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11866Re: Keeping a Spiritual Journal

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  • Nina
    Dec 5, 2003
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      Bob, I don't know much about Swami Sivananda, his
      methods or reasons, but that collection of journal
      questions doesn't ask the right questions for self-
      reflection. It is asking nearly all quantitative
      questions... as in #20, when the journaler is asked,
      how long did you control your evil habits and what
      punishments did you apply when you failed? Those
      questions are not asking 'who am i?', they don't
      even nudge a person to look in that direction,
      as the person is too busy keeping up with the implied
      rules of 'being good'. I am quite surprised, actually,
      by how few qualitative questions that survey asks...
      qualitative is where contemplation begins and
      the 'who am i?' question finds room to arise... qualitative,
      as in: "You are seeking enlightenment. Why? And what do
      you think these questions serve towards that end, if anything?"
      Swami Sivananda could have taken lessons from a grade-school
      teacher or a newspaper reporter as regards asking good,
      leading questions... otherwise, journaling becomes something
      of a science akin to filling out a police report... what errors
      were committed, and when and by whom? Ah-ha, perhaps I stand
      corrected... there is where the "who am I" comes in - as
      regards what crimes were committed...

      Then again, maybe it is a gender difference. For your
      enjoyment:

      http://www.bookblog.net/gender/genie.html

      Nina

      --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, medit8ionsociety
      <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > Hi again,
      > I just got a personal Email from someone I feel is worthy of respect
      > and listening to, who pointed to the Advaita-like position that
      there
      > are no "levels" of consciousness (IE: mocking "...the idea that some
      > "yous" are more "conscious",..."). Well, to me there is no
      inaccuracy
      > with that , but it occured to me that this isn't at all incongrous
      > with journaling, as typified by the Swami Sivananda(who was a
      > Vedantan/Advaitan himself) method below, because if you look at it,
      it
      > really is a method of looking at "Who am I".
      > Just a thought (and you know how much trouble they can get you in:-)
      > Bob
      > medit8ionsociety <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > > Tony recently restarted his Meditation Journaling and was kind
      enough
      > > to share a few samples with us. This tradition is actually very
      old
      > > and wide spread. Benjamin Franklin kept a self-correcting
      journal, and
      > > the great Sri Swami Sivananda pointed to keeping a journal as a
      very
      > > beneficial means of self-inquiry. Here is one form he suggested
      using,
      > > and that he had his disciples all over the world send him for his
      > > analysis. Perhaps this may be a helpful tool for you:
      > >
      > > Spiritual Diary
      > > Month : ________________
      > > Questions
      > >
      > > Date
      > >
      > >
      > > 1. When did you get up from bed ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 2. How many hours did you sleep ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 3. How many Malas of Japa ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 4. How long in Kirtan ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 5. How many Pranayamas ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 6. How long did you perform Asanas ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 7. How long did you meditate in one Asana?
      > >
      > >
      > > 8. How many Gita Slokas did you read or get by heart ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 9. How long in the company of the wise (Satsanga) ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 10. How many hours did you observe Mouna ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 11. How long in disinterested selfless service ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 12. How much did you give in charity ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 13. How many Mantras you wrote ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 14. How long did you practice physical exercise ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 15. How many lies did you tell and with what self-punishment ?

      > >
      > >
      > > 16. How many times and how long of anger and with what
      > self-punishment ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 17. How many hours you spent in useless company ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 18. How many times you failed in Brahmacharya ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 19. How long in study of religious books ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 20. How many times you failed in the control of evil habits and
      with
      > > what self-punishment ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 21. How long you concentrated on your Ishta Devata (Saguna or
      Nirguna
      > > Dhyana) ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 22. How many days did you observe fast and vigil ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 23. Were you regular in your meditation ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 24. What virtue are you developing ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 25. What evil quality are you trying to eradicate ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 26. What Indriya is troubling you most ?
      > >
      > >
      > > 27. When did you go to bed ?
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