Friday, December 11, 2009

Profound Meditation

"By profound meditation, the knower, the knowledge and the known become one. The seer, the sight and the seen have no separate existence from each other. It is like a great musician becoming one with his instrument and the music that comes from it. Then, the yogi stands in his own nature and realizes his self (Atman), the part of the Supreme Soul within himself."
-B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Yoga, sixteenth paragraph of the Introduction.

What are the conditions for "profound meditation"? Concentration and openness are two aspects that stand out when I ask myself this question. The example of the "great musician" who is able to communicate authentically through the sound is noted above. The musician has become one with the instrument (something physically tangable) and he or she has become one with the music (something heard, yet ineffable). So in profound meditation it can be said that a person is one with physical reality as a person has been taught to experience it, and also one with an aspect of experience that is intangable yet able to be experienced.

I think of gifted musicians as being the most disciplined people. They seem to love what they do, and to love spending time with their instrument. The fingers of a great guitar player seem to move so effortlesly and skillfully. In a moment it can appear easy, but it might have taken years or a lifetime to get to this point of harmony and connection with the instrument and the sound.

I think that the same could be said for a person's life situation. To be in harmony and connection with life, we need to be disciplined: to really love what we do. As individuals we need to care enough and put in the time required to know ourselves effortlessly--like a great musician knows their instrument!

In this way who we are, reality as it is, and what we already know can become integrated, and we can live as happy, fulfilled, unique, creative, curious, and beautiful beings! I believe that this is what we are.

Be well.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Bob Weisenberg said...

Brooks, this is so beautifully written, and so true. This blog makes me even more in intent on catching up on my Iyengar reading, starting with your musings in your last blog.

I wrote this piece about the analogy between meditation and music:

Flamenco Guitar as Yoga Philosophy
(Click on the CD cover to hear the music.)

At the time I wrote this I was worried that readers would think it a stretch that guitar playing could be just like Yoga. How exciting for me to learn that the great Iyengar made the exact same analogy in the very introduction to his famous book.

Thanks for your beautiful blog.

Bob Weisenberg

Bob Weisenberg said...

Oh, yes, and I forgot about this little poem:

Yoga and Mozart

which is probably short enough to copy right into this comment:

I’ve decided to dispense with Yoga

And just listen to Mozart all the time.

It gives me the same sense of wonder.

It fills me with the same infinite cosmic joy.

It collapses my entire being into the present moment

Where the music is divine

I am divine

You are divine

The whole world is one and divine.

I've decided to dispense with Yoga

And just listen to Mozart all the time.

But then again

Why not have both?

For are they not one and the same?

Bob Weisenberg