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Ahisma, The Basic Basis For Meditation

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  • medit8ionsociety
    This is possibly going to be the next featured meditation technique on Meditation Station. I hope you find it helpful. No matter what technique you are doing
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 29, 2002
      This is possibly going to be the next featured meditation technique
      on Meditation Station. I hope you find it helpful.

      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 Ahisma. Ahisma 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 Ahisma 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 Ahisma 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. Ahisma 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
      yourself 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
      Ahisma, 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. There are many very down to earth practical ways to remind
      yourself. 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 breath, Witnessing, and the
      principle of Ahisma. 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 Ahisma is about. You will be living it.
      Then, a state transcendent 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 action…whatever is appropriate. You
      will cease all accumulation of "bad karma", and fill with purity and
      holiness by the divine cleansing power of righteous action. And this
      will be living in Ahisma, and that will be when you start living
      happily ever after.
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