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Ahimsa: The Basis for Meditation

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  • medit8ionsociety
    From our web site, Meditation Station http://www.meditationsociety.com Meditation Technique(#92) No matter what technique you are doing while sitting in
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 25, 2011
      From our web site, Meditation Station
      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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