This world is like a rose garden bristling with thorns
You are not at the mercy of deities, you are what you keep repeating.
In this chapter we will explore some yogic philosophies and describe a very powerful excersise to assit you in your quest for knowledge. We will additionally inform the reader of mistakes that need to be avoid in order to prevent injuries and major hurdles. The content is free for your perusal, I will keep it as consicise as possible.
Due to a lack of readership, and the large amound of self-proclained gurus, I need to provide a few caveats to my readers before we begin. You are probably already somewhat familiar with the concept of a guru, needless to say there are many wise looking folk parading around with the attire of sages from other cultures, past and present included. Don't be fooled by them, they're all the same. They all have their vices, and exhibit qualities that present themselves as valuable or genuine to the average person, but their dishonesty disqualifies them from the guru monicker in its truest meaning.
What you aught to notice about any of them are the following characteristics:
- They never answer your questions in a direct fashion, and expect from their followers a very obediant composure in respect to their answers. You are typically never permitted to ask for a clarification or additional information.
- They do not every tell their followers that they are "unsure", "do not posses certain knowledge", or the like, as they present themselves as people that have a direct connection to the source of knowledge, whereas you as a follower need them and are doomed to failure with their blessings. I suppose it also goes to explain why never spend any time rectifying mistakes and do not provide additional information about their understanding.
- They demand a cult following. One particular example, that I will use for this premise is that of a person who likes to be referred to with the monicker of "sadguru". It is this person's insistance that their followers must gather in large crowds, after having paid a substantial sum, in order for their magic to take effect. this in essence would have previously been deemed as occultism, however the more modern terminology might be "manipulation of crowds using mass psychology". It should be a very clear indication that these people are charlatans, as the very core of this tradition emphasizes the opposite approach.
- They speak about their grievances as though they are virtues.
- They insist on the necessity of your allegiance to their narrative or cult organisation. Here, by narrative we mean the concept of their guruship and how they have been accepted by everybody who matters.
- They are tangled with contradicting notions, and their behaviours exhibit the exact opposite of the ideals they propound.
- They will ask for a lot of money, and your renewed commitment when they visit.
- They do not inform you that the knowldge you're seeking is free, has always been, has only been misplaced, and that your local Barnes and Nobles likely has a few gems that contain the relevant information you might be seeking.
- They do not inform you to avoid visiting India. A very lovely country, full of actors of every ilk. Unfortunately they are not all like Shah Rhuk Khan, or Hrithik Roshan. The majority are charlatans that want your obediance, and your money. Your friendship is inconsequential and easily exchanged for someone else's favour. This is the reality of every populace suffering from corruption, poverty, and superstition.
Why you should avoid going to India
Many people go to this country thinking they will find a swami or guru that will help them advance in their studies and practices, but too often get bamboozled, hindering their spiritual progress due to a lack of correct knowledge. The crux of the issue is that India is much like a spiritual supermarket, there are hidden gems amidst an untold amount of rubble and pollution. It is worse visiting a Wallmart during boxing day while wearing toiletries as your attire. You are exposed, and it is a free for all that involves something akin to spiritual boxing.
There are many charlatans all over the world that fall into this category, not just in India. There are many names to list, all of whom insist on having loads of your money to obtain a fresh perspective. I will avoid going through all of them, as it isn't my purpose at the moment, but please do be mindful of whom you trust. It applies to all of the variety monickers people use: yogi, guru, pundit, or preacher... they are all deceiving you. Once you've drank the curry-kool-aid, it becomes hard to pull yourself out of this dilemma.
Sadgurus or swamijis are part of the cultural demise of India. They enforce the idea that they have special access to knowledge they won't provide you without an exhorbitant amount of money invested in their business. Please bear in mind that there are no more saviours, and you don't need a swami or a guru for your affairs. Your decisions are the helm of your destiny.
It's up to you to chart your path for the next steps of the journey. Whether you are a sikh, christian, or muslim you can benefit from some simple mind-workouts that will enhance your awarness of being. Consider it like a physical workout, but for your cerebellum, with the purpose of bringing your spirtual conscience into your daily life.
As a caveat, I am a muslim, and I ought to inform you that salaah (the prophetic prayer) is crucial for spiritual evolution. It might be needless to say that if you're performing salaah, you do not need so-hum by any account, as the prayer of the prophet is direct. So-hum however will lead you to a state of bliss and even emmancipation. As a muslim or otherwise, it will move you forward in your spiritual journey, but it is not your religion like salaah. There's much to say regarding this topic, and will leave it for scholars.
This is a complex journey, there is no price to pay but sheer exhaustion.
Table of Contents
- The meaning of sadhana
- The value of spirituality in religion
- So-Hum is magnificent
- How to perform So-Hum meditation <– were you looking for this ?
- Wait guru...
- Avoiding superpowers :)
What are Mantras?
The term mantra itself refers to the practice of repeating a certain number of consecutive seed-sounds (bija-mantras). They work to form complex programs that are understood when the mind is empty, enabling it to unfold a hidden purpose like a blossom growing out of the shadows. One can think of it like a very compressed mathematical equation made up of phonics. In other words, mantras are meditative expressions understood through the repetition of sounds. The mind intuits the full extent of mantras through meditative practice. It takes time, but the benefits are very rewarding indeed.
What is sadhana?
Sadhana is a word that gurus avoid using, or rather something they like to keep secret, as it essentially spills the beans for everybody. It implies a consistent spiritual practice that provides the ability of evelating the practicioner to greater modes of awareness. For a sadhana to be effective, it also needs to be comprehensive. Meaning, it has to account for your state of mind in relation to momentum, that is to say effort over time and guidance. It is in the best interest of the practicioner to maximize their results by adhering to a simple regiment of only a few basic excersises that are practiced routinely. As a muslim my priority is salaah, but so-hum is exceptional at mimicking the same effects for those who don't comprend our insistence on the prophetic traditions.
What is religion?
Religion has value in as much as its spiritual practices are accessible to the adherants. Inotherwords, religion is devoid of meaning or value without the spiritual backbone that supports its pillars. They are one and the same despite the concoctions created to legitimize prophitering from people's vulnerabilities, and the lacklustre attempts to destructure a standard of best practices. Religion without spirituality is spineless, and likewise spiritual aspirants who follow no religion tend to fall in every pit-hole along the journey.
In essence, what makes a religion is the formalization of spritual insights from seekers of knowledge. It is only a prophet that can perform this role, the spiritual insights are universal, and the religion otherwise known as the prophetic tradition is always relative to the period it is delivered. Islam is understood to be a confirmation of previous traditions, such as Jewdaism, Christianity, and even the path of the Buddha which is referred to as the Dharma. There is no concoctions in the teachings of prophets, however as it goes with the falsification of scriptural knowledge by corrupt leaders and cultists, it was critical to have a prophetic teacher to guide people away from those falsehoods and set a definitve and uncorruptable standard. The last messenger—our Rassul, is the seal of prophethood, thereby also the final messenger. The Furqan (that which distinguishes truth from falsehood), otherwise known as the Koran, is the corpus of knowledge which muslims use, as they are the immutabble words of our Lord.
What is So-Hum
So-hum is considered to be the gander of meditative techniques as it requires little effort to perform, so long as it is practiced regularly or for long periods at a time. It is a passive pranayam, meaning it does not require a focus on breath duration or retention. You do not need to count the timing of your breathing, and so forth. One's attention simply needs to sit with the incoming and outgoing breath, no control must be exerted on breathing rapidly or slowly. Essentially, one has to focus on being aware of the breathing, and no less. It is an increadibly difficult task, despite its simplicity, namely due to the nature of the excersice being understandably boring. It is therefore important to meditate on the seed-sounds during inhalation and exhalation. The result of performing this on a regular basis, even if for only 30 minutes at a time, is a successive sharpening of mental faculties, leading to a greater pranayam that may be discovered naturally with consistent practice.
One should notice at some point in this practice, the blissful states that one enters at two points of the mantra. The first being near the apex of the inhalation, which if done without strain becomes a longer breath that draws on this consciousness, and at the final portion of the exhalation. If one becomes adept in so-hum, the awareness of the practicioner begins to perceive the in and out-flow of breathing as the same, and at the height of mastery in this technique, it becomes the breathless state.
Additionally, is is considered a complete yoga in and of itself as it is the practice of a pranayama, and concentration, leading to a meditative state.
You may perform this excersise in your chosen asana, or a sitting posture. Ideally your spine should be straight, only slightly bent towards your chest at a minimal angle (about 5 degrees). The most stable positions for prolonged meditations are the half-lotus, and full-lotus, however if you cannot perform these asanas, you may use the easy pose as long as you don't tilt your head or lower spine very often.
Your hands should be placed in a meditative mudra to enhance your cognition. The most stable mudra is the Dhyana mudra, which is often depicted in Zen meditations. One hand is placed bellow the solar-plexus, resting on the lap, while the other hand rests on the lower one, forming a bow or bowl shape. The thumbs touch one another at the tip and point upwards towards the sternum.
Here are the practical steps in performing so-hum:
- Sit in a quiet and comfortable area in seclusion. You can perform a few stretches to settle into an asana for your mediation. The butterfly pose is remarkably good at loosening your pelvic area if you need to practice getting better sitting cross-legged. The lotus posture is easy for children, however it isn't even possible for some adults who have reached old age without keeping limber, so you may sit in the easy pose or on a comfortable cushion with your vertibrae supported by pillows or a wall. It should suffice for your spine to remain stable in a vertical position.
- Inhale softly through your nasal passage, turn your head to the left, and exhale through your mouth in two consecutive breaths to clear your mind. The exhale should be one short, and one long exhalation that eminates from your solar-plexus. You should make a "hha, hhhaaaaaaaa" sound as you exhale with your mouth. It is useful to perform this once at the start of your meditation to clear your thoughts. Imagine yourself forcefully exhaling your negative energies, and letting go of the noise in your mind as you do this. It will benefit you in the long run and help you ease into your routine quicker.
- Turn your head forward, and place your hands on your lap or knees. You can use your choice of mudra, they all have their benefits, but I would recommend the Dhyana mudra as it is induces stability and inwardness.
- Close your eyes, you do not need to focus on any given area, but avoid moving your eyes around as it will lead to day-dreaming and a poor habit. Ideally, you should comfortably place your gaze at the center point of your mind located near the bridge of your brow. Make sure to avoid chasing bright patterns that show up around the perifery of your vision further into your meditations.
- Inhale through your nose, without making any attempt to control the duration of your breath, in a most natural manner, and say the following sound inwardly: "so-ohhhhhhh"
- Exhale comfortably through your nasal passage, while saying "hummmmmmm" in your mind.
- As you switch from in and out-flow of breath, try to remain senstive of the gap between the two bija sounds "so" and "hum". You will notice they flow into one another, making the awareness of your breath a consequence of the mantra.
- Perform for 15 minutes to begin, and go upwards to an hour as your progress. Consistentcy is important, so if you can only peform 30 minutes on a regular basis, then remain at 30 minutes.
- Try to perfom this excersice in a consistent manner, at the same time interval, so that your mind is prepared for it. This will turn you into an able meditator by practicing it routinely.
- Avoid peforming on a full stomach. There is no harm in it, but you will not be as effective and may lose focus.
- Avoid performing it very late, as you will mostly likely drift into sleep.
- Do not peform it laying down in your bedroom or sofa, you will relax too much and only reinforce your mind to fall asleep when meditating.
- Gradually with practice, you will notice that the so-hum mantra you are saying inwardly turns into a sound you hear yourself saying.
What is a Guru?
The term guru is a very heavy word, even greater than genius. It is missused and abused by everybody for whatever nefarious purposes, but its meaning is "righteous teacher". Who is a guru? nobody in this life.
How do avoid superpowers
To be honest, you don't need to worry about this.