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Rishikesh, India

Got up late, but just in time to get to the yoga lecture with the Swami. This time I took my notebook and wrote notes:

Soak mangos overnight to get rid of the chemicals that are often used to ripen them.

Tratak: Fix eyeballs on one point. Don’t blink. (At the Mahabodi temple in Bodhgaya where the Buddha became enlightened there was a sign saying that at this point the Buddha sat for two weeks in meditation without winking. I think they meant to say without blinking.) Stop restlessness of the mind. Not stop, steady. Use a candle in front of the eyes. Don’t use an Indian candle because it smokes and flickers, and if you’re staying in the ashram don’t drop wax on the floor or on your bedclothes.

One minute strong gaze at where the flame joins the wick, the brightest point, then two minutes with your eyes closed meditating on the afterimage.

Concentration. Trance-like state. Do for about ten minutes.

Monks wear wooden sandals to slow them down. He gets someone to take down a picture of one of the masters who is wearing wooden sandals. Since I’m teaching westerners I always say slow down in everything because western culture is a very fast culture. But if you’re teaching Indians don’t tell them to slow down because they will fall asleep.

Mantra chanting is one of the best techniques of concentrating the mind. Aum nama shivaya = I bow down to my higher self. Repetition leads to humility, ego reduction, tendency to obey. The you are in spiritual growth the worse the punishment if you don’t obey. Very bad karma. Obey your inner self. Reduce negative thought patterns.

Beads. He has string of beads and shows how to hold them not using the index finger because that is the ego finger. 1 mala = 108 chants, one loop of the beads. After each chant you move onto the next bead. (How do you remember which bead you started at?)

16 malas a day for a brahmin. Less for the lower casts. 12, 8, or 4 if you’re a member of the labouring caste.

Devotional meditation: Concentrate on a guru or deity.

Why does Krishna play the flute? It symbolizes the spinal chord. The holes symbolize the seven chakras.

Vedanta meditation is the highest technique, used by the Buddhists who did away with the other forms of meditation. Don’t do anything with the mind. Just observe. Become aware that you are not the body-mind, you are much vaster. Your body-mind is like the horse and you are the rider.

Tantra: sex. Arouse yourself 80 percent but don’t go for orgasm. Orgasm is death. You’ll get a higher orgasm. There are 400 million sperm in each ejaculation. Each sperm has the same energy as one 6 foot tall man working 18 hours a day (that can’t be right). But if it does come out lick it back. It is the best perfume for the face.

Samadhi: Concentrate very deeply on one thing. Lose awareness of time. Like sleep, but conscious. Observe what is inside. Eyes half open and half closed. Darkness above, light below. Focus on the join.

Samadhi is a super-conscious experience. What is this? What is a conscious experience? Sense experience. Senses are limited. The data is limited. What is a sub-conscious experience? Astral body senses. Dreaming is the activity of the astral body. Psychology doesn’t know this yet but they will as they do meditation. Super-conscious experience: the mind is directly experiencing, without the sense organs.

Study of deeper levels of the mind. Perception through the third eye. Method to transcend mind.

A German guy who has asked some questions drinks from his bottle of water the Indian way, without letting the bottle touch his lips. The Swami takes a drink the western way.

There’s a woman with bandages around her head coming loose. She must be the one he talked about a couple of days ago who got beaten up the night before by some Indian boys.

Onto the next board, headed Yogic powers.

Anima: power to condense the body or matter down to the size of an atom. Science now accepts this – black holes.

Mahima: the power to make the body bigger. Krishna did this.

Garima: make the body heavy.

Laghima: make the body light.

Prapti: ability of the mind to bring an object from a distance. This has higher and lower forms. The lower form is to command astral entities to go and get the object for you. This is not good. It is often used to impress people, but is never used by true masters. The higher form is to bring the object directly with the mind. This is good.

Prakamia: ability to fulfill all desires instantaneously. Jesus stopped a storm and turned wine into water.

Ishitua: mastery over the laws of nature. Western science has mastered the law of gravity with the aeroplane.

Vashitua: total control over someone’s mind. This is a very dangerous power. I can go into a forest and chant a mantra for 21 days and include a lady’s name in the mantra and she will fall in love with the guru, she will be blind to his faults, and it is only many years later that she will realize she was manipulated.

The lecture ends with prayer and mantra. People close their eyes. I focus on the ripped sleeve of the woman in front of me, a semi-circular mound of flesh below her armpit bulging out.

Please pay for the week if you are staying for the week. He says tomorrow he’ll bring in someone, one of the ashram workers I think, whose birthday it is and we can bring a present if we want.

Outside the classroom is his book of poetry. He looks much younger in the picture on the book. No grey in his beard yet.