Swamiji Says Blog
Universal Shaiva Fellowship
Lakshmanjoo Academy
What is meditation?

What is meditation?

kashmir shaivism meditation Dec 14, 2023

In this excerpt, Swamiji explains what meditation really is.

This is from Abhinavagupta’s Tantraloka 9th Ahnika, revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo, from the audio archives of the Lakshmanjoo Academy Copyright © John Hughes


QUESTION: What kind of action is meditating?

SWAMIJI: It is not action, it is knowledge, it is cognition. Meditating is recitation of breath, it is just knowledge.

JOHN: That rest in jnanendriya or where? Or in manas [mind], buddhi [intellect] and ahamkara [ego], this meditation?

SWAMIJI: It is prana.

JOHN: All those five pranas rest in . . .

SWAMIJI: Pranana.

JOHN: . . . pranana.

SWAMIJI: You are practicing in the field of pranana, there, when you meditate.

JOHN: But that’s nothing to do with these breaths that rest in ahamkara?


JOHN: Those are other breaths.

BRUCE H: What is the difference between those five breaths that rest in ahamkara, and the five breaths . . .

SWAMIJI: They are already resting in ahamkara.

JOHN: Which?

SWAMIJI: Organs of senses, all the ten organs of sense [karmendriyas and jnanendriyas].

JOHN: But you say that these breaths in meditation, that this meditation is really breath, and breath rests in pranana.

SWAMIJI: Pranana, there is no action.

JOHN: There is no action.
But there is action in that kind of meditation where you lengthen your breathing making it longer? That must be attached to this ahamkara?

SWAMIJI: No, it is not attached to ahamkara, it is attached to consciousness. It is why we call it refined process, anavamala

BRUCE P: Acha, the action of breath?

SWAMIJI: Action of breath.
When you are breathing while walking, that is the action of ahamkara. When you are breathing in meditative mood, that is not the action of ahamkara, that is the action of consciousness. Because knowledge is there. When knowledge is subsided and you pass in various thoughts, then it will be adjusted with ahamkara [limited ego].

JOHN: When it is adjusted with awareness.

SWAMIJI: That is consciousness.

You see when you don’t hold consciousness you can’t reach anywhere in the field of spirituality. You have to hold consciousness, not ahamkara.

ERNIE: You mean to hold, not like with hand?

SWAMIJI: Hold with consciousness, awareness.

JOHN: So in other words, when you are maintaining awareness in meditation, which means when you have your attention on some point in meditation.

SWAMIJI: Continuous . . . continuous attention, that is awareness, that is consciousness.

JOHN: Continuous awareness, that is . . .

SWAMIJI: That is consciousness . . .

JOHN: . . . that is consciousness.

SWAMIJI: . . . that is not mana [mind], that is not thought.

JOHN: And so, when that attention goes away from that, and you are into thinking about breakfast . . .

SWAMIJI: Thoughtless thought is not thought at all. One-pointed thought is not thought, it is consciousness. It is why in Pratyabhijna Hridaya you will come to know that mind is only another formation of consciousness. Consciousness is nirvikalpa [without thought], and that nirvikalpa state when going down becomes mind . . .

ERNIE: Grosser.

SWAMIJI: . . . takes the formation of mind.

Mind is no other than that consciousness in real sense.


Source: Tantraloka 9th Ahnika, by Swami Lakshmanjoo,
audio archives of the Lakshmanjoo Academy
All Content is subject to Copyright © John Hughes.

Visit the Lakshmanjoo Academy bookstore for books and e-books. Free audio accompanies each book.

Go to Bookstore

 Stay in the Loop

Receive email updates with blog posts, event notices and other offerings.

Your donations directly support our mission. Please consider making a donation.

Search Website

Stay in the Loop

Receive email updates with blog posts, announcements and more!

We respect your privacy.

© 2023 Lakshmanjoo Academy
(310) 837-0402 [email protected]
Damascus, OR

Search Website