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vedanta meditation techniques

Among these gayatri-vidya, antaraditya-vidya, madhu-vidya, sandilya-vidya and dahara-vidya are well known. Some of the Upanisads, especially the Brihadaranyaka, Chandogya and Taittiriya, are a rich storehouse of these vidyas. A Definitive Guide to Techniques and Traditions of Meditation in Yoga and Vedanta. In Islamic mysticism (Sufism) also meditation, known under different names, plays a central role. Meditation is a subject of universal interest, practiced by spiritual aspirants of many traditions on the quest for serenity, peace, and wholeness. Finally, the teacher may explain how to take these techniques into everyday life. Then why are there so many different techniques of meditation? While meditation techniques have been practiced for thousands of years, scientific research on meditation began when researchers at Harvard University began studying it in the 1970s. in 7th century China. Zen meditation is a traditional Buddhist discipline providing insight into how the mind works, which offers benefits to one's well-being & spirit. Each technique of dharana leads you through meditation to a certain experience. The sacrifice was regarded as most important and sufficient in itself to produce the desired results. Advaita Vedanta can be described as an ancient form of teachings originating from Hindu philosophy concerned with negating ‘what is not’, revealing the realisation of what is the undeniable one truth. Pancadasi 9. Meditation is usually done at a definite center of consciousness, by which is meant the point where the aspirant is able to feel the higher self or Atman. 99-125. Sankara, commentary on Brahma-Sutra 3. Upasana in the Upanisads are meditations on these spiritual formulas. Meditation in 12 steps Like sleep, meditation cannot be learned. Also cf. Meditation & Its Practices: A Definitive Guide to Techniques and Traditions of Meditation in Yoga and Vedanta Swami Adiswarananda.The complete sourcebook of Hinduism's two most time-honored traditions of meditation. But Sri Sankara and his followers hold the view that upasana will lead only to the realization of Saguna Brahman (Reality with attributes). Before the aspirant starts actual meditation, if he or she spends a few minutes in tracing the “I” back to its source, the aspirant will find it easier to fix the mind at the right center of consciousness. But it recognizes that other yogic paths are helpful, if not indispensable adjuncts, particularly the path of … Topics Include: Goals and Benefits of Meditation  Objects of Meditation  Methods of Concentration  Posture,  Physical Condition,  Eating Habits, and Spiritual Exercises  Mystical Experiences and Realization  Obstacles in Meditation and Ways of Overcoming ThemWe are happy to offer this hardback edition at the paperback price!For other titles by Swami Adiswarananda please click here. These gradually become reduced, and the aspirant reaches a stage when there exists only a single pratyaya or thought in the mind. Each meditator keeps to his or her own “lane” but all the lanes are parts of one great highway. They directly deal with Brahman, the ultimate Reality. Swami Brahmananda said,”God should be imagined as vast and infinite. Vedanta is the culmination of human experience and is the end of the faculty of thinking. Swami Gambhirananda, “Upanisadic Meditation,” in The Cultural Heritage of India (Calcutta: Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, 1965), Vol.1. These extracts tell us how we can practice meditation and make it part of our lives. 2. Consciousness is focussed on the object by an effort of will. Some enterprising people are experimenting with new techniques of meditation. But they do not teach you how to maintain meditation, which is something you have to learn through practice. One of the aims of upasana is to establish a living relationship with God, “an eternal relationship between the eternal soul and the eternal God,” as Swami Vivekananda puts it. The beginnings and ends of meditation are different. A Definitive Guide to Techniques and Traditions of Meditation in Yoga and Vedanta. After long practice, duality disappears and Samadhi, the superconscious state, is attained. These upasanas may therefore be called “substitution-meditations.” A well-known example is found in the very beginning of the Brihadaranyaka Upanisad which is an Aranyaka as well as an Upanisad. Such great masters began with Swami Vivekananda at the end of the nineteenth century and continued with Swami Rama Tirtha, Paramahansa Yogananda, and the many disciples o… According to the Samkhya, Yoga and Advaita-Vedanta schools of philosophy, the mind goes out through the eyes and takes the form of the object, and this is how we see it. Sri Sankara says that lower upasanas do not deserve to be called vidyas.6, Therefore, vidyas represent the highest forms of upasana. A second reason was the crystallization of Hindu philosophy into six schools or darsanas and the triumph of the Advaita system. What is perception? Vedanta is a yoga of knowledge or a path of meditation. 3. From childhood we have been practicing concentration on external objects as a part of the natural process of perception. The author, Swami Adiswarananda, was a senior monk of the Ramakrishna Order of India and for 39 years until his passing, the Spiritual Leader of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center in New York City. Vedanta is a yoga of knowledge or a path of meditation. or some qualities like love, compassion, strength or one’s own self objectified. After practicing upasana for some time it becomes easier to practice nididhyasana. That was perhaps how the Samkhya and Yoga systems developed independently of the Vedas. Advaita 'Non Duality' Vedanta Philosophy Realizing the state of 'Consciousness' or 'Brahman' or 'Holy Spirit' or 'Buddha' or 'God Awareness' They are like different gates which open to the same highway. To penetrate further backward is possible only for a mind which is properly sharpened through training and strengthened by the observance of continence. It is possible that even during the early Vedic period there were independent thinkers and groups of people who practiced meditation as their chief spiritual discipline. These techniques only teach you how to begin meditation, they only open different doors to meditative awareness. A practical vedanta meditation to look directly into this moment and expose the ego's non-existence. In Vedic literature upasana first appears as a part of rituals in the Brahmanas (the part of the Veda which deals with rituals). in 7th century China. There are two forms: Meditation on an object and meditation without an object. We are devoted to helping all awaken to … Zen meditation is an ancient Buddhist tradition that dates back to the Tang Dynasty in 7th century China. Then comes meditation (dhyana). As a result the aspirant may find it difficult to remain unaffected by the contact of other people and the cares and distractions of daily work. Here meditations are in no way connected to rituals nor even symbolically resemble them. This means that, in order to establish a truly loving relationship with God, it is necessary to be aware of one’s higher self. The Advanced Teachers’ Training Course is open to successful graduates of the Sivananda Yoga Teachers’ Training Course. Le mot Vedanta signifie littéralement “Fin des Vedas”. The meditation that was practiced along with it was only an auxiliary part of it and had no independent existence. The essential prerequisite for meditation is a calm mind. It consists of several stages or “degrees.” First comes vocal prayer, then discursive prayer (which corresponds to manana or reflection in Vedanta), then affective prayer (prayer proper, done with intense longing). Either way, conc… The ascetics and Yogis of India spent hundreds of years developing various meditation techniques. But many people find this too unreal or abstract. The path of jnana begins with hearing scripture (sravana) and reflection (manana). Vivek, Kali: In Our Hearts and Minds   Led by David Nelson. What is common to both subjective and objective meditation is a distinct awareness of a higher center of consciousness, the higher Self. It was more or less a similar distinction between objective and subjective meditations that gave rise to the two schools of Japanese Zen: Soto and Rinzai. 9. Vedanta literally means ‘the end of the Vedas’ (veda = knowledge). One is that meditation is not just ordinary concentration but a special type of internal concentration. View More… Browse by Category Path of Kriya Yoga Meditation and Yoga Health and vitality Yoga philosophy Says Deussen: “That India more than any other country is the land of symbols is owing to the nature of Indian thought, which applied itself to the most abstruse problems before it was even remotely in a position to treat them intelligently.”7. These meditation techniques existed even before Buddha who himself practiced them. The images of different gods and goddesses have completely replaced … Here we are concerned only with upasana. Nondual experience was originally sought through a gradual expansion of consciousness attained by the practice of vidyas. Tibetan Buddhists are specialists in this kind of meditation. But long before the beginning of the Christian era the lineage of Vedic rishis had ended. Meditation how simply explained by Swami Vivekananda - Meditation played a very important role in the life and teachings of Vivekananda. It is more correctly called “self-inquiry” and belongs to the path of knowledge (jnana marga). The vidyas are said to be thirty-two in number,9 but many more must have been known to the ancient sages. In ordinary concentration the mind is focused on an external object or a mental idea. Cf. POSITIVE THINKING AND MEDITATION (Vedanta and Dhyana) Yoga teaches us that our thoughts are the real cause behind our success and happiness. For instance, one may meditate on Siva or Krishna or Jesus or an impersonal object like light or the sky or the sun. But every path has a stage which corresponds to meditation. MANTRA MEDITATION TECHNIQUES Mantra can be combined with other practices, such as visualization, focusing on a chakra, devotion, etc. The whole external rite was, as it were, transferred to the mind. But it recognizes that other yogic paths are helpful, if not indispensable adjuncts, particularly the path of devotion (Bhakti Yoga) , which takes us directly to the Divine presence in the heart. Vedanta is a yoga of knowledge or a path of meditation. But the meditations still resembled the sacrifices. 4. It is not a withdrawal from life but an attempt to understand life and thus enlarge one’s self-awareness. Upasana or objective meditation gives the mind the necessary training. A Definitive Guide to Techniques and Traditions of Meditation in Yoga and Vedanta. But though nididhyasana is mainly followed in the path of jnana, there is nothing wrong in following it in the path of bhakti also. There is a second reason why a combination of objective and subjective forms of meditation is desirable. The first technique explained here can be practiced with a purely secular/agnostic approach; the other ones have some spiritual elements in them. It concerns the philosophy of unity, the end (goal) of all knowledge. In Christianity the main spiritual discipline is called prayer. They presented Vedanta as the philosophy of Self-realization and Yoga as the methodology by which to achieve it. It is rather an attempt to seek the source of consciousness, to trace one’s “I” back to its roots. Meditation & Its Practices: A Definitive Guide to Techniques and Traditions of Meditation in Yoga and Vedanta [Adiswarananda, Swami] on Amazon.com. Generally Vedanta does not prescribe any particular form of meditation en masse or … In Advaita Vedanta meditation plays an important role, too. Subjective meditation is called nididhyasana or atma-vicara. Even those who study books on Advaita seldom attempt self-inquiry in practice and remain satisfied with objective meditations. These are really techniques of dharana or fixing the mind. Meditation is more than just shutting one’s eyes and repeating a mantra or word symbol. Using the classical meditation techniques, however, can help you make quick progress. Meditation Meditation – A Journey of Exploration Based on the teachings of Vedanta, Bhagavad Gita & Yoga Sutras A practical guide with 35 beginning, intermediate, and advanced techniques for developing a powerful meditation practice. The nature of this single thought (pratyaya or vritti) may also vary from person to person. When a mind which is sufficiently purified meditates on such a formula, its true meaning—the ultimate Reality—will be revealed to it. Swami Bhajanananda is an Assistant-Secretary and Trustee of the Ramakrishna Order. Only the Atman, our true higher self, is unchanging and eternal. See Paul Deussen, The Philosophy of the Upanisads (New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1966), pp. POSITIVE THINKING AND MEDITATION (Vedanta and Dhyana) Yoga teaches us that our thoughts are the real cause behind our success and happiness. This article was published in the May, 1981 Prabuddha Bharata. These meditation formulas were called vidyas. This user-friendly guidebook begins with basic principles and proceeds step by step to more advanced topics and techniques. Defining key concepts in clear terms, Swami Adiswarananda covers every aspect of this ancient spiritual practice. Vidvanmanoranjani on Vedanta Sara 1. The ascetics and Yogis of India spent hundreds of years developing various meditation techniques. (This is the practice.) In that case it would have become only a form of the yogic exercise known as dharana. GUIDE TO MEDITATION The following are practical points regarding the basic techniques and stages of meditation. In Advaita Vedanta meditation plays an important role, too. or some qualities like love, compassion, strength or one’s own self objectified. A true spiritual experience transforms one’s consciousness and produces some knowledge of the higher self. One of the three main systems of Indian thought; Vedanta describes the nature of Brahman or divine consciousness. Meditation & Its Practices: A Definitive These formulas are devices to guide the mind from the symbol to Reality. Brahma-Sutra 3. Beyond this common path lies the luminous realm of the Spirit. The emphasis then was on sacrificial rites (yajna). A mind burdened with desires and attachments is unable to take off into subtler It is rather an attempt to seek the source of con… But whereas in objective meditation a circle of consciousness is created around the center and there is a struggle to shut out distracting thoughts from this inner circle, in subjective meditation there is no such struggle: the aspirant just holds on to the “I” center. Our own souls contribute all the divinity that is outside of us. Vastutantro bhaved bodhah kartutantramupasanam. Les Vedas sont les plus anciennes écritures savantes de l'humanité. Vedanta is a yoga of knowledge or a path of meditation. Meditation & Its Practices: A Definitive Guide to Techniques and Traditions of Meditation in Yoga and Vedanta [Adiswarananda, Swami] on Amazon.com. Under the influence of Yoga and Tantra new techniques of meditation were developed during the Middle Ages which survive to this day. La dernière partie des Vedas est constituée des Upanishad , dont la noble philosophie porte le nom de Vedanta et qui ont aussi influencé d'éminents philosophes occidentaux tels que Arthur Schopenhauer. Then there is a third point in favor of such a combination. Om usa va asvasya medhyasya sirah . Meditation is of two types: subjective and objective. A scientist tries to understand the ultimate truth through a series of steps, meticulously analyzing each step. It is, however, important to keep in mind that these two types of meditation are not mutually contradictory. Here the sacrificial horse is to be meditated upon as identified with the Cosmic Being (Virat or Prajapati), the horse’s head standing for the dawn, its eye for the sun, its prana for the air and so on.4. Swami Vivekananda’s teachings on meditation, its philosophy and practice, reflect the depth and breadth of the mystical traditions of India and of his own inner realizations. Objective meditation is concentration of the mind on an object. Meditation & Its Practices: A Definitive Guide to Techniques and Traditions of Meditation in Yoga and Vedanta Swami Adiswarananda.The complete sourcebook of Hinduism's two most time-honored traditions of meditation. This is the message of Vedanta: “What is that which, by being known, everything else becomes known.” We often hear the word "Vedanta" in yoga classes, meditation groups, and spiritual gatherings. He was interested in meditation … Cf. The difference between upasana and nididhyasana as two different disciplines has also been clearly pointed out by Ramatirtha in his well-known commentary on the Vedanta Sara.1 Vidyaranya too has made this distinction by describing upasana as vastu-tantra (object-oriented) and nididhyasana as kartri-tantra (subject-oriented).2. How to set up your own meditation practice at home Breathing techniques – anuloma viloma and kapalabhati Concentration practices – tratak, mantra japa, likhita japa In this article, I’ll explore the different meditation techniques that employ mantra, how to choose a mantra, why mantras are powerful, and what are the different levels and subtleties of this practice. It is there that the mind is to be fixed first, and it is there that the chosen deity is to be worshipped. In both, awareness is not allowed to move too far away from this center. This does not, however, mean that the goal of meditation is the same for all. In raja yoga we use our mental powers to realize Meditation According to Vedanta Excerpts Meditate in Silence It is impossible to find God outside of ourselves. Advaita Vedanta's Neti Neti meditation for the question Who Am I is described here. This is a much better form of mind control than the conventional ones. It is the rational method of meditating on the Supreme Absolute, the Eternal, the Infinite. This leads to inquiry (nididhyasana) which corresponds to meditation. Vedanta and Silence This 10-day advanced course features vedantic meditation, the practice of group scriptural study, personal self-inquiry and the practice of outer and inner silence. What is Vedanta Form, Name and the Self One of the important changes that the Tantras introduced was in the field of symbols. Lastly, combining nididhyasana and upasana satisfies both the head and the heart. The importance attached to the vidyas was so great that the Brahma-Sutra has a whole section dealing exclusively with them.8 The vidyas really hold the key to the Upanisads, and no one can properly understand the Upanisads without understanding the vidyas. They were mostly symbolic representations of external rituals. 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