During his lock..wn time it’s difficult to find any bookshops open, but when I do, I buy natural incense.
Natural incense is made of herbs, resinoids and essential oils which uplift the mind. Some get you into meditative states, like the tantric Tibetan ones that I saw here in some bookshops in Nepal.
Before smoking was invented, herbs were used for spiritual purposes. They were burnt and the smoke was inhaled. Some herbs have the power to give lucid dreams (blue lotus – hard to find, in some countries prohibited), some get you into a meditative state (marijuana), and some mixtures are told to separate the physical from the astral bodies so that the astral can travel the Universe.
The ingredients for the separation of the astral from the physical bodies are:
Acacia, calamus, galangal, myrhh, hemp, davana, tobacco, turmeric, poppy, sweetgrass, skullcap and valerian. (Source.) No ratios are given though.
I think the incense is a mild version of inhaling these herbs. Natural incense makes the mind happy and calm. In the Western world it’s hard to find natural incense and probably the price is very high, yet in India and Nepal you can find really affordable totally natural incense. But you can make your own too, it just takes time.
I’m at the moment researching different kinds of herbs for meditation. I’m going to try some mixtures to see if they can more quickly get me into meditative states. I’m looking for herbs to slow down the waves of the mind because I find that after using the internet my mind is all over the place and it takes ages for it to relax.
Once I find the right mix, I will burn it during my meditations when my mind is too active to shorten the time to get into deep meditation. I will also continue limiting my exposure to technology as it’s the main culprit of the difficulty in getting into meditative states. I think age can also have something to do with it, because when I was a teenager it was very easy for me to experience altered states of consciousness.
But I’m meditating not for those but to get beyond them to experience the only reality. Of course, the altered states of consciousness are very nice to experience and they can serve as inspiration to continue meditating.
Nisargadatta Maharaj in his book “I Am That” explains this well. All these states, even the most divine ones, are illusions. Meditation helps the person to go beyond the mind, even beyond consciousness, into the background in which everything happens and which is truly you.
The mind cannot get you there, though the mind can sense your true Self. It’s interpreted by the mind as the witness, the observer of the world, but this is only an interpretation. The mind cannot show direct reality but only a translation of it but if you go beyond the mind you can perceive everything directly.
Nisargadatta Maharaj achieved liberation by continual enquiry into the Self. He would dwell on the statement “I am” to the exclusion of all else. He started doing this at the age of 34 and achieved enlightenment by 37.
Buddha’s method was very similar. This is the one I’m using. He taught to focus on the breath exclusively and to ignore all else. Beautiful phenomena will present themselves before you, yet the meditator must continue focusing on the breath.
All spiritual sights and sounds, no matter how extraordinary, are not who we truly are but serve as distractions according to Buddha, though I also perceive them as inspiration to continue. When you refuse being distracted by them, eventually the matrix, maya, gives up tempting you and leaves you alone. Then you understand who you really are.
Nisargadatta Maharaj says that this will happen by itself if you really want to experience it, but you hinder the process if you allow the mind to fear or if you have any desires. These keep you in the net. I find it easy to avoid fear and desires if you continue being self-aware. Then, when some fearful thought enters or some desire finds the way into your mind, you simply cut it off before it roots into your being.
It’s wonderful to understand yourself as something larger than a mere human being. During my spiritual unfoldment I saw myself as a star beholding countless other stars in space; I merged into the scenery I was observing in Nepal; I became the contents of the cafe that I visited; I became the sound particle travelling at the speed of light; I saw the whole world living and breathing in me.
I recently experienced instant creation in a meditative state, where whatever I wanted to create manifested in seconds, such as me flying at a fast speed over limitless turquoise ocean. All these experiences keep me motivated to continue and help me to free me from the grip of the body.
But the grip is very tight indeed. Even when I was drowning in the Ganges river, the witness was stuck in the head, not leaving, but observing everything. I understood that the body only wants to survive, and that I’m not that, but the witness was stuck with it.
I hope that through meditation I can separate the witness from the body totally, like Nisargadatta Maharaj did. After his awakening he perceived the world as a mere dream and left his body to function by itself which it did more perfectly than through the ego. The ego got killed as the understanding arose that he’s not the body.
These are only human terms but we need them to understand each other. I find witness to be so clingy until liberated. It clings to everything. When we dream, we firmly believe we are the doers in the dream. When we wake up, we firmly believe we are the doers in this realm. Meditation helps to make the witness detached from what it creates.
Especially at this time of such limited world meditation should be engaged in. If you truly get established in the true source of power and creation – the witness that’s (without the mind’s interpretation) the background in which everything happens, can you imagine what good could you do to the world?
It’s like being in charge of the electricity of the whole world rather than only of the power of your own house.
Let this article serve as yet another motivation to keep meditating. The change truly starts within. When you understand that you have no limitations, you will create unlimited good in the world.