Right Effort

People often ask why they become tense, rather than relaxed when they first attempt the double breathing exercise. There are layers of tension that encircle each chakra. Proper use of mind and breath will release this tension initially creating a feeling of unease. The unease goes away as tension is transformed into shakti and flows from chakra to chakra.

When inexperienced meditation practitioners use breath to force the heart and navel chakras to open, instead of using deep relaxation, gratitude, and the mind’s focus on the navel chakra; when the mind and emotions try to force surrender and openness, tension increases. The breath expands chakras but doesn’t open them. The ability to focus the mind will open the navel chakra; gratitude will open the heart, and the power of breath will strengthen both. We must relax into the double breathing exercise. To force the chakra system to open is to insert excessive tension on the heart, the mind and the core of one’s being. The power of ego and will do nothing to open chakras. It only creates more tension. It reveals who one is, how uptight they are, what they demand out of life. They’re conditioned behavior justifies any means used to attain their ends, regardless of who gets hurt or what damage is done to the world. They inflict pain on themselves when they try to force open a doorway that leads to spiritual enlightenment.

One must use their will to remove resistance and make possible the conscious use of mind and breath to develop a strong inner life.

People use the ego and will to obtain wealth and power in the material world. They reward themselves with finite returns, be it money, sex, marriage, relationships, with anything they think will make their life better. When they bring the same approach to a meditation class, strong ego has the opposite effect on chakra development. You cannot open chakras with brute force. One must relax into a state of openness. Meditation reconditions one’s behavior and changes the way we use will. Slowly, incrementally, one masters internal chaos and reduces tension. One learns to use mind and breath in a conscious way. They recognize the importance of humility and how an unpretentious inner life requires great strength in a chaotic world. The moment the chakra system begins to open, a negative buildup of tension is released from the heart and mind. One discovers how tense one is, how much resistance there is, how open or closed the heart is, and how much internal balance there is. The entire system of a human being must be reconditioned: years of behavioral development without consciousness have stymied inner growth. It takes time to undo emotional and psychological damage. One must use their will to remove resistance and make possible the conscious use of mind and breath to develop a strong inner life.

There’s a twinkle in the eye of a happy person whose chakra system is connected to spirit. An internal beauty transforms physical, emotional and mental energy into a mysterious beauty. It transcends Vogue Magazine type glamor and makes ordinary women and men attractive. Their beauty disregards charisma and personality and radiates joy, love, and compassion. One’s physical body degenerates with age, but an open heart, a twinkle in one’s eye, and radiant joy that comes directly from the heart creates youthfulness. When a person forces their egotistical or charismatic personality on others in order to gain position in life, the result is tension, anger and division, a fascistic type of situation that causes more harm than good. People who live with open hearts won’t create division amongst friends, loved ones, employees and business associates. Their non-judgmental way opens them to many possibilities that life has to offer. They live an all-inclusive life that allows for divergent interests and aren’t limited to strict and prejudicial views. I’ve said many times: “Happy people are enlightened people.” An open heart is the greatest treasure a human being can live with.

Through Rudra meditation, one discovers that hard work does not necessarily equate to intense work. In our society, we equate hard work with intensity. But intensity has lots of meanings, some superficial and others very profound. Most negativity exists on the surface and is often a manifestation of repressed thoughts and feelings. Intensity can cause unnecessary pressure that tightens chakras. One can’t make it happen. They must relax into deep openness and apply the craft of meditation. The simplicity of the exercise allows spirit to enter their system. They experience radiant light, auras, and cosmic visions. More importantly, illusion unveils itself, and they begin to see the difference between artifice and reality. Their inner life upends stagnation and mediocrity and opens vistas beyond the mind’s comprehension.

Without mastery of the craft, one could meditate for hours each day and still make no progress. People try to force the chakra system to open: a tense and exhausting procedure that doesn’t work, but slowly, incrementally, the effort pays off as one develops mind and breath, as one uses these tools to build a strong inner life. A master of the double breathing technique can achieve ten times the progress with only a fifth of the energy. It’s like Japanese Zen painters: years of study transform them into masters. One line captures the essence of their art. In Rudra meditation practice, slow, but steady growth enables one to master the craft. One can’t force their way through the door but must learn to internalize their effort and patiently remove blocks that interfere with the flow of spirit. The work of art that one creates is their own life….

(To be continued…)

Tibetan gilt ChakraSamvara bronze, 15th century