Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

Online Satsangs

by Namita Sinha and Divya Gupta

We had beautiful Online Satsangs on 4th March 2017 and 30th April 2017.

“This document is an invitation to constant self-observation, self-examination, self-purification, self-pacification.”
      — Swami Veda Bharati, Sadhana in Applied Spirituality

We came together in this satsang to share our thoughts, learning, experiences and challenges in sadhana with Swami Veda Bharati’s book Sadhana in Applied Spirituality as our guide.

We began with 2 minute silence, and Rabindra initiated the satsang with reading of the summary on page 32 of the book Sadhana in Applied Spirituality.

All participants spoke about the challenges we face in personal sadhana, the teachings and practices that help us in deepening our sadhana.

Some of the personal sadhana experiences the participants shared:

  • I find in my sadhana the need to work on my active, rajasic thoughts that often bring out sharp words. Whenever I fail, I contemplate on Swamiji (SVB)’s teaching of “Sharpen love, blunt the sharpenesses”; it makes me more aware of the roots of these thoughts. The Saumya mantra given by Swamiji acts as a coolant on my agitated mind.
  • Contemplation and svadhyaya helps me to observe my mind in a scientific way. While meditating, from a wandering mind I bring awareness by asking myself “Is my mind minding me or I am minding my mind?” This and awareness of diaphragmatic breathing helps me to keep the mind more concentrated.
  • These days my challenge is to get enough rest and sleep as my work keeps my days very long. I try to relax myself and repeat my mantra.
  • Keeping the communication with others around me as well as an inner communication with self helps me to reflect on my emotions and feelings.

Ammaji’s answers to sadhakas:

A few weeks prior to satsang Ammaji (Mrs. Lalita Arya) answered questions from sadhakas related to challenges in their spiritual practice. Some of golden words of guidance from Ammaji:

  • First and foremost is that you must be totally convinced that your practice is important. We do our practice for ourselves to make us into “better” human beings. Not only for ourselves, but for our families, our friends, our neighbors, the society in which we live and hopefully for the entire sentient existence. This benefit only becomes apparent when changes start to occur in oneself through practice.
  • Just remember that life is total existence – humans tend to compartmentalize parts of their being for their convenience. But then we forget to bring it all together. Can a teacher or a businessman or a janitor not lead a spiritual life? Make life total and let your spiritual aspiration be your life.
  • If the emotions get ‘churned’, that is good, it gives us the opportunity to look at the churning, examine the reason and then deal with it – the whole idea of Awareness in practice.
  • Personal needs and desires have to be examined in moments of clear thinking. A need is different from a desire. We have to look at their sources.

Concluding Thoughts and Moving Forward:

  • All the participants found this an enriching experience where they learnt from each other and felt the special bond of a sangha.
  • To make this satsang experience deeper, we decided to focus on one topic and related practice for every satsang. Yamas and Niyamas were the popular choice
  • For the next satsang the theme chosen is Ahimsa. All participants will come with some thoughts and preparation on their sadhana with Ahimsa.

Online Satsang, April 30th, Ahimsa.

The satsang was guided by Randall Krause (Mokshadeva).

We began with a 2 minute guided meditation by Mokshadeva Ji, followed by a small talk by him on the subject of Ahimsa.

  • There are three levels of existence: body, speech, and mind. Practice ahimsa in action, words, and thoughts.
  • Swami Veda Bharati defined ahimsa as an absence of inclination to harm.
  • Ahimsa is love. When we take away all of the harmful thoughts and words, only love is left within.
  • Apply ahimsa 1) to yourself, 2) at your home, 3) to others.
  • Violent or hurtful tendencies arise from one’s previous samskaras, and are not necessarily “You.”

How can we practice ahimsa?

  • Constantly be aware of your thoughts, emotions, and actions. Become a neutral observer. Watch the “roommate in your mind,” who has these awful thoughts.
  • Make a commitment (sankalpa) that “I will practice ahimsa.” Be reasonable with yourself. Mind and personality changes very gradually.
  • Forgive yourself for your unkind and violent thoughts, speech, and actions. And then, forgive others for their unkind and violent thoughts, speech, and actions.
  • Contemplate on your problems/differences with others, and try to resolve them through open communications.
  • Cultivate the “Pratipaksha Bhava” (YS II:33) by for example, secretly doing kind things for others, breathing exercises, mantra remembrance, or taking a timeout.

We discussed about food choices (vegan, vegetarian, kosher, non-vegetarian) and their relationship with himsa:

  • If you need certain non-vegetarian food items for health reasons, then not eating them is doing himsa to your body.
  • If you want/like certain non-vegetarian food items, you can make an honest assessment, based on, for example:
  • What emotions are generated within you, when eating vegetarian food vs. non-vegetarian food?
  • How does the food item affect your meditation practice?
  • How does it affect your mind and body?
  • After such an assessment, you may make your food choices out of your own personal conviction and experience.
  • Intention is important here.

Mokshadeva Ji gave all the participants a self-reflective homework, which we can follow-up with him later individually: Think about yourself and make a list of the situations where you tend to have himsa (you are free to edit the list over the course of time). Go back and choose an area where you would like to work upon on tendency to commit himsa.

Inspiration from Swami Veda Bharati:

Smile at those who are scowling at you.
When someone is at the verge of becoming hostile, befriend him.
People quarrel only when they cannot see the beauty that is in others.
There are no irreconcilable conflicts
Do not suppress anger. Only, do not have it.
If you must be angry, be angry at your anger.

(Source: Sayings: Saying Nothing Says It Allby Swami Veda Bharati)

Future Online Satsangs:

A series of satsangas on Yamas and Niyamas is planned, including a future online satsang on Satya with Randall Krause (Mokshadeva). Dates have not yet been set, and will be announced soon on Facebook and Twitter.

For participation and further information, contact: [email protected]

The satsangs are open for all spiritual aspirants in the Himalayan Tradition.

Editor’s note:

The book Sadhana in Applied Spirituality by Swami Veda Bharati can be read online at http://ahymsin.org/main/swami-veda-bharati/sadhana-in-applied-spirituality.html and also is available for purchase as a paperback at The Meditation Center.

Within the book Sadhana in Applied Spirituality, Swami Veda suggests the practice of the Saumya mantra in section 3, “MANAGEMENT AS SPIRITUAL SADHANA.”

For more about the Saumya mantra, please scroll down in The 2014 Annual 40-Day Spiritual Festivaluntil you come to Saumyā Mantra Practice.

The yamas and the niyamas are found in Yoga Sutras 2:30 - 34. Ahimsa is one of the yamas. Suggested reading: The Royal Path by Swami Rama.

You may enjoy reading the article Ahimsa and Truth by Swami Rama at http://www.ahymsin.org/docs2/News/1310Oct/01.html and The Power of Ahimsa in Everyday Life by Swami Veda Bharati at https://www.meaus.com/power-of-ahimsa.htm and Ahimsa in the Bhagavad Gita by Swami Veda Bharati at http://ahymsin.org/main/swami-veda-bharati/ahimsa-in-the-bhagavad-gita.html.



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