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Yogananda (yogi, guru, and teacher of Kriya Yoga, d.1952, author of Autobiography of a Yogi) wrote about how he watched the world of form dissolve.
Everything around him – furniture, trees, sunshine – shimmered and melted into luminosity. All form faded away into an ocean of light. He saw nothing but light, the reality prior to cause and effect.
This ocean of light underlies everything, all worlds, said Isaac.
This ocean of light is something you can count on. It’s always there, infusing everything. If you could get your mind empty enough, as Yogananda was able to do, you could experience this ocean of light.
Creation arises with the mind and the breath. The mind and the breath are tied together. We know this because the breath changes according to what we are thinking. In every mood, from anxiety to peace, the rate and quality of the breath respond accordingly. Notice it yourself, how shallow or rapid the breath is under stress, but how easy and deep it is at rest.
We remember from Genesis, God blew into man’s nostrils, and the world arose.
We know our thoughts about the world directly affect what we experience. Inner reality comes before outer reality. Or another way to say it – our inner vibration attracts the same in our outer vibration.
Both mind and breath are vibrations. They are cyclical in nature. You could say that the vibration of mind and breath will determine your experience.
So when we first sit down to meditate, we expect to have busy thoughts. But do you stay on the surface of those thoughts, or do you go deeper?
You’re on a raft, on the surface. If you want to crack the surface of the water, you must have the discipline to go to no-thought.
As Yogananda says, your thoughts lash the water into taking on forms. Those forms grab your attention. You get carried away by your anxious thoughts, your worries, maybe your memories or your plans. Hopefully by now you know your own pattern; you know what to watch for. Maybe it’s the typical running commentary of your inner chatter. Or maybe you have complaints – “my legs hurt.”
Perhaps you empty your thoughts and now you start seeing lights and hearing hums, ethereal sounds. Your thoughts may veer off into these phenomena, these spiritual sensations. Don’t take that lure. The ego wants to jump in there, take charge, and talk all about it.
Stay with the emptiness. Follow the breath.
The emptiness may seem boring, but it becomes bliss.
It is pleasurable.
This is an excerpt from Chapter 5 of Walking the Bridge with Balance.