The Essence of Prayer and Meditation


0:00 again I just like to carry on from we
0:05 just left off because this question
0:09 regarding prayer and meditation which is
0:12 your part of devotion and knowledge in
0:17 prayer
0:18 well I’m sure that you know that some of
0:22 some of us have been saying a daily
0:24 press since child and in prayer I
0:29 sometimes feel on the separate self
0:32 addressing God or awareness or knowing
0:37 as an object highly idealized of course
0:42 but still separate now should one stop
0:47 saying the prayers one has been having
0:51 this habit of saying every day should
0:54 one learn to let awareness seep into
0:57 those very words that one has been
0:59 saying or put otherwise can awareness
1:05 preto itself or can only be silent that
1:11 is being meditation
1:20 what a beautifully formulated question
1:34 you’re absolutely right foot the
1:41 penultimate prayer he in the penultimate
1:47 present the separate self and directs
1:51 its attention towards God which is
1:53 considered to be outside of and at an
1:58 infinite distance from itself so
2:06 although in this kind of Prayer the
2:08 separate self is directing its longing
2:13 towards God it’s prayer depends upon its
2:18 own existence so in the ultimate
2:24 analysis this prayer reinforces the
2:30 separate self so in the ultimate that’s
2:35 the penultimate prayer but in the
2:38 ultimate form of Prayer the very self
2:42 that would pray to God has to dissolve
2:47 in that to which it praise or in that
2:53 for which it lungs so the ultimate
2:57 prayer is not a directing of the self
3:01 towards card but a sinking or dissolving
3:07 of the self into God so it is owned in
3:16 other words let me put it in another way
3:18 our longing for God proceeds from
3:25 ourself to towards God always towards an
3:31 object but
3:35 in order to find what we are truly
3:40 looking for are lonely has to subside or
3:44 fall backwards into its source rather
3:48 than go outwards towards its object the
3:55 self has to recognize that at the what
3:59 it seeks for at a distance from itself
4:03 lies in the origin of itself and those
4:14 of you that
4:14 come on my retreat have heard me say
4:16 this so often but i can’t improve on it
4:21 the Italian monk describing the essence
4:26 of prayer when he said Lord thou art the
4:29 love with which I love the
4:36 he thought that he was loving that with
4:40 his own love he was directing that love
4:44 towards God and then he realized that
4:48 God is the very love which he was
4:54 directing towards the object so what you
4:59 are praying to lives at the origin of
5:02 your prayer it can never live at the
5:04 destiny of your prayer and it’s a
5:13 sinking of your longing into its source
5:19 not a directing of your longing towards
5:21 God was roomy said in the existence of
5:29 your love I become non-existent that’s
5:36 the ultimate prayer
5:44 so
5:47 your question can await awareness preto
5:50 itself it’s the same question that we
5:54 discussed a few days ago can awareness
5:56 direct its attention towards itself
5:59 no it is too close to it sapphic can the
6:04 Sun Shine on itself
6:07 no it’s too close to it self-awareness
6:12 cannot direct its attention towards
6:14 itself God cannot pray to itself the Sun
6:20 can’t shine on itself so this this is
6:29 then that the higher meaning of the word
6:32 prayer in there in most cases prayer is
6:35 considered to be something that the
6:37 separate self does that this evidence of
6:39 pyrex it’s love towards god it’s not a
6:44 directing of love towards god it’s a
6:49 sinking backwards into that love
6:54 so did your devotion then start as an
6:58 output you know absolutely and is it now
7:00 you’re divorcing is that inward it
7:03 yes my devotion started with a
7:08 conventional idea of God and the night
7:12 and devoted myself to that God but i
7:17 always found the separate self remained
7:20 intact so I was frustrated
7:28 although I couldn’t formulated at the
7:30 time admit I was trying i wanted to
7:35 remain intact as a separate self and to
7:38 know God either separate self wanted to
7:40 know god it’s like and moth wanting to
7:44 experience the flame
7:47 it’s like the market is attracted to the
7:49 flame but he wants to touch the flame so
7:52 that it can experience it but the month
7:55 can never experience the flame because
7:58 as soon as it touches the flame it dies
8:01 so it was like that I was like a moth to
8:06 a flame I wanted to experience I the
8:10 separate self wanted to know god I
8:14 wanted to fly into the flame and remain
8:16 alive
8:17 it’s not possible
8:21 so then I realized that I did what I was
8:33 conceiving as God was in fact my very
8:37 own self but with a limit attached to it
8:42 so this limit itself was trying to
8:46 approach God but God was shining at the
8:50 heart of this limited self but couldn’t
8:54 be clearly seen because of its
8:56 limitations and that’s when it became
9:00 clear that in order to to know God one
9:03 cannot know God one can only be the
9:05 absolute the i has to make this as to
9:09 either make an investigation called self
9:12 inquiry or it has to surrender itself
9:15 which is the equivalent of self-inquiry
9:19 on the path of devotion
9:22 it’s either self abidance or herself
9:24 surrender but what is being surrendered
9:28 in fact are all the limitations that
9:32 this self has it acquired leaving the
9:37 absolute reality of the self shining and
9:40 that is what is called
9:41 infinite being or infinite consciousness
9:43 so the Sun itself cannot approach God
9:48 because the self is already that for
9:50 which it is longing but it cannot know
9:53 that because of its limitations
9:55 that’s the beautiful thing ramana
9:58 maharshi said when the I this means the
10:01 separates that when the i know i’m sorry
10:04 let me give you the quote first when the
10:05 is divested of the I only I remains when
10:11 the separate self is divested from all
10:13 the its separate qualities only I the
10:17 same self the self that it always is
10:20 remains but no longer colored by
10:24 limitations
10:25 there’s only 1i there is only one self
10:29 and that is God’s self the self of each
10:33 of us is God’s infinite being only
10:36 limited apparently by thoughts and
10:39 feelings which makes God’s infinite
10:41 being appear to be a separate self that
10:45 separate self cannot approach God
10:46 because that separates up is already the
10:50 absolute with herself assumed limit
10:52 attached to it so all in all we can do
10:55 is surrender those limits in fact we
10:57 don’t even need to surrender those
10:58 limits we just need to see that those
11:00 limits don’t apply to what we really are
11:03 so if we look at what we really are we
11:09 realize I’m not limited by my thoughts
11:12 feelings sensations and perceptions at
11:14 some point this what we really are
11:16 shines as it is so the essence of of
11:24 prayer is not a movement of the self
11:27 towards God but a surrendering of the
11:31 self into its essence
11:38 so would it be fair to say that when you
11:44 free you actually meditated or yes put
11:48 prayer and meditation in the ultimate
11:50 analysis of the same thing the
11:54 penultimate meditation is to direct
11:57 one’s attention towards an object such
11:59 as a mantra of flame the breath a
12:02 teacher just as the penultimate prairies
12:05 to direct ones love towards God so in
12:09 these forms of meditation and prayer
12:12 they are different and that is why the
12:15 Christians argue with the Buddhists
12:18 about the difference between prayer and
12:22 meditation is because they’re talking
12:24 about these these certain that’s called
12:31 an objective types of meditation and
12:34 prayer meditation and prayer that
12:36 require the directing of our attention
12:40 or are longing towards some kind of
12:42 object however idealized as you same but
12:46 in the highest forms of meditation and
12:49 prayer our attention and our longing are
12:53 not directed outwards towards the object
12:55 they sink or low backwards or inwards
13:00 towards their source and the source is
13:02 the same the source of attention and the
13:07 source of longing is the same we call
13:11 the source of attention consciousness
13:13 and we call this source of longing love
13:15 but they’re the same consciousness and
13:18 love are the same so yes the essence of
13:26 meditation and the essence of prayer are
13:28 identical
13:33 and that the Christian mystics called
13:36 the essence of prayer the practice of
13:38 the presence of God it wasn’t to do with
13:42 directing the longing towards God it was
13:45 it was the practice of the presence of
13:47 God

The Golden Reality of ‘I Am’


Auto transcript:

0:00 yeah
0:09 yeah
0:10 but we do like to talk about the crucifixion at the end of the room
0:19 there’s a triptych of the crucifixion and it’s a sort of image I’ve been
0:26 familiar with and all my life three and then the story i was just looking around
0:40 ready during meditation and then the effect of that whereas previously I’ve
0:48 tried to extract meaning from it this morning in the atmosphere in this room i
1:00 found that it was seemingly radiating something which affected my heart made
1:13 it it made it lighter
1:16 yes even now when I look at it I feel the site or something that in this
1:21 present happen stick the first time I’ve had that kind of experience since the
1:31 question but when you look at that painting what is it that really shines
1:38 it’s the the figure of Christ and the figure of marion John that sort of
1:51 triangular that triangle the
1:58 old against the other . background she went when I look at it it’s the gold
2:04 that shines I see the figures of as the absence of the gold but what really
2:11 shines is the gold and it’s very interesting that the Gold is everything
2:17 around the body and the head in other words what is being made to shine is the
2:23 space in which the bodies appear they didn’t paint the bodies gold they
2:29 painted everything except the bodies gold in other words when you come into
2:36 the room and see the painting that what is it that shines out it’s the gold the
2:43 bodies are like I can hardly see them that their shadows but the gold seems
2:49 out but that’s what the painter wanted to draw attention to that that’s why in
2:55 medieval paintings that that the Halos they paint a halo around the head in
3:00 gold
3:03 the head is thought mind and what they wanted to draw attention to was the
3:08 space in which the mind appears not the mind itself and here like this morning
3:18 they’re drawing attention not just to the space in which that the mind the
3:22 head appears those are the Halos but the space in which the whole scene appears
3:26 the whole group of bodies that the space is being given prominence it’s saying
3:34 see that the space is shining and the objects are actually the absence of that
3:41 shining
3:47 that’s my interpretation of that painting what it was was not on an
3:57 intellectual experience with an experienced in the heart was that an
4:02 enlivening yes of the heart and that came from the attitude of the figures
4:07 yes particularly the figure of Christ yes okay but you see again i would say
4:24 that this this painting draws attention to what doesn’t die when Christ died
4:37 what didn’t stop shining when Christ body stopped shining so there isn’t
4:51 sorry the spirit and how is the spirit depicted in that picture
4:56 it’s the brilliant gold which even in the face of death it is not dimmed it
5:06 doesn’t go dark the body goes dark the body dies but the spirit shines and in
5:13 fact it is the death of the body and that is what is depicted in this
5:18 painting it is the death of the body that draws attention to the
5:23 deathlessness of the Spirit
5:30 see what what what what died when Christ died i don’t really see that anything
5:39 died it was the initiation of a a new epoch of mankind
5:49 I think that’s it and always here essential message of that new epoch the
5:59 small insofar as i was thinking about it
6:01 compassion that’s always been I’ve never really understood the crucifixion
6:12 I’ve never really understood the mass for example I was a teenage catholic and
6:20 i left it behind you see good christ sake before Abraham was I am what I am
6:40 was present for Abraham was is what I am now what was he referring to and he said
6:55 I am I am now what I was before abraham was born consciousness yet he wasn’t
7:08 referring to I the body that was his essential message
7:13 be still and know that I am is God be still
7:22 that is
7:26 turn away from the agitation of the mind this is nothing to do with the minded
7:33 behind know the stillness that is behind the mind and know that that that I am is
7:48 God or the ultimate reality and that is ever-present he is a concession to 40
8:00 had saved before Abraham was I am so he’s confounding he’s saying before I
8:05 want Abraham was in the past and then he uses the present tense i am he doesn’t
8:11 say before Abraham was I was he says before Abraham was that he takes us into
8:17 the past and then says I am this I am that is now the eternal present is
8:23 eternally present and that is what I eternally and before the arising of all
8:31 bodies and all worlds and the I am that that each of us knows everybody now
8:39 knows the experience i am and that I am is as we said on the first evening it is
8:44 the hole in you and hear the hole in a piece of paper it is it seems to be in
8:51 the paper but when we approach that whole we realize it is just an empty
8:57 space which is not in the paper the paper is in that space so the I am is
9:04 the hole through which the separate self accesses it’s eternity it through which
9:11 the separate self goes out of time into eternity through the portal I am or the
9:18 thought I
9:23 stands for be still and know that I am as God is the ultimate reality within
9:36 the experience of meditation that is is made real
9:42 yes but it only adds to the mystery of the crucifixion yes but that is the
9:49 message of the crucifixion the message of the crucifixion and the resurrection
9:56 and the Transfiguration are these three stages that you find in all the great
10:02 religious tradition the crucifixion the death of everything we thought ourselves
10:07 to be the death of the identification with the body that that’s the UNT
10:15 yesterday but for those less that’s end of page one chapter mine the discovery I
10:20 am awareness
10:22 I am NOT the body then the resurrection is the discovery this is for the rest
10:29 fast arrest of chapter one the discovery the nature of the being that i have
10:35 discovered myself to be so the crucifixion
10:38 I am NOT the body I am consciousness the resurrection that is that the
10:43 resurrection of the true either discovery of the nature of the
10:47 consciousness that i have discovered myself to be and then chapters 2 212 the
10:54 Transfiguration that is the realignment of the colonization of the body the mind
11:02 and the world with the infinite light of pure consciousness that I know myself to
11:06 be the transfiguring of the body-mind the outshining of the body-mind in the
11:12 light of pure awareness for these are the three stages the crucifixion the
11:17 resurrection and the Transfiguration
11:23 there’s an illusion only Brockman is real ramen is the world is ramana
11:29 maharshi’s way of describing the same thing I am something I am nothing i am
11:38 everything Zen the path from I am something to I am nothing that is the
11:45 path from I am the body to I am awareness is what in his entry which
11:49 they called the great death that’s what’s depicted up here the great desk
11:54 but then the path from I am nothing awareness to i am everything that is the
11:59 ad shining of the body-mind world in the light of pure knowing that is called the
12:04 great rebirth in his end tradition that is what this picture is is trying to
12:15 trying to evoke in us i thought that was very interesting but the experience is
12:30 going this morning was more like the kind of visual meditation yes yes and it
12:38 had power
12:39 yeah I can see that previously okay but I don’t want to interpret your your
12:49 meditation because that’s something obviously very very genuine for you a
12:53 very powerful for you
12:55 the the and thatthat’s then I’ve not tried to give you an a rational
13:02 explanation rational analysis of this painting but you got the message at a
13:11 visceral level and bypassed thought and that is the purpose of party doesn’t go
13:19 through thinking it goes by a sensation and perception and so if i don’t want to
13:26 touch your your experience it’s obviously very very genuine what I’m
13:31 saying is not in any way to to deny your experience and just giving
13:36 my interpretation of this is the best thing