Monday, March 10, 2014

Unity


1.1
OM.  What follows are instructions on Unity

1.2
Unity obtains when the activities of the mind have ceased.

1.3
The witness then abides in its true nature

1.4
Otherwise, the witness is identified with the activities of mind and is just another thought-form itself.

1.5
There are five types of mind activity, both painful and pleasurable.

1.6
These are correct perception, misperception, imagination, dreamless sleep, and memory.

1.7
Correct perception may derive from direct observation, valid reasoning, or accurate testimony of enlightened teachers.

1.8
Misperception is knowledge based on the illusion of forms, rather than on the true nature of reality.

1.9
Imagination is mental images derived from words and concepts rather than objective observation and sensory perceptions.

1.10
Dreamless sleep is the state of mind when thought is absent and sensory perception is in abeyance.

1.11
Memory is the retention of thoughts and images generated by sensory perception and imagination.

1.12
Cessation of mind activity is achieved through the practice of yoga and the habit of dispassionate non-attachment.

1.13
Yoga practice is the willful effort to restrain the five activities of mind and abide in a state of stillness.

1.14
To be firmly grounded, this practice must be performed with earnestness and devotion over a long period of time, all the while holding the goal in clear and constant view.

1.15
Dispassionate non-attachment is the absence of desire for experiences of the senses – seen and unseen, here and hereafter.

1.16
Supreme dispassion is indifference to the three gunas of creation – light, inertia, and vibration – owing to a direct knowledge of Self.

1.17
Meditation for direct-knowing of the objective world is fourfold in nature: exterior observation, inner perception, alert stillness, and the sense “I am.”

1.18
The other state of meditation is when awareness perceives no thought or object – only the seeds of unmanifested possibilities.

1.19
This is the natural state of formless beings and those absorbed in True Nature.

1.20
Others can attain it through faith, earnestness, self-inquiry, clarity, and insight.

1.21
Those who proceed with unshakable intent can attain this state quickly.

1.22
Those who practice with varying degrees of effort – mild, moderate, intense – will progress in accordance with their efforts.

1.23
The other way to attain the natural state is through surrender to God.

1.24
God is the Supreme Being, formless, unbounded, limitless, untouched by action and desire.

1.25
The omniscience of God is infinite.  Man is but a germ of awareness.

1.26
God is timeless, the ever-present master of the ancient masters.

1.27
He is called by OM.

1.28
Silently repeat this world as a mantra while meditating upon its significance.

1.29
From this comes the disappearance of obstacles to the realization of Self.

1.30
The obstacles to Self-realization are disease, inertia, doubt, carelessness, procrastination, laziness, sense cravings, false perception, inability to concentrate, and inability to stabilize higher states when attained.

1.31
Encountering these obstacles one experiences grief, despair, physical agitation, and anxious breathing.

1.32
To overcome these obstacles the constant practice of a single truth is required.

1.33
The mind can be stilled by the earnest practice of openness, compassion, virtue, and indifference.

1.34
Or by breathing in and out, intentionally.

1.35
Intentional focus on any sense experience will enhance perception and still the mind.

1.36
Concentration upon the inner light beyond sorrow stills the mind.

1.37
Meditation upon a transcendent being stills the mind.

1.38
Inquiring into the experience of dreams and dreamless sleep stills the mind.

1.39
Fixing attention on that which is nearest the heart, also stills the mind.

1.40
The stilled mind of a yoga master realizes everything, from the infinitely small to the infinitely great.

1.41
As pure crystal takes on the adjacent colors, so does the mind free of thought become indistinguishable from that which it contemplates.  The perceiver, the experience of perceiving, and the object perceived are one.

1.42
When the mind projects names and concepts on what is seen through direct perception, confusion and delusion result.

1.43
When the mind is clear, empty of memories and knowledge, things are seen exactly as they are.

1.44
These same two conditions – projection and clarity – also apply to the perception of subtle, unmanifest realms.

1.45
The observation of progressively more subtle realms leads to the primal source.

1.46
These meditations have separate perceptions as the seed.

1.47
When there is no perception of separateness, the supreme Self reigns.

1.48
And absolute Truth is revealed as self-evident.

1.49
The direct experience of Truth is nothing like intellectual knowledge gained from scriptures and teachings.

1.50
The direct experience of Truth supersedes and destroys all previous impressions.

1.51
When the impression of a direct experience of Truth is also wiped out, there remains only Awareness without seed.


Practice


2.1
Purification, self-inquiry, and surrender to God are the practices that lead to Unity.

2.2
These practices cultivate awareness and remove the afflictions that obstruct realization of Truth.

2.3
The obstructing afflictions are ignorance, false sense of self, desire, aversion, and a tenacious clinging to life.

2.4
Ignorance is the origin of all other afflictions – the pre-emergent and the vestigial, the nearly-overcome and the fully operational.

2.5
Ignorance regards the impermanent as permanent, the impure as pure, the bad as good, the ego self as True Self.

2.6
The false ego self is born when the instrument of seeing is mis-identified as being separate from the One that sees.

2.7
Desire is attachment to pleasure.

2.8
Aversion is attachment to the absence of suffering.

2.9
Tenacious clinging to life is inherent in all beings, from the most ignorant to the most wise.  Life after life, it is sustained by its own momentum.

2.10
When these five afflictions have become subtle, vestigial, they can be destroyed by abiding in their opposites.

2.11
When they are full operational, they must be overcome through meditation.

2.12
Mental and physical actions rooted in these afflictions bear fruit as experiences in this and future lifetimes.

2.13
For so long as the roots exist, they bear fruit as fortune of birth, length of life, and the experience of pleasure and suffering.

2.14
The pleasure or suffering you experience is the fruit of your good or bad actions.

2.15
One who is spiritually aware sees that all experience is suffering, due to constant change, anxiety, forces of nature, and imprints of subliminal processes.

2.16
Suffering yet to come can be avoided.

2.17
Suffering is caused by the illusion that there is an experiencer to whom an experience is happening.

2.18
Everything perceived is composed of the three gunas of creation – light, inertia, and vibration.  These form the elements as well as the senses, which interact to create experience and the path to liberation from it.

2.19
The three gunas flow in four states – gross, subtle, primal, and unmanifest.

2.20
The witness is Self – pure Awareness – which, though boundless and unchanging, appears to perceive the world through the construct of the mind.

2.21
The existence of all that is, serves Self-Awareness alone.

2.22
One who attains Unity sees the world is not real, yet the world persists because it is taken by others as real.

2.23
The identification of pure Awareness with the mind and the creations of the mind causes the apprehension of both an objective world and a perceiver of it.

2.24
This identification is ignorance.  It must be overcome.

2.25
When this identification is broken, ignorance vanishes, liberation is attained, and Self realizes its true nature.

2.26
Liberation is attained through unwavering intent and discernment.

2.27
The way of Self-realization progresses through seven stages.

2.28
Steady practice of the means of yoga dissolves impurities and invites illumination of the Real.

2.29
The eight means of yoga are self-restraint, faithful observance, right posture, intentional breathing, sense withdrawal, concentration, meditation, and awareness.

2.30
The five pillars of self-restraint are non-violence, truthfulness, honesty, celibacy, and non-attachment.

2.31
These great practices are valid for all – irrespective of social class, location, time, or circumstance – and thus constitute the universal Way.

2.32
The five observances are purification, contentment, aspiration, study, and surrender to God.

2.33
To be free of thoughts contrary to yoga, opposite thoughts must be cultivated.

2.34
Contrary thoughts leading to acts of violence, dishonesty, and lust – whether personally done, caused to be done, or merely approved of – arise from greed, anger, and ignorance.  And whether mild, moderate, or intense, they perpetuate suffering and delusion.  This is why their opposites must be cultivated.

2.35
In the presence of one who is grounded in non-violence, enmity is not possible.

2.36
When one is obedient to Truth, what he says and does becomes what is true.

2.37
When one is established in non-stealing, wealth flows to him.

2.38
One who is steadfast in celibacy acquires spiritual energy, strength, and courage.

2.39
One who is unattached and free of cravings gains insight into all of life – past, present, and yet to come.

2.40
Physical and mental purification produces and indifference to one’s own body, and ends one’s infatuation with the bodies of others.

2.41
One who is pure of heart obtains serenity of spirit, power of concentration, control of the senses, and the capacity to directly realize Self.

2.42
Through contentment one attains bliss.

2.43
The fire of aspiration burns through impurities and heightens the powers of the body and senses.

2.44
Through self inquiry and spiritual study one attains communion with the object of study.

2.45
Through surrender to God one realizes clear Awareness.

2.46
Right posture is to be seated in a manner both solid and relaxed.

2.47
Effortless stillness is achieved by focusing the mind on the boundless realm.

2.48
Here, the opposites hold no sway.

2.49
When right posture is attained, the practice of intentional breathing then follows.

2.50
Intentional breathing controls the three phases of breath – exhalation, inhalation, and hiatus.  Breathing can be regulated by controlling the spacing, depth, number, and duration of breaths.

2.51
There is a fourth level of breath so subtle it transcends the realm of internal and external sense objects.

2.52
Through these practices the veil that obscures the inner light is lifted.

2.53
And the mind becomes capable of concentrating attention.

2.54
When the mind withdraws attention from sense experiences, the senses receive no impressions from sense objects and awareness rests in its essential nature.

2.55
In this way, complete mastery of the senses is achieved.


Powers


3.1
Concentration is the unwavering focus of attention on a single object in consciousness.

3.2
Meditation is the effortless flow of sustained concentration.

3.3
Reflection is when objects in consciousness are directly experienced as they are, free of mind, with no degree of separation.

3.4
Concentration, meditation, reflection.  These three constitute samyama – detached awareness.

3.5
Through mastery of samyama, the essence of wisdom is illuminated.

3.6
It is applied in stages.

3.7
The three aspects of samyama, are more intimate and internal than are the five self-restraints previously described.

3.8
But even these are external to the seedless absorption of samadhi.

3.9
Thoughts arise from no-thought, play out, then vanish.  In the emptiness between thoughts, the mind is capable of self-reflection.

3.10
When thought is absent, the flow of mind is stilled.

3.11
When mental distractions disappear, what remains is one-pointed awareness.

3.12
One-pointedness is when the arising thought and the vanishing thought are the same – with no gap between.

3.13
In this state, the mind passes beyond the realm of forms and sense organs – beyond observation of attributes, ideas of purpose, and perception of apparent change.

3.14
The three properties of specific forms are: potential characteristics, manifest characteristics, and the unmanifest source common to all forms.

3.15
The interplay of these three properties creates the appearance of evolutionary change.

3.16
The practice of samyama on the triple-nature of specific forms leads to an understanding of past and future manifestations.

3.17
The sound of a word, the object it denotes, and the thought conjured up by the word are confused by the ordinary mind as being the same.   By practicing samyama on the distinction between these, the yogi comes to understand the meaning of sounds made by all living things.

3.18
By practicing samyama on the flow of thought-images, knowledge of previous existence arises.

3.19
By practicing samyama on others, knowledge of their thoughts arises.

3.20
However, the object of another’s thoughts – being distinct from thought itself – cannot be known by the practice of samyama.

3.21
By practicing samyama on the essential nature of his own form, the yogi gains control over the emanations that make his body visible to others.

3.22
In this way also, he gains control of the emanations of sound, smell, and substance of his body, and can thus vanish completely from the senses of others.

3.23
Some actions in life bear fruit quickly, others ripen late.  By practicing samyama on the karma of his life, a yogi comes to know the exact time it will end.  This can also be known through signs and omens.

3.24
By practicing samyama on empathy, compassion, and non-attachment, one gains union with others.

3.25
By practicing samyama on any attribute of an element or animal – such as the strength of an elephant – that attribute will be attained.

3.26
By practicing samyama on the inner light, one perceives the subtle, the hidden, the mysterious and minute.

3.27
By practicing samyama on the sun, one gains knowledge of the planetary worlds.

3.28
By practicing samyama on the moon, one gains knowledge of the positions of stars.

3.29
By practicing samyama on the pole star, one gains knowledge of the movement of stars.

3.30
By practicing samyama on the center point of the body, one gains knowledge of the systems of the body.

3.31
By practicing samyama on the throat center, one gains control over thoughts of hunger and thirst.

3.32
By practicing samyama on the “tortoise” nerve duct in the chest, one becomes immovable.

3.33
By practicing samyama on the radiant center of the head, one attains visions of perfected beings.

3.34
Also, all these things can be known without samyama – on the spontaneous clear light of Realization.

3.35
By practicing samyama on the heart, the working of one’s mind – and the minds of others – can be known.

3.36
The bondage of experience results from a failure to discriminate between the highest aspects of personal identity and the true Self – which are completely different.  The spiritual aspect of personal identity is merely an agent of Self – which is totally independent and exists for its own sake.  Practicing samyama on personal identity as separate from Self leads to Self-knowledge.

3.37
Through samyama there arises a spontaneous realization, and the powers of hearing, touch, vision, taste, and smell reach beyond the sense organs to the realm of extra-sensory intuition.

3.38
They are powers in worldly experience, but obstacles to samadhi.

3.39
When the bods of sense experience are loosened and the mode of transference understood, the consciousness of a yogi can enter another body.

3.40
By mastering the vital force that governs the upper chest, the yogi can rise above water, swamps, thorny paths and the like, and ascend at will.

3.41
By mastering the vital force the moves the abdomen, the yogi can emit a blazing radiance.

3.42
Through samyama on the relationship of the ear to the Void comes divine hearing.

3.43
Through samyama on the relationship of the body to the Void, comes the lightness of cotton and the ability to move through space.

3.44
Through samyama on awareness without the body – the great incorporeal Awareness – the veil that obscures the light dissolves.

3.45
Through samyama on the five aspects of forms – gross manifestation, elemental nature, subtle characteristics, interplay of the three gunas, and significance to the observer – the yogi obtains mastery over forms.

3.46
Thus he can become the microcosm and attain all other powers, as well as perfect the body – which is no longer subject to the laws of form.

3.47
Perfection of the body includes beauty, grace, strength, and the crystal hardness of a diamond.

3.48
Mastery of the senses comes through samyama on the mechanism of perception, on the essential nature of the sense organs, on the sense of personal identity, on the interplay of the three gunas, and on the experience being created.

3.49
Thus the yogi can move at the speed of thought, perceive without senses, and transmute matter from one form to another.

3.50
Through samyama on the distinction between the spiritual component of personal identity and the true Self, one becomes all-knowing and attains mastery over all things.

3.51
Through indifference to all these powers, the seeds of bondage and sorrow are destroyed and unity is attained.

3.52
When divine beings appear to flatter and invite the yogi to join them, attachment and pride must be avoided, otherwise he will fall once more into ignorance.

3.53
Through samyama on the smallest movement of time and on the succession of moments, one attains the capacity of discernment.

3.54
Thus one can distinguish between identical objects that cannot be distinguished by species, characteristics, or position in space.

3.55
Wisdom born of discernment delivers one from ignorance.  It comprehends all things at once – what has been and what will be – in an eternal moment without succession.

3.56
When the mind is as clear and empty as Self, liberation occurs and Unity obtains.