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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Thoughts on Reading the Book Jewish Meditation - A Practical Guide by Aryeh Kaplan

by Charles Feldman (Prana)
On page 55, it says: When one repeats a mantra over and over, the mind also becomes habituated to it. Eventually, one becomes able to say it without the words registering in the conscious mind. . . . It is therefore a highly effective psychological means of removing all thought from the mind.
I have often wondered about the psychological means of one-pointedness leading to God-realization. The above paragraph indicates that when one becomes habituated to the mantra, it becomes automatic, and one can enter into samadhi through losing track of the mundane world altogether.
On page 95, it says: The most difficult thing [in having a conversation with God] is to begin. Rabbi Nachman advises sitting down in the place where you meditate and saying to yourself, "For the next twenty minutes, I will be alone with God." This in itself is significant, since it is like the beginning of a "visit." Even if there is nothing to say, it is a valid experience since you are spending time alone with God, aware of His presence. If you sit long enough, says Rabbi Nachman, you will eventually find something to say.
The above paragraph let me know that I am not alone in often not knowing what to say to God, and that it is possible to develop a relationship, just as you would with a person with whom you at first feel shy.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Greatest of All Wonders

By Moomookshoo
The inspiration for this poem comes from Swami Vivekananda's  talks on Maya given in the second volume of the Complete Works and King Yudhishthira's answer to Yaksha's question given in the Mahabharata.

Do you sometimes wonder
What is the greatest wonder?
The ancient world had its seven wonders;
The modern world boasts its own wonders;
The future may bring even greater wonders.
But, curiously enough, we miss the eternal wonders!
Isn't this  the greatest of all wonders?

We look around and find a world of constant change,
Nothing ever remains the same, except that things change.
Yesterday's child is today's  young man,
Only on the way to be tomorrow's old man.
What we today  fondly call "mine", many in the past called  "mine",
And many more will do the same, in the relentless march of time.
The present undoubtedly  is ephemeral,
Yet it feels  reassuringly  eternal!
Isn't this a wonder eternal?