Samkhya Meditation Instruction
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Samkhya meditation is the cornerstone of Samkhya Yoga and it uses the breath to insulate you from all conscious sensory activity for as long as you want, be it 5 minutes or 5 hours. Most people have found approximately 20 to 40 minutes to be the most comfortable, once in the morning and again just before evening. Even though the meditation is very rewarding and peaceful unto itself, Samkhya meditation additionally produces four distinct transformations, culminating in a unique spiritual metamorphosis. Indeed, it is this truly one of a kind metamorphosis brought about in conjunction with the transformations that sets Samkhya meditation apart from other meditation methods.
o The transformations are also very predictable in that they are exactly four in number and are spaced exactly 108 days apart. This of course makes the days of transformation much easier to anticipate. However, just in case allow at least a couple of days margin of error of on either side of the anticipated date. The most common error has been miscalculating the anticipated date. Mark your calendar and mark each day you meditate. If you meditate twice that day, make two marks.
Note: The first day is not day one but rather day zero. (0, 1, 2, … 106, 107, 108; 0, 1, … 107, 108; 0 …108; 0 … 108; 0 … )
o The high predictability of these transformations are heavily dependent on Samkhya meditation being done twice a day … everyday. Once in the morning and a second session that evening. Failing to do two consecutive sessions is almost guaranteed to restart the internal 108 day clock for that stage. It pays to be regular. If you are regular, the transformations are experienced on the “zero” days that follow each completed 108 day period.
o Once a transformation occurs confirming that stage as complete, that stage need never be redone again for any reason. Therefore should you falter and have to restart your intrinsic 108 day clock for any reason, you only restart the clock for that particular stage. This is true regardless of whether you miss just the two consecutive meditations or even two hundred consecutive meditations; only the 108 day clock associated with that stage is restarted.
o The transformations are guaranteed incredibly pleasant and each manifestation is tailored to and by the person experiencing the transformation in accordance with that individual’s needs and life style. The downside of this is that they are so individually tailored to fit personal needs that they are impossible to describe with any detail prior to their occurrence. All that I can guarantee is that you will notice them … and you will like them.
The instructions are complete in themselves, and further instructions or even questions are normally not needed. I should caution the reader however, that the simplicity of the instructions is very deceptive. The effectiveness of the meditation technique lies in that simplicity, and for this reason I caution the meditator not to modify the instructions in any capacity, else they lessen that effectiveness. Far more importantly though, modifying the instructions may even jeopardize its ability to produce the desired transformations. If you have any difficulty complying with any portion of the instructions for any reason, please contact me.
Samkhya meditation is dependent on the following two principles:
· Consciousness emanates from the breath in a manner akin to water emanating from a fountain, and just as watching a fountain also makes one aware of the water, breath awareness causes one to be aware of consciousness. Therefore, Breath Awareness produces Conscious Awareness.
· We would know if we were breathing whether the respiration produced sensations or not, and this would be true whether or not we recognized the presence or absence of any sensations that may or may not be being produced even as byproducts of the respiration. To put more simply, Breathing Awareness is dependent neither on the presence nor the absence of any particular sensation nor any particular group of sensations.
Therefore it is safe to conclude that if our only intent is to recycle our Conscious Awareness back into the Breath Awareness that produces it, then we could effectively ignore the presence or absence of any and all sensory activity that may or may not even be present. When we have done this, that is ignored the presence or absence of all sensory activity, then we have officially entered into a state of meditation or yoga as defined in the Yoga Sutras.
Relax and release all bodily tension.
Allow the Breath to inhale and exhale as the Breath sees fit.
Focus on the Breath.
There is a common misconception concerning the breath that is significant enough to warrant mentioning. It should be obvious to everyone that if you are inhaling then you are breathing. Likewise, if you are exhaling you are breathing then, too. If you are neither inhaling nor exhaling then you are not breathing. Since it is mandatory that you make every effort to focus on your breath continuously, it only stands to reason that there cannot be any pauses in the breath, otherwise there will be no continuous breath to focus on.
There are no time limits as to how long or how little you can practice to see results. Even a little practice can lead to positive and noticeable results, but an hour a day is the suggested duration, although more is fine if you want. The longer the session, the deeper the results. The best results are obtained by having one session in the morning and a second session about 10 to 12 hours later or right before retiring for the evening, with one of those sessions being at least 40 minutes in length. Some people with sufficiently regular lifestyles have been able to get the desired results with just one meditation session per day, however very few of us have that regular a lifestyle.
It seems to do no good however to schedule your routine too rigidly though. The best guideline as to duration is to do enough that you have a sense of “done,” as one practitioner so aptly and accurately puts it. It would probably be prudent to keep in mind that if you do enough –and do it properly– then the transformations are inevitable.
For this reason it is suggested you should pick a posture that allows you to practice easily for forty minutes, give or take twenty, and you should only have to readjust your posture sporadically, but any position that would allow us to relax is fine. In other words, absolutely no conscious effort is spent to maintain any particular posture. Sitting up would work, but the head would need to drop either backwards or forward to the chest. Trying either of these two alternatives for any serious amount of time will give you due cause to appreciate a simple supine position.
What is perhaps the easiest and most natural pose for meditation is any posture you normally use to sleep in, which for most us would be a customized natal pose. The meditator then has the added advantage of already being in a restful and comfortable position to do his meditations either in the mornings as he awakes, or perhaps while he is lying down to sleep in the evening. Obviously, care must be taken to remember that your intention here is to meditate in that posture and not to simply fall asleep, for which there is a great propensity.
I would like to briefly discuss one particularly important posture however, especially if you do have the propensity to fall asleep. Lie down on your back keeping the feet together and the hands separated from the body at about a forty-five degree angle, palms facing up. If the hands are either too close to the body or too far away, the arms will feel uncomfortable, so the best guideline is to open the arms as much as feels most comfortable and relaxed.
A pillow under the head is optional, but the head should be tilted backward slightly with or without the pillow. If you are lying down and the head is tilted backwards slightly, then the mouth normally opens naturally. Letting the head lean backwards so as to let the mouth open also verifies that the jaw muscles are, in fact, relaxed, since even small amounts of tension causes the mouth to close. As a general rule you will find the air seems to exhale and inhale jointly through both the mouth and nose together and in unison.
Do not open the mouth so much that the jaw or neck muscles ache. If the breath can flow easily through both the mouth and the nose then the mouth is sufficiently open, but do not try to force it. (If you have a cold or for some other reason the nasal passages are blocked, then oral breathing is of course your only option.) The guiding principle here is the same as it is with the posture in general; let the respiration breathe as naturally as it can with minimal interference.