Disassociating general meditation practice from BK method

for ex-BKs to discuss matters related to experiences in BKWSU & after leaving.
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Pink Panther

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Disassociating general meditation practice from BK method

Post15 Feb 2013

Related to 'Watch your language! Why not to use BK language' and further illustrating this (maybe more specifically than "verbal" language).

Many people on this forum, even those declared ex-BK, seem unable (or find it difficult) to disassociate meditation practice in general from the method taught by BKs.

However, just as the parents of a thief are not necessarily responsible for their child's actions, so too the techniques and experiences used by BKs existed before they "clothed" them in a BK costume and re-labelled them.

I believe one arrogance of the BKs is their attitude of ownership of people's experiences in meditation, and their sales technique of convincing them that they are dependant on the BKs (and Gyan) for such experiences, rather than accepting it is a human potential that has been realised by many people in many ways at many times in the past, and will continue to be.

Just as language needs to be deconstructed and seen for what it is, so too meditation methods and experiences.

I hope to soon return and expand on this, hear others views etc when I have a bit more time.
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ex-l

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Disassociating general meditation practice from BK method

Post15 Feb 2013

Pink Panther wrote:Many people on this forum, even those declared ex-BK, seem unable (or find it difficult) to disassociate meditation practice in general from the method taught by BKs.

However, just as the parents of a thief are not necessarily responsible for their child's actions, so too the techniques and experiences used by BKs existed before they "clothed" them in a BK costume and re-labelled them.

I think you are making a big mistake to frame this as a truth, or even a statement, rather than to question it. I'd go as far as to say it was arrogant and risky, as you may be in error.

The question you should have raised first is,
    "Did the Brahma Kumaris' techniques and experiences exist prior to them and did they just re-market them as their own?"
You are asserting that they did and that in some way the BK method is identical to others or just a universal one. I'd argue against that. I would also say that it would be very, very difficult to support or evidence such a claim. The only suggestion we have off it is the evidence which states Lekhraj Kirpalani paid some sadhu a large sum of money to learn some technique from him ... but no one to date has managed to find out who the sadhu was, to which school he belonged, or what technique Lekhraj Kirpalani was initiated into.

I don't "find it difficult" nor am I "unable" to separate BK techniques from other techniques ... which is a little condescending of you state of others ... I'll go as far as to say, the actual technique, the initiation of the individual into a relationship with their spirit guide is different.

I agree that many people are having different experiences in meditation, even that they are doing different kinds of meditations whilst in the group, and that the BKs largely have no idea what is going on inside individuals and just bundle everyone up as long as they conform to their social norms. But I will disagree that their method or techniques are a universal one.

One of the reasons for this, and strangely at this point I will seem to be in agreement with the BKs, is that in general the experiences the majority of ordinary people have with the BKs are stronger and more pronounced in nature than with other methods.

I think your problem here is a problem you also had whilst you were in the BKWSU ... and you have written about or admitted before ... put simply, that is that *you* were mostly doing your own thing and were mostly in a tangential or obtuse relationship with the cult, its leaders, its practices and even its philosophy. In short, you always had your own ideas about what was going on and were in your own mind. And they mostly rejected them.

Now, do human beings have many potentials which have been realised by many people in many ways in the past, and will continue to be in the future? Yes, of course. Are the BKs expert in or even experience in or aware of other practices? No, not at all. And, as we have discussed here before, many BK or ex-BKs have admitted after years that they were not even having any experiences at all !!! Do the BKs care? Not as long as they are contributing donations to "Baba's Box".

There's then the related problem of whether once one is initiated into Brahma Kumarism, can one detach from it and have a different experience, i.e. even after many leave, they keep doing BKism and having BK experiences.

Has anyone invented a "Yoga-o-meter" to determine whether Zen or Metta Bhavana practise is the same or not as BKism, or even to confirm whether a BK is having BK Raja Yoga and not just sitting there day dreaming? Sadly they have not.

Until they do, we are stuck with our own intuitions about it.


So, I ask you the question, how can you prove or tell that the BK Raja Yoga method, initiation and experience is the same as other practises?

I think there are dangers in adopting such a position when one does not know ... and, perhaps, cannot never know. Firstly, it is basically an apologist's position which seeks to normalise Brahma Kumarism. You are asserting that Brahma Kumarism is just the same as everything else ... when it is clearly not. Does that not, in essence, just validate BKism and make it acceptable ... the same as other religions? Is it not doing for the BKs exactly what the BKs want to happen (... except also to be the boss of all other religions)?

What if it is not the same? What if it is something that is indeed not as benign as it paints itself?
    Should not we be cautious?
However, if what you are talking about are all the 10,000 spin offs that BKs are inventing to sell CDs etc, then I can accept that there is very little difference between them and any other New Agey hypnosis or relaxation tapes.

Lastly, I would have to ask, on the basis of what authority to you base this judgement ...
    Are you the master of many techniques, if so which ones?
    Do you belong to specific school or master which has examined other practises?
    Where does this idea come from?
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Re: Disassociating general meditation practice from BK metho

Post15 Feb 2013

I will answer more fully later. For now, in brief as I have other things needing my time, just to say: your points are valid.

However, I was not saying "all" people nor was I saying "all" techniques, "every" meditation experience ever had by anyone, and so on. Just for those that do relate.

I will endeavour to examine meditation techniques to see commonalities, and of course, differences.

Exploring these similarities and differences is exactly the discussion needed, as part of any deconstruction process, to see what it is we did (and are doing) in meditation, and to be able to reclaim that which we want without concern of contamination.
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Re: Disassociating general meditation practice from BK metho

Post03 Mar 2013

BK meditation is based on a method of affirmation-response, or active abstract visualisation and affirmation.

It is not a detaching, objectifying process of clarifying reality but one of actively, purposefully creating a subjective reality.

It is predicated on the idea that experiencing reality is primarily done psychologically (being conscious, intellectual and emotional activity etc) It then extrapolates that as mind, intellect, memories and traits are intangible, and that through these we "understand" and "choose" (make intelligent decisions), therefore we are somehow separate from that reality. It is the victory of subject over object, of self-identification over non-self, essentially of ego over non-ego. They then call it "soul" - not just that "feeling" side of ourselves which we might call "soulful" but in that religious context of eternal entity.

Sometimes to understand a word or concept, it helps to look at how & why we differentiate it from its correlates, and why we've named it the way we do. Sometimes it's good to check for mistakes in our formula. Have we subtracted when we should have added?

BKs like the word games of "I & Mine". So let's play, let's look at - What is a "body"?

"Body" is a collective noun. Like "group" or "herd". It is singular abstract for a collection or aggregation.

What I call "my body" is pretty much everything contained within my enclosing skin, and a few things that feather out from it, like hair, nails, dandruff! It also contains far more non-human organisms and non-human DNA than human.

And these non-human organisms not only keep us alive - we actually cannot live without some of them - they also greatly affect our physical and mental states.

We might also include as being "within the body" short term chemicals (medicines, food, particles, & other things) that are within for a few days or weeks, and even cosmic microwaves that are within for seconds or nano-seconds. It is in constant flux.

Internally, the body extends (intends?) as far as the alimentary canal and airways. It is in fact like a convoluted tube!! That hollow tube is like the axle around which we are continually evolving - i.e cellular regeneration!

Our digestive tract, lungs and airways connect us to the world the way a plant's roots and leaves do, where transference of oxygen, nourishment and by-products occurs, one function that keeps the organism alive. Breathing and eating and drinking is an ongoing exchange of this part of reality (me) with the rest of the universe (not-me)

Our senses are like antennae, like cat's whiskers, extending our points of contact. The mind-organ is a sixth sense, the sense common to the others that interprets and correlates the information from the other five.

Minding is to brain what seeing is to eyes, what digesting is to stomach. no one thinks Digestion is other than a noun for a process, the verb "digest".

Digestion, as the prefix "di-" implies, is a sorting out of what is to be "ingested" and what is to be excreted (which includes other waste delivered back into the alimentary canal through other organs like the kidney and bladder

Yet no-one (except a rabid Platonist) ever thinks Digestion exists separately to the stomach, the things in the stomach and the activity that the interaction of the two instigates.

Fortunately, digestion, breathing, cardio-vascular activity etc all proceed autonomically, requiring no conscious acts. Imagine how easily people would get sick and die if they relied on our consciously making them happen?

Mind-ing, think-ing, feel-ing etc are processes, responses to what is taken in through the other senses. We are mentally sorting out what has been "eaten" through the senses, ingesting and rejecting etc, responses(thoughts and feelings) arising the way gastric juices do, according to stimuli, which then trigger the next responses. Just like some foods or drinks are pleasant while others sit badly, even make us "vomit" or pass out, so too with sensory input -our mind-ing reaction is : we like, we dislike, we drift off!

Just like if you take in different combinations of food you stomach responds differently, so too the different combinations of external 'data" received through the external organs create a reaction in the brain, where the nervous system sends it all to. It is the "Sensus communis (literally "common sense" in Latin) - a philosophical term originally used to refer to the perceptual power of binding the inputs of the individual sense organs into a coherent and intelligible representation. The term originates with Aristotle (sensus communis is the Latin translation of Aristotle's κοινὴ αἲσθησις). It is used in a similar sense by Thomas Aquinas and Rene Descartes."

There is the autonomic functions like pulse and digestion and cellular regeneration. There is autonomic mentation that is called the "unconscious" or 'subconscious".

The organism can survive for a short time well enough without any "conscious" activity e.g. planning or discrimination, but for the species to "live long and prosper" ;) being "conscious" (verb) or having consciousness (abstract noun) and its nominal tools intellect, foresight, interpretation - evolved. The more consciousness is developed (all other things being equal) the more "prosperous" and "successful" we can be.

If we are unconscious of signals from, say, our digestive tract or pulse, we do not act with foresight to change the conditions that will "allow nature to right itself".

But to believe that to be always tyrannically 'standing over" our heart's pulsing or manipulating all conditions, like an obsessive- compulsive control freak, believing thats' the only way they'll be what they should be is counter-productive, I am sure you'd agree.

People who "live to eat" are misguided, you'd agree? After becoming habituated to having certain things and amounts in their stomach, they feel lacking if they're not eating or preparing to eat.... And it becomes unbearable to consider otherwise.

When "consciousness" become habituated disproportionately - to memory, attachment to certain self-differentiation (ego) - it too becomes imbalanced, and cannot bear to consider a time when "I" can not exist. One is the digestive function, the other is the consciousness/ego function that just desires to keep on keeping on.

Then, when consciousness is manipulated to the point that the minding function believes itself to exist separately from "the body" of pre-conditions that gave rise to it, that is hubris. Awareness of life is not itself 'the life principle".

Like believing the "principle of Digestion" also incarnates and reincarnates.
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Re: Disassociating general meditation practice from BK metho

Post03 Mar 2013

First up, shouldn't your comment be prefixed, "In my opinion ..." ?

Secondly, are you talking about the meditation experience or the religion as a whole? I tend to think you have skipped very quickly past the actually experience which identifies the Brahma Kumaris to talk about the religious practise as a whole, e.g. the constant repetition of "I am a soul" and the conceptualisation of being separate from the body.

I'd like to be very precise here.

What captures people is generally a series of new and inexplicable experiences which I think, without wishing to insult you, you come no where near explaining at all.

As I write I am thinking of a young Indian woman I once spoke to many years ago who would not have a clue about what you are writing and responded to questions about the BKs simply as, "ah, yes, they make you feel very light". That is to say, weightless (... or dizzy from a rational point of view). For her, and I suggest most people, it was the sensations they 'felt' which defined BKism.

I would say those 'new and inexplicable experiences' ... which I am using rather than the loaded "psychic" or "spiritual" in order to give you a chance to explain then ... are the core BK experience and the rest ... all the self-affirmation etc that you refer to ... are superficial. Whether they are just used to remind one of the core process or experience ... note the role remembrance has within the religion ... or whether they support and engender one having the core process or experience again, I cannot say. In most cases, the ability to have those core processes or experiences appears to dwindle once the individual is habituated to the religion (... I lack statistics to support that last statement but anecdotally it appears to be true and the cause of people leaving).

Lastly, I have to say that you are not going to run a cult with such complicated ideas as those ... you seem to stray from an analysis of BK methods to your own 'bodistic' polemic about us only being the body and there not being a soul etc.

I'd rather re-wind and look just at just those core experiences, experiences which hook people to Brahma Kumarism and which identify Brahma Kumarism as being different and special from other meditational practises or religions, and ask how they happen.

Note, I intentionally wrote 'bodistic' not boddhistic. Yours would appear to be a body dharma.
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Re: Disassociating general meditation practice from BK metho

Post03 Mar 2013

HI ex-l,

I agree my last post does not examine the BK method itself closely. That can come later. Or you may wish to reply on that. I actually wrote that last post for a topic elsewhere on the www and adapted it for here as I thought it was quite relevant.

My understanding of the topic's purpose is based on "disassociating".

Most readers already know, or know of, the "BK method".

One step in 'disassociating' is to break the nexus that believing spiritual experience is "supernatural" or quantifiable or rationed out "numberwise" (from the most to the least 'special") or under copyright by any single person, group, religion, culture. Spiritual experience is one aspect of the human experience. What brings it on or where it comes from should not be singularly identified as the "source" or granter of it. Thats the mistake I think we (who became BKs) make.
First up, shouldn't your comment be prefixed, "In my opinion ..." ?

It's of course my opinion, or "my understanding". Why would I write someone else's opinion? They can do that for themselves! I am not referencing anyone else (except where I did).
Secondly, are you talking about the meditation experience or the religion as a whole?

See topic title. But the latter (religion) is built on the former (meditation).
As I write I am thinking of a young Indian woman I once spoke to many years ago who would not have a clue about what you are writing and responded to questions about the BKs simply as, "ah, yes, they make you feel very light".

Only the literate would be reading a forum like this with any depth of understanding. And the standard of literacy and comprehension is not what it used to be. I am not going to write in an overly dumbed-down way with such a person as your "young Indian woman" in mind (who probably doesn't think analytically or never reads such material), trying to be all things to all people. People will take it or leave it.

That said, as for "they make you feel very light "... Whether someone is meditating for themselves or is a newcomer listening to a commentary tape, the process is one of setting a mood, then putting forward a suggestion (to oneself or from the commentary) and an 'acceptance" of that suggestion, going along with it and imagining the suggestion, letting the associations with those words (along with any music and visual aid) create an inner environment where an experience is had which is different to what would have been had otherwise.

What "opens up" can differ from person to person, but given most people have a similar idea of what certain words mean, the experiences (if had at all) will tend to be similar.

How readily someone can go into that different experience, or how "intense" it is, will, of course, depend on many things - how readily they can change "direction", how nervy they are, whether they are used to introspective thinking or imagination games or going along with a 'story", how easily they sit (I mean without physical discomfort or pain) etc etc
Lastly, I have to say that you are not going to run a cult with such complicated ideas as those ... you seem to stray from an analysis of BK methods to your own 'bodistic' polemic about us only being the body and there not being a soul etc.

Me run a cult?! Now there's an idea! Or do you mean the BKs?

That is my point. BK teachings and methods (and cults generally) supplant the complexities and subtleties of reality with a very simplistic wishful-thinking-cum-ego-fulfilment. (Yes, you are special!)

If you examine the Gyan and the meditation BKs do, it is all about constructing an identity and paradigm that is other than reality, i.e. it is an artifice. Which can be useful for a time, like a crutch is to a wounded man, but becoming dependent on an artifice is, well, dependency, it's limiting, a narrowing of potential, a crying shame ...
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Re: Disassociating general meditation practice from BK metho

Post04 Mar 2013

Pink Panther wrote:If you examine the Gyan and the meditation BKs do, it is all about constructing an identity and paradigm that is other than reality, i.e. it is an artifice. Which can be useful for a time, like a crutch is to a wounded man, but becoming dependent on an artifice is, well, dependency, it's limiting, a narrowing of potential, a crying shame ...

I find your very last paragraph the easiest to understand and agree with.

To be quite frank, at least 99% of what I consider to be "core BK teachings" is complete and irrelevant garbage which they appear to use as a form of testing individuals' faith, complicity and conformity ... in short a way of filtering out individuals are are gullible enough to them go on to exploit for life; some a little, some a lot.

I suspect that the experiences had within BK meditation could be had without all the garbage. We recently had a BK supporter on the forum telling us that they had campaigned to remove the garbage, and in Neville Hodgkinson's review of the new Frank Whaling book on the BKs, and the book itself, there are suggestions that elements within the BKWSU are also preparing to ditch the garbage ... if and when they can.

By "garbage" I mean the 5,000 Years, imminent Destruction, all the numbers, their understanding of karma and a lot of the Hindu elements etc. The tenets of faith, or intellectual badges, that they use to identify themselves from other cults and religions.

But when it comes to this stuff, I am really not a lot smarter than that young Indian woman and I tend to reduce it down to such simple responses ... and what I feel or sense.

After leaving the BKWSU I found I was unable to do other meditation practises because I too easily fell into sensations that I had and associated with the BKs and so I stopped doing so. I could not disassociate from the BKs experiences or stop having them. I do not think this is a good thing but I have not had anyone explain to me what they experiences are, how they happen, what they mean.

Now some people have extra-ordinary experiences with the BKWSU. Most BKs have at least one or two, e.g. "bodilessness", visions of light, weightlessness, other visions etc, which appear utterly beyond their control, i.e. are done to them rather than achieved of their own efforts. Or as they say, "Baba gave the soul the experience of ...".

General "religious" experiences, such as "waves of love" or "peace", emotional responses and so on, I can believe that they are actually quite easy to trigger in most people but some of the other more unique experiences I find hard to explain. I don't, however, immediately jump to claim, "God done it!".

In my own case, the general experience was not so profound or interesting, just a strong pressure on my forehead mainly. I find it irritating and an obstruction to other forms of meditation. If one was to believe ... one might say it was a chakra issue or something (but I don't know if I believe that either).

So I'd like to be able to do other meditations but find I am blocked from doing so.

I would also like to say, of my time in the BKWSU, that I don't believe anyone really knew what was going on, e.g. who was having what experience, who was having any experience, what they all meant and so on. No one had studied it, you could not ask questions about it ... and if you did you got put in your place, considered to have Maya and shut up.
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Re: Disassociating general meditation practice from BK metho

Post02 Apr 2013

So I'd like to be able to do other meditations but find I am blocked from doing so.

I went through that phase. I just did other things that were beneficial in terms of awareness - creative activity and reflections etc - and getting on with things I'd always wanted to do.

But getting back into meditation, the simplest is to do one's preparation - there is good reason why most meditation traditions do Yoga or other physical preparations before meditation - posture-ology! - then just sit and observe one's state of being.

How does it feel? What is happening if I let myself settle? Ignore the "content" of the thought, maybe just observe the frequency with which they arise, or the 'hum' that lies below them ... and settle on that, or let it go - meditation without expectation or goal other than itself.

It's like a dance - the aim is not to get to the end of the dance, it's to enjoy the movement and flow. Whether you dance well or not, or even if you dance well each time, it is never going to be the same.

There's no denying that BK influenced concepts come in mind and might upset the apple cart, but that becomes a meditation in itself. Can I see through the Gyan "hair net" to a deeper more universal sense of "being" without Gyan's prescribed word-definitions? Gyan lays intellectual definitions and limitations over things of the 'heart" , directing them to particular ends. Strip back the labels and discard them, but not the jar they were stuck on.

is not this moment of calm in itself worthy of being untainted by "wanting" it to be more than it is?

Breathe. Return.

Like a love affair gone wrong, getting back into the game takes courage.

Courage: ORIGIN Middle English (denoting the heart, as the seat of feelings): from Old French corage, from Latin cor ‘heart.’
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Re: Disassociating general meditation practice from BK metho

Post21 Apr 2013

On a forum run by BKs primarily for BKs but on which they allow me to contribute despite stirring the pot (probably because it keeps it more interesting for them!) there's been a "little debate" about the value of doing physical preliminaries before any meditation.

Now, we all know you can "meditate" anytime anywhere. We all also know that the quality-feel of meditations differ a lot, depending on time and place and what's going on around you and if you are well or sick etc.

The BKs who supposedly teach "Raja Yoga" are the only group that I know of that supposedly come out of a Yoga tradition but do not include any physical preparations for even their 'deepest" meditations, never more than a cursory "make sure you are sitting comfortably"... Theirs is a "fast food" approach versus the "slow food" traditions which understand the importance of hand picked, properly prepared ingredients cooked slowly, with attention at every step.

I am sure some of us did like to do some such physical preparations occasionally (I did) or knew people who did (many of the Madhubaniwassi Brothers were keen runners and hatha* Yoga practitioners - and dare i say seemed grounded, balanced and healthier in comparison to others).

* "Hatha" is a specific name & tradition of Yoga which, nominally, is not as old as many other schools but I am using it generically to mean postures and exercises that go along with the spiritual practices of different Yoga schools.

This primary difference of (literally) approach to meditation is very revealing of what is at the heart of their whole philosophy (and I believe what is revealed is an area in which that philosophy is grossly lacking , leading to some of the many problems people develop inadvertently through becoming BKs - and sometimes share on this forum).

The word "comfort" means "very strong" -you cannot stay in any position very long if there is no strength in it.(Latin com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + fortis "strong")

The word "asana" means "an easy posture" (practically meaning to do it until it becomes as easy as it should be if one is a "unconstricted" human being!) The "asa" part comes from the same PIE (proto-Indo European) word from which we derive "ease" and " arse" - that is, to sit is to be at your ease....("buttocks," Old English ærs "tail, rump," from Proto-Germanic *arsoz (cf. Old Saxon, Old High German, Old Norse ars, Middle Dutch ærs, German Arsch "buttock")!

We derive nourishing strength and energy (both gross and implicit) from that which we "exchange" with the universe - and what we can live without least is breath. We easily use our proper lung capacity when our rib cage is open i.e. our spine correctly aligned, which aligns the rest of us in an "attitude" to the earth via gravity.

Anyone who does a proper series of asanas then enters a proper meditation posture immediately feels the deep yet effortless breathing and the comfort of that posture, the accompanying presence of mind, the unity of body-mind (which mind will disturb before body does - hence the need to "just keep sitting" and get back on track !), the calmness of thought and the space between thoughts more apparent - allowing for easier "observation" of thoughts and easier lengthening of stillness which is the ''gaps" between any thoughts.

As most meditations aim to 'see through' the mundane ego to a less filtered reality,one more easily feels the point of contact with what is "not I" when one is fully conscious of the whole body-heart-mind (Body is the boundary within which is included all aspects of an entity - eg "body of knowledge", "heavenly body", "regulatory body")

Externally our senses create that point of contact and definition of where "I" ends and "Not I" begins (i.e "the world").

Internally, the thoughts generate a sense of I (ego), and the "end of a thought and the beginning of the space between the thoughts, stillness, the bit before even the impulse for a thought arises, defines where "Not I" begins.

I believe that BK Raj Yoga undermines the insight of practitioners because it utilises ego function to create false word associations - "names" - for what is really reinforced, if sublimated, ego. (Granted even BB and Avyakt BapDada called it Pure Ego sometimes!)

Gyan calls even the "not I" silence as "soul" and any temporary thought either side of that silence as "I" is called "soul" as well....

At last the vedantists had the good sense to distinguish thinking/karmic "I" (ahamkar) from non-karmic "atman".

That is, the BKRY experience is very real and very similar to other deep meditation states (and before you ask, i practiced different meditations before BKs and after, and 'during' to be honest!) but the nomenclature - (how the aspects of experience are named) - is erroneous and misleading.

It's as real as fast food is real food too, which will nourish, but if made a mainstay of the 'diet" will have longer term consequences, because it definitely lacks balance.

This needs elaboration, but too much talk is counterproductive, so I leave this with readers to think over and I will come back to this later.
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Re: Disassociating general meditation practice from BK metho

Post23 Aug 2013

This is a copy and paste from another thread as I think it is directly relevant for those who find this topic of interest ...
ex-l wrote:I am sorry, the science is beyond me ... "1. The results demonstrated strong desynchronisation over somatosensory, auditory and visual cortices, 2. which seem likely to reflect the reduction in attention to sensory processing.3. The increases in synchronous gamma activity in the cerebellum was associated with her acute experience of unity and light"

A translation. It is saying that
    1. There is a disconnection (desynchronisation) taking place between the physical senses (somatosensory) and the parts of the brain that register them, in particular those that hear (auditory) and see (visual), and then ...

    2. It is surmising that it's because the meditator is not paying attention to sensations (or, in my words, distracted themselves). That is, the same audio-visual stimuli are happening but the meditator is not noticing them.

    3. There is an increase of a certain brain-wave/frequency (gamma activity) synchronous) - coinciding with when she experienced "unity and light" most strongly(acute).
This reminds me of the early experiments done in the 1960s in Japan. They measured both Zen monks and Hindu yogis. One thing they did was ring a bell at irregular intervals. The results for the Hindu yogis was very similar to the Beckley/Jayanti measure. The yogis basically switched off from their surrounds, gradually reducing until not responding at all to the sounding of the bell. The Zen monks, although their breathing and other responses indicated the deep meditative state, always responded to the bell, were always fully aware of its ringing.

To me, this indicates the Zen monks had "presence of mind" while the former had "absence". I suppose it is a matter of what one is trying to achieve in a meditation. I wonder if they did anything in the Beckley experiments similar to an irregular bell ring to test reactions to unexpected stimuli?
Interesting that it also *increased* the heart beats per minute 50%.

Yes, I have found that depending on the kind of meditation I do, I may get increased heart rate, even begin sweating, usually in an intensely focused meditation aiming to go "bindi" first then into Silence. I took that experience to be what's called "tapasya" in yogic traditions, due to the increased body heat which is generated by the mental exertion (the brain uses up 20% of total calorie use in normal states, and proportionally more when sitting but in an "intense" meditation) plus the physical exertion in maintaining erect and balanced posture - which allows for 'richer' breathing therefore greater oxygen uptake, therefore heat.


I'd distinguish between "intense" meditation and "deep" meditation. But words fall by the wayside when you get into this. For BKs reading, I'd just repeat that I meditated before encountering BKs, was doing BK meditation for many years, and still do meditation at times. One could describe many kinds of meditation, and these would not necessarily depend for how they'd be grouped on what was the nominal "faith" base as much as by the psycho-physiological activity of the exercise, i.e. regardless of subject and object. For example, reading a free flowing narrative about a journey would be a similar experience to a free flowing narrative about a day at home, more similar than to a haiku about a journey.


I'd also repeat a story, relevant here, that many years ago the BKs had a shop-front exhibition in the city aiming at the office workers, and one "attraction" was an early computer game based on bio-feedback. Your head was hooked up and the electrical signals went through to the computer where, according to the brain waves, you saw the results "feed-back" in the form of passing through various doors, passages & levels to a pot of gold. The more "meditative" you made your brain waves, the more progress you made.

Before I tried it, no one had made it past two or three levels. I got to the "pot of gold" within about two minutes. I only see this as being because I was more experienced than the others in (BK and also pre-BK) meditation, and more experienced in practicing altered states in, ahem, many varied situations. That is, there is a "trick" to it, but just because it's a "trick" it doesn't mean there is not other benefits, in the same way that if you know the trick to a maths formula or to using a certain tool there are benefits to be had.
The Beckley Foundation examines the curative powers of psychedelic drugs.

There was a BBC documentary years ago about this subject, how psychotropic drugs (Mescalin, LSD, ayahuasca, psylocibins) which are not physically addictive, if used in a supervised & appropriate way, helped barbiturate & opiate addicts break their addictions, mainly by revealing other levels of consciousness, potentials and experiences (you might say barbiturates & opiates induce unconsciousness!) - similar in ways to indigenous and primitive cultures' spiritual, shamanic and initiatory practices.

I'd say this is one reason BK and other meditation groups get such a hold on people, they are often that person's initiation into this "bigger reality", and each "tribe" has its own myth about what that is. A whole new world.
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Pink Panther

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Re: Why am I always worrying?

Post19 Feb 2014

Shalini,

This niggling recurring feeling that something is wrong - not quite right, something missing - is a part of the human condition that Gautama Siddhartha (aka the Buddha) describes in the first of his four noble truths.
    1. Bhawa Dhukka (Life is being, being is becoming, becoming is change, change involves some stress and ’strain”, it is to be suffered-tolerated, any state of being is unsatisfactory I.e cannot remain the same and must change).
The following truths - the second, third and fourth noble truths - explain that it need not be ”suffering”
    2. There is a cause to the ’suffering (in your case, feeling of fear and worry)
    3. Anything with a cause can be affected or changed.
    4. The solution is in the eightfold path.
The 8-fold path is essentially various actions (thought, view, word act, livelihood etc) which need to be ‘samya” .

This is not merely ‘”right” (right thought, right speech etc) as it is usually translated, it is deeper than that.

The prefix ”sam-" is related to the latin ”sum” i.e. including all aspects and factors needed ( the sum of) so what is most appropriate is done eg ”right" speech might be no speech!! - or maybe a full and detailed explanation ...

... with the ultimate insight being into, if one is perceptive enough to grasp it, WHY does the ”wrong/missing” feeling occur?.

For example, because, at any time, we consider our thoughts and perceptions to be ‘right”, when in fact we haven’t done "the work" (skt: saddhana/ Ch:kung fu) to see and understand things as they really are.

So, if they are not as we think they are, what are they?

Things, people, thoughts, relationships, self-awareness etc - all that is experienced are fleeting transient moments, both external phenomena and internal ones, mentally & emotionally.

While we may ”intellectually” understand this impermanence , we are psychologically set up to try to hold on to current conceptions, because they’ve (sort of) worked for us (except for that niggling feeling!). This mechanism of ”holding on” clashes with the ”letting go” required with an ever changing world.

That is, we are, in fact, missing something, we are always at least one step behind the present reality.

There is a relationship between ”smritti” (remembering / consciousness) and ”ahamkar” (ego). Ahamkara is ”making self” or ”made self” - a good description of ego, which is made & remade, waking moment by waking moment, based on memory ( i.e. the past).

Smritti is bringing to mind what is no longer, consciousness of the present is actually of a split second ago, let alone remembering episodes of our long-forgotten past . We make our sense of ourselves based on memory.

Ego is the conscious psychological continuity we need to function. It tries to make things fit and fixed in ways that have worked up till now.

This is a beautiful topic to meditate on.

The BKs will teach you that what is forgotten and to be remembered is yourself as soul, and God. But these two, like all phenomena, are also transient, ideas which come and go, and have no independent existence or ”truth” other than what you give it.

To have the notion that ”I am eternal soul” - is that not an expansion on the ego-mechanism that seeks to "hold on" and perpetuate our idea of ourselves, is it not projecting the ”ahamkar” mechanism into eternity, whilst convincing ourselves that this is a humbler identity?

As I referred to elsewhere, this BK type of affirmational meditation is, metaphorically speaking, wanking.
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BK meditation method can kill love

Post04 Mar 2014

(This will go to topic so bear with me as I set it up).

I had a long, significant talk with a couple I have known for years over the weekend. The wife is a BK, the husband used to be, but not since before they were married (she wasn’t either at the time, i.e. she "went back" afterward).

Like most marriages they had gone through various difficulties but they had worked stuff out. To deal with the inevitable BK/non-BK conflict (the issues come up all the time in other topics), they eventually "agreed to disagree”. Both gave each other permission to live their lives as they saw fit, as individuals, as long as they fulfilled their responsibility to their children, each other and the household unit etc.

Like someone who wrote to this forum a few months ago, the husband felt the relationship had somehow started to become quite different in the last couple of years, even though outwardly everything seemed the same. Things just seemed to have deteriorated and he felt quite alienated.

After lengthy discussion, I found out she was meditating more regularly with a Baba picture, offering Bhog more often, getting up in the night for broadcast of Avyakt Murlis live - even if she was lacking sleep. It occurred to me what was probably happening, and I shared it with them, and later talked more about it with each of them. Here’s the gist, hopefully it may relate to someone else and be of benefit ...

It is well-known that we empathise more easily with, even grow to love, those with whom we have most contact, and those who resemble them. Babies with their parents and siblings sense the genetic similarities with their cousins and extended family and easily relate to them; strangers with similar racial appearance will instinctively feel more ”comfortable” initially at least, with the apparently familiar. Male tigers, who are extremely aggressive territorially, seem to know if another male is their Father, even if they have never met before. Not only do they not fight, they play with each other (this has been documented).

We have the now-acknowledged phenomenon of hostages identifying with their captors as they subliminally realise their well-being is linked to the captors’ goodwill, known as the "Stockholm Syndrome".

Sergei Eisenstein was a Russian movie pioneer and theorist from the early 20th century. He put forward the idea that this instinct is so strong that the person we see on screen the longest is the one whose point of view the audience will relate to. The film version of Bonnie & Clyde made this murderous vicious couple ”heroic”. When he made "Cold Blooded Killers" Oliver Stone took this idea to the extreme to see how far that went, his two main actors playing sociopathic serial killers and indeed, their fate & well-being is what we become more concerned about, we’re less concerned about their barely seen victims or the bit players.

What does a BK (or any similar guru meditation) do regularly, a few times a day, every day, 365 days a year, year in and year out?

They spend long periods looking at the face of "Baba", their creative mentations all affirming their love for "Him".

They usually begin their meditation by creating a sense of separation from the rest of their world and, as definitively as possible, they posit the belief that this separation is the foundation for their well-being, which they will then amplify with more ”positive thinking” about themselves (I am "this good quality", yes, I am indeed!). Not much harm in that. The clincher is in allying that feeling with "Baba", that the good feeling is dependant on "Baba" as the source.

Any good memory is due to one’s "spiritual realisation” and belongs to oneself thanks to Baba’s grace, any bad memory is ”karma” and not of Baba.

Any thought of love or affection for any other person, a ”bodily” being, is considered wrong, to be removed and replaced by love for the ”superior” intangible being. Entertaining any positive thoughts about anyone else is anathema and, if repeatedly happening, is to be seriously worked on to be suppressed, preferably banished.

The ”yukti” of putting Baba "in-between" is actually putting Baba first, ahead of the family and marriage - which is, in BK values, tolerable and permitted to be ”maintained”, but is not to be prioritised. The marital vows are essentially negated.

You can imagine what happens in the real situation. Any meaningful "quality time", any affectionate intimacy shared face-to-face is with Baba or guru, none is left for the partner, who gradually becomes "the enemy".

The wife obviously loves the husband, for it is obvious she struggles with it all. She now barely looks at the husband in the eyes when they speak, avoids discussions and deep and meaningful talk; only small talk or about what is necessary & practical. Any time spent together is for task-oriented things, as if they’re work colleagues who have little else in common outside of work. She develops good skills at acting as a "loving wife" interested and proud of her husband and his activities when they are with relatives or friends, it gives her a subject of conversation because BK stuff is embarrassing - but it's the opposite at home; the hypocrisy of this pretense infuriates him.

I can imagine this scenario is echoed for other couples where one has a guru or a god that they put ahead of the real people in their lives.

I pointed out to them what I could discern - similar to above, and that I felt the good side of it was that her behaviour indicated she has to work hard to shut him out of her affections, which showed that real love was still there.

She acknowledged her struggles and that her meditation practice was probably setting up this psychological framework and how it manifested for the husband. She wanted the marriage to work and for the family to be happy. She said she did not intend to hurt him but she also wanted to be a BK, that she loved God and felt stronger and better for her beliefs (facts, history or incongruities about the BKs were irrelevant to her).

I suggested that at the very least she should give equal ”quality” time to her husband in her thoughts, spend time looking him in the eyes and expressing the good things going on for them and their family, share their good memories and daily achievements etc so that she could rebuild a sense of connection with him. She said she would not stop being celibate. He said that at his age, it was not the important thing - he wanted to feel important in her life in a good way, not to feel he was resented or that he imposed. There was still edginess on this area. I sensed that she was scared that any open intimacy on the emotional level may ”awaken” her libido. I put forward that they proceed slowly and try to build a new pattern of relating based on what they had realised and discussed.

We’ll see how it goes.
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Mr Green

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Re: Disassociating general meditation practice from BK metho

Post04 Mar 2014

I am an englishman I do my Yoga with real ale!
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jann

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Re: Disassociating general meditation practice from BK metho

Post05 Mar 2014

It's not going to work. Although they have intentions to "save" the relationship, BK so-called knowledge will break it up. As she gets more into it, he will feel more disconnected, the impure and as he was a BK ... the loser. The difference between imagined greatness and "the lowest of the lowest" will break them up eventually. BK will say he has an ego problem and he becomes "bad company" for her, to not be influenced by "bad company" she will break away.
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Re: Disassociating general meditation practice from BK metho

Post05 Mar 2014

Mr Green wrote:I am an englishman I do my Yoga with real ale!

Yes, the more you gaze at the golden red amber in the firelight with loving thoughts, the more you will imbibe it’s qualities and become as one!
jann wrote:It's not going to work. Although they have intentions to "save" the relationship...

I suppose it depends on what the relationship is aiming to be or achieve. They are well beyond the first flutter of the ”romantic” level, a long established relationship that in many ways has the same problems all long established relationships have, only this time the BK stuff is in there.

As I spoke to the husband I put it to him that there are many couples where one partner is very religious and the other isn’t. Many middle aged couples even without "religion” separating them have sexless marriages, especially after childbirth and more so in middle age or post-menopause. Many couples just stay together because it is easier than separating, like old shoes may be tatty but have shaped to your feet and you know the feel, there's no need to break in new shoes just yet, know what I mean.

Part of the ”disassociating” from BK method is also not blaming all aspects on the BKs, but seeing the BK part as one manifestation of general issues that can arise. But I know exactly what you mean Jann.

I think it depends on the individuals’ willingness to keep working at it, and the wife’s willingness to understand the need to give equal positive thoughts of love and connection to the husband and family as to Baba, and to actually do it!
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