Welcome to Session 1 of the Layers of the Mind course, the follow-on course of the Meditation and Yoga Philosophy course.
In the next 7 sessions we’ll explore the realms of human existence and beyond, and continue with our inner search for bliss.
As we’re going through this course, continue with the daily practices we established in the last course:
• Half-bath before meditation, asanas, food and sleep.
• Kiirtan before meditation (and also throughout the day). Remember the Kiirtan page here…
• Meditation twice a day. Go here for an update of the meditation technique. You’ll see a photo there of the meditation posture called the Lotus. If you can sit like that in meditation it will help you to concentrate. The Lotus flower keeps its roots in the mud while facing the moon. This symbolism perfectly describes the effect of the Lotus Posture, because its effect is to sublimate the mind towards higher thinking by switching off the lower organs. To do it, place your right foot on your left thigh and your left foot on your right thigh. But be careful! You may need to wait until your leg joints become more flexible with continued meditation before you can get into it.
Now for the first session!
In yogic philosophy it is said that there are five layers of the human mind: crude, subtle, supramental, subliminal and subtle causal. Well, today we’re not going to talk about any of them! We’ll start off with the physical body, since that’s the crudest layer of our existence. Although not part of our own mind, each human body contains the innumerable minds of all the different cells that make it up. Each cell is a living organism that’s operating almost entirely according to the basic instinct of self-preservation. Although each of the cellular minds are primitive in nature, their combined effect influences the way we think on the superficial level. So it’s important to keep the cells of the body as subtle and refined as possible. Hence the importance of diet.
Vegetarian food has a positive effect on the mind because the cells in it are fresh and sentient — they encourage the brain cells to subtler and higher forms of thinking. Also, because plants don’t pump adrenaline and other stress chemicals through their bodies when they sense they’re going to be killed, vegetarian food doesn’t cause the stress and anxiety that meat does in the mind.
Apart from food, exercise and asanas are also important. Continue with the asanas that we went through in the last course. There are also two special exercises that are known to very few instructors, let alone students, that are very beneficial to practice each day. They have a positive effect on the mind as well as the body. One is especially beneficial for women and the other for men. Both are total body exercises and prevent and cure many diseases as well as increasing longevity. You will get a chance to learn those exercises along with your personal meditation lesson.
“The attainment of one’s inner self is only possible through love for the Infinite… Fill your heart with love of the Infinite, and your soul will be transformed into the Supreme Soul. No worldly happiness is limitless. Dedicate yourself completely to the blissful ocean of the Supreme Soul. Then alone will you realize what happiness really is.”
Shrii Shrii Anandamurti