Meditation: What it is and what it is not

Posted on November 16, 2009. Filed under: How Spirituality Works | Tags: , , , |

Meditation is mostly misunderstood. I was taken to a Shirley MacLaine event several years ago. At the event she conducted what those who had come to see her termed a meditation. It used guided imagery in an attempt to shift the way that the audience related to life. While some may find this beneficial, it is not meditation. Similarly Yogi Bhajan taught thousands of kriyas that were called meditations. Practicing those kriyas/meditations is not meditating. He used to say that the reason that he specified that a “meditation” be practiced for 31 minutes (which was one of the most common time specifications given) was so that when we had completed the 31 minutes we would have actually meditated for one minute. Practicing a kriya is not meditating.

The reason that meditation is so misunderstood is that the real “how to” of how to meditate must be learned in the second side of the teachings. If a person has not learned or understood the second side of the teachings, they do not know how to meditate. In an elaborate demonstration of how the vast majority of his students had not learned the second side of the teachings, and did not know how to meditate, Yogi Bhajan allowed IKYTA certification to be marketed to his students. Yogi Bhajan did this because there was/is so much posturing and competition between his students. Yogi Bhajan allowed the IKYTA certification to be marketed because students that buy into this certification program demonstrate that they do not understand the second side of the teachings or how to meditate. They demonstrate that having a competitive edge by posturing is more important. Yogi Bhajan did this so elaborately because he came to realize that competitive posturing is a major obstacle to shifting from religious to spiritual that there needed to be a dramatic demonstration of how corrupting it is.

Becoming certified by IKYTA is supposed to validate the credibility of a student to lead Kundalini Yoga classes, but instead it demonstrates a corruption of personal integrity. This corruption happens gradually. A person practices Kundalini Yoga and experiences something profound. Each time they continue to practice they “tune in” at the beginning of their session. They begin their practice with the chant Ong Namo; Guru Dev Namo, which means I humble myself to the Infinite Creativity; I humble myself to the Angelic Light that dispels all darkness. We who have practiced Kundalini Yoga have been taught that this chant is essential to begin every session. We have also been taught that performing this chant establishes our link to the lineage of Spiritual Teachers that have produced what we are practicing. When leading a Kundalini Yoga session for other students we have been taught that practicing this chant at the beginning is the way to humble ourselves and tune in and become a pure channel for the teachings. If we are experiencing this tuning in, if we are experiencing a humility that produces the insight of what to teach, then this is an extremely profound and valuable thing that needs to be validated above all else. It is the only thing that validates us to teach not from our own egos. If we do not have this experience then it must be questioned why we are sharing something that we do not know to be valid.

IKYTA certification allows the student to avoid the soul searching that is necessary to validate “tuning in”. A person that truly experiences humility when they tune in perceives a shift in themselves that produces a purer channel for the teachings. The second side of the teachings teaches us that a shift of this kind is always a product of humility. A  person that experiences this then understands that what is essential for sharing the teachings as a pure channel is this humility. The second side of the teachings also establishes that those that experience this transformation through humility must live to examplify it as a reality, to be living examples of that purity. Rather than validating that purity, the IKYTA certification discredits it by indicating that there is something more valid, the accreditation that they sell. IKYTA certification is a clear statement by those that participate that what really matters is not the broadening of humility and the purity that “tuning in” produces but being connected by becoming certified.

The process of producing purity through humility is exactly what meditation entails. Meditation requires the development humility so that we can become aware of a deeper purity. We deepen this purity evolves until at a certain point humility produces the experience of the Soul. The Soul is then understood to be the ultimate reality to be used to bring clarification to all things through humility. Utilizing the Soul in this way for clarification is meditation. As a true Spiritual Teacher, Yogi Bhajan understood how competitive posturing disallows us from work together to produce sustainability. He had recognized this as a major corrupter of all religions, the Sikh religion in particular. (His attitudes on this and confrontations of it are the reason the Punjabi Sikhs disliked Yogi Bhajan so much.) Yogi Bhajan decided that the process of producing purity through humility had to be demonstrated as a vital reality in order to validate the Soul and meditation. We either buy into social certification or remain true to something that is more true for us, our own experience of spiritual reality. This is the requirement to become a Spiritual Teacher. This is what the world needs more of, and what fulfills the mission of Yogi Bhajan to produce Spiritual Teachers.

Getting back to guided visualizations, the experience of the Soul is beyond words or images or imaginings. The Soul is the ultimate reality where we understand that all our imaginings are distractions from that purity. Visualizations distract from the experience of reality. Visualizations are not meditation. More distractions are not needed. What is needed is more humility. Humility is the path to meditation.

It’s not the life that matters, but the courage we bring to it.

Blogs about Shirley MacLaine and spirituality: New Age Spiritualities, Are We Just Good At Imagining God?, Worldview & Basic Beliefs Review

Blogs about meditation: Simple Breathing and Relaxation Techniques, Devotional Commentary of the 23rd Psalm, “Saving” Christmas, Grace, Mercy and Favor, Improve your Personal Life in Awareness

Blogs about humility: Life’s A Blog & A Symphony, Hwp8j’s Weblog, Possessing the Treasure, Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks, Amitabhm’s Blog

Blogs about Kundalini Yoga/IKYTA: Eat Pray Love, Kundalininow’s Blog, What is Kundalini Yoga?, the grateful phoenix, Kundalini Yoga Room, Take a Breather with Kundalini Yoga


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