The most important point about meditation is contained within this lecture. It explains very clearly how to meditate with one-pointedness. This excerpt is from Chapter 5 of the Bhagavad Gita, In the Light of Kashmir Shaivism, by Swami Lakshmanjoo).
This Saturday, May 9th, we celebrate Swami Lakshmanjoo’s Birthday. You are invited to join us online via webstream. Please join us also for our annual four-day retreat, May 10-13th, held online for the first time. Read more and register here…
DVD 5.2 (32:04)
स्पर्शान्कृत्वा बहिर्बाह्यांश्चक्षुश्चैवान्तरे भ्रुवोः ।
प्राणापानौ समौ कृत्वा नासाभ्यन्तरचारिणौ ॥२७॥
sparśānkṛtvā bahirbāhyāṁścakṣuścaivāntare bhruvoḥ /
prāṇāpānau samau kṛtvā nāsābhyantaracāriṇau //27//
[Lord Kṛṣṇa]: Sparśān kṛtvā bahir bāhyāṁ. Bāhyāṁ sparśān bahi kṛtvā, those outside sensual objects, you should keep them outside. Cakṣu caivāntare bhruvoḥ, [your mind should be focused] in between the two eyebrows; you must feel the sensation inside, between two eyebrows. Prāṇāpānau samau kṛtvā, nāsā abhyantara cāriṇau, you should breathe out and breathe in, in samatā. Samatā means . . .
No, this is very important.
For instance, you breathe in and you breathe out. Not like [you normally do]. You have not to breathe in and out like that. You have to breathe in your own nāsa (inner consciousness).
For instance, you have to breathe like this and this; only this much [Swamiji demonstrates by showing the tiny distance between his thumb and index finger]. You have not to breathe [heavily]–not like this. You have to breathe very slowly, very slowly. [So] slowly that [you do] not breathe at all. It takes only [a small] space to breathe. Only this much. This is the reality of one-pointedness.161
JONATHAN: But Swamiji, when you do that though, some-times in breathing, you don’t get enough breath; it feels like you’re not going to get enough . . .
SWAMIJI: [laughs] No, it is not suffocation. You will never become suffocated, because it is life; it is life-full at that time. You know when in my courses162 I was not breathing. I was breathing like this [Swamiji demonstrates]. When I was out [of my courses], then I would [breathe heavily].
JONATHAN: Yes, suddenly you would breathe.
SWAMIJI: Yes, that is outside. Inside is this [Swamiji demonstrates again], i.e., when you don’t breathe at all. You breathe only from here to here, bas! That is all. So there is no breath. It is only the glamour of madhya nāḍi, the central vein. You are residing in the central vein, suṣumnā nāḍi. It is in suṣumnā nāḍi. It goes in suṣumnā nāḍi and [breath] is finished.
JONATHAN: But from a practical point of view, you were demonstrating that to me one day when you went to Harvan, and you stopped on the side of the road and you said, “the breath must only go this much.” But if a normal person sits down and makes their breath go like that, then they are short of breath, isn’t it? Or does that feeling go?
SWAMIJI: No, shorter breath.
JONATHAN: But there is that feeling that you need more breath.
SWAMIJI: No, you don’t get urge for breathing. You don’t get urge for breathing. This is something different!
JOHN: My experience is though when you try to be one-pointed on watching your breath and so forth . . .
SWAMIJI: When it [meditation] is one-pointed, then you don’t breathe.
JOHN: Breathing slows down automatically.
SWAMIJI: Not in so much space.
JOHN: So it becomes less and less as you . . .
JOHN: When you are breathing and you are becoming more one-pointed then your breathing becomes less and less.
SWAMIJI: Less and less, less and less. And in the end, it breathes only this much.
JOHN: But my problem is before I get to that point . . .
SWAMIJI: If it comes down from here, it goes up to this, then it returns there.
JOHN: My experience is, when I become more one-pointed and it becomes less and less and less, all of a sudden that panic comes and I go, “aaaaaaaahhhh,” I take that, like I’m not breathing, I get a shock that, “no, I’m not breathing and then I take a breath.”
SWAMIJI: [laughs] That is because you are not focused in that Parabhairava state. When once you are focused in the Parabhairava state then you won’t breathe because you are life-full.
JOHN: So how do we get over that gap of that panic of not taking full breaths?
SWAMIJI: Yes, in both ways it is divine. Both ways. If you breathe, that is also divine; if you don’t breathe, that is also divine. It is this [Swamiji demonstrates the short distance of the movement of breath]. I showed you.
JONATHAN: You showed me that day.
SWAMIJI: It is said, nāsābhyantaracāriṇa, only breath does not move out from nāsa, out from nāsika. It moves only this much, this much [Swamiji demonstrates]. So there is no such breathing.
You should not examine it. It is automatic. It will happen automatically some day when you are glorified with my grace.
JOHN: What do you mean, Swamiji, when you say “lengthen the breath and make it flow longer and longer?” When we were meditating, you said we should lengthen the breath, make it slower and longer. What does that mean?
SWAMIJI: Lengthen? Lengthen, not. You should breathe very slowly.
JONATHAN: You mean length of time and less in space.
SWAMIJI: Less space.
JONATHAN: And length in time.
JONATHAN: So it should take longer to go even that little distance.
JONATHAN: But you shouldn’t make your breath long.
SWAMIJI: Long? No [laughs].
JONATHAN: That’s what I am saying. You shouldn’t do that! You should only do this much. But time should be longer . . .
JONATHAN: . . . and space should be less.
161 “Prāṇāpānau samau kṛtvā, and exhaling and inhaling must remain in equal (samatā) move-less movement, at the state where exhaling and inhaling do not take place. Nāsa abhyantara cāriṇau. It must move in your cit śakti, in your inner consciousness. . . . And it moves only in that one point that is without movement. When you do that, in half an hours time, your breath will stop and rush in the central vein (suṣumnā nāḍi). If you don’t do that, you may do this practice for thirty centuries, nothing will happen.” Bhagavad Gītā (1978).
162 “Courses” refers to the time when Swamiji was becoming established in the state of Parabhairava. [Editor’s note]
The following is an extract from: Talks on Practice, Self Realization in Kashmir Shaivism: The Oral Teachings of Swami Lakshmanjoo (page 38).
All Content is subject to Copyright © John Hughes.