Mantras, Inner Sounds and Vegetarianism?
I've been practicing meditation for about three years. I have had some small spiritual experiences during that time. Even though they are just small magnitude experiences, still they make me wanting for more than just that. This year I had an opportunity to read the book written by David Godman; "Nothing Ever Existed". This book has had a great effect on me. I am still doing the same meditation technique but it seems to have a different meaning to me.
My question for you is: What is the practical way to put into practice wha Papaji has taught us? He emphasized many times that no effort is needed. We just drop everything and do not think. This is what I am doing to stop my thoughts:
Method 1: Chanting a mantra. That's all without thinking about anything. When I am repeating
this mantra inside my head I do not care about anything else; just the mantra.
Method 2: I would listen to the inner sound ( I am constantly hearing this high pitch sound
inside my head) without repeating the mantra. I think this sound is our true nature
and that this second method is better than the first.
Please let me know which way is the better way, or what is your way of practicing.
The last question I have for you is: Do I have to be vegetarian to be enlightened? Because I do eat meat and eggs once in a while, but only a small quantity. What is your opinion about eating meat and eggs?
Thank you very much for your guidance.
Thank you for making contact. While Papaji is in the lineage of Ramana, I have not followed his teachings; instead I have focused on Ramana's. Self Inquiry is a technique I have found as the most efficient method of stopping the mind with all its stories. At first it was a lot of work and painful, keeping an eye on the thought process and not letting the mind go outward. Yet with time and practice and Grace the mind gave up its habit. During that time I would use mantras as well when the mind was too wild, and the mantra would blast the mind into submission; whereas I could then ask, who was using the mantra? And then rest in that Silence. Ramana emphasized spiritual practice as a means to come to the place where no practice has ever been needed. And mantras, eating sattvic food, good company, chanting, etc. are simply tools. They are not goals.
For myself, I do not believe in definitions, so I am not a vegetarian. I considered myself one years ago until my eyes opened and saw such a definition as another limitation. So, there are times when I eat meat and others when I don't. Yet, if one has a busy mind, eating a vegetarian diet can be helpful. In "A Course in Miracles," one of the truths that is given is that 'I am not under any law but God's.' In other words, the mind will set up myriad schools of thought and disciplines, such as ayurveda, chinese medicine, chi kung, diets galore, etc., and they all state they have found the answers, even though they may contradict. They have successes and have failures. Why? Because it is all Mind. There is only God. Only the Self. Rely only in That Power.
Listening to the Sound within you is fine as it brings you to a subtle, peaceful place. The mind grows quiet. Yet who is it that listens to the Sound? Even if there is Silence and there is one who is experiencing the Silence, Ramana says to keep up the Inquiry. Who is it that listens to the Silence? Me. Who am I? Until no question can be asked.
'How can all this be practical?' you ask. Life expresses through me, this Janaka, as a Waldorf teacher, artist, writer, father, lover, fool, ...It is important on the phenomenal, evolutionary, Shakti side of Truth to strive for perfection without the slightest hope of ever achieving it. And the only way to do that is to know that the Self is Perfection. It always has been; always will be. There is nothing to be gained through expressing in the best possible way except by doing what Life wants to do. One of the dangers of Advaita (non-dualism) is that there can be an intellectual enlightenment where someone says I am the Infinite Self, while in the meantime he is a real asshole with his wife, or lets all practices go because “what's the point?” Ramana said, know there is One but act as though there is two. Rudolf Steiner said that with every step into higher knowledge, two moral steps need to be taken. It is too easy to fall by thinking one is 'there.'
Play the Game to the fullest while realizing no game has ever taken place. Don't worry about spiritual experiences. There is no resume needed to be with God. You are having a spiritual experience right now; just do not let the mind define the present moment. There is nowhere to go. Keep it up.
Hari Om Tat Sat