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1216Re: [Meditation Society of America]

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  • medit8ionsociety
    Oct 9, 2002
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      Dear Grant,
      Welcome! I think what you have been experiencing is your mind using
      your body to distract you from your meditation. I suggest that you
      relax your body well, prior to starting your chanting, and also
      actually command your mind to not do any commentary and to stay in a
      state of relaxed alertness, your emotions to stay in a serene mode,
      and your body to not distract you in any way. Silently Witness the
      meditation as it takes place. As you notice yourself being
      distracted, don't waste any time chastising yourself. Simply say "Oh
      well", and go back to Witnessing your "mantra or inner light
      mediatation" proceed. Seeing these distractions are major
      accomplishments and preceed the ceasation of these actions, which
      often are going on all the time. In meditation, we start to recognize
      these distractive reactions, and spontanous actions that are
      beneficial start to replace them. To stay awake during meditation,
      here's an article that first appeared in the 2nd issue of our
      newsletter, The Inner Traveler. I hope it will be of help to you:

      How To Stay Awake, Alert, And Pay Attention Even If You're Feeling
      The Urge To Sleep

      So you're sitting in a business meeting and you're bored to tears.
      Your eyelids are like lead and you seem to be dreaming. You know you
      have to at least appear to be interested in what's being discussed,
      but you feel an irresistible urge to sleep. Sound familiar? If it
      wasn't at work, it was at school, at church, or at your in laws, but
      somewhere at sometime you've been there and done that. Its cause is
      that we get way too comfortable and when we're all nice and comfy, we
      fall asleep. So how did we get so sleepyheaded? It all goes back to
      our childhood and continues to this day. We have been encouraged to
      be numb and dumb since we were babies. As kids, we were excited and
      energetic, but because we were active at inappropriate times, like in
      a classroom or at a movie or visiting Grandmom, we were trained, much
      like a dog is house-broken, to "behave" and "calm down". As we got
      older, we found ways to be very comfortable sitting and doing
      nothing. So comfortable, in fact, that we can even sleep with our
      eyes open. And walk and talk and generally live our lives in a
      dream-like daze. Virtually as brain dead as a marionette. And just
      like a dummy, we have no life of our own and have other people pull
      our strings.

      There is an alternative. We can wake up. And if we start dozing off,
      into our too-comfortable zombie state, we can flick an inner switch
      and energize. To understand the methodology, let's study that
      spiritual instruction titled "The Princess and the Pea".

      Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there was a beautiful
      young girl who had become lost while traveling. As the sun set and
      the moon rose, she happened upon a splendid castle. After knocking on
      the massive doors and being brought inside, she found out that this
      was the castle of the king of the country she had been passing
      through. The king came to see the visitor. After exchanging
      greetings, the girl claimed to be a princess of a neighboring country
      and asked for royal treatment. The king sought the advice of his
      trusted counselors, who suggested putting her to a test. As it was
      very late at night and the girl was tired, they prepared a bedroom
      for the girl that would reveal the validity of her claim to royalty.
      Unbeknownst to the girl, they placed a pea under a mattress and then
      put more mattresses on top. The young girl was then helped to the top
      of the mattresses and wished pleasant dreams. When the sun came up,
      the counselors came to the room and asked her how she slept. The girl
      said that she hadn't slept at all and that she had felt an annoying
      irritation that kept her awake all through the night. This was the
      proof the counselors had been looking for, because only a royal being
      could be sensitive enough to be aware of a pea under ten mattresses.
      The king was elated and offered the princess his son's hand in
      marriage and thus the kingdom. The princess found the prince the most
      wonderful, handsome, wise man in the world and quickly accepted. They
      married and lived happily ever after.

      This story can probably be told much more eloquently, but now is the
      time for understanding, not merely for storytelling. There is a great
      amount of spiritual knowledge that we can learn from this story. In
      fact, it has the potential to change our lives for the better so that
      we too will live happily ever afterÂ…

      The princess represents anyone who is lost and out of touch with
      their spiritual nature. Her journey is her quest for Enlightenment.
      The castle and the country are the kingdom of heaven within. It is
      necessary to stay awake to pass the test that will cause you to gain
      the Kings approval, marry into the royal family and share in control
      of the infinite, eternal kingdom. The night represents the time of
      ignorance of knowing our true royal idenity. There are many more
      analagies to be drawn from the tale but the one to now focus in on is
      the one that will help us stay awake. It was a minor annoyance that
      kept the princess awake all through the night, until the sun,
      representing the truth, came up. For us, it is right now even if the
      physical sun is out. We are in darkness, unaware of our true nature
      and must find a way to stay awake. The clue is the pea. It wasn't
      necessary to use a bed of nails, or any other severe austerity to
      make the princess stay awake. So all we must do is find a pea to put
      under our mattress.

      Let's go back to our original contention that we are much too
      comfortable. This is due to our habitually adopting physical postures
      that are condusive to falling asleep and much too relaxing to keep up
      a state of alertness. The antidote and key to being awake is simply
      to recognize your sleep inducing habits and then reverse them.

      The Unnatural Positions Meditation

      A sure way to relax your body is to have your arms and legs relaxed.
      If your extremities are tension-free, so will be your mind and
      emotions, and you will tend to become drowsy and sleepy. So, for
      example, when we are in a business meeting, we habitually sit in a
      way that we have become used to, and invariably soon have to fight
      the urge to fall asleep. Let's do a demonstration. Right now, cross
      your legs the way you always do. You will have either your right leg
      over your left or vice versa. Or, you will have your right ankle over
      your left, or vice versa. Feels good, right? Now, interlace your
      fingers. Your right thumb will be over your left thumb, your right
      index finger over your left, and so on, or vice versa. Now just sit
      there for about 108 seconds and enjoy how relaxing your habitual
      posture is, and how comfortable it makes you feel.

      Now, cross your legs and interlace your fingers the opposite way. So,
      if you usually have your right foot crossed over your left and have
      your left thumb aver your right, now put your left foot over your
      right and interlace all your fingers starting with your right thumb
      over your left. Now sit there for about 108 seconds.

      O.K. Fine, now you see. It is only a small change, just as a pea
      under a mattress is, but it is annoying enough to keep you awake. Now
      you can pay attention. You will not be able to fall asleep even if
      want to. We are so habituated to our comfy conditioning manner of
      sitting that anything that is different makes a huge impression on
      us, overly annoying us and thus waking us up. So now you can pay
      attention to the boss, the teacher, the priest, or your
      mother-in-law, or whomever. But most importantly you can now pay
      attention to the present moment, and it is only in the present that
      your merging with
      the universe will take place. You must be present to receive this
      divine, truly royal present. This little change in physical
      discomfort can lead to your eternal spiritual comfort. Try it, be
      annoyed, wake up, and live happily ever after.

      I hope all this reading hasn't put you to sleep! I wish you well.
      Peace and blessings, Bob

      Grant wrote:
      > Hi folks,
      > New to the group and saying 'Hi' to all. I've just taken up
      meditation again having practised TM for a while many years ago and
      without much conviction. Am currently chanting Om for ten minutes and
      doing fifteen/twenty minutes of mantra or inner light mediatation
      after that, twice a day. I often find my chanting interrupted by
      copious yawning (!), and find myself falling asleep (but not yawning)
      during meditation, or immediately after, even if I'm not apparently
      tired, having had a good night's sleep. I also find myself
      experiencing an ache/knottedness/tingling on the right side of the
      base of my neck and a feeling of lopsidsedness to the right during
      meditation. I've recently given up smoking and drinking so I dare say
      I have a fair amount of toxin processing to do and I think these
      phenomena may well be to do with that, but I'd appreciate anyone
      else's thoughts.
      > Grant.
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