Saturday, July 08, 2006


"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards."

Vernon Sanders Law

Should we be willing to forego experiences for anything else? Certainly not. There is nothing like "been there, done that". Of course, we want to be discriminatory in going after experiences. There is no point in bragging about certain experiences which are better not experienced at all. But, for other valid experiences, go by all means.

It is funny that many of us muster all the courage and energy to go after experiences which serve no purpose than satisfying curiosity and may be temporary urge. You can name quite a few such things. Some can lead to harmful addictions and irrecoverable situations. But, when it comes to trying to go after experiences that are really worth just for their own value, we back off. Why not? Is it the fear of failure or something else that holds us back? It's hard to tell.

Moreover some amount of timing is also necessary to have right experiences at right time. We are not always ready for all experiences. If we look back for a few years of our own lives, many significant experiences happened just at the right time. You may have tried very hard to have that experience but unless the timing was right either you were unable to have it or experience was less than complete. Such timing is written on every cell of our being like a precise time bomb which goes off unfailingly and when it happens, it's the real experience.

After developing some insight into human psyche, meditation and how it affects mental balance etc., whether you look at from scientific perspective or from age old philosophical perspective, explanations make perfect sense. After some sincere involvement with any valid form of meditation, it is very likely that you would experience some sort of internal calmness which lasts for quite good time. Regular you are with the practice, you prolong the calmness. Have you observed that you hit a ceiling (or a limit) after sometime and it takes quite sometime before you move the next level. This can be easily observed by how resilient you are to day-to-day challenges. May be before taking into mediation, you got angry with little or no provocation. May be after practicing mediation for, say 3 months regularly, you probably can remain patient little longer. But, you would soon realize that you are not able to hold back say after certain amount of provocation. You would really want to be able to not get angry at all but regardless of how well and how sincerely you meditate you do not seem to make any progress. Assuming that you continue to meditate without giving up, after some time and when time is perfectly right, you break the ceiling and move to the next level. You feel a certain difference. Now,your ability to control anger certainly has increased. But, a lot more steps to go.

How's is the ceiling enforced and why? It's the same principle as pressure cooker. When the pressure builds up beyond what the whistle can take, it lets out the steam and cooker does not explode. Same with human mind and body, meditation and related spiritual disciplines release a lot of positive energy which is capable of having tremendous impact on our personality. Uncontrolled and inappropriate release of such energy is similar to incorrect weight  holding back too much steam which will cause cooker to burst. Unless our mind and body are ready to absorb tremendous energy being released from spiritual practices, body and mind have their own safety mechanism to get rid of excess energy. Unless we engage in activities that make the world better, body has a way of releasing the energy by forcing things such as depression, anxiety, frustration on us which will eat up any and every energy we may have.

Another way to explain why and how ceilings operate is by using the analogy of how water is pumped up to the summit of a very high mountain. Can you pump up the water from the very bottom of the mountain to the very top in one shot right from the bottom? Possibly yes. But, amount of energy needed to pump the water up by Hundreds of feet is very large and you can not achieve that with normal pumps. How can we achieve the same with normal pumps? There comes the common practice of building sub-stations all along the way to top of the hill,say at every 500 feet, and pumping the water from one sub station to the next using regular pumps. If we use the hypothesis of ancient yogic science, this is how the spiritual power of 'kundalini' which is at the very bottom of the spine rises up through the spine to the top most part called 'brahma randhra' (divine hole). The temporary ceilings that we experience is the time when a substation is being filled. When the substation is filled and pump is ready to pump to the next substation, we are on the next level of the spiritual journey.


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