“The human world is a disastrous and cruel mess and always has been. I have been far better lately by refusing to contemplate the world at all,” Anthony Garner, Zenothestoic.com, a follower of this web page.
The human world is not worth contemplation on spiritual matters. The very idea is counter indicative to the whole point of contemplation, which is listening until even listening drops away as the Silence envelops.
One of the ways a Master introduced his answer to this problem was meditation. My meditations sometimes went on for three hours at one time. They never delivered anything so far as I am aware, certainly not even a hint of my experiences of Reality.
However, he said in effect the never ending stream of the mind’s thoughts and distractions cannot be stopped, only replaced. This is achieved by powerful and powerfully practiced meditation.
Later on he scandalised an older lady follower of his by telling us he used this mantra/meditation to silenc the ever persistent streaming mind to calm himself after his car’s narrow escape from a train at a crossing. He even used to get himself to sleep by this process he’d been taught and taught us. Was this misuse of a divine practice, the lady follower wondered?
I didn’t think so. I still use his simple but completely (deliberately?) incomprehensible (Sanscrit?) words of worldly avoidance, ie., meditation/mantra, to centre myself, even for getting to sleep.
Constantly entering into simple meditation as mindless as the day you were born can help cleanse the truly called of lust, anger, greed, attachments and ego. Mind, in spiritual progress, is a distraction. Some traditions of Reality revelation call the human mind, “the negative principle” ie: the Devil!
This Master’s particular school called for meditation two and a half hours every day, but not neccessarily all at once. “Can’t you afford 10 per cent of your (human) life a day?” the Master used to say.
All Is Well.
From The Hindu Tradition of Breath Meditation: “The breath does not just begin or support life, the breath is the totality of life. It is life, far beyond the simple movement of the lungs in the bodies of mammals. […] Breath is the substance of which the inner and outer universe is constructed as well as the power within it which causes it to move and live…” Continue Reading
This reference was sent to mysticexperiences.net by follower Ron Krumpos, author of the book THE GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT IN LIFE, Interviews with leading world mystics. The book has been downloaded 70,000 times.
This link from Ron is a very easy, lucid entry into the subject of breath from the point of view of the Hindhu spiritual experience – very comprehensive and inclusive of other spiritual ways too. I’ve saved it as a permanent reference for further reading.
However, my first reaction was to reference my personal experiences of Reality (MER) for illumination, only to discover nothing at all about breath! I feel no twitchings of intuition on the subject whatsoever. I seem to have been taken completely out of any human reference by my MERs in general, including this breathing teaching.
Of course I have often come across references to Hindhu spiritual breath control but upon any further concentration at the time found nothing responded in me then, either.
For me therefore, breathing is simply a basic, necessary biological aspiration with no significance or use after human death.
I may be misreading the subject due to my adherence to the dawning realisation only experience of anything is valid – to the exclusion of all teachings, readings, ideologies, gossip and rumour, faith, hope or belief etc. That’s partly why I trust my MERs.
That sounds very severe, but is solid ground for me after my MERs. Personal experience is the only reality, all else is secondhand, artifice and human delusion …
I hope this is helpful. (It’s very difficult to tell if my revelations, if that is what they are, are meant to be shared, though some people tell me they are part of their personal epiphanies. That emboldens my posts somewhat …).
See below for a review of a paper sent to me by Academia.edu:
“A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF TRANSCENDENT STATES ACROSS MEDITATION AND CONTEMPLATIVE TRADITIONS”
By Helané Wahbeh, ND, MCR; Amira Sagher, MSc; Wallis Back, MA; Pooja Pundhir, MD; and Frederick Travis, PhD
This is a scientific investigation into scientific papers on the subject, plus experiments the authors conducted on hundreds of meditators using many cultural and historical practices to achieve transcendent states.
The authors claim that “… few studies have systematically examined transcendent states during meditation”.
The practices they studied included, Buddhist; Christian; Mixed (practitioners from multiple traditions);Vedic: Transcendental Meditation and Yoga.
The practices varied from transcendental meditation to yoga to contemplative prayer, to other forms of sitting meditation.
Electroencephalography (EEG), electrocardiography, electro-myography, electrooculogram, “event-related potentials”, functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetoencephalography;respiration, and skin conductance and response were measured.
Twenty ﬁve studies with a total of 672 combined participants were included in the ﬁnal review. Participants were mostly male with a range of years of meditative practice. The authors found the results showed “similar unitive, ineffable state of consciousness.”
They report “transcendent states were most consistently associated with slowed breathing, respiratory suspension, reduced muscle activity and EEG alpha blocking with external stimuli, and increased EEG alpha power, EEG coherence, and functional neural connectivity.”
The transcendent states they found were “a state of relaxed wakefulness in a phenomenologically different space-time.”
The authors concluded that “Future research is warranted into transcendent states during meditation.”
Clearly, the authors did not come across someone like me. I arrived willy nilly at a state of transcendence, partially described here, every year for about 15 years without initially knowing of, or even later following, any practices or meditational techniques whatsoever. I did however practice two hours meditation a day every day for a year or so as part of my much later Sufi school experience. It was not discernibly successful. It did not redeliver me into my original mystical experiences of Reality (MER) or anything like …
By Anthony Garner, zenothestoic.com (on Weltanchauung):
Sitting in the garden listening to the rain.
There may be no more to be said than that. Call it a koan if you will, or a haiku perhaps. But do not be entangled by words or definitions.
If you must subscribe to any line of thinking, let it be Eastern. I am Zen. Doing nothing.
I am the Tao. I am the Hsin Hsin Ming.
And so are we all, did we but know it.
In the quiet, I have seen my origins. I have witnessed my past and my future. In me as in all of us, there are a million, million years of history.
In meditation, it is not too fanciful to speak to your long deceased father. Or mother. Or any of the millions of things you have been in the past, or will become in the future.
I sense a life in the woods, way back in time. I witnessed my consciousness emerge from all those eons of experienced time. And somewhere a monastery, in more modern times. Always a monastery.
And I saw the way it must end. Or rather, not end. Continue.
As I sense my father in me, my son, if he cared to think about it, would sense me in him. And his mother.
A seeker eventually finds. I have found. The truth, the way, reality – call it what you will.
It is devastatingly simple and of incredible complexity.
The simple part is to be. To feel the waters and flow of time around you and to go, to drift with the gentle current.
There is no more to it than that. If you seek contentment and meaning, then accept the river, the flow and do not try to go against the stream.
If you seek complexity, you will certainly find it, but it will avail you little.
Complexity is to be found in your body and the millions of working parts which make you what you are.
Complexity is to be found in the society and economy we have created.
Let it all pass. It will do so of its own accord in time. All is change, there are no constants.
Being, that is all there is to it. Sitting in the garden and listening to the rain.
Comment by Keith:
“Your beautifully expressed experiences are very gratifying to witness. Your voice’s interpretation and communication are perfect for me. Quite an experience.
“If the Hsin Hsin Ming (mind) referred to is consciousness it echoes one of the last experiences I had in MER when I was mystified by observing the back of the body of Keith Hancock from a distance as it stood before an endless void of greyness as if about to make a final movement into it.
“I identified totally with the invisible observer of this scene and often wondered what the observer was in which the ‘I’ was so absorbed, separated from Keith Hancock. I came to recognise this observer as mind despite that conflicting with my experience the human mind as I understood it then does not exist after human death. Now I know it as consciousness. I am beginning to realise this consciousness is what exists in Reality for ever. It becomes clearer to me that consciousness is what the human journey is all about. It never ‘dies’.
Reply by Anthony Garner:
“I am astounded by the similarities between what you describe and what I felt the other day. Although I did not express it, I too felt that day that death was illusory. I too witnessed my own body, not from a physical distance as such but as separate from my mind and, in a sense, irrelevant. I recognized that it was not “me”, that I was different and in a sense, immortal. I seemed also to sense the end of my body, its death. Some sort of premonition perhaps, or maybe a realization that the body is irrelevant.
“And my consciousness seemed to extend back endlessly in time; I seemed to witness it’s past ands its constituents. Almost a past life (lives) experience. I am not sure where my “beliefs” now lie. What I do know is that I feel a very different person.
“Thank you for sharing that with me Keith. It is gratifying to know that others have experienced similar and equally strange visions of what is or what may be.
SEE OTHER COMMENTS ON this post on zenothestoic.com (on Weltanchauung) for very interesting comments by other Anthony’s followers (including two of ours!).
How does a mystic balance a normal life with their experiences?
At the beginning, a mystic finds himself ricocheting off the sides of the tunnel of human life at speed. OUCH, OUCH, OUCH, DAGNABBIT, OOOH.
The mystic’s mind and/or body is hurtled against the impenetrable sides of an unwelcome human existence that surrounds him as he speeds out of control, even when he thinks he’s in control before he knows better.
Ordinary humans stay in the default position never knowing anything else.
The mystic should not be having this endless ricocheting experience. The mystic of all people has been given the centre road, right down the middle without the slightest wobble or deviation.
This perfection is given to the mystic, one of the fruits of the spirit. It is the mystic’s centre of contentment whilst the mystic is enduring being human. (Dr Marsha Sinetar posed the probability that mystics are a separate species)*.
Remembering mystic experiences is the mystic’s refuge, the mystic’s aid in getting back into the centre of contentment when humanity overwhelms. Then the mystic’s centre is retrieved by recalling the mystical experiences of reality, MER, that created the mystic in the first place.
Ordinary humans can do this to a more limited but powerful extent too. They call it meditation, but giving things names instantly puts a box of expectations around a process where in Reality, where all things are perfect, there are no names.
Meditation takes longer than the spontaneity of MER of course. But what are the options for someone who “hungers and thirsts”, impelled by persistent feelings however weak or strong, to know Reality?
Meditation of the kind described here is not for the curious or those who just want to be better humans. A religion might suit them better to start with…
The mystic can just sit quietly and allow Reality to take over. That’s why everything that exists exists in Reality why nothing can be itself without being absorbed into Reality by Reality.
So ordinary people can benefit from meditation:
- Just sit and shut up. Let go and let Reality.
- Shut down.
- Refuse all but Reality. Eliminate. Clear out. Keep trying until you don’t have to try any more but are carried on anyway.. (As if, but not really! letting a wild animal eat from your hand without knowing you’re there).
- Listen and obey. Eventually you wont have to obey.
- Keep trying after failing. The process works.
- Don’t have any expectations.
- Clear yourself. That which you seek seeks you!
It helps to have someone who has already achieved in this endeavour to be available to help you recognise your destiny, (your vocation, ie, destiny), who can help you persist.
Eventually Reality does everything. By then you are that Reality and will find Reality is enough and always has been. The human race is getting there, despite its history. Reality has its own history.
As a mystic I don’t know how humans survive the human experience. I was cheerfully told, “They don’t, it’s terminal.” I find this exasperatingly sad. Why have humans been allowed to sink to their level in the first place I ask myself. And the perennial answer of Reality is: “All is well.” (Some scientists forecast humans will develop from their present chrysalis stage into something entirely different. This echoes a Sufi tradition).
As humans we are spectators at best in the great dissension between spirit and matter. Most humans don’t get that yet. But some scientists already have. They call it something else. (Tomartoes, tomaytoes!). All is well.
Onwards and upwards.
*See her best seller, Ordinary People as Mystics and Monks.
“At some point in the unfoldment process the individual chooses to embrace an integrity that transcends opinion, belief, religion, culture, language, and everything that we’ve ever been taught.”
From Inspirience: Meditation Unbound: The Unconditioned Path to Spiritual Awakening by Richard L. Haight.
Publisher’s note: In my annual experiences of MER there was no question of any choice in embracing what was happening to me spontaneously, then or since.
The energy of the world, of the human spirit, is not compatible with the development of the spirituality of the ultimate reality of the Mystical Experience of Reality (MER).
Any human meditation on this sentence will eventually lead to a renunciation of the energies and manifestations of the human spirit, making way for the in-pouring of the ultimate experience of all existence, known and unknown; without books or instructions, taboos, hope, faith or belief.
Listening, meditation, will eliminate lust, anger, greed, attachments and ego so as to guide, guard and awaken you to what you are not who you are.
What you seek seeks you. It gives everything and asks for nothing.
Well-meaning advice of a seemingly spiritual nature is not available to ordinary humans in practice. It does not succeed because by its nature Reality is caught, not taught. Spirituality is an experience of Reality. Anything else is mere religion or speculation, not spiritual.
The ones who catch Reality are probably born already prepared to experience Reality, to succeed spiritually. They are the ones noted for their “hunger and thirst for righteousness”. This hunger and thirst is a lifelong gift, a passion.
Spiritual awakening, as opposed to the mere human improvement sought by well-meaning “spiritual” advice, is believed to be seminal, an intrinsic part of our evolution.
The experience of Reality comes to everyone eventually though not, apparently, necessarily in one lifetime.
Though spirituality is not for everyone yet, finally there are no failures.
All human beings have the capacity to listen and know what they are. Those who do, who persist as if drawn; paying attention, accepting, unable to resist; sometimes suddenly, sometimes slowly, but ever surely, will know what they are. After that nothing is the same again. Humans are not the who they think they are.
Q: What is the difference between contemplation and meditation?
A: Contemplation and meditation are about the inner work towards personal realisation of Reality.
I can’t answer from experience because my realisation of Reality was different. It didn’t come from special focus/concentration, contemplation or meditation. It was spontaneous.
I remember knowing at about five years of age that my destiny was to find my soul and return it to what I then called “God”.
Ten years later I was called by what I call MER (the Mystical Experience of Reality) to experience Reality for the first of many times, every year, until I was in my late thirties.
So focus, contemplation and meditation were not my path to Reality. Contemplation was a tool subsequently used to inspect Reality and human life.
Meditation, surrendering, never worked if I invoked it. It came as a fruit of my constant rededication to the joyousness of Reality’s love, guidance, defence, encouragement and unending presence.
It’s been an effortless process, though not without its frustrations and futile attempts to take my destiny into my own hands now and again …
Being involved in humanity is not easy for a mystic.
(However, I’m much encouraged that leading scientists are more and more aware of the fundamental centrality of the mystic experience in humanity’s evolution).
Today, constant promptings continue to play a big part in the perennial inner work against lust, anger, greed, attachments and ego, the veils between humans and Reality.
As for you, it seems you’re called, you’re a Seeker.
That which you seek seeks you, so you might as well give in, because Reality doesn’t.
My recommendation would be for you to consider practising complete surrender, one bit at a time. That’ll mean a lot of sitting quietly, waiting, listening, resisting thoughts as they arise, staying blank, avoiding distractions. This is the inner work. It’s constant. It’s what you’re all about. Ultimately, nothing can separate you from your destiny, your joy and acceptance in Reality. You’ll never want to be just human ever again.
Follow this way and you’ll be taken through all the focus, contemplation and meditation you need …
I hope this is helpful.