Namaste yogis & yoginis,
I love October. We have come out of hibernation, we've sprung clean and are feeling more active, and we now have a bit of time up our sleeve before the heat of summer and busyness of the holiday season. This time is a gift. We should choose wisely what we do with it. We could take time off and rejuvenate. We could enjoy the simplicity of routine without disruption for a while. I like to take time to contemplate.
One of the things I have been thinking about is the teaching in the Yoga Sutras on techniques to calm the mind – particularly 1.37 “vita raga vishayam va chittam” - contemplation on the mind of the enlightened ones. It is really important to have role models in life. In the age of Google, we have lost touch with this a little, but there is really so much to learn and gain by spending time, talking to, emulating those who have gone before us and have the wisdom of time and experience. When we hike up a mountain, it makes sense to have the guidance of someone who knows the easier paths and the pitfalls in order to reach our destination safely and enjoyably.
One who brings wisdom/knowledge to a situation is considered to be a guru. We can have many gurus – in simple activities, developing skills or qualities, or in a profound sense guiding us to ultimate wisdom and truth. This person could be someone we know, or someone we don't know. When we know them, we have the advantage of direct interaction, the ability to ask questions, to have things demonstrated to us. When we don't have access to them, or if they are deceased, we have to rely on texts, recorded teachings, teachings from their students; or we can meditate on them.
Meditation on an enlightened mind, enlightens our mind. In different traditions they even meditate on deities. In this case, we rely on visual aids like yantras, iconography and teachings describing the deity. In either case – what we are usually meditating on are the qualities of that person or deity, and trying to cultivate them in ourselves. It really works. The more detailed your meditation, the more effective. Choose a teacher, enlightened being or deity whose qualities you wish to cultivate in your own mind. Begin your meditation as usual. Bring that being into your mind, visualising their form in as much detail as possible. Face, eyes, mouth, hair, position, clothing etc. Go further, try to imagine how their mind feels, how their being feels. What would they say or do in this moment. What would they feel about a certain situation. I have had some profound answers come to me this way, and literally have felt as if I have become a different person in that moment.
I have been lucky enough in my life to have spent time in the company of highly conscious beings, and when with them, my consciousness was raised. When they haven't been around, the meditation has truly worked. I, too, get busy and forget, but imagine if we did this regularly, if we spent time in that consciousness more often. Very soon, it would become a habit and our consciousness would literally be raised. October feels like a very good time to give it another go. <3