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11870Re: Keeping a Spiritual Journal

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  • medit8ionsociety
    Dec 5, 2003
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      "Nina" <murrkis@y...> wrote:
      > 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

      Dear Nina,
      Well, I (whoever that is) don't agree with your conclusion at all. By
      asking these type questions, I feel that the question of "Who am I"
      will inevitably come to the forefront. Sivananda would reply to the
      answers sent to him by disciples by pointing to this directly, and
      using the premise that the "guru" is actually within, the inner guru
      will do what Sivananda did. BTW, there was no other more successful
      guru (success defined by quantity of disciples that got
      "Enlightened"), than Swami Sivananda. Similarly, his disciples have
      had the greatest success since he died. Check out the Divine Life
      Society site:
      http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/home.html
      and I'm sure you'll see what I'm referring to. I also think that the
      question you pointed to..."How many times you failed in the control of
      evil habits and with what self-punishment ?" does lead very well to
      the "Who am I" inquiry, as it asks you to address the questions of
      what are "evil" habits, "self" and "self-punishment", as well as one
      of Sivananda's favorite themes and methodologies - pointing out that
      one always "fails" when trying to control anything ('Thy - the big THY
      in the sky and in our hearts - will be done', etc.). Anyway, maybe it
      is a gender thing, and I did enjoy the article, but one of his most
      well known "Enlightened" disciples was a female - Sivananda-Rahda.
      In any event, you may be right and Sivananda may not be asking the
      "qualitative" questions that I see in his words, but I am not alone in
      this perception.
      Peace and blessings,
      Bob
      >
      > --- 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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