhikah: greater; yogi: the one who practices yoga (samyama); jnanibhyah: than the wise or those who concentrate on an intellectual understanding of Reality; api: also; matah: considered; adhikah: greater; karmibhyah: than the fruitive workers who try to achieve Moksha by performing service to the Divine; ca: also; adhikah: greater: yogi: the yogi; tasmat: therefore; yogi: the one who engages in transcending the conscious thinking mind; bhava: just become; arjuna: O Arjuna;
A yogi, one who dives deep in meditation and practices Samyama, is greater than the ascetic who abandons physical life, greater than the intellectual who is constantly swimming on the surface of life in endless analysis, and greater than the fruitive worker, who is always active and working for the greater good. Therefore, O Arjuna, concentrate all your energies on being a yogi, achieve Dhyana (and you will achieve Moksha).
Following Krishna's advice, we engage in the practice of meditation and Samyama on the Moksha Advanced Course. Each day we create a stronger connection with Krishna through our extended meditation program.
Here are some images of the new Course Facility in Ruidoso, New Mexico. There are 1, 2 and 3 bedroom condos and each student will have their own condo or a private bedroom in a condo. We come together in one unit for meditations.
This complex is in a beautiful mountain region at about 7,000 feet elevation, with tall pine trees and lofty, snow covered peaks. Wild deer are abundant in the area and will come up to be petted and fed. Yesterday, a course participant had the sudden intuition to “open the door!” in the early afternoon sun and there she found 5 wild deer had gathered just outside the door. She thought: "this is a gift from Krishna!" So she went out into the yard to pet them and feed them carrots.
There are a limited number of openings for the Moksha Advanced Course in mountains of New Mexico. A new 21-day course starts on the 12th of each month. If you cannot get away to attend the in-residence course, you can join us via video Skype for 2 meditation sessions each day on the Home Study Course. There are two versions, one that lasts for 21 days and another that is 63 days in length. The 63 day course is offered on the 50% matching grant program so it is quite affordable.
Special discount for couples!
Couples received a special discount so now both of you can come to the Moksha Advanced Course for just a few dollars more than a single registration, and each person receives a Moksha Vitara and Pendant. Look for the Couples Registration.
To receive the maximum discount on registration, use the promotion code "MokshaGift" on the registration page or shopping cart. Click the button below to visit the registration page on the MahaVideha.org website, where you will find a full listing of the Moksha Advanced Courses available now. The home study courses are at the bottom of the page.