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11890Re: Keeping a Spiritual Journal in 1887

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  • medit8ionsociety
    Dec 5, 2003
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      "jodyrrr" <jodyrrr@y...> wrote:
      > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, 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 ?
      >
      > Listen, to each his own, but I guess I'm a guy who finds
      > this kind of practice utterly backward. The idea that we
      > must conform to some ridiculously authoritarian regime
      > in order to come to understanding is a huge, huge
      > occlusion in spiritual culture.
      >
      > This kind of Victorian disciplinism is the result of
      > cultural mistranslation and a complete lack of
      > historical perspective. I'm not saying it won't be the
      > thing someone does before they come to understanding,
      > but its presentation as a paradigm of spiritual practice
      > is much more at home in a letter written 125 years ago
      > imo.
      >
      > --jody.

      Dear Jodyji,
      This journal is only a drop in the ocean of methods that Swami
      Sivananda used in his teaching. He mainly used Kirtan chanting, Jhana,
      Raja, Bhakti, and Karma Yoga methodologies, and in his 350+ books, you
      can see a synthesis of pointings that come down to his (most
      "un-authoritarian" and "un-disciplinism" of all types of 'regimes')
      summary of his teachings...."Be good. Do good". But for some of his
      disciples, like Swami Vishnu-Devananda (founder of the internationally
      well known Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers), it proved to be a valuable
      tool in their coming to Realization. BTW, I have read more than 80 of
      his books, and have never found anywhere anything pointing to "The
      idea that we must conform to some ridiculously authoritarian regime in
      order to come to understanding" that you stated. He was one of the
      kindest, and most humble gurus I have ever read about or heard stories
      about. He always put others before himself, and made a habit of caring
      for the poor and sick personally.
      I'll just cite one continuing activity of his that demonstrates the
      kind of person we are discussing - He would allow his followers to
      worship him, if that was what fit the needs of others, but would then
      go and wash sick saddhu's feet so as not to get big-headed about all
      the veneration. No Rolls Royces, and no just sitting on a mat beeming
      blissfully. Not that these things are "bad" either.
      Peace and blessings,
      Bob
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