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16954Ahimsa (from our web site, Meditation Station)

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  • medit8ionsociety
    Jan 26, 2010
      This is a very much longer than just saying
      "Be good. Do good." but may be beneficial
      as it is a more in-depth look at Ahimsa. Enjoy!

      Ahimsa: The Basis for Meditation (Technique #92)

      No matter what technique you are doing while
      sitting in "formal" meditation, or are applying
      to the rest of your life (perhaps like mindfulness,
      or breath awareness, or mantra, or whatever), the
      first step in the traditional path of Raja Yoga,
      the Yoga of Meditation, is recommended to be
      Ahimsa. Ahimsa is usually defined as non-violence.
      But this goes far deeper than the usual implied
      characteristics of non-violence, like not fighting
      physically, or taking another's life. It deals
      with not causing any harm whatsoever to anyone or
      anything in any way. This means no actions that
      cause verbal or emotional pain, anguish, suffering,
      or even slight discomfort to any living thing is
      what is called for. Since the failure to help ease
      pain is pain causing, inaction can also be against
      this common to all religions direction. So, we are
      pointed to not causing suffering and to eliminate
      it when we see it. This puts us in a very win-win
      situation karma-wise. The things that distract us
      from our meditation the most are the would-of,
      should-of thoughts that fill our mind with guilt
      and anger. Actually living our life in an Ahimsa
      way never feeds the fire of inner gut-feeling pain
      that knowing we have done wrong causes and eliminates
      the mental poison called "Regret" that drowns us
      in a tidal wave of suffering.

      The Ahimsa Meditation Technique

      A way to live your life seems more than just a
      technique, but meditation can be considered a time
      of attention and awareness, and that is certainly
      advantageous at all times, not just for 20 minutes
      in the morning and 20 minutes at night. Ahimsa is
      based on a few basic meditation principles:

      1) We have an inner Witness that has been present
      since birth and is here now, as you are reading
      these words. The Witness is the awareness that can
      see if you have any tension in your body, what your
      emotions are feeling, and what your mind is thinking.

      2) There are only 3 types of actions (called
      Gunas in Sanskrit): Tamas (actions that are
      ignorant, habitual, dark, characterized by inertia,
      and generally negative), Rajas (also ignorant and
      negative, but usually are selfishness-desire based,
      and active actions), and Sattva (pure, righteous,
      light, holy selfless actions).

      3) By Witnessing what is inappropriate (Tamas and
      Rajas actions), we can eliminate those actions that
      cause suffering and flow infinitely better with life.
      It works this way...

      Before every action, there are words. Before words,
      there are thoughts. Before thoughts, the Witness IS.
      At one with the Witness, the meditator is aware of
      the actions, words, and thoughts. If they are of an
      unrighteous or other negative label nature, both
      of passive and active characteristic (Tamas/Rajas),
      which is known by a "gut feeling", intuitively,
      the meditator changes them spontaneously, effortlessly,
      into righteous events (Sattva). This is Self-control.
      How to do this? By witnessing your life as it
      takes place. Your breath is always present while
      there is life. By placing your attention on your
      breath, you are here, now, present, and can Witness
      your life as it takes place.

      Several times during the day, remind your self
      to Witness your breath. Do this in as many ways
      as you can. When you first get up, give yourself
      a mental direction to stop every hour on the hour
      and refocus on your breath, and on your silent
      inner Witness. If you see yourself doing anything
      that is contrary to Ahimsa, redirect your actions
      to Sattvic ones. So, if you see yourself mentally
      cursing out your boss, for instance, change that
      into a prayer for the well being of all who live.
      This is just an example. You can also remind
      yourself by leaving post-it notes to yourself
      around your house or job site that just say
      "Witness" or "Breathe" on them.

      While you're at work, call yourself on your home
      phone and leave a message on your answering machine
      that will serve as a reminder when you get home
      from work and check your messages. Be creative,
      devise a game plan. Find ways that you can remind
      yourself more and more often to be aware of your
      breathe, Witnessing, and the principle of Ahimsa.
      Eventually, you will Witness your life as it takes
      place, and the replacing of negative actions with
      righteous ones will become an automatic part of
      your life, and you will never again have to even
      ponder what Ahimsa is about. You will be living
      it. Then, a state of transcendence of all Gunas
      (Tamasic, Rajasic, and Sattvic actions) occurs.
      The meditator then abides in life without reference
      or reaction to the illusion of singular identification,
      and the unity with the ever present, infinite
      underlying essence of all creation, and all activity
      is realized. This event of all events can only be
      known experientially, not emotionally, physically,
      or intellectually. It is a gift of Grace only, and
      not as a result of meditation, or by going through
      your pain, or by bliss-full visions, and so on.
      Meditation clears the pathway of all that obstructs
      the vision of the Witness.

      So... breathe, Witness, and when you witness Tamas
      or Rajas in your actions, or the actions going on
      around you, change them into Sattva by acting or
      refraining from actionÂ…whatever is appropriate. But,
      be sure to apply the kindness that is one and the
      same in Ahimsa to yourself, as well as to others.
      Be gentle when you see something negative in your
      actions, words, or thoughts. Just say "Oh well" to
      yourself and go on with the process of changing
      negativity to loving positivity. And this will be
      true Ahimsa, and that will be when you start living
      happily ever after.
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