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15817Re: [Meditation Society of America] The Best Book on Meditation

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  • sean tremblay
    Dec 8, 2007
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      Bob,
      Thanks for that. I think "Getting it" is the biggest hurdle when we work with resources outside of our normal cultural context and I do believe I was not getting it for it's deeper meaning but I admit I didn't sit on it much either and in the context you have outlined I should give it a second look, it's funny that it was brought up because it keeps appearing on my coffee table when I have nothing to do.

      medit8ionsociety <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
      sean tremblay <bethjams9@. ..> wrote:
      >
      > It's been a while since I have read it, But I started browsing
      through it again since it sits on my shelf and is a part of my wife's
      required reading for her yoga training. I would have to agree with
      Gwyn that it seems at least on surface to be a work more concerned
      with behavior than spirituality or meditation ...

      snip below

      The deal here is that many translations are very
      hard for Americans to "get". That's one main reason
      why I point to Swami Satchidananda' s translation. His
      Americanized English is pretty clear. One aspect of this
      "war story" is that it can be seen to be pointing to the
      enemy that is within our mind...greed, hate, anger,
      jealousy, etc and that's what we really need to fight.
      Raja Yoga is the Yoga of Meditation and it has 8 steps.
      Here's the Wikipedia take on them.
      The eight limbs of Ashtanga (Raja) Yoga are:

      * Yama - Code of conduct - self-restraint
      * Niyama - religious observances - commitments
      to practice, such as study and devotion
      * &#256;sana - integration of mind and body
      through physical activity
      * Pranayama - regulation of breath leading
      to integration of mind and body
      * Pratyahara - abstraction of the senses,
      withdrawal of the senses of perception from their objects
      * Dharana - concentration, one-pointedness of mind
      * Dhyana - meditation (quiet activity that
      leads to samadhi)
      * Samadhi - the quiet state of blissful
      awareness, superconscious state

      As you can see, meditation has 6 steps before it can
      take place. Even just being able to concentrate will
      not happen without self-restraint, study, control of
      the mind and senses, etc. So if seen as a course in
      getting enough self control to meditate,the Gita is
      quite a guidebook.Everyone has something that is the
      main way that they become distracted when meditating.
      For some it can be their emotions, others their bodily
      reactivity, and many their mind chatter. That's the war
      that we need to wage. And seeing Krishna as the Divine
      identity within us and Arjuna as our "normal" mind/ego,
      the Gita and its directions on how life should be faced
      will well take us to where we must be for meditation to
      flow us into Samadhi.
      And in any event, it's a bit better than any Rambo movie
      if war stories are your thing.
      Peace and blessings,
      Bob

      but I didn't get down to the gnats ass of it. When I first read it I
      think I was looking at it from a historical or anthropological view a
      curiosity such as reading the Epic of Gilgamesh or the Icelandic
      chronicles and I considered it interesting from that point. As an
      American and as a bit of an Anarchist in spirit I found the concepts
      of total abandonment of self to one duty or station in life to be a
      hard pill to swallow especial;y since I am a strong believer in the
      individuals choice for "Good" works especially when it come to making
      the choice for or against WAR, Violence, Killing ect...Or how we
      define the way in which we operate in this world IE what our
      > calling is and how we choose to fulfill it. So when Krishna and
      Arjuna are poised and ready at the battle field and Arjuna expresses
      his doubt I can't help but think of Pakistan and India poised on the
      border of Kashmir both parties brandishing the Nuke option One side
      believing in Karmic predestination The other in Gods righteous fury
      and quite frankly that scares the Bjesus outta me. I might be reading
      it wrong but as a piece of literature I still enjoyed as a portal into
      the mind of an ancient
      > culture
      >
      > medit8ionsociety <no_reply@yahoogroup s.com> wrote:
      > --- In meditationsocietyof america@yahoogro ups.com, "Gwyn
      Plaine"
      > <gplaine@> wrote:
      > >
      > > So, the Gita?
      > >
      > Quite possibly the Gita is "best" of the best
      > (along with The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali).
      > My favorite translation and commentary
      > will be found in this version:
      > The Living Gita; The Complete Bhagavad Gita
      > Author: Sri Swami Satchidananda
      > Many other "Best" books can be found on our
      > Suggested Reading list:
      > http://www.meditati onsociety. com/reading. html
      > Also, one of the best recent NonDuality books is:
      > Essential Writings on Nonduality
      > ONE
      > Edited by Jerry Katz
      > and I would include one of the truly classic
      > treasures to be:
      > I AM THAT,
      > Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
      >
      > But...I really think that there is no book
      > that can do as much for your understanding of
      > meditation and help your evolution in
      > consciousness as actually meditating.
      > Peace and blessings,
      > Bob
      >
      > > On Dec 7, 2007 2:54 PM, medit8ionsociety <no_reply@yahoogroup s.com>
      > wrote:
      > >
      > > > One of the most common emails the
      > > > Meditation Society of America gets
      > > > asks for advice on which books are
      > > > the best dealing with meditation.
      > > > We had several this week and also
      > > > received an email from the Divya
      > > > Jivan Newsletter that pointed to
      > > > one answer to this question. We'll
      > > > let these quotes speak for themselves:
      > > >
      > > > "When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and
      > > > reflace about how God created this
      > > > universe everything else seems so superfluous. "
      > > > Albert Einstein
      > > >
      > > > "The Bhagavad-Gita calls on humanity to
      > > > dedicate body, mind and soul
      > > > to pure duty and not to become mental
      > > > voluptuaries at the mercy of
      > > > random desires and undisciplined impulses."
      > > > Mahatma Gandhiji
      > > >
      > > > "The Bhagavad-Gita is the most systematic statement
      > > > of spiritualevolution of endowing value to mankind.
      > > > It is one of the most clear and comprehensive
      > > > summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed;
      > > > hence its enduring value is subject not only to
      > > > India but to all of humanity."
      > > > Aldous Huxley
      > > >
      > > > "The Bhagavad-Gita is a true scripture of the
      > > > human race a living creation rather than a book,
      > > > with a new message for every age and a
      > > > new meaning for every civilization. "
      > > > Sri Aurobindo
      > > >
      > > > "In the morning I bathe my intellect in the
      > > > stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the
      > > > Bhagavad-Gita, in comparison with which our modern
      > > > world and its literature seems puny and trivial."
      > > > Henry David Thoreau
      > > >
      > > > "The marvel of the Bhagavad-Gita is its truly
      > > > beautiful revelation of life's wisdom which
      > > > enables philosophy to blossom into religion."
      > > > Herman Hesse
      > > >
      > > > "The Bhagavad-Gita deals essentially with the
      > > > spiritual foundation of human existence. It is
      > > > a call of action to meet the obligations and
      > > > duties of life; yet keeping in view the spiritual
      > > > nature and grander purpose of the universe."
      > > > Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
      > > >
      > > > "I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-Gita.
      > > > It was the first of books; it was as if an empire
      > > > spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy,
      > > > but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an
      > > > old intelligence which in another age and climate
      > > > had pondered and thus disposed of the same
      > > > questions which exercise us."
      > > > Ralph Waldo Emerson
      > > >
      > > > "The Bhagavad-Gita is an empire of thought
      > > > and in its philosophical teachings Krishna
      > > > has all the attributes of the full-fledged
      > > > montheistic deity and at the same time the
      > > > attributes of the Upanisadic absolute."
      > > > Ralph Waldo Emerson
      > > >
      > > > "In order to approach a creation as sublime
      > > > as the Bhagavad-Gita with full understanding
      > > > it is necessary to attune our soul to it." -
      > > > Rudolph Steiner
      > > >
      > > > "The Bhagavad-Gita is not seperate from the
      > > > Vaisnava philosophy and the Srimad Bhagavatam
      > > > fully reveals the true import of this doctrine
      > > > which is transmigation of the soul. On perusal
      > > > of the first chapter of Bhagavad-Gita one may
      > > > think that they are advised to engage in
      > > > warfare. When the second chapter has been read
      > > > it can be clearly understood that knowledge and
      > > > the soul is the ultimate goal to be
      > > > attained. On studying the third chapter it is
      > > > apparent that acts of righteousness are also of
      > > > high priority. If we continue and patiently
      > > > take the time to complete the Bhagavad-Gita and
      > > > try to ascertain the truth of its closing chapter
      > > > we can see that the ultimate conclusion
      > > > is to relinquish all the conceptualized ideas
      > > > of religion which we possess and fully surrender
      > > > directly unto the Supreme Lord."
      > > > Sri Swami Prabhupada
      > > >
      > > > "The secret of karma yoga which is to perform
      > > > actions without any fruitive desires is taught
      > > > by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita. "
      > > > Swami Vivekananda
      > > >
      > > > "The Bhagavad-Gita was spoken by Lord Krishna to
      > > > reveal the science of devotion to God which is the
      > > > essence of all spiritual knowledge. The
      > > > Supreme Lord Krishnas primary purpose for descending
      > > > and incarnating is relieve the world of any demoniac
      > > > and negative, undesirable influences that are
      > > > opposed to spiritual development, yet
      > > > simultaneously it is His incomparable intention
      > > > to be perpetually within reach of all humanity."
      > > > Sri Ramanuja
      > > >
      > > > "Nothing has ever arisen in my life, internal
      > > > or external, that the Gita has not made clear
      > > > and enabled me to deal with or understand."
      > > > Swami Nirmalananda Giri
      > > >
      > > > "When doubts haunt me, when disappointments
      > > > stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of
      > > > hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-Gita and
      > > > find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin
      > > > to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those
      > > > who meditate on the Gita will
      > > > derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day."
      > > > Mahatma Gandhiji
      > > >
      > > > "From a clear knowledge of the Bhagavad-Gita all
      > > > the goals of human existence become fulfilled.
      > > > Bhagavad-Gita is the manifest quintessence
      > > > of all the teachings of the Vedic scriptures."
      > > > Adi Sankara
      > > >
      > > > "The secret of karma yoga which is to perform
      > > > actions without any fruitive desires is taught
      > > > by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita. " -
      > > > Swami Vivekananda
      > > >
      > > > "The Bhagavad-Gita is where God Himself talks to
      > > > His devotee Arjuna."
      > > > Paramahansa Yogananda
      > > >
      > > > "The Bhagavad-Gita has a profound influence on
      > > > the spirit of mankind by its devotion to God
      > > > which is manifested by actions."
      > > > Dr. Albert Schweizer
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
      >
      >
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      >
      > ------------ --------- --------- ---
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