God-Self recognition is everyone's ultimate outcome. That's okay but it's likely going to take some time getting there. Maybe lifetimes.
Participating in a daily spiritual practice will benefit you as you are on that path to Self recognition. It doesn't matter what form your practice takes. I will not tell you how to worship God.
According to Prabhavananda, Patanjali said it's best not to be a spiritual window shopper. In other words pick and stick to one system.
I didn't take this advice. Maybe it would turned out better if I had. My life has been very interesting regardless. Patanjali was a leader and may have been annoyed with people who came and went habitually.
Chanting "In God We Are One" is a decent choice for a spiritual practice. It's a pretty easy to understand concept contributing to a desirable outcome. Its drawback is that it's new and doesn't have a lot of collective belief associated with it. Maybe it'll catch on.
"Practice" is used here intentionally. You don't need to obsess about whether it's working, but if you're like most of us, you will.
Worrying and obsessing about it "working" is ego-mind trying to instill doubt in a sometimes desperate attempt to get you to stop meditating.
Nearly everyone self-identifies with ego-mind and ego-mind wants it to stay that way. That's why it's hard to focus when you start meditating.
The more anxious you get the more ego-mind is controlling you. Just hold your intentions lightly and let everything that happens be okay. Let all those busy thoughts go past without judgment. Gradually you'll gain control of ego-mind and realize it is not you.
I listen to Holosync CDs with headphones during my practice which force my brainwave patterns into those consistent with a deep meditative state. The technology has been around a long time. That's not an affiliate link. Holosync is the real deal. Check it out.
You can record chanting or affirmations of your choice on your computer and set it to repeat and listen to it while meditating.
I've loaded my meditation CDs onto my computer along with my chanting. I use headphones while meditating (the Holosync technology only works with headphones) and blend the chanting endlessly repeating with the Holosync recordings while meditating. I use the Windows Media Player and the Groove Music player simultaneously.
It's helpful to keep your attention focused on watching your internal and external experiences nonjudgmentally as your God-Self's Witness. It may be a bit hard to imagine at first.
This is called practicing mindfulness meditation these days. It has become very popular and there are a lot of people trying to cash in.
Meditation is essentially disciplining and disassociating from ego-mind in a focused manner. Witnessing your thoughts and experiences nonjudgmentally is worth doing even when not meditating.
Practice watching your thoughts nonjudgmentally and meditate persistently. Eventually you will self-identify with a part of yourself that is your nonjudgmental Witness, which represents your God-Self.
While you're at it, you may enjoy practicing being unconditionally happy. It's free, not terribly challenging, and it is very much worth the effort involved. It just takes practice.
Do you want to be unconditionally happy? Just stop setting preconditions. Simple, not easy. Remember God wants you to be happy, so be happy for God's sake.
Repetitive chanting is a very ancient form of meditation.
Many are familiar with chanting AUM or as it's very often written, OM. That symbol above represents the sacred sound AUM as well as "Namaste" which seems a bit odd, but there it is.
AUM is more accurate in my opinion as far as pronunciation goes. It's a three syllable word. The A, U, and M should be pronounced distinctly.
Mouth position makes a big difference. Be slack-jawed with the A, pucker-up with the U, and closed-mouthed with the M.
A is pronounced as a long AH, the U is pronounced short but not quite and like the sound made when admiring something. The M is pronounced normally. Lingering over the syllables is nice and relaxing.
Some people believe the various sounds mean different things, the "A" being undifferentiated potential energy, The "U" being that which is being created or creative energy, and the"M" being that which has been created. All that requires a presupposition of time constraints. It's a pretty thought-form structure. Whatever you decide to believe is just fine. You may hear other interpretations, and that's fine too.
Whatever repetitive chant you are doing, try to make it come from your solar-plexus, and try to make it resonate, vibrating your core.
Repetitive chanting accomplishes two things. One, it gently disciplines and focuses the ego-mind on a relatively simple task, which I believe is really the intent of most meditation practices. And two, it promotes healthy breathing.
Repetitive chanting is an active form of meditation and requires no training to get benefit from it, although you'll see a lot of stuff warning about injuries and side effects.
Much of this injury and side-effect stuff appears to be put out by gurus in an attempt to get people to attach themselves to a guru. Shocking!
Don't hyperventilate and fall down. Do your meditation seated or reclining. Seated is widely recommended, posture erect and unsupported etc. Reclining or seated works for me equally well probably because I believe it does.
Do not chant and/or meditate while driving. When driving, just drive. Maintaining a running internal dialogue about all the things you observe while driving will keep you focused on driving and in the present moment. Multi-million mile safe truck drivers do this kind of mindful driving. Few are aware of the spiritual context.
Side effects of excessive deep breathing are believed to include manic behavior and attachment to material possessions. This may be ego-mind stirring up trouble to get people to stop meditating.
Simply continue to watch ego-mind's antics as your God-Self Witness regardless of what distracts you. A great discipline is to ask yourself constructive questions. "What is this teaching me?" is a great one.
Belly-breathing, as opposed to breathing from the upper chest, is calming in all circumstances and is essential when doing meditation.
You may have noticed when you are emotionally upset, fighting, or winded your breathing tends to be in your upper chest. It's evidenced by the expansion and contraction of the rib cage.
When you are relaxed or sleeping your belly expands and contracts. Actually your diaphragm is doing the work.
Belly-breathing is a nice way of describing it because our diaphragms are inside our thorax between the lungs and digestive organs.
Diaphragmatic breathing seems a bit obscure for those of us who are not students of anatomy, so belly-breathing it is.
The most important part of any meditation practice is persistence.
I chanted with Nichiren Daishonin Buddhists for a while.
Their practice involves chanting The Lotus Sutra in an old form of Japanese hardly anyone speaks these days twice daily, and chanting the phrase "Nam Myoho Renge Kyo" for extended periods of time, sometimes for many hours at a time.
The practice also involved creating a shrine in one's home in a nice cabinet called a butsadon, posting a list of written goals along with two candles, an incense burner, bell, bowl of fruit, and a scroll with Japanese writing on it called a gohonzon.
Nobody I asked could translate the gohonzon, even senior leaders.
A very interesting feature of this form of Buddhism is that most of the practice was meaningless to participants.
Practitioners had no understanding of the words chanted or the meaning of the writing on the scroll.
Here's the important take away. Practitioners got both tangible and intangible results, but were most excited about the tangible results.
Most practitioners gave testimony saying that chanting "nam myoho renge kyo" improved their lives by helping them to manifest their goals.
The number one selling point when recruiting converts was that the practice helped people get stuff.
If you research goal achievement you'll see it was not the rituals which helped people manifest their goals.
The routine of reviewing written goals twice daily programmed the minds of practitioners and helped achieve their goals.
It's that simple. Posting written goals in their shrine and chanting in front of these goals twice daily helped manifest their goals.
Reviewing your written goals before, during, or after your meditation practice will help you manifest your goals.
You can make a shrine with an expensive cabinet etc if you want, or you can create a customized page on your computer's desktop.
I have my goals posted on my desktop. I did a web search for a blank image and pasted my written goals onto the blank image and presto!
When significant numbers of people get into chanting 'In God We Are One" we will be living in a more peaceful world in which we are all a bit closer to a state of God-Self recognition.
Whether it's being mindful, chanting, praying, looking at a spot on the wall, watching or counting breaths, gazing at yourself in the mirror, looking at the flame of a fire or candle, directing your attention on a real or imagined thing of any kind, it's all about disciplining and gaining control of ego-mind. As you persistently practice doing this you will naturally be strengthening your awareness of your God-Self.
Just remember to be as persistent, gentle, patient, and nonjudgmental as possible no matter how busy your ego-mind gets while practicing meditation. Let whatever happens be okay.
You're welcome to download the lotus blossom picture below as a larger file, which is just under one megabyte. Click here to get it for your Self. May it facilitate you in your spiritual journey. Namaste.
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There is a growing percentage of the world's population that claims to be spiritual and not religious. This site is targeted particularly toward this particular group of believers.
In the U.S.A. about 20% of the population claims to have no religion. These folks are referred to as the "nones" which from my point of view is misleading.
Everyone has beliefs and values which determine their experiences. We should make an effort to channel the beliefs of the "nones" with a positive and unifying belief system that is all-inclusive.
Pantheism is not a new concept and the time has come to fully embrace it in all its ramifications.