A Brochure for Correspondence Courses

Contents:

Introducing the inner life

The Courses

1: Mind Training & Meditation

2: Mantra Yoga

3: Yoga-Mysticism

4: Advanced Spiritual Practice

Advantages of learning through Correspondence

About Darshana Centre

An Invitation

Criteria for Admission

HealingCover

Introducing the Inner Life

We are born on earth with a mind that directs our attention outward towards things. Hence, we do not see the inner life and we seek our satisfaction from the outside — by having things of the outer world. Thus, we chase comforts, pleasures and possessions in our life.

We pursue these things thinking that by having them we shall get the deeper satisfaction that we really want. However, these things only give us some superficial satisfaction for a short time. Then we again become dissatisfied and start to chase something else. In this way the chase goes on.

However, our mind and body are only the instruments through which we function on earth. They are our possessions, like our house or car. Hence, by satisfying the desires in our mind and body we cannot get the deeper and lasting satisfaction that we really want. To have the deeper and lasting satisfaction, we have to satisfy something that is truly deeper and lasting!

The true satisfaction arises in our life when we develop spiritual qualities in our inner life. These qualities will transform the values and motives with which we live and act; and ultimately they lead us to experience our spiritual being.

On the Correspondence Courses

The spiritual practice is organised into four courses as follows:

Course-1 is preparatory. It makes you adequate for the spiritual pursuit. Here you develop the power of concentration and use it to overcome the disturbance from thoughts and emotions.
Course-2 is the foundation course. It is designed to get you on the spiritual path.
Course-3 teaches you how to access to the higher consciousness. Then, instead of being led blindly by your desires and tendencies, you will be guidance a higher intelligence.
Course-4 helps you in understanding the subjective nature of your mind and in clearing the faults in your perception. Thereby you overcome the obstacles that usually arise on the spiritual path.

Course-1: Mind Training & Meditation

Lessons:

  1. Basic Meditation
  2. Concentration in the everyday life
  3. Developing your Will Power
  4. Using Thought Power
  5. Mastering your thoughts
  6. Overcoming Negative Emotions

Course-2: Mantra Yoga

Lessons:

  1. Reciting a mantra (Jap)
  2. Meditating with a mantra (Dharna)
  3. The mantra practice in the everyday life
  4. Opening up your spiritual path

Course-3: Yoga-Mysticism

Lessons:

  1. Steady Gazing (Tratak)
  2. Installing a personal God
  3. Tantric Yoga
  4. Contemplation
  5. Devotional Meditation
  6. Living for God’s sake

Course-4: Advanced Spiritual Practice

Lessons:

  1. The nature of the inner work
  2. Deflating the emotions
  3. The outer mind and its deceptions
  4. Self-observation and disillusioning
  5. Overcoming subconscious tendencies
  6. Awareness beyond the outer mind

Advantages of learning through Correspondence

Some people wonder how someone can learn to do spiritual practice through a correspondence course. Hence, it calls for some explanation.

You do not grow spiritually by learning some philosophy or by following a belief system. You grow by doing your spiritual practice under the supervision of a Guru.

Our basic instruction is given through lessons. You study a lesson and do the practise for a period of time. Then, you answer the questions of the lesson and email it to us. The issues usually become clearer to you when you make out your answers AFTER doing the practise. On our part, we read your answers and give you appropriate feedback. Then, we give you the next lesson. We maintain your file and monitor your progress.

These courses are practical. Hence, you are only given the information you need to do the practices properly. As you do the practices you will actually develop the skills and capacities that are necessary to build your inner life. We ensure that you do not skip the necessary steps, for the spiritual practice is a sure process only when it is taken as a whole.

We administer information to you in a stepwise manner so that you can accomplish difficult things by taking small and convenient steps. You can also have your personal difficulties solved as you go along. Further, you can learn at your pace, in the convenience of your home, and practice in your environment. In addition, we have a provision for a personal meeting with our students. You can visit us or meet through the internet.

About Darshana Centre

Darshana Centre has been conducting these spiritual courses through correspondence since 1988. The courses are practical, practise based, and without pursuing any religious agenda. You get personal attention and the help you need to implement the mystic philosophy.

The courses have been devised and conducted by PRASHANT SHAH. He was educated in Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (BS), and University of California, (MS & PhC), and initiated into Mantra Yoga by Shri Nyaya Sharma — a Master of Shiva-Tantra-Yoga.

About Prashant Shah: He is an author, counsellor and a spiritual guide. He also conducts ‘Spiritual Awareness WORKSHOPS’ in India, USA and UK. He writes and speaks clearly, in simple language, and from personal experience. He is the AUTHOR of the books: The Crisis of Modern Humanity (1976); The Essence of Hindu Astrology (1987); The Art of awakening the Soul (2011); Healing without Drugs (2014) Solving the Problems of Life (2015); The Biochemic Prescriber (2016) and How to Restore your Health Naturally (2017).  These books are available from the Amazon and Kindle online bookstores.

An Invitation

Dear Reader,

After carefully reading this BROCHURE, think it over. Do you feel there is some deep mystery underlying your existence and that unless you uncover this mystery you cannot feel satisfied? Are you willing to give up some superficial things in the outer life so that some deeper satisfaction can arise from within you? Will you be able to invest a half-hour every morning and evening for doing your spiritual practice?

If you are thinking of taking these Courses mainly because you wish to develop some ‘psychic powers’ (something that will give you importance or an unfair advantage over others), please DON’T. The true spiritual powers won’t arise in any measure before you have changed your motives and point of view. Your object in taking these Courses should not be to ‘have more’ externally, but to ‘be more’ internally.

However, if you sincerely want to grow spiritually, then here is an opportunity that you should not miss. You will have the guidance that you need. You will use methods that have worked under the conditions of the modern world.

Please don’t entertain unnecessary doubt, suspicion or fear regarding spiritual development. Here you do not lose; you only get rid of the unwanted. If you have been doing spiritual practice, but you still feel the need for personal guidance, then also these Courses are for you.

Sincerely,

Prashant

Criteria for Admission

  1. Some REQUIREMENTS that make you eligible to take these courses:
  2. You should believe in the existence of an intelligence and power that is higher and greater than the human mind.
  3. You should not be deeply committed to any particular religious group or institution.
  4. Our lessons and correspondence is in English. Hence, you should have sufficient comprehension of English language to be able correspond with us.
  5. You should have sufficient free time and energy for doing your daily spiritual practice. The courses mainly help you in implementing the spiritual message.
  6. You need to make your application in the APPLICATION FORM that is given on our site. Just fill in all the details and email it to us. We shall read it and inform you if we think our Course are suitable for you. THEN you can pay the fees and take the admission.
  7. Upon admission you will receive our instructions through LESSONS. Our next lesson will be sent to you ONLY AFTER you have completed the answers of the previous lesson. You can also send your queries along with your answers. We shall try to help you in sorting out your personal difficulties.
  8. Each course entitles you to one PERSONAL CONFERENCE/MEETING. You can ask for it anytime upon completing the third lesson. You have two options. Either you visit us at Baroda with a prior appointment or we can discuss on the Internet through WhatsApp or Skype. You aim should be to seek clarifications or to sort out your personal difficulties.
  9. Each Course is to be completed within one year or 12 months. If you are unable to complete the set of Lessons of the Course within that time, you have to send a CONTINUATION FEE of Rs. 700 or US $ 10 to continue.
  10. In these Courses you will receive one-on-one instructions. You will get the necessary individual attention. We shall keep your correspondence confidential, and on your part you must also not to disclose, publish or distribute our lessons, instructions or replies.
  11. In addition, we require you, our student, not to become a personal guide (guru) in spiritual matters. The purpose is not commercial, but you need to lie low and not arrive before you are ready. This factor is incorporated as a “SECRECY CLAUSE” in our Application Form. It requires you to keep your spiritual practice private and to treat our correspondence as confidential.

The Application Form is on our site http://www.spiritual-living.in under the tab ‘Correspondence Courses’. Please download it and use it.

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Living by Intuition

Blumenbaum

© June 2016, Prashant S. Shah, http://spiritual-living.in

Intuition is the guiding voice of the soul. When we listen to our intuition, our life becomes more interesting; we see a purpose to everything; and we feel a sense of wonder. Although everyone is intuitive to an extent, this ability can be greatly enhanced by doing some spiritual practices.

The basic step for becoming intuitive is to shift the focus of our life from our ordinary nature, which is governed by mental preferences, to our higher nature, which sees the ways of the soul. Once we get into a condition where we can spontaneously call for intuition, we can allow intuition to guide our actions. It will continuously amaze us and satisfy our deeper aspirations.

In this article first we characterize the two natures within our being that we call – the higher nature and the ordinary nature. Then we learn to implant a seed of the higher nature in our mind and begin to nurture it. It will show us the ‘inner work’ that we have to do to grow spiritually and live a more fulfilling life.

Contents:

  • Our higher nature and our ordinary nature
  • Installing the spiritual seed
  • Creating mental space
  • Preparatory exercises
  • The Practice
  • The steps
  • Some suggestions
  • Some results

Our Higher Nature and our Ordinary Nature

Sensual pleasures, self-preservation, and the survival instinct are the driving forces of our ordinary nature. When we follow them we become egoistic and selfish. On the other hand unity, dharma and kindness are the qualities of our higher nature. When we follow these qualities, we become ethical, kind, and act with a ‘sense of conscience’. Both these natures are active throughout our life and they are mirrored in the mind.

However, before we begin our spiritual pursuit we are largely guided by our ordinary nature. As a result our ordinary nature totally dominates our thinking today. At the same time we give very little attention to the aspirations of our higher nature. Hence, it is starved. And as a result it has become quiet and hesitant.HigherOrdinaryNatureThe aim of every spiritual practice is to reverse this situation in our mind. We have to quieten our ordinary nature and bring forward the higher nature in the mind. How can we do it? We can do it by simply withdrawing the attention we spontaneously give to our ordinary nature and its activities, and begin to give it to our higher nature. That’s it. Admitted there will be a lot of going back and forth, but if we persist with this task we can make the higher nature the default program in our mind.

Installing the Spiritual Seed

To begin our spiritual journey we have to plant a spiritual seed in our mind. We can do it by saying to ourselves (daily) as follows:

I am essentially a spiritual being;
I believe that there is a spiritual intelligence that is looking over my life; and
I am going to receive guidance and love from it.”

As you nurture this seed with your attention, it will sprout. Then your soul or the inner being will become active in your life. Then intuition and spiritual qualities will begin to arise in your mind naturally.

Creating Mental Space

The next step in our spiritual pursuit is to make space in the mind so that our higher nature can arise in it easily. Here are some things you can do:

  • Daily take a long walk alone or walk with someone who has friendly vibes.
  • In the evenings, avoid externalizing yourself by taking or making telephone calls or socializing.
  • Read story books regularly and reduce reading magazines and newspapers.
  • Always prefer reading and thinking to passively watching the TV (Don’t allow your attention to become passive).
  • Play with someone. You can do it with animals, with children and also with adults.
  • Daily do some work just for fun and not for earning money or getting favors.
  • Daily sit for some time near a window and just watch what is going on without being judgmental (without labeling anything as good or bad).

As you do such practices your mental habit will change. Your mind will begin to slow down; it will become calmer and at ease. It will not be like that when you are overbooked, juggling too many things at one time, or constantly playing the ‘catch-up’ game. When you rush, you simply miss the subtle insight and the healing touch that comes from your higher nature, the soul. The soul is the basis of your intuition, your joy your purpose of living. And so, if you want to live a meaningful, joyful and intuitive life you have to involve the soul in your everyday life. Let’s begin to do it.

Preparatory Exercises

a) Take Mini Breaks

Take a mini break of about 20 minutes every day to spend time with yourself. During that time you can do anything that is not ‘work related’. You should also avoid reading the news or your emails during this time since such things keep the mind occupied with personal thoughts.

b) Create some ‘sacred space’ at home

Begin by making your room clean, organised and well arranged. If you leave this space disorganized and cluttered for days, it will become a source of disturbance or negative energy in your life. So mark out some time for clearing up the mess and arranging everything properly on a regular basis. Let’s say, you will do it on Saturday morning.

c) Keep a sacred spot

Put your favorite object, photo and or talisman in your sacred place. It may be a religious icon, the photo of a saint or master, or simply a rosary – anything that lifts your spirits. Then daily make some offering to it. It may be a fresh flower, the light of a candle, or the smoke of an incense stick. Further, chant a mantra or say a prayer to charge your sacred place with vibrations of peace and tranquility. Then when you sit in this place, it will immediately put you into a receptive mood.

The Practice

  1.  In the morning, sit quietly in your sacred spot and think you are in the presence of your guiding spirit (like a master or your soul). Then some questions on what is to come during the day will come into your mind. Verbalize them and put them one at a time before to your guiding spirit. Then ask for guidance. Something will come – now or later on.
  2. During the day, pay keen attention to the world around you. At every point of choice or interpretation, don’t get to it by yourself. Instead, refer it to your guiding spirit. It will send an image into your mind which will show the matter in a different light. Persist in this practice and you will come out of the ordinary world and experience into an extraordinary one – wherein the old rules of the ego don’t apply. It will relieve you.
  3.  In the evening, mentally speak to your guiding spirit. Speak just as you would speak to a dear friend. Tell what happened and what you are thinking of doing next. Then once again ask for approval or guidance.

The Steps

  • Open yourself to intuitive guidance daily
  • Expect intuitive guidance in all matters concerning your life
  • Once you get the intuitive idea or feeling, trust it and put your reliance on it
  • Then begin to act on the intuition instead of postponing the action.

In the beginning your intuition will not be clear. It happens to everyone. It is due to mental restlessness or your egoistic considerations. However, when you act on the little intuition you have received, it will be easier to receive more of it. As you persist with these exercises the balance will change in your mind and suddenly you will find that your intuition has become more reliable.

Some Suggestions

  • You have to ask for intuition. It usually doesn’t happen by itself. You have to value it. You have to want it above all things. Then it comes.
  • When you live by intuition, being right is not the goal; being sensitive to the truth or the higher nature is the goal. Some misunderstandings and misinterpretations will arise. Consider them to be a part of your development process.
  • Try to share your intuitive insights with people who are supportive. Don’t show off. Do it to reinforce this new habit.
  • When you use intuition, you don’t try to do everything by yourself. You only focus on doing your part and the invisible helpers will bring others to collaborate with you. You have to observe this.
  • Regard your intuitive message as a directive from the boss. Try to follow it even when it inconveniences you or upsets your personal plans. Consider your success as following your intuition.
  • Use intuition to inject a sense of wonder in your life. So, when the phone rings, mentally ask who is calling? When you need to park, mentally ask where is the space kept for you? When you receive mail, mentally ask what is the content? When you meet someone, mentally ask what is the person up to? When you go for a feast, mentally ask what is on the menu?
  • Always show gratitude for receiving the intuition. Verbalize it when you sit in your sacred place. Before going to sleep you can think of something good that happened during the day. Take the opportunity (and every opportunity) to thank your guiding spirit for its support. It will enliven your intimacy with your guiding spirit.
  • Daily use your connection with the guiding spirit to send a smile to the people you are connected with. It will overcome your indifference to people and events.

Some results

Living by intuition is simply listening to our heart or the higher nature before we decide or act. What happens when we do that? We get a direction or clue for searching the truth in any real-life situation.

The insight got through intuition comes from a higher level intelligence. Hence, will be more reliable and balanced than what we can get through mere rational inference. However, initially we can get intuition only in ‘flashes’ or pieces. So, we have to put the pieces together through mental inference! This becomes the source of our mistakes. However, as our intuition develops the pieces become larger; and they fit better into the greater picture.

There is a lot of inner work that has to be done before intuition can become a fact in our life. However, as we do this work, it will totally change how we make our decisions or interpret the happenings of life. Gradually a ‘truth sense’ will arise, which will point out the difference between what is true and what is false; between what is real and what is imaginary; and between what is valuable and what is worthless in all real-life situations.

Ultimately we shall perceive the action of a higher consciousness behind all the happenings of life. Then we know that the world is in safe hands; and we will be able to serve our purpose in life with grace and ease.

To know more, click on to our page on Yoga-Mysticism

 

The Virtue of Slowing Down

© October 2015, by Prashant Shah, spiritual-living.in

Quote from a song by Simon & Garfunkel: “Slow down, you move too fast; you’ve got to make the moment last; just sitting around and kicking the corner stone; looking for fun and feeling groovy.”

In the modern world people try to get things done fast and play busy. Hence, we show the great virtue of moving slowly and not hurrying through life.

Tortise

 

When we are at peace with ourselves, we rarely choose to be in a hurry. Hence, hurrying up is an egoistic movement that pushes us to get things done, as though that is all that matters right now. But when we keep on hurrying, our life becomes superficial. Although we can be satisfied with the results we have for a while, the joy does not last. Soon we become dissatisfied or bored and begin to rush into doing something else. Let us try to understand why this happens.

When we rush, we act like an automaton or a machine. Then we are consumed by doing things that can increase the ‘quantity’, but not the ‘quality’ of our life. Further, it makes us respond to the ego’s wants and not to the deeper wants of our true, inner being. Then, we don’t seek the joy from living, but we seek it from getting more money or more power. It can give us some temporary satisfaction, but we have to keep on chasing things to sustain it.

When we slow down our pace of life and combine it with a devotional attitude, we can access a spiritual presence that is itself joyful and filled with wisdom. On the other hand, when we combine hurrying up with personal ambition, we view our life through the lens of fear, scarcity and competition. Then we cannot trust life and allow it to look after us. Instead, we have to cope with our fears and insecurities by constantly pushing ourselves to do something. It gets us caught up in the ego’s world, where we can never be at rest or just be. It makes us we lose our touch with a spiritual presence which seems to tell us all is going to be well.

If we are truly thoughtful, we can understand that our life is much more than just getting things done; that there has to be something deeper and more mysterious behind all this outer activity that makes sense of the drama of our life. We can intuitively begin to understand that there is a spiritual presence behind the happenings of life; and that it is guiding us to move us naturally and spontaneously in various ways.

However, as long as we keep on hurrying through our activities, we march to the drumbeat of our ego. Then we don’t notice what else is there besides the ego’s voice in our head; and we don’t notice the spiritual presence at the core of our being that is continuously seeking to guide us.

Further, we don’t take the time to do the little things that this spiritual presence suggests — like just hanging around peacefully; being patient with other people; playing with animals or children, being present to the situation that you are in; or simply sending off a kind email to a friend. The ego doesn’t initiate such acts because it does not perceive any value in them. Such acts are motivated by our spiritual being, and not by our ego.

The strange thing is that when we slow down, we actually find the time to do such little things. We do them because it makes us feel good about doing them. We feel that doing such things is worthwhile. However, if we keep up a fast pace of life, we only amplify the ego’s voice that says: “Hurry up; you still have a lot more to do; you’ll never get it done in time; you didn’t do that well; you cannot have the time for doing such little things…

The voice of the ego not only disconnects us from the ‘quiet voice of our higher consciousness’, but it also keeps us stressed-out and not feeling too good about ourselves. So, when we find that we have gotten into such a state, all we have to do to regain our perspective is to simply slow down. It will make us look at life through different eyes and feel it with a different heart. Then, instead of being lost in the ego’s ideas about what our life should look like, we can accept life as it is and as it comes. It will make our life more joyful, meaningful and valuable to us and to others.

If you enjoyed this blog post, we’d like to know. Thanks.

The Dread of Failure

You have been burned before and are afraid to be burned again

© September 2015, By Prashant S. Shah

Failure

How to Overcome

Here is an approach that you can use to overcome your fear of failure. The aim is to prepare you for something new or different and possibly lead you to the place of better opportunity.

You begin by ADMITTING that things didn’t go your way. It could be due to some faults in you or in somebody else, or just in the circumstance. The reason however is not so important.

The failure has left you feeling angry or hurt. You may blame yourself by saying: “I’m just no good; I messed up; I made a fool of myself; or I don’t deserve anything better.” It only indicates that you are not strong right now. However, to move on, it will be sufficient to acknowledge that you are vulnerable. So, if it hurts, let it hurt. If you must cry to let out the frustration, cry. Whatever it is you are feeling, feel it; but don’t leave this experience behind without taking your LESSON from it.

To learn from the experience, take a good hard look at what really happened and acknowledge both the good and the bad that has come out of it. Then, answer these two questions: What part did I do really well? And what part of the work did I like the most? The answers will identify your areas of STRENGTH: What you do best and what you enjoy doing. What you do the next time must build on your strengths.

Your self-worth will also be lacking, and so you have become hesitant. To overcome this hurdle you have to reassert your self-worth. You do that by trying something new and making it worthwhile. You can start the process by identifying what you need to CHANGE: Do you need to change your path? Do you need to learn something new? Or do you need to be more determined to keep moving forward? When you identify the answer you come out of the experience of failure knowing yourself better. Hence, it is a success; and you can build on this success in the same was as you allowed the failures to make you reluctant.

To increase your success, simply do more of what succeeds and less of what fails. However, a problem arises when what you really want doesn’t succeed and what you don’t like to do succeeds! People who work with a sense of mission or purpose often get stuck at this point. So what should you do? Then you have to make some difficult choices.

Comments on observations by our readers

  1. SAKET: A person with low confidence or self-worth would lack the emotional energy to gather the strength that is necessary to make a fresh start. Hence, the basic problem is not what such a person should do, but how can they can gather the necessary strength to do what they really want.

The methods are commonly known: Celebrate little successes to fan your enthusiasm; write positive affirmations daily; dream of success and believe it is going to happen; cultivate optimism (see opportunity in difficulty rather than difficulty in opportunity); the list is long and I’m sure you can add to it.

  1. CHIKU: This is a great piece, but here is a question: “If the expectation has not been met and the person is psychologically reacting to this fact, should the person temper their expectations?”

The event and our inner response or self-talk on it are two very different things. When we do something, we should try to enjoy the activity, the work, and take care to discard our ego’s reactions to the outcomes.

  1. VIVEK: Many great men have risen up after repeated failures. There is the example of Abraham Lincoln, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Abdul Kalam. However, people make the mistake of trying to imitate some someone else’s success formula. Personally, I feel more often success is the result of being in the right place, at the right time, with the right mindset.

Yes, success is more often a coincidence that happens. To be recognised you have to fulfil some genuine need of the time and then appeal to a critical mass of people who can set off your avalanche of success. However, there will always be an unexpected turn to events. Hence, success cannot be planned nor is it a true measure of the value of your work.

Looking Deeper

Generally speaking, we can take two different views to life – the Traditional or the Eastern view and the Modern or the Western view. They are as follows:

In the TRADITIONAL view, you are responsible for your actions, but the outcome or results will depend on many other factors: They can be the results of your past actions; they may be what you need to mature your inner life; or they can be a part of a greater scheme of things. Hence, the focus here is not on improving your chances of success, but on maturing. The events and happenings of life serve as opportunities to organise your consciousness at a higher level. Hence, your task is to do what is necessary or proper and to overcome your craving for personal success or reward.

In the MODERN view, you regard personal shortcomings and failures in life as outcomes of a faulty mindset or bad management. Hence, you focus on making changes in your mindset and management style to somehow generate success. Here you practice techniques like positive thinking, affirmations, creative visualisation, psycho-cybernetics, tactics and strategies.

Both these views have their proper place. When you play a game, you have to try to win. Otherwise the game is not on. Your deeper purpose may be to develop some personal or interpersonal skill, or to simply enjoy the thrill. However, you cannot participate in the game without trying to win or succeed.

In the same way, you learn the ‘lessons of life’ while you try to succeed. The only difference between the modern and traditional view is that you consider winning or achieving as only a part of the game and not as the true purpose of playing. Hence, you look upon a failure not only as an opportunity to correct the mistake, but also an opportunity to mature spiritually.

The Five Stages In Spiritual Practice

An Autobiography

© 2015, By Prashant S. Shah

StarpointCol

Chapter-1:

I took a walk in the street.
There was a large pothole.
I didn’t notice it in time, so I fell in.
Then I started to blame others.
I was upset, so I took time to come out.

Chapter-2:

I took a walk in the same street.
There was a large pothole.
I noticed it, but I didn’t act in time, so I fell in again.
I knew I shouldn’t have fallen in, but I still preferred to blame others.
I was upset, so I took time to come out.

Chapter-3:

I again took a walk in the same street.
The large pothole was still there.
This time I tried to walk around it, but still I fell in — it has become a habit.
I knew I shouldn’t have fallen in, so this time I accepted it as my fault.
I wasn’t upset, so I could get out quickly.

Chapter-4:

I still took a walk in the same street.
The large pothole was still there.
I was careful, so I could walk around it without falling in.

Chapter-5:

Now I take my walk in a different street.
There is no pothole.

Some Interesting Observations:

The narration of the five stages of improvement is SYMBOLIC. Read the observations by our readers:

By Ginger M:

What is so interesting about this ‘autobiography’? Well, it’s like a whack on the side of our head. It shows us what commonly happens as we try to improve ourselves! Our habits are rooted in the subconscious, and hence we are not sufficiently aware of how we act. We fall many times before we get things right.

By Frank Sanchez:

The chapters of this “Autobiography” are small, but they reveal a great truth. Here are my observations:
1. We can’t avoid what we don’t see. That is the beginner’s position. Hence, we blame other people for our misfortunes. Then our awareness does not lead us to make the necessary changes.
2. As we use our experience, we acknowledge our contribution to the making of our troubles. But still have to take the necessary action. Mere knowing does not change the reality. Hence, we keep on getting the same results.
3. In the next step we begin to make the necessary changes. However, we are so accustomed to doing things in our old ways that our patterns repeat. At this stage we know the real reason for our failure. Hence, we don’t blame others. We know what we have to do to overcome our problem.
4. Now we see the problem and we are able to overcome it.
5. Ultimately we become farsighted. Then we can avoid the problem from arising.

By Madanda Machayya:

The 1st line shows our habit.
The 2nd line shows the problems that awaits us in the outer world.
The 3rd line shows what usually happens as we try to change the habits. We keep on going back to it.
The 4th line speaks of our reaction or self-assessment as we make improvement.
The 5th line explains the extra difficulties we create for ourselves.

By Sanjeev Vaidya:

Initially all of us lack awareness. Hence, our habits rule us. Then we make mistakes; we blame others; and we suffer the reactions we generate! That is the human story. The autobiography illustrates the stages of improvement. The ultimate aim is to make the problem irrelevant!

If you find this article interesting, we invite you to read further; see our article/blog titled: The Magic of Quantum Learning, understanding the nature of the inner work in spiritual practice.

The Magic of Quantum Learning

SummitCopyright © 2018, Prashant S. Shah; http://www.spiritual-living.in

When we look at the world we do not see it factually like a camera picture. We see it through the lens of our MENTAL MODELS. We use these models to grasp things mentally; to interpret the happenings in the world; and to give meaning to our experiences.

However, the mental models have arisen from our personal experiences, beliefs and assumptions. Hence, what they show us is not objective or true. It is subjective and prejudiced.

When the problem situations of our life arise due to faults in our mental models, we get into stuck situations or our problems keep on repeating. We cannot get out of such situations without first correcting the faults in our mental models. Only after correcting these faults we can generate true solutions and get results we want.

Here we illustrate the role played by our mental models by considering three kinds of learning: No Learning; Ordinary Learning; and Spiritual or Quantum Learning.

CONTENTS:

  • How our mind works
  • The role of our Mental Models
  • The no-learning habit
  • Ordinary learning
  • Quantum or spiritual learning
  • The place of purification in spiritual life

How our mind works

When we look at the world we do not see it factually like a camera picture. Our mind receives only some impressions of the object and forms a ‘mental image’ of it. The mental image is usually incomplete. So the mind completes it by filling in the missing elements from our memory. This ‘filling in’ is the first source of error.

Next, we do not register this ‘completed image’ into our memory. We interpret the mental image with the help of our mental models. Our mental models are the stored assumptions, concepts and beliefs in our mind. Thus, what we register in our memory is not the original mental impression of the object or situation, but our ‘psychological remake’ of it. This is the second source of error.

The role played by our mental models

Our mind makes ‘mental models’ out of the storehouse of assumptions, concepts and beliefs in our mind. We use these mental models to grasp things mentally; to interpret the happenings in the world; and to give meaning to our experiences.

However, our mental models themselves are made from our personal interpretations. Hence, our perceptions with them are subjective and prejudiced. They show things as we imagine them to be and not as they really are.

When our mental models are faulty, we cannot generate true solutions. We can correct apparent problems but the deeper roots of the problems remain. Sooner or later they drive us into stuck situations or our problems keep on repeating. Hence, we have to correct the faults in our mental models. This is also the inner-work of ‘purification’ in any spiritual pursuits.

Here we show this need by discussing three kinds of learning: No Learning; Ordinary Learning; and Spiritual or Quantum Learning.

The no-learning habit:

In the normal process we learn through feedback. We are using feedback when our present action utilises our past experience. That is, what we do now is done after considering what happened the last time it was done. In this way we correct our mistakes and make improvements.

What happens when we DISREGARD the feedback on our actions? We repeat our actions without regard to the result. We may justify our actions by saying: “I’m like this” or “This is how I do things”. However, when we act like that we are not being intelligent; our actions are inappropriate to the existing situation; and we do not learn from past experience. Some people say: “If you don’t succeed, try and try again”. However, it would be more appropriate to say: “If you don’t succeed, try something DIFFERENT”.

People with the no-learning habit make recommendations without trying to understand the issues or situation; they make prescriptions without trying to diagnose the problem; and they reply without really listening to the question.

In most of us the ‘no learning habit’ continues in some form or another. That happens because it takes a lot of effort to be thoughtful and act intelligently.

Ordinary learning:

When we use the feedback on our actions, we improve our performance; we learn from our experiences; we can act intelligently; and we do not repeat our mistakes. This is method of ordinary learning taught in our schools.

However, this method has one big limitation. If we are searching for the solution in the wrong places, then our feedback and logic will not guide us to the solution. They actually become irrelevant. Hence, the method of ordinary learning cannot be used to ALTER the direction of our search.

Example: If a mistake or an error has arisen due to a fault in our perception, then we cannot correct it with logic. Our perception comes first; it sets the direction for our search — where we look. Subsequently we use logic to organise our thoughts around the perception. So, when our perception itself is faulty, we look for solutions in the wrong places, where they do not exist. Hence, we cannot find them. We can deceive ourselves further by concluding that the problems cannot be solved.

There is an interesting Zen STORY on this point: A monk is searching for a needle. Some people join him in the search. Then someone asks the monk, “Where exactly did you drop the needle?” The monk replies: “I dropped it over there”, pointing to a spot in a distance. Then the person remarks: “You should be looking there; why are you looking for it here?” To which the monk says: “I am looking for it here because the light (lamp post) is here”. This story illustrates how we individually and collectively look for our solutions. We look for them in the places that we are familiar with, or in places where we expect to find them. But what happens if the solution lies in a different place? Then we cannot find it through experimentation, feedback, or logic.

To put it differently, when a mistake in our perception is due to a fault in our mental models (that is in our attitudes, assumptions and beliefs), then we cannot use ordinary learning to correct it. Ordinary learning can only help us in correcting a mistake when the causes are on the ‘object side’ – that is on the outside, as in others. It cannot help us in correcting the mistakes when the causes are on the ‘subject side’ – that is within us, as in our perception. When a fault lies in our mental models, the ‘mistake factor’ is within us. Then ordinary learning cannot help us. We can only use it to make some small superficial improvements, like increasing our efficiency.

Whenever we get into stuck situations or when our problems keep on repeating, we must understand that the root of the cause lies within us, in our mindset. Hence, we cannot solve the problem or situation by trying harder in the same direction. We have to scrutinize our mental models and find the fault there. Next we have to correct it. That will radically alter the direction of our search. However, if we ignore the mental models, we continue to work with the wrong assumptions. It is like looking for our solutions in the wrong places!

Quantum or spiritual learning:

To solve repeating problems or to get out of stuck situations, we have to scrutinise our mental models. We can do it by trying to VALIDATE our assumptions, attitudes and beliefs. It will show us the part of the cause that lies within us. First we have to correct this cause. Then we can to solve the problems that arise on the outside.

Our mental models subconsciously dictate our choices. Hence, by correcting the faults in our mental models, we also clear our perceptions. It alters the ‘lens’ through which we see the world. It changes our experience of the world, our assumptions, and how we regard everything. It re-orients our mind and enables us to look for solutions in the right places. Once we have the right direction, we can use ordinary learning to make our actions result oriented and improve our performance.

Spiritual learning is not limited to correcting the mental models. We scrutinise the entire ‘subjective nature’ of the mind through which we see the world. It raises the ‘quantum level’ of our insight – from where we see. Then we can see clearly; correctly diagnose the cause the problems and generate truly lasting solutions.

The place of purification in spiritual life

In spiritual life we talk of growth in terms of clearing the ‘impurities’ from the mind. These impurities are our personal thoughts, obsessive desires and negative emotions. They create a fog in the mind that obstructs our perception through a higher faculty. Hence, we cannot recognise the true nature of things.

Purification clears this fog. Then we can see things clearly, without distortions; we can situate everything properly; we can know the right place and right order for everything.

The problems that we experience in life, individually and collectively, arise due to the faults in our mental models. The apparent causes of the problems are in the existing situations, but their deeper roots lie within us. So, we cannot generate lasting solutions by merely attending to the apparent causes. Sooner or later we have to deal with roots. To get to the roots we have to look with the right attitude and in the right places.

However, there is a LAZY SIDE to all of us that does not want to make the effort to change our ways. Hence, we keep on searching for external solutions to our problems. Hence, our problems keep on returning. It is similar to what happens when we take ‘a pill’ to solve the health problems that arises due to our faulty eating habits.

Pill-z

Most of us do not want to accept the responsibility for what happens in our life. We’d rather blame our fate or the circumstances; or we hope that the problems will simply disappear in time. Unfortunately the faults in our mental models do not autocorrect. So we keep getting into stuck situations and our problems keep on repeating. If we want a different outcome, we have to undertake purification. If we keep on postponing this task, we can wait for a lifetime.

If you want to implement the ideas contained in this article, please read our Course-4: Advanced Spiritual Practice (Sadhana) under the tab of ‘Correspondence Courses’ on our site http://www.spiritual-living.in

 

The Amazing Results with Mantra Yoga

Spiritual Yoga
Spiritual Yoga

Each person is separate on the physical plane, but all of us are continuously interacting on the inner planes of the cosmos. So, when you think about someone, you not only connect up with the image of the person in your mind, you can go deeper and CONNECT UP the thoughts and feelings of that person and experience him. In this way all of us are continuously sending and receiving vibrations from others.

How do we perceive another person on the inner plane? Each person carries an overall or PERSONAL VIBRATION, and on the inner plane we can experience this vibration and know its affinity to the vibration that we carry. The personal vibration a person has is characteristic of their mindset, their conditioning, the organization of their consciousness and the individual capacities they have developed. They carry this vibration in their personal atmosphere, and this vibration has an effect on everyone and everything that they come across. In this way people put their impressions on things, and the impressions pass on further through a ripple effect.

We can also know the QUALITY of the vibration a person carries from the way in which they live, think; respond to others and their environment; and from the sort of things that absorbs their interest and attention.

The personal vibration decides a person’s inclination – the particular way in which they do things. It draws them into certain kinds of situations and conditions in life. For this reason it is said that people subconsciously choose their lucks and misfortunes long before they experience them. Further, if they continue to do things in the same way, they connect with the same kind of persons and get the same kind of results in life. However, if they mature through these experiences, it changes the quality of their personal vibration, and accordingly they connect with different kinds of persons and experience different situations and results.

What happens when your personal vibration changes? It changes how you are organised within. As a result you begin to perceive everything differently. And that alters the mental models that you use to interpret everything. When you see things differently, you begin to do things differently. And how you do things influences upon the luck and events of your life.

Thus, the fundamental changes in your nature or life are accompanied by a change in the inner vibration your carry. In the natural course this change happens gradually, over a long period of time. However, through Mantra Yoga you can accelerate the change and do it deliberately. You do it by nurturing a living vibration that can make the necessary alterations in the overall vibration that you carry. The new vibration develops a truth sense in you, and you can use it to guide your perceptions and actions in the situations of life.

The practice of Mantra Yoga develops a separate awareness in you, which reflects the voice of your conscience and mirrors the ways of a higher consciousness. Then you can grow spiritually by trying to follow the inner directions. You have to overcome all the resistance in your nature that arises as you try to do that. You have to continue the practice for some time until the new vibration becomes the basis of your perceptions and actions. It will bring about a change in your consciousness. Then instead of mirroring the higher consciousness, you can function with it. Then instead of searching for the light of truth in darkness, you can intuitively know what is true and how true it is.

We have a course on Mantra Yoga. Look under the tab of Correspondence Courses