i.35-39 The Means to secure Absolute Contemplative Focus
Patañjali utilizes a word in this section that will sound familiar to Lankavatarian adepts: pravṛtti. Fernando Tola and Carmen Dragonetti (mentioned in earlier posts) translate it as follows:
A perceptive mental process, be it sensorial or mental, which prolongs itself by fixing the mind on a determined object, does of necessity stabilize the mind. (pg. 136)
One needs to be prudent with this process since there are those who infer from it that one can just focus on “any” object to procure results that Patañjali intended. This can prove to be quite dangerous, even downright destructive if one chooses an object that consists of, let us say, influences that can lead to demonic possession.
The Lankavatara Sutra provides a safety-net with a word that procures the ultimate in mind-stabilization, and that word is paravrtti—meaning a “turn-about” in the deepest seat of consciousness in order to focus on the Primordial Imperative.
1.35 One gains stability when a mental process (pravṛtti) is established utilizing a sensate object which becomes the focal-tool in order to achieve contemplative success.
We can say, in reference to our above intro concerning the Primordial Imperative, that “paravrtti” can be the chosen mental process wherein one turns-about from all defiled sensate material and focuses only on THAT which animates. An exceptional focal tool to use in order to activate successful contemplation in this endeavor is Tozen’s Black Dragon-Eye Mandala. There are numerous references within these blogs concerning this marvelous mystical technique. One could also focus on Amoghasiddhi Buddha’s Double Vajra (Viśvavajra) which would certainly administer an All-Accomplishing Spiritual Equilibrium.
1.36 Meditation upon Luminous Light assures Liberation from all Sorrow.
There is no greater Liberating Joy than to be enraptured with the Luminous Light of the Unborn.
1.37 Mind is stabilized when all phenomenal chains of the lower-nature are broken.
The Yogin completely dismisses and no longer identifies with the former skandhic-nature that used to keep one in bondage to sensate phenomena.
1.38 Steadiness of mind can be procured through the discernment of dreams.
Patañjali teaches that dreams, as witnessed through the lens of proper-discernment, can induce deep gnosis. Not all dreams, of course, are worth taking the time to discern their hidden-meaning; yet there are dreams that originate from higher-planes of consciousness, the effects of which produce a deep and lasting undisturbed calm.
1.39 Meditation of THAT which is dearest to the heart.
The above commentary for 1.35 describes the best resources for this type of mind stabilization.
Hmmm..had to rewrite that text. Bodhichild, please delete my previous comment.
When your mind is perfectly steady, as is your heart; Both unified as One and not swayed by a single arising or cessating phenomenon, the Unborns Mind´s true essence, behind all phenomena, naturally reveals itself.
This is Paravritti. The moment of the great turn-about towards the real; turning (for even a split second) away from what is empty of the real and just mere illusion and towards what is a thundering clarity of pure light and truth (Dharmadhatu – element of Truth) brings immeasurable joy and faith in the true dharma.
This is an earthshaking experience the first time it happens to any good student of the way.
Having your entire foundation of what you took for granted as truth, on a daily basis, is Spiritual awakening impossible to express in words; or through any other conceptual examination.
The last part should say;
Having your entire foundation of what you took for granted as truth on a daily basis removed under your feet , is a Spiritual awakening impossible to express in words; or through any other conceptual examination.
I’ve been quietly going along in this series for some time, not wanting to impose any views or detract from it. So what I have is a reflection, or, if you will, a doubt, and I apologize for breaking the quietude:
In meditation, the mind, which has no center, habitually seeks an object or image or concept or word or thing as the hub of self. Like a tree, once uprooted, grasps at emptiness in vain, pleading for the soil of delusion and finding nothing it can recognize, begins to fear the end of self. And thus the mind inclines toward something unreal, toward the manifestations of samsara in their infinite and enticing forms, toward suffering, seeking the pale comfort of its prison in delusion.
Time and again what I experience in meditation is to come very close to what is described here, approaching the higher stages of samadhi, coming close then falling away. It feels a bit like being suspended in air.
With this sensation suddenly I snap back to normal waking mind. It is not a sensation, exactly, but a terrific intensity of mind, something hard to describe except as overwhelming, and I pull away from it as from a precipice.
I know and understand the readers here treat meditation with seriousness, and hopefully will understand what I mean because words are rather useless in this case. I do not know how to transcend this.
It’s amazing because what you have just expressed is the natural progression that these present sutras intend, and what we’ve covered up to this point. Tomorrow’s conclusion of Book I will hopefully shed more light for you as the sutras progress beyond the boundaries of objective mentation itself…so, please stay tuned. Looking forward for some lively discussion after it’s posted.
If I’ve waited this many lifetimes I suppose I can wait until tomorrow. 🙂