Blogs inspired by the material taught at the School of Meditation, Holland Park Avenue, London; these notes are taken from the material taught at groups during early 2019…
The session three material considered technique and tips, warned against unrealistic expectations and delved into the meaning of Advaita:
Sit upright, become restful, breathe easy, close your eyes, and keep your eyes still. When the body is still the mind can follow.
It is not necessary to achieve a particular goal. More important is to approach meditation with innocence and openness. The mantra is not a battering ram,
Do not make thoughts your enemy – they are included in meditation – we have approximately 80,000 of them a day, so there is no point trying to separate them from everything else.
Contentment won’t come if we seek the ‘successful’ emptying of the mind, but will come with inclusion, non-resistance and acceptance. The material states that contentment comes from an openness to what is and away from fixations on preconceived ideas.
The material again talks about desire, reiterating that it is not about letting go of all desire, but rather about not being driven by desires.
Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy that underpins the school’s teaching material, does not present a rubric of knowledge to learn, understand and perfect. It is a philosophy that seeks to provide a direct-as-possible experience of freedom for the individual.
The closing instruction of the material is for the individual to rest in unity, in the spaciousness of being, by letting go of limits.
“All is contained in consciousness” it quotes the Shankaracharya as saying – it is all available to be accessed. And more esoterically, he says:
“To move from the personal to the universal, one needs to become the universal”
Maybe a mis-translation because, according to Advaita, the individual already is the universal. Perhaps it is only to move into awareness that is needed; and that is only a slight shift from wherever we are at this moment.
Coming next time, Old Skool Med 4
(same bat time, same bat channel)
Tom Charles @tomhcharles
The material in this blog was inspired by the teachings at the School of Meditation, Holland Park Avenue, London, W11 4UH. The school opened in 1961 and was taken under the wing of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Beatles’ meditation teacher, who introduced the school’s founders to Shri Shantananda Saraswati, Shankaracharya of Northern India. In a series of Q & As, the Shankaracharya provided answers to the questions of the visitors from London. These answers formed the basis of the school’s teaching material.
Advaita Vedanta- a sanskrit phrase meaning One without a second, an ancient philosophy of nonduality
Ram – a word and sound said to contain the qualities of the three gunas. Also a popular mantra