Manipura—The Indweller, Your Hidden Power
Many people think that meditation is an escape from responsibility and anticipation in the world; but, in reality, it is a process of ascending to a higher level of satisfaction and contentment from which you can realize your life’s mission. It is impossible for you to reach this level as long as your consciousness is trapped in the valley of fluctuating desires, greed, insecurity, sensual need, ant the drive for power. Whether we realize it or not, our minds are hypnotized by the outer world, captured by these external needs and desires.
If you turn your attention to the innermost quiet recesses of you’re being. You will discover just how much you are under the influence of the world. Ask yourself. “Am I doing what I do out of genuine need or am I copying others? Do I try into impress others to prove that I am some body, that I am something special? How often do I continue to do something in order to maintain a certain status although the effort is a burden to me?”
Sometimes we may be torn between the external push toward activity and our internal desire for peace. Our minds continue to prod us toward activity by persuading us that if we don’t make a good impression, we will not remain long in this particular circle of friends. Whether or not people are actually paying attention to us, we are convinced that they are watching and judging us, and we indulge in our fear of their opinion.
What can we do or where can we go to free ourselves of this influence? There is oe answer, and that is meditation. With the help of meditation, we can touch the core of inner peace, where we are not distracted by our daily concerns—where we can experience a lofty state of being.
In meditation, you become quiet for awhile and unite yourself from the influence of the past, which drags you downward. When you are completely alone with yourself, a hidden energy begins surging upward within you. It will not come if your attention is elsewhere. It is as impossible to experience the surge of energy when your mind is distracted as it is to sing and eat simultaneously. The energy emerges only when you are completely attentive. The ancients used to say that the mind is a slayer of the soul because the undisciplined mind is capable of destroying one’s peace and joy ad the experience of one’s own essence.
As we sit in meditation, we gradually transcend all the layers of society’s influence until we reach the highest state of inner clarity. The process is similar to a swimmer who has dived into a pool. His purpose is not to remain forever on the bottom, but to come up to the surface. In the same way, we are slowly rising up from that bottom level of confusion, indecision, and irresponsibility where the mind is in perpetual duality; to do or not to do, to be or not to be, to go or not to go. We must set aside some time each day to quiet the mind and allow the answers we have been groping for to emerge spontaneously.
When the mind is quiet, you can say with conviction, “I want to do it; I am going to do it; it is done.” You are the end of the road even before you have started the journey, the task you begin is accomplished already in you mind. It is like traveling somewhere for the second or third time: You know what it will be like to land at the airport; who will meet you; and where they will take you. You enjoy degree of mental awareness that permits you to see the goal beforehand. In other words, you have learned to rise to that level of awareness, which embraces the whole of consciousness. From that level, you can perceive how life is evolving, how things take place.
The first step is to become aware that this body of ours is a combination of four basic elements, which we have called earth, water, fire, and air. Next, we ask ourselves what is is that animates this body so that it moves, speaks, sees, and feels? What is it that, when it departs, leaves the body to stagnate and decompose? One moment there is a beautiful human being who is communicating, planning, managing, and in the next moment, all the planning and communicating is over. What has departed? What is the life and death?
Once when my father and I were celebrating my birthday, he told me he had a little pain. So he lay down with his head in my lap and while I was comforting him, be quietly repeated the mantra, Om namo arihantanam (“I bow to those souls who have conquered their inner enemies”). Then he closed his eyes. At that moment, a doctor who was present told me it was over. “What is over?” I asked.
He said, “Your father is dead.” Dead? I couldn’t understand what had happened, and I felt a little angry, just one minute before, my father had been alive and, in a moment, he had had heart attack and was gone.
I later meditated on this incident, which opened the whole mystery of life to me. I saw that while we are thinking and planning everything. We really have no idea who is behind the plan. While we are constantly weaving the cloth of life with so much jealousy, anger, hatred, prejudice, vanity, and disconnected thoughts, we don’t really know who is weaving, nor for how long. We have no idea when our play will be over.
In meditation, however, we experience that self who makes the body live and the senses and the mind function. We are all born for the purpose of getting in touch with that invisible Self.
As I have mentioned, the first step is to understand that the body is comprised of material elements whose nature is to compose and decompose. Next. We must realize that anything, which can be composed, can be decomposed. Then we begin to differentiate between the composite form, which is forever disintegrating, and that inner. Indestructible energy, which has the power to keep these elements, composed and revitalized. This energy is the self, the soul; and it is this force which also has the power a heal. At present, we do not know how to heal because we have not seen what lies beyond the material form.
The first center connects us to the element of earth, the same element of which our skin and bones are composed. Our ego, our tendency to identify totally with this earthly body. Falls away as it begins to dawn or us that this body is not “mine alone”; it is universal. The body is nothing more than an aggregate of universal particles, which the Self has collected to fulfill its mission. When the mission is over, these particles will disperse once more into the universe. The personal “mine” becomes the universal “Thine” as we understand that these particles are collected temporarily for our use. Composing and decomposing is a continuous process that takes place on the level of the physical body; but the self who composes is never lost. In deep meditation, you will be able to perceive the distinction between the composer and the composed and this insight will bring you a sense of joy, which will dispel all fear and anxiety.
This idea is well illustrated by a story about a musician who had written a beautiful composition. After he had taken his bath one morning, he discovered his pet dog tearing the composition into small pieces. He was so angry that his first impulse was to spank his dog for destroying the manuscript. Now, to make matters worse, a brisk wind blew the little bits of paper out the open window.
This triggered a new idea! “Why should I get angry at my dog?” he thought. “he did not know this composition was something special. For him, it was merely some paper to play with, as I was earlier playing with melody, he may have destroyed the composition, but, after all, the has not destroyed the composer. If I maintain my tranquility, I shall compose again.”
In this mood of forgiveness and equanimity, he composed three new pieces that were more brilliant than the first! “Now,” he said, smiling. “I have created something truly unique in which there is the essence of the invisible because I am no longer identified with my composition. I am in tune with that composer which survives all that is composed.”
This insight is a source of great strength to the aware person because he sees beyond the limits of this form. Knowing that the Self who composes is never destroyed, that “I was, I am, I will be,” you are able to allow all feelings of insecurity to drop away. Even the fear of death is transcended with this knowledge. You become free to care for and heal your body—free from the fear of loss or annihilation.
Meditating on the second center, you confront your fear of being uncreative, of being incapable of doing something. You may have noticed that before you initiate something positive, all kinds of negative thoughts spring to mind.
How many people do you know, for example, who fill their suitcases with various types of medicine before they go on a trip “just in case”? Unknowingly, they have brought the sickness with them in their anticipation of illness. Believe it or not, 60 percent of your sickness is in your luggage when you travel and only 40 percent is in the new environment. If you don’t take that 60 present with you the 40 percent will not affect you very much, especially if you eat and drink sensibly.
In order to overcome the anxiety that some trouble or illness or inner lack will prevent you from accomplishing your goal, focus on the surge of creative energy at the second center. Gradually you will develop a keener sense of purpose and direction. From your new perspective, you will see risks as challenges, which call forth your inner, store of energy and lead you to realize your full creative potential.
Now you are ready to move to the third point of meditation at the navel. The center f power, expression, and expansion. Just as the mother gives a child to the world nurturing it for nine months in her womb through the umbilical cord, so, psychologically, we become expansive and giving as we meditate on this center through which we were originally nourished.
Life has two requirements for us: that we commune with the inner self, and that we communicate with the world. In order to experience true outward communication with society. With friends, and with family, we must first experience deep inner communion with our real nature. One of our obstacles both to our Self-knowledge and to our ability to communicate is the power game of the ego. Ego is contraction. It is the fear of losing something. It is the need to control and manipulate others. Those who try to control others, however, are, in reality, controlled and limited by their own ego trips. When you become in tune with this third center, you break the bonds of this constricting ego and experience a deepening communion with your real nature. Your outward expression will become both expensive and positive.
This center is associated with the lament of fire. Whose nature is always to move upward radiating light and heat. Yogis in the Himalayan Mountains meditate on this fire element, which they call Agni. Becoming one with it, they protect themselves from the severe cold of winter there. The only difference between the power of those yogis and us is that we allow our intellect to put limits on our idea of the possible. We say, “It cannot happen to me. How can I get warm just by concentrating on fire?”
In reality, however, our thinking profoundly affects our body, suppose, for instance, someone insults you. Immediately. You will blush and your hands will start to tremble. Look at the change, which has come over you as the result of a single insult! See how pale and cold you become when you glimpse something frightening; or when you see your beloved one, feel the thrill of joy passing through your whole body. How do these changes occur? They happen spontaneously because you do not interfere with them when you are engrossed in the experience before you. So allow yourself to feel the power of inner energy and warmth by focusing your attention on the element of fire. It can consume all fluctuating desires, all unpleasant feelings, all accumulated fears.
Sit in a comfortable and relaxed position. Bring your full attention to the area of the navel, which, in Sanskrit, is called manicure. Many means “Jewel” and puram means “city”; that city or place where the bright, precious jewel of inner power is felt. Just as a sparkling jewel radiates brilliant facets of light, so does a flame flicker and burn brightly. Visualize this small flame flicker and bum brightly. Visualize this small flame slowly increasing, sending streaks of red and yellow light higher and higher.
The meditative symbol is triangle or pyramid; so imagine red and yellow flames reaching ever upward in a pyramid shape, giving off light and heat. One by one burn those events in your past, which continue to haunt you in spite of your having analyzed them. Psychologically, you may have been aware of them; now, spiritually, you fan remove them. Use them as fuel for your fire. If anything bothers you during the day, prepare that fire in your imagination and burn it, saying. “All is gone.”
An alternative symbol for this center is a wheel (chakra), whose spokes radiate outward from its center. Each spoke symbolizes a ray of energy emanating from the core of this circle. Some traditions use this type of symbol for all the energy centers and have specified a particular number of rays for each center. Using this approach, you would visualize for the first center, a wheel of energy having four rays; for the second, a wheel having six rays; for the third, a wheel having ten rays; for the fourth, a wheel having twelve rays; for the fifth, a wheel having sixteen rays; for the sixth, a wheel having sixty-four rays; and for the seventh and last center, a wheel of one thousand rays. I give youths information here so that if you want to experiment with this symbol at some future point in your meditation practice, you will have the precise tools with which to work. You may choose to combine the two methods, placing the symbols I have originally given you within the symbol of a circle. For example, for the third center, you would visualize the pyramid of fire within a circle of energy or light.
Remember, these symbols are simply tools to aid you in focusing the mind. They are your links to a particular quality of energy. Eventually, you will leave all these aids behind as you glide into the full experience of the energy itself.
To bring with, however, it will be most helpful to focus on the purifying element of fire. Imagine the pyramid of red and yellow flames in the area of the navel. Becoming one with this element which has the power to burn away all limitations. Fell yourself becoming more and more buoyant and peaceful. Even your sight can be enhanced through focusing on the illuminating aspect of fire.
As you sit quietly in meditation, silently repeat the mantra ram-ram-ram, which connects you to the power of the Higher Self. Ram means the indweller who gives life to these senses, mind, and body.”
Discover this indweller and be in tune with the power of your inner flame to set you free from all negativity. Break through the ego’s tendency to control and manipulate, and experience your real source of strength within. Let your communication with the world reflect the peace and joy which flow naturally from your communion with the inner Self.
Muladhara-----The Seat Of Security |Swadhisthana----Source of Creative Potentia |Manipura----The Indweller, Your Hidden Power|Anahata----Love,The Ever--Expanding Circle |Vishuddha---Abundance,Experience the Limitless| Ajina----The Eye of Inner Wisdom | Sahasrara---Pure Consciousness of Self | Using the Energy Centers for Health and Healing | An Integrated Meditation on the Seven Energy Centers |Index