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The Silent Mind Meditation Programme

Author’s Note

The art of Meditation is to bring the mind to a state of stillness such that thoughts no longer
interfere with pure Reality and that which lies beyond time, space and self can be realised.
The Silent Mind (SM) Meditation Programme is designed to help create this silence within by
teaching the practitioner the powerful Silent Mind Meditation system.

SM is based on the power of the individual to develop acute perception into the workings of
their own mind in order to perceive the Truth of What Is. It integrates Yoga, Pranayam
(breathing exercises) and Bandhas (subtle body locks to channel energy) to build the
environment to support the Silent Mind Meditations that are the core focus of the
programme.

It is designed as a course book where the programme spans 12 weeks. The early weeks
teach basic meditations and specific Yoga Sets to prepare the body and mind for the potent
Silent Mind Meditations that come later in the course. Thus, it is very useful to the novice as
well as the advanced practitioner. Overall, it is simply a very effective approach for
transcending the ordinary, reactive mind.

This version is quite condensed and concentrated so it might need some careful reading.
One last thing, don’t give up! The perceptual requirements of Silent Mind Meditation are a
human capability that you may not have worked to develop until now. Stick with the
practice, don’t leave this wonderful planet without having reached your full human potential
and fulfilling the highest goal of human life – Merging with Absolute Reality.

Silent Mind (SM) Meditation Programme


Mastering the Art of Meditation
Knocking on Heaven’s Door

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Chapter 1: Introduction

The ultimate goal of SM Meditation is to still the mind of thoughts. For those new to
meditation there are many reasons for doing this, the core of which is so that we can
encounter pure Reality for what it is, without any interference or corruption from the
movement and projection of thoughts. This merits some expansion and investigation, as the
depth of this understanding will serve as a strong motivating factor in helping us with our
programme.

If it was the case that the current internal state of our mind/body system lent itself to
spontaneous joy, deep compassion and profound wisdom there would be no need for any
Meditation programme, but the reality is that that is not the case. We are, at best, in some
degree of discontent. This state is the consequence of the constant inward struggle to
achieve, where the achievements themselves only produce fleeting happiness. Furthermore,
the relentless struggle both creates and emphasises an egocentric reality which absorbs our
awareness, creates the illusion of a separate existence and keeps us ignorant of the true
nature of things- which is that we are an indivisible part of a oneness that is blissful and
eternal. Seeing this Truth brings with it the realisation that we are already fulfilled and
complete and ends the cycle of struggle and misery. SM Meditation is designed to make this
happen - to free awareness from the abstract reality of endless egocentric thoughts and
merge it with the infinite reality of the whole.

No matter what you have been told or read, this is not a trivial task. The mind is subtle and
thoughts are elusive and swift. Adding to the difficulty is that the habit of thinking and
struggling runs deep and strong and will not be easily extinguished. Fortunately though, as
humans, we have the potential to master the necessary art and summon the needed energy
to enable us to still the mind and break free of this wearisome and unfruitful pattern. SM
Meditation will guide you in doing this. The programme will work to increase your energy
and help you to develop the art of acute observation, which results in freeing awareness
from the entrapments of the ordinary, self-indulgent mind.

The 12-week programme will work on your many dimensions and attributes to make this
possible. SM Meditation builds to progressively more advance stages and challenges, which
in turn require a strong foundation to work off of. Thus it is recommended that you
participate in the entire programme sequentially and systematically as designed. Even if you
are an advanced practitioner it is still advised that you go through the early stages as many

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of the concepts and practices may be new to you and not having mastered them could
hinder your progress later. You have my very best wishes in this journey of yours.

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Chapter 2: Overview

There are 2 main branches to the SM programme. One branch is focused on developing the
necessary attributes and conditions of optimal vitality required to participate in the SM
meditations. This branch will work on the 3 dimensions of your being, physical, emotional
and psychological. Purifying and balancing your systems and increasing your energy. The
second is the meditations themselves. These are the core of the practice and herein will lie
the opportunities for transcending the ordinary mind. Both branches work in parallel and
look to build progressively to more advanced stages. The Table 1 below provides an
overview of the programme and gives an overall picture as to what the strategy is…

PHASE 1 - Weeks: 1-4 Phase 2 - Weeks: 5-8 Phase 3 - Weeks: 9-12


Physical: Yoga for Meditation Physical: Yoga for Energy Physical: Yoga for Awareness
Emotional: Confidence Emotional: Passion Emotional: Sensitivity
Psychological: Honesty Psychological: Urgency Psychological: Non-attachment
Meditations: Breath, Sound, Meditations: Basic Meditations: Silent Mind
Body, Third Eye Meditations + SM Meditations Meditations

Each week consists of exercises and meditations that are targeting the following 2 goals;
refining of your energy and helping you master the power of attention in order to break free
of the conditioning of egocentric effort. Overall, there are 3 phases to the programme, with
each phase consisting of 4 weeks. In each phase particular attributes of your being
(Physical, Emotional, Psychological) are focused upon and certain meditations are practised.
The attributes targeted are the essential components for laying the foundation for a
successful practice. The meditations in turn look to build up the mind so that it can then
exploit the more powerful SM meditations, which begin from the sixth week onwards
(middle of Phase 2).

The time required is 1 hour per day, although later in the programme you may well wish to
spend more. The most important part of this practice is to do it. This is best accomplished if
a set time is put aside every day, preferably in the early morning, to complete the required
work as best as you can regardless of mood. The rest of the chapters will delve into the
particulars of the 3 phases of the programme. The 3 sections that follow, one for each

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phase, consist of 5 chapters each. The first chapter being a table detailing the daily practice
that must be done over that phase followed by 4 chapters, which explore each of the
dimensions and the meditations for that phase in depth.

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Chapter 3: Daily Yoga & Meditation Practice

You are now ready to begin the programme. It is worth reiterating the advice that of
paramount importance is to dive into the actual work that this programme prescribes and to
be consistent and regular with your daily practice. The programme itself is designed to build
your character and resolve, thus the more you do the daily work the easier it gets to
establish consistency. This also means that the first 4 weeks are very critical as they are the
time when you are most vulnerable to your weaknesses. Keeping this in mind, make a firm
resolution and start.

Table 2 is a summary of Phase 1. The details are presented in the chapters on the
respective topics that follow. In weeks 1 through 4 you will be doing the Yoga for Meditation
set. This will take 40 minutes to do, after which you will do the basic meditation for that
week for 20 minutes. It is best not to have eaten a heavy meal for at least 1-2 hours before
doing your daily practice and to wear loose comfortable clothing for both the Yoga and
meditation sessions. Also, don’t overdo the exercises, especially if you find any of them
causing you pain or excessive discomfort. Use common sense and walk the middle path, not
being lazy and at the same time not being a fanatic and risking injury. The importance of
confidence and honesty will be central themes for the emotional and psychological
dimensions respectively for this phase.

Physical (40 minutes) Emotional Psychological Basic (20 minutes)


Week 1 Yoga for Meditation Confidence Honesty Breath
Week 2 Yoga for Meditation Confidence Honesty Body
Week 3 Yoga for Meditation Confidence Honesty Sound
Week 4 Yoga for Meditation Confidence Honesty 3rd Eye

Table 2 (Summary of Phase I)

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Chapter 4: Yoga for Meditation

The goal of the physical work that you will do during weeks 1-4 is to help make the body
transparent – invisible. For many of us the body is used to being the centre of attention, the
master or better said, it is used to being the spoilt child. During your meditation sessions
you are going to hold physically still and the body is going to be mighty upset about being
treated this way. It’s not that the body minds being still, it’s that it does not want to lose its
rank as commander-in-chief and be forced to do things your way. It has been used to
getting its way, having every itch scratched and now that is no longer going to be the case.
Expect a fight!

To help in achieving this surrendering of the body it is wise to help it regain some of the
flexibility and suppleness that it inherently has. Thus, the first Yoga phase will focus on
specific stretching exercises and postures that will ease the difficulty of sitting still and help
manage the resistance that the body is going to put up. In addition, the postures and
exercises are going to help strengthen and purify the body and mind at many levels. These
benefits, along with cautions and modifications, are provided alongside each exercise
illustrated and described in [Appendix 1: Yoga for Meditation Set]. This set takes about 40
minutes to complete and should be practised daily for phase 1. The type of breathing that
accompanies each exercise is also given and these various breaths are described in the
section below (Breath Work: Basic Pranayam).

Although developing your flexibility is going to go a long way in helping you to sit still, the
body will nevertheless conjure up various minor physical disturbances to try to regain its
rank as boss. The best antidote to this is simply to ignore the disturbance while in
mediation. As you refuse firmly to submit to these demands the body will settle down and
relinquish its desire for control. So the combination of the Yoga for Meditation practice along
with the meditation work in phase 1 will help prevent the body from becoming an obstacle
on your journey towards the Mastery of Mediation.

Breath Work: Basic Pranayam

Your first action when being born into life was to take a breath and now when you are about
to begin the journey to be born into Reality, again breath is the place to start. Breathing
plays a key role in SM meditations for two specific reasons. First, it is the source of vital
energy or Prana for the entire being and second the movement of the mind and emotions is
closely tied to our breathing patterns. Thus breathing impacts the vitality of our Physical

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systems, our moods and finally intimately affects the velocity of our thoughts. Specific
breathing techniques that you will learn and practice will help in particular aspects of the SM
programme.

The science of breath manipulation is called Pranayam and for phase 1 you will be
introduced to some basic pranic exercises. When it comes to Pranayam it is best not to
overdo it. This holds especially true for exercises that require suspension of breath for any
significant period of time. During the first 4 weeks you will primarily practice 3 types of
breathing, Long Deep Breathing (LDB), Breath of Fire (BOF) and Silk Thread Breath (STB),
none of which require suspension. It is important to adhere to this caution and not jump
ahead if you are new to Pranayam. From a Yogic perspective Prana is the nuclear energy of
atoms and it is important to approach this energy with respect and caution.

Below are the 3 breaths you will be using extensively during phase 1. These are also
described in Appendix 1 in the Yoga for Meditation set.

Long Deep Breathing (LDB):

Description: Breathing is done by taking full deep breaths through the nose. The
key to LDB is to fill the lungs entirely on the inhalation and then exhale completely.
The diaphragm is kept relaxed and the stomach expands out on the inhalation and
back in on the exhalation. The chest also rises and falls during LDB.

Benefits: LDB is excellent for expanding one’s lung capacity and bringing in
maximum amount of oxygen to the system.

Cautions: If you feel dizzy, return to normal breathing, but in general LDB should
not pose much difficulty for you.

Breath of Fire (BOF):

Description: Breathing is done rapidly through the nose with equal emphasis on the
inhalation and exhalation- like very fast sniffing. Keep the abdomen relaxed and
allow it to pulse automatically with the breath. Remember that the breath is not
taken in very deep and the pace is fast, about 3 cycles per second.

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Benefits: Breath of Fire is the breath to do when you want to increase your energy
and quickly oxygenate your blood. It generates heat in the body, helps detoxify your
system and syncronises your entire system under one rhythm.

Cautions: If you feel dizzy, slow down the force and/or speed at which you are
doing the breathing. Or you can substitute Long Deep Breathing for BOF until you
feel ready to switch to BOF again.

Silk Thread Breath (STB):

Description: This breath is the one that correlates to the mind that is in meditation.
It is a very smooth, light, deep breath that, like a silk thread, is almost unnoticeable.
It is very quiet and silent and there may be a prolonged gap between the inhalation
and exhalation. Later in the SM programme you fill find that this gap corresponds
directly to the state of mind that is silencing itself of thought.

Benefits: As mentioned above, the movement of the mind is closely tied to the
breath and the deep, silent nature of this breath influences the mind to also slow
down and move inward.

Cautions: There are no significant cautions to mention except to not prolong the
gap between the inhalation and exhalation. Let it emerge naturally and don’t force
the space artificially.

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Chapter 5: Confidence

The chapters on the Emotional and Psychological characteristics essential for establishing a
successful practice are geared to developing both, your understanding and your spirit.
These attributes, unlike the physical work and meditations, are aspects that you can work
on throughout the day and not just during the time set aside for formal practice. In other
words, during each phase concentrate on developing the emotional and psychological traits
outlined for that phase. The 3 emotional traits that SM emphasizes are Confidence, Passion
and Sensitivity. Of these 3 the place to begin is Confidence.

When it comes to the pursuit of the Truth, outside entities can only guide, inspire and/or
stimulate us, the actual work is completely individual. Thus, it is of paramount importance
to have confidence in yourself, so you can walk the necessary path. You have to believe that
you will be able to find your way out of the world of abstraction and encounter what lies
beyond. Right understanding, right effort and right attitude will go a long way in building
this self-belief.

Right Understanding:

Recognize your direct, one to one relationship with the Universe. Society has interjected
itself so completely into our minds and heart that we have lost our sovereignty over our
lives. In reality there is a fundamental connection between just you and life and there is
nothing whatsoever in between. Get rid of all you have borrowed from outside sources and
try to see life with your own eyes. The impact of this understanding gives one a sense of
aloneness, not loneliness, and brings with it a sense of power and freedom essential to
sustaining your spirit. One technique for bringing forth this insight is described below. As
unusual as it may seem, one of the most effective way to bring about this revelation is
contemplating your impending death. The finality and individual nature of this event can
make one acutely aware of the direct relationship one has with life. You have been born into
this universe; that is the only license you need in order to live your life according to your
terms. Reflecting on death brings home this point. Being able to stand alone gives you
immense strength.

Right Effort:

Another important factor in contributing to your overall confidence is going to be the


physical work that you participate in. Often during SM meditation sessions we will be

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entering unknown areas of life or encountering new phenomenon. Such experiences can be
a little unnerving mentally as well as physically. In either case, the more physically capable
we feel of handling whatever life may throw at us, the more we will be willing to explore,
experiment and go further. The physical work will also improve our level of energy and
vitality, both of which will give us more confidence.

Right Attitudes:

Having a good sense of humor and a happy frame of mind is also going to play an important
role in keeping your confidence up. One thing to make clear on the onset, is that although
the rewards of SM are profound, they are not easily attained. In particular SM meditations
are hard work and there are no guarantees, and because we want quick rewards and are
greedy for results, we are often disappointed and can get easily discouraged. So it helps to
be a happy person, one with a playful nature and a sense of humor, who can withstand the
difficulties encountered on this journey without losing their spirit. The importance of having
a sense of humor cannot be overstated, as you will soon realize that it is better to laugh at
the antics of your mind than to take it to task or become demoralized.

One final attitude worth cultivating which will be helpful in preventing you from getting
down on yourself is to realize that results are not in your hands, the effort you put in is.
This will become deeply clear as we journey into the SM meditations and start to realize the
limitations of will. So remind yourself, if you start to get frustrated or feel incapable, that it
is an emphasis on achievements that is lending itself to this frustration and that rewards are
not under your control. One final note with regard to confidence, is that not only do you
need self-confidence you will also need to have confidence in the Universe. Finally, to let go
and jump out the ordinary egocentric mind, will require faith that the Universe is there to
catch you. So have courage that the powers that made you will not let you down when you
need them most.

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Chapter 6: Honesty

In the previous chapter regarding confidence we have also asked you to develop and
demonstrate courage. This courage is needed to face yourself as you really, currently are.
SM meditation is a journey back to your natural self but to get there you have to pass
through all the false personas that you have embellished. To do this demands absolute and
complete sincerity and such sincerity demands courage, as you may not like what you start
to uncover as you press on. There are 3 primary benefits of complete honesty. These are as
follows…

1. Honesty is going to play a pivotal role in helping you establish your practice by making
you face the weaknesses that inevitably end up disrupting your progress. The admittance of
these weaknesses is essential if you are going to overcome them. Deep honesty will not
allow you to make false excuses for not doing the needed work and this same honesty will
give you the opportunity to challenge the weaknesses and overcome them.

2. Honesty is going to free up all the energy that is wasted in trying to keep up false faces.
All the endless, inward dialogue that takes place in trying to keep up an image. What you
are going to say, how you are going to behave, how you are going to be looked upon, etc,
etc, is no longer needed as you are simply going to say what is true, and be who you are. In
other words, you will not waste time and effort in determining what is the image you wish
to portray and what it is that others think of it. Instead, just be yourself. Be sincere and
true and let the energy instead be used to keep an eye on your mind to ensure that you do
not revert back to your old tricks of being false and pretentious.

3. The requirement of honesty is paramount when you start participating in the SM


meditations. The mind, you will learn, in very cunning and elusive. It will easily deceive you
and in order to catch it in the act you will have to be brutally honest and sharp.

The need for honesty and sincerity cannot be over-emphasized. In the early stages it is
recommended, to break the habit of unconscious lying and self-deception, even white lies
and diplomacy ought to be abandoned and complete forthrightness be embraced.

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Chapter 7: Basic Meditations

Meditation is the core of the Silent Mind programme. In this chapter you will learn the 4
basic meditations that will work as the launching pad for the advanced SM meditations to
come later. The 4 basic meditations are Breath, Sound, Body and Third Eye. Although you
will practise each one during the first 4 weeks, you need just one to work as the base
meditation for you going forward. Therefore, an important objective of Phase 1, from the
standpoint of meditation, is to determine which one suits you best. In addition, the basic
meditations are going to help you accomplish the following goals which are vital to your
practice…

1. Mastery over your body and the ability to sit still.

2. Power to focus your mind and keep it exactly where you would like it to be.
Building your concentration.

3. Slowing down the thought process, quieting the mind and helping turn your
awareness inward.

4. Cleansing the subconscious of unhealthy, suppressed emotional debris.

5. Refining awareness.

For all the meditations that you will do, one the following 3 postures is suitable. It is
preferable if you can sit in Sukh asan (cross-legged), if this is not possible then you can sit
on a chair and finally if that too is not possible you should use Shav asan (Corpse Pose) for
the meditations. Remember, with SM meditations it is far more important what position
your mind is in, rather than the position of your body, so don’t be discouraged if for any
physical reasons you need to use the chair or lie on your back or don’t have a perfect sitting
posture. The three postures are described below, followed by the basic meditations.

Sukh Asan:

Description: You sit forming a 3-point base on the floor with your butt and both
knees. Your legs can be in any one of the following 3 configurations while sitting on
the floor. First, simply with your legs crossed, which is the easiest but difficult to hold
for long periods. Second, lower legs resting on the floor parallel to each other in
Burmese Sitting style which is a very balanced and steady posture. You can use a

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cushion in either of these two postures to raise your hips and take pressure off your
knees. Third, in Full Lotus posture, where the foot of each leg rests on the upper
thigh or calf of the opposite leg. Full Lotus is the steadiest but requires considerable
flexibility to get into, so be very cautious if you plan on trying this posture. Your
spine should be erect and stretched upwards towards the sky, this will cause a slight
inward curve in your lower back. Your head is pulled back slightly so the chin is ever
so subtly drawn in and back such that the back of the neck is aligned with the spine
(like a soldier in attention). The eyes are closed and the hands are held in the
Cosmic Mudra and rest gently on your lap. The Cosmic Mudra is held with your hands
forming a cup with your dominant hand below your secondary hand. Just the fingers
of the hands are overlapping and the thumb tips of both hands are meeting such that
the space between the thumbs and index fingers forms an oval.

Benefits: Sukh asan gives you a very steady base and is ideal for sitting still over
long periods of time. Taking this posture makes the mind alert, calm and ready to
turn inwards. Keeping the spine elongated and straight helps in the delivery of prana
(oxygen) to the brain and prevents the diaphragm from being crushed. This free
movement of the diaphragm is essential for allowing the breath of become smooth
and deep, thus relaxing and quieting the entire organism.

Cautions: In the beginning you will find it difficult to hold this posture for prolonged
periods of time. Your back may hurt and so might your knees or other joints. This is
not reason enough to use the modified postures below. If you can manage it, Sukh
asan is ideal for conducting the SM meditations so persist. The Yoga for Mediation
set will prove to be very handy in improving your flexibility and helping you
overcome these difficulties so make sure you do that regularly as indicated. The
reasons to switch to the modified postures are if you feel you are about to hurt
yourself, especially your knees, or if you have a pre-existing physical condition, like a
bad back, etc. If you do have to use one of the other postures don’t be discouraged.
They have all been used successfully before, and remember the real work to be done
has to do with the mind and not the body.

Using a Chair:

Description: Use a chair that allows you to sit comfortably. Sit with your back
straight and erect, but do not use the chair back for support if possible. Using the

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chair back for support will actually prove to be more difficult over a longer period of
time than sitting without it. Head is pulled back slightly so the chin is ever so subtly
drawn back and in – such that back of the neck is aligned with the spine. The eyes
are closed and the hands are held in the cosmic mudra [See Sukh asan above]. The
feet are kept flat on the ground and are about shoulder width apart. It is best if the
height of the chair lends itself to your knee joints making a 90-degree angle.

Benefits: Very much like Sukh asan. Sitting this way makes you alert, provides
essential nourishment to the brain and helps relax the breath.

Cautions: Because the base is not as wide and solid as Sukh Asan, there is a
greater chance of putting strain on the back and thus having it become sore during
prolonged sitting. For this reason it is important to develop the strength and
flexibility of your back. Also, it is fine to use a flattish cushion to sit on to prevent
your butt from getting sore.

Shav Asan:

Description: Shav asan or corpse pose is exactly that, being a corpse. You lie flat
on your back and have your arms straight out to the side with the palms facing
slightly up. Again, the eyes are closed and breathing is relaxed. If your lower back
feels strained you can use a cushion under your knees to relieve the pressure.

Benefits: Shav asan provides total support to the entire body and is a posture that
minimizes strain on the muscles. From an meditation point of view, if you are unable
to take either of the other 2 postures, then Shav asan is the next best. Shav asan is
one posture that most anyone should be able to do.

Cautions: Don’t fall asleep. This is the number one problem when using this
posture. Since most practitioners do their SM sessions in the early morning sleep is
already a challenge. Shav asan, due to being so comfortable, adds to this difficulty.
Besides this there are not too many dangers with using Shav asan.

The 4 Basic Meditations: Each week one basic meditation is to be done, for 20 minutes
per session as indicated in the Phase 1 Daily Yoga and Meditation Practice [Chapter 3: Table
2].

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Cautions: These two cautions apply to all the meditations described below. First, all these
meditations serve to settle down the conscious mind that is constantly busy and this silence
allows what is lurking below the surface to rise up and come into your awareness. Often this
can be suppressed emotions; including anger, hurt, loneliness, fears, etc and having to face
them can be a challenging task. Keep in mind that leaving them unresolved and lurking in
the sub-conscious can lead to them being expressed in many malignant ways, such as
diseases and emotional problems, so as they rise to the surface simple watch them run their
course and release them from your system. This cleansing is an integral part of the journey
back to the your Natural Self. Second, as your meditation deepens, you will notice that your
breathing has changed to STB (Silk Thread Breath) and often you will feel that your
breathing might be suspended all together. Don’t be alarmed if this suspension happens. It
is expected. As the mind quiets down the breathing follows suit and visa-versa. Just
continue your meditation and take a breath as required.

Breath Meditation (Week 1): For the first week, the meditation you will be practicing is
Breath Meditation. It is perhaps the most widely used basic meditation and is the technique
perfected by the Buddha. It the backbone of Zen Meditation (Zazen). It is the preferred
base meditation for many practitioners.

Description: Sit or lie in the posture you have chosen. Be completely still and bring your
attention to your breathing. Without interfering with the breath just be as physically aware
as possible of the inhalation, the exhalation and the gap in between. Attend carefully to the
temperature, movement, depth, sensation, etc. To help keep your concentration on your
breathing, count mentally your breaths. Count an inhalation as one, exhalation as two and
so on till you reach 10. Then return to 1 and start over. If at any time you lose your
awareness of the breath and wander into some mental storyline before getting to 10, just
return to 1 and start again. Once you reach the stage where you can count to 10 repeatedly
without losing awareness of your breath, switch the counting such that each inhalation and
exhalation cycle is 1 and continue onto 10 as before. Once this is accomplished, you can
drop the counting all together, and simply be aware of the breathing.

Body Meditation (Week 2): A closely related meditation to Breath Mediation is Body
Meditation. It is often combined with breath meditation and if you prefer, can be used in
that way as part of the SM programme as well. In the description below the combined usage
is also explained.
Description: Sit or lie in the posture you have chosen and be completely still. Close your

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eyes and start to become intimately aware of any feelings or sensations you feel in the
physical body. Try not to label or mentally describe the feeling, instead just let the feeling
express itself and tell its story to you. Allow it to run its course without judgment,
suppression or indulgence. As in Breath Mediation, pay close attention to the absolute
physical nature of the feelings and sensations. Attend carefully to the heat, pain,
discomfort, strain, etc. If you find yourself at rest without a feeling or sensation to be aware
of, you can choose to be aware of this restful state or, if you prefer, you can switch to
Breath Meditation until a new feeling or sensation arises. When it does arise bring all your
attention to it and repeat the process of allowing it to journey or exist in you without any
judgment or interference.

Sound Meditation (Week 3): This meditation takes advantage of ambient sounds in the
environment and is an effective way of turning awareness inward.

Description: Sit or lie in the posture you have chosen and be completely still. Close your
eyes and start to become aware of ambient sounds as far away from you as possible. Spend
a few minutes attending to these sounds and then move your attention to sounds closer and
closer to you. As per the earlier meditations, try to refrain from getting mentally involved
with the sound and instead just try to attend to its physical nature. Listen carefully to its
pitch, tone, amplitude, duration, etc. If the sound is constant, just listen to it carefully, if it
is transient, hear it rise and then dissolve. Continue to slowly move your attention to sounds
closer and closer to you. Finally, bring your attention all the way to the sound of your breath
or to some other sound very close to you.

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Chapter 8
Phase 2:
Daily Yoga & Meditation Practice

You have now begun to build a foundation. Phase 1 should have started to get your body
accustomed to sitting (or being still in another posture) and begun to give you some level of
awareness into the workings of your mind. From phase 1 you should now select the basic
meditation that you find most suited you. It does not matter which one you use; they are
all effective. It is also important to listen to your intuition at this stage, if for any reason
you feel that you are not quite ready to progress to the next phase and are still establishing
your daily routine, there is no harm in continuing the phase 1 daily practice for more time
before jumping ahead. Each individual is going to take their own unique path so it’s
important to listen carefully to your inner voice and start to become your own teacher and
guide.

In phase 2 you will start to incorporate the SM specific core meditations into your daily
sessions and you will be practicing the Yoga for Energy set. Since silent and still meditation
may still be new to you, the time requirement for the meditation portion is not excessive.
You will be sitting in meditation for a total of 30 minutes instead of the 20 minutes from
Phase 1. For the first 2 weeks you will be doing your chosen basic meditation for the entire
30 minutes and then for the final 2 weeks you will do 10 minutes of the basic meditation
followed by 20 minutes of a core Silent Mind meditation. It is important to note that this
duration may not be sufficient for SM meditations but it will help get you ready by
introducing you to the process and requirements of SM meditations. The Yoga for Energy
set is designed to build up your systems so that when you enter Phase 3 your energy will be
vitalized. The following table [Table 3] details the Phase 2 practice. The absolute need for
passion and urgency will also be the focus of this phase for the emotional and psychological
dimensions respectively. More about that in the following chapters.

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Physical Meditation
(30 mins) Emotional Psychological (30 mins)
Week 5 Yoga for Energy Passion Urgency Your Basic Meditation
Week 6 “ “ “ Your Basic Meditation
Week 7 “ “ “ Fact of Struggle
Week 8 “ “ “ Pursuit of the Ideal

Table 3

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Chapter 9: Yoga for Energy (Kundalini)

As you begin to participate in the Silent Mind meditations of Phase 2 it is going to become
self-evident the need for tremendous energy. This energy is going to be absolutely
necessary in order to watch and instantly comprehend the actuality of the subtle mind in
motion. The yoga work that you will do during this phase is designed precisely to help
increase and harness this vital energy. As mentioned earlier, remember to pace yourself
and not overdo it, use common sense and work around your injuries. Try not to eat at least
1 to 2 hours before doing your daily session and wear loose comfortable clothing. The Yoga
for Energy set takes 30 minutes to complete and is described in Appendix 2: Yoga for
Energy Set. This set is to be done daily for the next 4 weeks prior to your 30 minute
meditation practice. The following Pranayam is used in the Yoga for Energy set [Appendix
2].

Breath Work: Left Nostril Breathing

The following Pranayam, uses the science of breathing through selective nostrils. It is
designed to increase your creative and meditative energies and should be practiced for 5
minutes at the start of the Yoga for Energy set.

Description: Sit in Sukh Asan or lie in Shav Asan. Curl your index and middle fingers of
your right hand down into your palm and point your pinkie, ring finger and thumb
upwards. Your thumb will be used to block your right nostril while your ring finger and
pinkie will be used to block your left nostril. You will breathe in from your left nostril in 4
parts and exhale in 1 part through your right. So it will take you 4 sniffs to inhale
completely through the left nostril and only 1 breath to exhale all the air out through the
right nostril. It is important to fill your lungs to full capacity by the fourth inhalation and
empty them completely during exhalation. You will continue for 5 minutes.

Benefits: Breathing through the left nostril activates the right hemisphere of the brain,
which is responsible for your artistic, creative and intuitive qualities. It is a breath pattern
to calm your mind and prepare for meditation. Breaking up the inhalation portion of the
breath into 4 parts allows you to utilize your full lung capacity. It helps deepen your
breathing, bringing in more oxygen and expanding your respiratory system.

Cautions: If you start to feel dizzy switch to LDB or normal breathing and return to the
given pranayam when you feel ready.

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Chapter 10: Passion

The rewards of SM meditation are compassion, joy and wisdom; and just like any other
priceless treasures that life has to offer they too cannot be attained overnight. For this
reason you will have to have tremendous tenacity and it is only abiding passion for the
Truth that is going to give birth to the necessary resolve to travel this road. If you feel a
calling for the spiritual, for the Truth, for the sublime, then you can consider yourself very
lucky. It is important to be true to this calling and cultivate this interest.

Although the SM meditation programme is designed for twelve weeks, the art of observation
is a life-long practice. This art will open the doors to what lies beyond the ordinary mind and
although the practice is not complicated, it is hard work that needs patience and intensity.
Due to this requirement of persistence and no guarantee of quick results, it is often the case
that one begins the work with great zeal and energy, but soon abandons the practice and
returns to the endless distractions of mediocre living when no early rewards are received.

During phase 2, focus on deepening and understanding your passion. The following
suggestions help keep the fire of passion going.

1. As mentioned earlier, inspiration can come from outside, so it is helpful to surround


yourself with sources of inspiration. These can be anything from books, music, pictures of
saints, etc. The inspiration does not have to be specifically related to meditation, it can be
anything that motivates you to do your best and urges you to achieve your highest
potential.

2. A life-style activity that can prove to be very effective in helping you maintain a strong
practice is to find a group of like-minded people to meditate with. Such a group will help
combat the bane of moods, which are often the culprit in disrupting the consistency of a
practice. Having a group or partner means you will have to do the session even if you are
not feeling up to it. Furthermore, being in the company of those also interested in the Truth,
will help test and deepen your understanding via discussions and dialogue.

3. A proven source of inspiration from time in memorial is the beauty of nature. So try to
integrate into your life time spent with nature. You will find that the more connected you are
to the earth the more connected you are to the source of all things.

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4. The one benefit of enlightenment experiences are that they are incredibly inspiring. So if
you are lucky enough to have them come your way, use them to boost your level of
commitment.

5. Try to be careful about the commitments you make in life. The earlier you realize this the
better chance you will have of preventing life from overwhelming you. So before you get
yourself into severe financial debt or over commit to other aspects of life think about the
impact it will have on your practice. Time and leisure are needed to participate in this
journey, so try not to over fill your life with the mundane.

6. Finally, you just have to keep going. Like the Buddha said, “There are only 2 mistakes
you can make in life. The first is not to take the first step and the second is having taken
the first step to not go all the way”. Keep doing your best, nothing else matters. Don’t
concern yourself with achievements, gains, progress, etc – just keep plugging away.
Ultimately, you need to move fluidly with the present that’s all. The moment is already
there for you, it’s just that you are not there for it. So, there is nowhere to go, nothing to
achieve, it’s just about seeing and being with the Reality that you are already an integral
part of. Give your life to it and see what happens.

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Chapter 11: Urgency

Abiding passion is going to give your practice the longevity it needs, while urgency is going
to give it the intensity it requires to meet the challenge of the thinking mind. Urgency will
serve two main purposes.

1. Having urgency means you realize the value of every single day and the tragedy of
wasting it. Life is very precious and the opportunity to penetrate the veil of ignorance is
without comparison. Living a compromised life, in which one is satiated by the fleeting
pleasures of the ego, is not to have lived at all. Every day has got to be lived with full vigor
and vitality, with the sum total of your energies applied. As the famous Zen saying points
out, “Let me respectfully remind you, life and death are of supreme importance. Life quickly
passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken. Do not
squander your life.” Enough said.

2. When participating in Silent Mind core meditations you have to be burning with urgency,
for it is this demand that is going to give you the energy needed to inspect the subtle and
swift thinking process. You will also notice that this intensity is also going to spontaneously
slow down the thinking process making it available for inspection. If this intensity is
missing, it is likely that moment to moment awareness of the state of your mind is also
missing. Thoughts are very seductive and you will be fighting hard to stay clear of being
caught up in their offerings, and for this separation to be introduced, urgency will be
required.

To realise the urgency, contemplate your inevitable death. Of all the techniques to give you
a sense of urgency, this is number 1. You only have so much time on this lovely planet so
spend it wisely. Your situation as described by J. Krishnamurti is that “Your house is on
fire!” The sense of urgency you would have if that was the case, is the urgency you need to
have in your practice. It is not time to dilly dally, pontificate, argue theories, it is time to get
out of the burning house. Get out NOW!

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Chapter 12: The SM Meditations

As outlined in Chapter 8 (Phase 2: Daily Yoga and Meditation Practice) for the first 2 weeks
you will do the basic meditation that you have chosen for 30 minutes. Once you begin
the third week of Phase 2 it is time to start your SM meditations. SM meditations are done
in the same posture as you have chosen for your basic meditations. For weeks 3 and 4 of
phase 2 you should do your basic mediation for the first 10 minutes of the meditation
session and then for the final 20 minutes you should practice the SM meditation designated
for that week. No break should be taken between the basic meditation and the SM
meditation. The basic meditation will serve to settle the mind down making it easier to
observe. The SM meditation will take you the rest of the way. It is now time to explore
exactly what SM meditation is and how to do it.

From the program you have participated in so far you must have started to gather some
ideas about the nature and purpose of SM meditations. SM meditations use the power of
acute awareness and intelligence generated by a vitalized, intense system to directly
perceive the mind and by virtue of this perception bring the thinking process to halt itself.
This will be clearer as we break down and investigate the process behind SM. Following are
the 7 steps of SM practice.

1. You have a single, absolute fact.


2. You personalize the fact.
3. You form a single intent to perceive this fact.
4. You apply all your energy and passion in pursuit of this intent.
5. You crystallize.
6. You negate the fact.
7. You let go.

Let us now explore each of these aspects in detail.

1. You have a single absolute fact.

SM meditation is based on generating the required energy and channeling it into swift
attention and instant comprehension so that the fact of what is going on within starts to be
directly perceived. One of the more interesting aspects of the condition we are in is that it
can be stated in many irrefutable ways. In the first step of the process you choose one
particular way of factually describing your internal condition. This description is the single

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absolute fact. This fact is what you will be pursuing to realize, not intellectually, but
actually during an SM session. The fact must have the following constitution…

1. It must be an absolute constant truth in the sphere of our minds and its relationship to
Reality.
2. The more appealing it is to you the better it will work.
3. It must be intellectually understood.

As stated above the fact is a truth related to the workings of your mind and thinking
processes as it currently is. In other words, it is not an impersonal fact, like the mass of the
moon or the elemental makeup of water. It is a fact that describes the constant internal
state of your mind, such as, “Desire is the phenomenon that drives you to struggle.” In
other words, the fact is in action, available for your viewing, from moment to moment. It is
a remarkable thing when you start to see how repetitive and simplistic your mind really is at
a fundamental level where these facts are constantly in operation.

The second aspect of the fact is much more subjective. Essentially, you want to use
whatever description touches a nerve and carries a punch. A description that is inspiring
and has an affect on you will be more effective. The deeper and greater the affect the
better. As you try the various SM meditations, each based on a particular description of the
condition of your mind, you will start to get a better feel for this aspect. Some meditations
will be simply easier for you to grasp and work with at particular times.

The third aspect is that we must understand the fact fully at the intellectual level. This
understanding will be of great help to you when you are trying to apply yourself to see the
actuality of the fact in action. This understanding can be ascertained and enhanced through
study, discussion and self-dialogue. The SM meditations provided later in the program are
explained clearly and fully to give you this understanding.

2. You personalize the fact.

The second step of SM is to personalize the fact. So, for the above fact, “Desire is the
phenomenon that drives you to struggle,” you would form the quest; “Let me see desire
driving me to struggle.” This will then become the reality that you will seek to actualize.

3. You form one single intent to perceive this fact.

The third step of SM practice is to have a single passionate intent, which is to see this fact
in action. You must have absolutely no other intention in mind except this one. Your mind

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forms just one desire, one wave, which is to perceive this fact. Be firm in this resolve for
the mind is going to throw up many tantalizing subjects and you must repeatedly return to
the pursuit of your intent. One of the main goals of the basic meditations was to help you
develop this ability to focus and stay on the topic of your choosing and in this case the topic
has to be the single minded purpose of seeing yourself subjected to the fact.

4. You apply all your energy and passion in pursuit of this intent.

This is where the work really begins. So far you have selected the fact, personalized it and
set your single-minded intent. This is the step where you are going to apply yourself with
as much passion and energy you can muster to see the fact in action. What is most
important here is that we are not talking about understanding the fact intellectually, what
we are saying is that you must encounter and realize the fact through direct
perception. This is the key to SM and everything hinges on it so let us explore it greater
detail.

Normally we understand things intellectually using our logical and analytical mind, but now
we are going to comprehend via direct perception. We are going to constantly, moment to
moment, watch our thinking process and see clearly the actual fact in operation. In other
words, instead of simply understanding conceptually that “Desires drive you to struggle”,
the very process of “Desire driving you to struggle”, is going to be completely grasped and
instantly comprehended as it occurs from moment to moment. The beast of desire can be
and is going to be encountered. The verbal and intellectual understanding will occur in
parallel to the realization of the actual phenomenon, instead of just existing as a mental
construct. At first, since you may not have applied yourself in this way, you may continue
to remain at the intellectual level, but, as you persist keenly and arduously applying the full
capacity of your energies, the thinking process will spontaneously start to slow down and
you will begin the catch glimpses of the fact. Once this begins you must remain deadly
focused and push forward so that the next step of the process can occur.

5. You Crystallize.

Crystallization brings with it a great joy. It is the witnessing of the fact in action from
moment to moment without missing a beat. Your energies are now fully integrated and the
fact along with its entire story is being understood effortlessly. The power of swift attention
and acute intelligence are now at work and all movements of the mind are being
comprehended. During this stage the mind is an open book. Not only is the fact clearly

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visible but so is the truth behind any other thought that occurs as well. This is insight now
flowing.

6. You negate the fact.

This step is very closely linked to crystallization and there is usually some back and forth
between these two stages in a SM session. The negation of the fact arises naturally
because it becomes clear from seeing the mind in action that its current state breeds
suffering. The facts that underlie the movement of the mind all bind us to time and ego,
and all have their roots in the desire/fear combination. They perpetuate in us a sense of
incompleteness and dissatisfaction and keep us bound to the fruitless pursuit of self-
security. Seeing the fact in action clearly brings this entire picture to light and leads to the
natural, sane and spontaneous negation of this pattern. In other words you clearly see the
state “desire driving you to struggle”, and all that it entails (greed, suffering, hope, fear,
pettiness etc) and you just reject it. As it occurs again, for if the mind moves the fact is in
operation again, you see it again and reject it. This leads to the last stage.

7. You let go.

As you dive into SM meditation the subtle truth that will become ever so painfully clear is
that you are the source of your suffering. The mind upon inspecting itself will realize that it
is the creator of the very activity that is causing all the grief. For example, when one,
seeing greed being the source of all the struggling tries to end it, one is just perpetuating
greed by hoping to attain a state free of greed. When one sees oneself struggling
constantly and decides to try to stop that, one has in fact undertaken a new
struggle. Startlingly, this perpetuation of the current state is all that the mind is capable of
doing and SM meditation brings the mind to this realization. This then means that the mind
will have to stop its mischief and that requires for it to cease, for you to let go of it. When
you arrive here you will know what to do, and it will just be a matter of courage at this
point. Have faith, be brave and Jump.

SM Meditation I: Fact of Struggle

The first SM meditation that we will introduce is one of the most powerful and potent. It is
the following fact, “One is constantly struggling.” This is the way our mind is at all times-
engaged in a struggle. Thus the fact meets the first criteria of being in constant operation
in the sphere of self-consciousness. Although the impact of this knowledge on you is
unknown (second criteria), in general this fact is quite poignant and usually has a strong

27 | Silent Mind Meditation


impact. Finally, the third criteria requires that you understand the fact intellectually so lets
explore it in some detail.

By struggle we are referring to any internal effort that you are placing yourself under. It is
meant in the broadest definition of the word and includes any attempt your mind is making
to achieve. As you turn your attention to your thinking process you will see that you are
constantly setting a goal for yourself and are busy trying to achieve that goal. The question
that arises is – Can we ever free ourselves from this pattern of eternal striving? Of course,
one must see clearly that trying to free oneself is just another struggle. So negation of the
fact is not to try and chase its opposite. To pursue a state of “non-struggle” is still a
continuation of struggle. So what is meant by negation instead is to just drop it, finish it,
reject it immediately. To summarize then, you have your intention set to see your mind in
constant struggle and upon seeing this clearly drop it every time it is noticed. The mind
must realize that anything at all it tries to do is just useless – only creating more
struggle. Remember the key to SM is that the concept is not the actual. What you need to
do is to see the actual, the fact, and not just its interpretation by the mind. The very seeing
of struggle is the ending of struggle.

SM Meditation II: Pursuit of the Ideal

The keen mind will start to see that any one piece describes the whole puzzle and that if
you can understand one piece completely you will understand the whole puzzle and
consequentially all the pieces. The second SM meditation is just another way of describing
the current constant state of the mind; it is the fact that “One is always in pursuit of the
ideal”. Another way to putting this, which lends itself to be easily seen during meditation is,
“One is always subject to ‘shoulds’”. “I should be watching my mind,” “I should not be
greedy,” etc. and, as always, to say that you should not be under the control of shoulds is
just another “should”.

The ideal is the authority that prevents you from ever just being in the present – as you
are. It creates the gap, the conflict, between what is and what should be and then trying to
bridge this gap becomes the rest of your life. It results in the endless effort of your mind to
arrive somewhere, to become something. This authority arises from two sources. One is
the authority of an outside entity which then dictates what one ought to aspire to – how one
ought to live one’s life. Two, there is the authority granted to conclusions drawn from past
experiences. Authority decrees, do this, do that, be like this, be like that, implying that as
things are, as you are, is unacceptable. The problem is that in trying to change, to become

28 | Silent Mind Meditation


the ideal you don’t change at all. In other words, in trying not be greedy you remain
greedy and in trying not be selfish you are obsessed with yourself, in trying not to be violent
you are in conflict. The ideals are just fictitious. There is no such thing as non-greed,
unselfishness, non-violent etc. There is just the perpetuation of greed, conflict etc. SM
meditation demands that you see that any attempt to change is to pursue the direction
established by another “should”, and so has to be dropped. The only truth is the way things
are, exactly at this very moment. Whether it is the conclusions of past experiences or the
voices of others that are telling you how things should be, your job is to see the painful
condition of always chasing the ideal and reject it.

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Chapter 13: Daily Yoga & Mediation Practice for Phase 3

You are now into the final four weeks (Phase 3) of the Silent Mind Meditation program. By
now, your body should have become accustomed to being kept still and you should have
started to see an increase in your level of energy and powers of concentration. In addition
you should have started to challenge the ordinary, dualistic, mental reality with the SM
meditations of phase 2. The program, for the last 2 months, has been building your
confidence, along with, hopefully, awakening in you a relentless demand for the Truth. In
phase 3 you will start to focus more on the SM mediations. Here four more powerful SM
meditations will be introduced, each to be practiced for 1 week after doing the Yoga for
Awareness set. The qualities that will be discussed and which you will work to enhance are
sensitivity and non-attachment. The importance of these 2 qualities cannot be
overstated. The table below [Table 4] summarises the work to be done in this phase. Keep
it up.

Physical (20 mins) Emotional Psychological Meditation (40 mins)


Week 1 Yoga for Awareness Sensitivity Non-attachment Concept
Week 2 “ “ “ Time
Week 3 “ “ “ Hope
Week 4 “ “ “ Asleep
Table 4

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Chapter 14: Yoga for Awareness

Having developed your body to be more supple and energetic it is now time to exploit the

ancient science of Raja Yoga to raise your level of awareness using it. Awareness is the

light that is going to illuminate the inner walls and reveal the false in the false. It is the key

to the success of the Silent Mind meditations. The set you will do in phase 3 is the Yoga for

Awareness set described in Appendix 3 (Yoga for Awareness Set). This Raja Yoga set is

based on the Chakra and Kundalini system of the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali and works

directly on the energy centers of the subtle body. It uses body locks (bandhas) and breath

control (pranayam) to work its magic. All the guidelines from the previous Yoga sets apply

to this set as well. This set takes about 15 minutes to complete and should be done after

the advanced Pranayam described in the breath work section below. Thus, the total time

spent on the Pranayam and Yoga set will be 20 minutes and this will be followed by 40

minutes of meditation.

Breath Work: Advanced Pranayam

The following Pranayam set utilises retention of breath and as pointed out earlier any such
forced retention must be approached cautiously. The following exercise should be done for
5 minutes prior to doing the Yoga for Awareness set.

 Description: The exercise is quite simple, but very potent. Sit (preferably) or lie in
the position you have chosen, then keeping relaxed inhale while counting up to 4
slowly, hold your breath for a count of 16 and exhale to the count of 8. The count is
slow and steady, about 1 second per count, done mentally of course.

 Benefits: This pranayam helps dissolve blockages in the subtle body systems,
increase the strength of your nervous system and raise your energy to higher
vibrational frequencies. This refined energy then works to activate and balance your
higher energetic centers which are responsible for awareness, insight and
connectivity to the beyond.

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 Cautions: If you at all feel uncomfortable holding your breath for the count of 16
cut all the counts to half. Inhale to the count of 2, hold for a count of 8 and exhale
to a count of 4. If this too feels uncomfortable, practise STB (Silk Thread
Breathing described in Chapter 4: Yoga for Meditation ) instead for 5 minutes. Do
not practise this pranayam if you have high blood pressure, instead do STB.

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Chapter 15: Sensitivity

If the entire Silent Mind programme had to be described in one word, the word that would
apply would be sensitivity. Sensitivity of the senses, sensitivity to the movement of the
mind and emotions, and sensitivity to others. Sensitivity to the present. Devoid of
sensitivity life is nothing more than a series of mechanical reactions to input that is barely
encountered. There is no meeting of any depth between life and the being. Life is
superficially touched and a superficial reaction is generated. Sensitivity demands that life be
beheld. It be met fully and allowed to penetrate such that the response arises not just from
the mechanical mind but instead from the totality of one’s being. This requires not meeting
the present with the baggage of the past, but being alive to every moment and giving it its
due respect and attention.

Being excessively cerebral has made us a prisoner of our mental realities exclusively and we
have lost our heart. We no longer feel the world around us and no longer feel the wonder
and beauty of life. We are out of touch with nature. We are unaffected by the changing
seasons, the endless skies and the starlit nights. We are pre-occupied with the moronic
chattering of our internal dialogue and have become dull and robotic. The antidote to this is
to become aware that this indeed is your present state. That awareness is in itself
intelligence and will bring about the needed transformation. That awareness is sensitivity.

The inspection of the mind and its processes inevitably brings one to the realization that
one’s mind is actually the mind shared by all us humans. Fundamentally, the inspection of
your mind is the same as inspecting anyone else’s mind. The minds are functioning basically
in the same way, both are only capable of moving within the known and perpetuating
desire. What does that mean? It means that we are all dealing with the same challenges. All
our problems are human problems and the distinctions that are drawn between man and
man are in fact superficial. The problems are that of suffering, fear, hope, desire, loneliness,
frustration, greed, jealousy, etc. The impact of this realization is compassion. The impact of
this realization is thoughtfulness and sensitivity. For the next four weeks try to watch and
be aware of your behavior and the behavior or others. Try to develop moment to moment
sensitivity of your physical, emotional and mental dimensions. No one can do this for you,
its up to you to awaken yourself from your deep sleep and sensitivity is the key.

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Chapter 16: Non-attachment

With attachments lie the root of our imprisonment and problems. It is not just attachment
to material objects and people that leads to suffering, it is the attachment to name, image,
reputation, beliefs, ideas, etc. that further complicate the situation. As you engage in Silent
Mind meditations what you will observe is that thoughts are very sticky. They easily capture
your attention and draw you into their world. This stickiness of thoughts is because of our
attachments. It is this component of a thought that makes it seductive. Without this
component thoughts would be like clouds in the sky, easily separated from and easily
witnessed from afar. The goal of SM is to dissolve these attachments and free oneself from
being sucked into the web of thinking. There are several attitudes that greatly help in
diminishing the strength of attachments and in this chapter we are going to discuss a few of
them. For the next four weeks, experiment with them and see which ones work best for
you. Keep in mind that these are just tools to help us weaken attachments, don’t get caught
up in their theoretical validity.

From the great Tantric schools comes the decree, “Whatever comes let it come, whatever
goes let it go”. This is essence of the “Law of Karma”. It is suggesting that whatsoever is
happening is due to karmic debts which have accumulated over lifetimes. These debts are
determined by our past actions. In some situations we are owed and we are getting what
we are due, while in others we owe and are paying it off. In either case, the advice is not to
take anything personally and just let life play itself out. Stay detached from all the comings
and goings of your life and remain calm and undisturbed as it unfolds before you – passively
watching.

Closely related to the above view is the concept of “The Neutral Mind”, arising from the
related schools of Yoga. The Neutral Mind is also called the Yogic Mind and suggests against
being caught up in the polarities of pleasure and pain, success and failure etc. It is this
partiality that lends itself to attachments. Our constant desire for pleasure and fear of pain
builds in us thoughts soaked in emotion, which is another subtle way of describing
attachments. As above, the Neutral Mind, encourages the aspirant to maintain equanimity
and composure when faced with the fluctuations of life, treating the polarities equally,
favoring neither one nor the other.

From the traditions of Zen Buddhism comes another helpful technique to combat
attachments, the approach of Mindfulness. This approach asks the student to remain as

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much as possible in the present, aware of that which is occurring physically, emotionally
and mentally. Awareness is the archenemy of attachments. Attachments are strengthened
by the endless time that we spend thinking about them, chewing on them. By demanding
that we are instead focused on the ordinary present, starves the attachments of the
constant coddling they get, and they begin to wither away. As this process continues we
start to come out of our mental reality and become more connected with life as it actually
is.

All three of the above time tested teachings are effective in cutting the bonds which bind
you and cause suffering, but all are easier said than done. At the end of the day, you want
to be like the deep ocean, where the storms of life only disturb the surface while you remain
calm and peaceful deep within. It is well worth the effort.

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Chapter 17: Meditations for Phase 3

In Phase 3 after you do the Yoga for Awareness set, the rest of the time (40 minutes) will
be spent entirely on practising the Silent Mind Meditation for that week. In the event that
you find yourself very distracted and the mind exceedingly restless, switch to the Basic
Mediation of your choice until the mind settles down and then return to the SM mediation.
The following are the 4 SM meditations for phase 3. Any of the four can be a catalyst in
propelling you to what lies beyond the mind. Each should be practiced for 1 week
sequentially.

SM Meditation III: Concept Meditation: “Thoughts are just concepts.”

This SM meditation is very effective for disengaging from your thinking mind and breaking
its hold on your awareness. As we mentioned earlier, the concept is not the actual, or put
another way, the word is not the thing. The word or thought is a conceptual representation
of the actual, but for us the mind’s projections have become real and the real has become
hidden. This meditation utilizes the fact that every thought is just a thought, it is just a
concept – not real – and asks that you see this fact and drop it. Generally we are always
drawn into the thought due to our attachments, but in this mediation seeing the thought as
just a concept de-claws it of its power and ends its reign on us. Any attempt to do anything
different is just another concept so don’t buy into it and just drop that as well. You will know
you are getting this when you start to realize the difference between being inside a thought
versus being outside a thought.

SM Meditation IV: Time Meditation: “Thought requires Time to move.”

This meditation is a little more subtle than the ones you have been practicing so far. It is
one that justifies the requirement that the fact should be intellectually understood
(requirement #3). For this meditation we will focus on the future component embedded in
our every thought from moment to moment. In every effort, every goal, every attempt
there is the assumption of a future time in which the state sought after will come into
existence. Without this assumption no effort or struggle could be born. The attempt to
reproduce a previous state or achieve a new one implicitly requires the future to be a part of
one’s reality and the object of this SM meditation is to see that and disallow it. Without
time, there is nowhere for you to travel to. The meditation will take you from the struggle of
becoming into the ease of being. Remember the key to SM meditation is to see the fact. So

36 | Silent Mind Meditation


here you must see the fact of time embedded in each effort, doing so and rejecting it will
bring about an opportunity for the timeless to be.

SM Meditation V: Hope Meditation: “Hope is the constant state of our minds.”

We are always hoping. This is closely related to the previous SM meditation in which you
were observing the fact of time. In this meditation, you have to see that you are always
hoping, for whatever reason, to get somewhere. This hope gives rise to your efforts and
your exertion of will in an attempt to fulfill. Remember the object of SM meditation is to
start to see the reality of this and drop it from moment to moment. In the end even hope
has to be abandoned if you are interested in the Truth.

SM Mediation VI: Asleep Meditation: “You are constantly asleep.”

In this final SM meditation you will look to realize the fact that “You are constantly asleep.”
As soon as a thought sucks you in, you are lost in the story line, asleep to reality. The only
thing you can do is become aware that you are lost. The instant where you have attended
to your inattention is when you are not lost. As the mind moves again, it will again try to
seduce you into its reality and put you to sleep. Upon seeing that your attention has once
again been compromised, you are in alertness. This is the crux of SM – to be awake from
moment to moment as best as you can.

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Chapter 18: Practical Hints and Tips:

The following hints and tips are to help you with the Silent Mind Meditation Programme.
They will help you establish the practice required to master the art of meditation. Some are
already mentioned in the programme while others are new.

1. It is best to practice in the early morning at the same time daily. Once the day starts the
chances of the session being disrupted by the hustle and bustle of everyday life increases
dramatically. Also, consistency is going to be key and this is best established by setting a
regular time for the practice. To add to this, the early morning hour (especially dawn) is
indicated by yoga to be the most conducive time for spiritual activities.

2. Don’t give up if thoughts keep slipping through your awareness and you find it hard to
catch them. Keep plugging away, as best you can. Every bit of attention you apply works to
change the physical nature of the brain, transforming the organ at a cellular level. Often you
will find that even though the SM meditation session did not appear to reap rich rewards,
spontaneously during the regular day the brain falls very quiet. As you practice over time
you will see the direct correlation between this unearthly silence and the quality and
sincerity of your SM sessions.

3. As your practice matures, you will find that sitting for at least 1 hour (as opposed to 40
minutes) is more helpful to effectively perform the more advanced Silent Mind Meditations.
It will be well worth the time and effort.

4. A technique that is very handy in bringing the fact, the current condition of the mind to
light immediately is the technique of asking the right question. This question is often, “What
is it that I am doing right now?” The answer of course is the very fact you are attempting to
realize. This method of right questioning should not be underestimated. It has often proven
to be the key in cracking the shell of the ego.

5. For the physical work it cannot be stressed enough not to overdo it. Use common sense.
Don’t eat for at least 1-2 hours before the sets and wear comfortable clothing. You have
been given a fantastic body, don’t push it prematurely to the point where you risk injury.

6. Drink plenty of water at the end of the sessions, especially after tough physical Yoga sets
as you will want to wash out toxins that are released during the workout.

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7. If you find the sets difficult to do, increase the relaxation time between exercises and
reduce the duration time for the exercises themselves. If you are finding the Yoga for
Energy and/or Yoga for Awareness sets of phase 2 and 3 too difficult, you may want to
substitute the Yoga for Meditation set for them, till you feel more ready for this advanced
work.

8. Similar to the last recommendation, you may wish to spend more than just 4 weeks with
the phase 1 basic meditations, if you feel your sitting and concentration are not strong
enough to go forward. Let your inner voice guide you.

9. If you are not able to crystallize during SM and are just catching occasional glimpses of
the fact that is ok. You just need to keep trying your best; the rest will take care of itself.
See #2 above.

10. You may want to set some dos and don’ts for yourself to help you with your practice.
These can be as broad as I will change to a healthy diet, to as specific as I will not watch TV
after 9:00 pm. Find those aspects of your life that are holding you down and make a
resolution to correct them.

11. Helpful hints for making Sukh Asan easier for longer SM meditations…

a. Use a firm cushion to raise your hips higher than your knees. This coupled with Burmese
style can make sitting for very long periods more comfortable. A tradition Zofu used for
Zazen (Zen meditation) or Smile Cushion (crescent moon shaped) is specifically designed
for this and may be well worth the purchase.

b. Don’t wear anything that will bunch up behind the knees, this will cut off blood circulation
and put your legs to sleep and/or make them numb.

c. Don’t wear anything that is tight around the waist either, this will interfere with your
breathing.

d. Once you take the posture don’t fidget, just remain still and the body will fall into line. If
you start fidgeting it will never end.

12. You can use music while doing the physical Yoga work but do not use music during the
meditation sessions. Music can help with you mood, specially if you are practicing alone and
need to get motivated.

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13. Pick a place in your house where you are going to do your practice daily. The place
should be kept neat and you may wish to decorate it so it is inspiring to you. If possible
ensure that you will not be interrupted or distracted during your SM session here. Having
such a place helps in many ways establish a consistent practice. Over time, you and others
will notice this place having a very different feel to it.

14. Anything is possible so don’t let the mind dissuade you and make excuses. Thoughts
like, I am not smart enough, committed enough, strong enough, healthy enough etc. serve
no purpose. Just start the programme and put your best foot forward. Life will provide you
with what is needed to progress. If you still feel that you are lacking something required to
grow just sincerely ask the Universe for it. You will be surprised by her generosity.

15. There is no age requirement for starting the Silent Mind Meditation Programme. You are
never too old or too young to be your natural yourself.

16. After you complete the 12-week programme you can choose to continue using any of
the 6 SM meditations provided, or come up with your own as long as they meet the criteria
laid out in Chapter 12: SM Meditation Programme: The Silent Mind Meditations.

17. Often progress made in a meditation practice is compared to getting wet in a fog. In a
fog you don’t notice yourself getting wet but after some time you find yourself completely
drenched. So, even if you feel you are not “advancing” stop concerning yourself with results
and keep going. On a similar note, others may quite often notice changes in you before you
do.

18. The silence sometimes emerges deep within the mind and there can be the presence of
thoughts at the surface. Try to stay established in that silence within.

19. Don’t wait for some “perfect” time to begin SM. The perfect time is now.

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Chapter 19: 10 Benefits of SM

Although the primary focus of the Silent Mind Meditation Programme is to still your mind of
thoughts and awaken you to the Truth of non-duality, there are many other side benefits
along the way. Although there are some who practice meditation and yoga simply for these
benefits, the recommendation is to go for the highest, and treat the benefits that come
along the way as gravy. Below is a list of some of these additional rewards…

1. Good Health & Stress Reduction:

Doing the SM meditation programme will almost certainly improve your health and physical
wellbeing. It does this for a myriad of reasons. We will briefly touch upon a few here.
Obviously the physical yoga and pranayam will help (and the benefits of each exercise have
been explained in the sets) but the value of the mediations with regard to good health
should not be underestimated. The meditations (especially the basic meditations) put the
mind-body complex in a state of relaxed alertness which is ideal for self-healing to take
place. In this state, the body’s natural healing capability is vastly enhanced, thus being able
to work its magic more effectively. Much of the spontaneous, miracle like healing that takes
place in the unwell who turn to spirituality, can be attributed to this phenomenon. In
addition, during meditation when the conscious mind is silenced, psychological wounds and
other negative emotions that are kept locked up in the subconscious mind are allowed to
rise and be released. This prevents these unresolved negative emotions from expressing
themselves as disease and illness which is often the path they take if they remain
suppressed. Finally SM, over time, reduces anxiety and stress by teaching you to live in the
present and this state of peaceful, happy living is the biggest boon to good health.

2. Excellent Brain Function:

SM meditation is a very effective and powerful tool for improving one’s brain functions
significantly. The demands of SM sharpen intelligence and awareness considerably, along
with honing one’s logical and analytical systems. One’s memory and retrieval pathways are
also improved and overall one finds the mind clear and precise. The improvements are
sometimes gained in a very short time and are often unmistakable. One way to gauge these
changes is by observing the eloquence in your speech and clarity in your dialogues.

41 | Silent Mind Meditation


3. Balance:

Although we have somewhat downplayed these “side benefits” of SM, it is hard to say that
balance, one of the rarest qualities, is just gravy. It’s just that in the context of the Truth, it
is incomparable. We all have imbalances within us; we all have some degree of neurosis. SM
automatically starts to correct these. As time passes you will find that you are not tripping
over the same bad habits and personality flaws as you had been in the past. You will see
clearly better psychological and emotional balance emerge over time.

4. Confidence:

One of the key components of SM is confidence and many aspects of the programme work
to increase it as well as the related attribute of willpower. Hopefully, when you come to the
point of having to jump out of the known, SM would have built in you the necessary courage
and self-belief to do so.

5. Character:

Another quality that SM develops that is hard to downplay is character. Character means to
live with integrity and dignity. To have the strength to bear the difficulties of life with a
smile. To be able to follow through on one’s word and do what one sets one mind to. To not
have behavior betray belief. To be reliable and dependable. To be responsible for oneself
and the needs of others. Hard to downplay all that.

6. Charisma:

This is one of the really nice side effects of the programme. It is probably due to an overall
effect of the changes that SM brings about. Like some of the other changes you will find in
yourself, the emergence of a charismatic personality is unmistakable. Some of this charisma
can be attributed to your being at ease with yourself and being self-sufficient and happy.
Being thus relaxed and not needy you will be at the giving end of the spectrum, able to
respond fully to the requirement of the moment and others. Other aspects of the

42 | Silent Mind Meditation


programme contributing to this magnetic personality is the pranayam and energy work that
enhances the presence and force of your being.

7. Discover Your Purpose & Gifts:

As you start to drop those aspects of you that are artificial and pretentious you will get a
chance to see the real you. The parts that are not put on but are natural. This will give you
insight into who you really are and what you really love in life. That is the secret of
mastering the art of living and discovering your true talents, gifts and purpose. That which
you love, you do for its own sake without the need for reward of accolades. Once this is
discovered, life can be lived with passion, zeal and independence.

8. Improved Relationships:

The attributes of sensitivity and non-attachment as discussed in phase 3 are the keys to
why SM is so helpful in the complex world of relationships. Sensitivity is obviously a
necessary component in having good relations. It promotes thoughtfulness, affection and
forgiveness, but equally important and perhaps a little more subtle is the need for non-
attachment. Non-attachment does not mean apathy, non-attachment means not being
dependent on the other for personal fulfillment. Being dependent will lead to fear. The fear
of loosing the pleasure or security that the other provides or of the pain the other can
impart. This fear creates an underlying resentment that prohibits love from flowering. Not
only is attachment to the other a seed for problems but also it is attachments in general
that introduce conflict and suffering. Attachment to one’s image, reputation, possessions
etc. all lay the groundwork for fear and conflict in relationships. SM dissolves these
attachments and allows for relationships to be based on love and adoration instead.

9. Transcendental States:

Often “mystical” and “energy” (Kundalini) experiences occur during one’s practice. These
are undeniably interesting. They give one a glimpse into the deepest secrets of the
universe, but what they are most valuable for, is their ability to inspire. In addition, the

43 | Silent Mind Meditation


profound nature of these experiences puts into perspective the meaninglessness of material
pleasures and are useful in breaking our attachments to them.

10. Yogic & Psychic Powers:

These psychic powers tend to arise later in one’s practice and can at times be useful in
helping others and oneself to make progress on the spiritual path. Such powers should not
be misused obviously, and also importantly acquiring them should not become the focus of
one’s practice. Continue to go after that which is eternal and timeless, even awesome
powers are nothing in comparison.

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Chapter 20: Summary

The Silent Mind Meditation Programme can be summarized by one phrase, “Knocking on
Heaven’s Door”. The Knocking on Heaven’s Door is the seeing from moment to moment the
Fact within in operation, and this is your responsibility. Beyond the knocking, everything
you try to do just perpetuates the status quo. The doors of Heaven cannot be forced open –
they must open on their own. The mind must, seeing its own limitations, get out of the way,
then that which is beyond can come into being.

What you are being asked to do, you will realize, is not complex but it is arduous. It is
difficult not only because the mind is elusive, subtle and quick, but also because you have
to drop the attachments you have been tightly holding onto for a very long time. These ego-
centric attachments have been keeping you occupied your whole life and unless they are
purged, the rest of your life will also be spent catering to them. If the consequence of such
a self-centered life was meaningful then there would be no need for SM or any other
meditation practice. SM is only needed because spending your whole life seeking the
fleeting pleasures gained through the fulfillment of these petty desires is a criminal waste of
existence – a real tragedy. So enough has been said, it is time to act, it is time to be a light
onto yourself. Good luck and best wishes on your journey back to the Source.

45 | Silent Mind Meditation


Appendix 1

SM Meditation Programme: Yoga for Meditation Set

This set should take you 40 minutes to do. It is to be done daily for the first 4 weeks as
part of the Phase 1 Yoga for Meditation physical work.

1. Long Deep Breathing (LDB):

 Description: Sit in Sukh Asan (choose the leg position of your choice as described
in Chapter 7: SM Meditation Program Basic Meditations) with your hands grasping
your knees and breathe by taking full deep breaths through the nose. The key to
LDB is to fill the lungs entirely on the inhalation and then empty them completely on
the exhalation. The diaphragm is kept relaxed and the stomach expands out on the
inhalation and back in on the exhalation.

 Breath: LDB

 Duration: 5 minutes

 Benefits: LDB is excellent for expanding ones lung capacity and bringing in
maximum amount of oxygen in every breath. It promotes healing and helps build
the nervous system.

 Notes: If you feel dizzy return to normal breathing, but in general LDB should not
pose much difficulty for you. If 5 continuous minutes is too much intersperse with
normal breathing as required.

2. Relax in Shav Asan:

 Description: Lie flat on your back in Shav Asan have your hands out to your sides
with the palms facing slightly upward, the legs are shoulder width apart and
everything should be relaxed.

 Breath: Normal Breathing

 Duration: 1 minute

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 Benefits: Shav Asan is the best posture for relaxing completely as it provides
maximum support to the entire spine and back. Relaxation between exercises gives
the body a chance to consolidate the gains that the exercise produces and
rejuvenate the areas of the body that are the focus of the exercise.

 Notes: Don’t fall asleep. Especially if you not used to waking up early and are trying
to do the SM program in the morning.

3. Breath of Fire:

 Description: Sit up in Sukh Asan with your hands grasping your knees and begin
breathing rapidly though the nose with equal emphasis on the inhalation and
exhalation- like very fast sniffing. Keep the abdomen relaxed and allow it to pulse
automatically with the breath. Remember that the breath is not taken in very deep
and the pace is fast, about 3 cycles per second.

 Breath: Breath of Fire

 Duration: 5 minutes

 Benefits: Breath of Fire is the breath to do when you want to increase your energy
and quickly oxygenate your blood. It generates heat it the body, helps detoxify your
system and brings your entire system under one rhythm.e.

 Notes: If you feel dizzy slow down the force and/or speed at which you are doing
the breathing. Or you can substitute Long Deep Breathing for BOF until you feel
ready to switch to BOF again.

4. Relax in Shav Asan: [Repeat #2 again for 1 minute]

5. Butterfly Stretch:

 Description: Sit with your back straight and the soles of your feet
together. Interlace your fingers around your feet and using your elbows as levers
push down on your inner thighs or calves so your knees approach the floor.

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 Breath: BOF

 Duration: 2 minutes

 Benefits: This posture stretches the inner thighs and groin. It transmutes sexual
energy to higher frequencies to be used for other bodily functions. It is a
fundamental stretch for any meditator and helps one to sit cross-legged with greater
ease.

 Notes: Don’t press down to the point of pain, just enough to feel a good stretch.

6. Hamstring Stretch:

 Description: Sit up with your legs extended away from of you. Lean forward from
the waist (don’t arch your back down) and keeping your knees straight try to hold as
far down on your legs as possible. If you can hold your toes and pull them back
towards you. If you can’t hold your toes, arch your feet back towards you to impart
a stretch on the calves.

 Breath: BOF

 Duration: 2 minutes

 Benefits: This posture stretches the longest nerve in the body (sciatic nerve),
which is important for longevity and overall health. It also stretches the entire back
of the body and is a fundamental stretch that should be practiced daily.

 Notes: Don’t bounce when doing this stretch. As you feel your muscles starting to
relax accent the stretch further gently.

7. Knee to Chest:

 Description: Lie on your back and bring your right knee to your chest. Wrap your
arms around your knee and pull down towards your chest to accent the
stretch. Repeat with the left knee.

 Breath: LDB

 Duration: 1 minute / sided.

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 Benefits: This helps loosen the hips and stretches the groin.

 Notes: This is a simple stretch but works on the all-important hip area which is
often stiff and the culprit in many injuries.

8. Frog Stretch:

 Description: Continue to lie on your back and bring both legs up into the air with
the soles of the feet pointing up towards the sky. Reach up with your arms and hold
onto your feet and pull your knees down towards your armpits. The legs should be
spread wide, creating a strech in the groin area. You should be holding your feet
from the inside such that the back of your hands are facing each other and your
fingers are curled around the arches of your feet.

 Breath: LDB

 Duration: 2 minutes

 Benefits: Stretches the buttocks, groin and hips.

 Notes: This is a very comfortable stretch. Just be sure that you are holding onto
your feet the right way (inside out).

9. Bridge Pose:

 Description: This pose is also called modified wheel pose or tabletop pose. Bring
yourself up on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. You should be
facing the sky. Press upwards with your hips such that your torso is parallel to the
ground. Your fingers are pointing backwards (away from your feet).

 Breath: BOF

 Benefits: Strengthens the lower back, arms, shoulders and nervous system.

 Notes: If you can’t do 2 minutes at a stretch take a break and then come into the
posture again. If you find this posture too difficult do the following
modification. Interlace your fingers and bring your arms and hands under
yourself. Now push up with your hips and raise them up while at the same time

49 | Silent Mind Meditation


push down into the floor with your arms. Your feet are flat on the floor as
before. Your chin should be tucked in towards your chest.

10. Relax in Shav Asan: [Repeat #2 again for 1 minute].

11. Cobra:

 Description: Roll onto your stomach, let your feet rest flat on the floor, place your
hand under your shoulders and lift your chest and head up arching your back as you
rise. Your hips should stay on the ground. Look up.

 Breath: LDB

 Duration: 2 minutes

 Benefits: Adds flexibility and strength to your lower back. Improves your digestive
system.

 Notes: Go only as far up as is comfortable and take a break if 2 minutes is too


much.

12. Knee Bounce:

 Description: Sit up with your legs extended in front of you. Bend your left leg and
place your left ankle high up on your right thigh. Hold onto your left knee with both
hands and bounce the knee gently up and down. Repeat with the other leg.

 Breath: BOF

 Duration: 2 minutes / sided.

 Benefits: This exercise targets exactly what a meditator is looking for. Flexibility in
the hips so that one can sit in Sukh Asan at ease.

 Notes: Let gravity do the work, on the way down don’t push aggressively. Do
not force the knee towards the floor.

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13. Cradle Rock:

 Description: Staying in the same position cradle your left leg. To cradle the leg
hold onto the left leg with your left arm from underneath (your left elbow will be on
the inside of the knee joint and you will be holding your left foot from underneath)
and with your right hand hold the left foot. Then rock your leg back and forth
bringing the ankle towards your chin. Repeat with the other leg.

 Breath: BOF

 Duration: 2 minutes / side

 Benefits: This exercise perfectly complements the previous one and together they
are a meditator’s best friends.

 Notes: Be careful of your knees, do not strain, and only bring your leg up as high
as is comfortable.

14. Split Stretch:

 Description: Now extend both legs out wide in front of you and lean forward from
the waist and grasp as low on the legs as you can. If you can grasp the toes and
pull them back towards you, if you are not holding your toes arch them back towards
you to force a stretch in the calves.

 Breath: LDB

 Duration: 2 minutes

 Benefits: This posture is often used as an indicator for determining a person’s


flexibility; it stretches all the lower muscles of the legs as well as the groin area.

 Notes: Again be careful of your knees and groin, and don’t overdo it.

15. Spinal Twist:

 Description: Sit up in Sukh Asan hold your shoulder with hands bringing your
elbows out to the side and up to shoulder height and twist to the left and then to the

51 | Silent Mind Meditation


right. You are twisting at the waist and your head goes with the direction of the
twist. Twist at a moderate pace.

 Breath: Inhale when you turn left; exhale when you turn right.

 Duration: 2 minutes

 Benefits: This exercise loosens up your entire back and helps your digestive
system.

 Notes: Breathe forcefully to get your energy going.

16. Relax in Shav Asan:

 Description: You are now ready for your Meditation Session. As you relax with
every inhalation feel yourself being filled with health and awareness and with
exhalation feel disease and ignorance leaving your body.

 Breath: Silk Thread Breath [STB: Described in Chapter 4: Yoga for Meditation]

 Duration: 3 minutes

 Benefits: Relaxes your mind and body and gets you ready for meditation.

 Notes: As you begin your meditation you may notice that quite naturally your
breathing will switch to STB.

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Appendix 2

Yoga for Energy (Kundalini)

1. Left Nostril Breathing [As described in Chapter 9: Yoga for Energy] for 5 minutes…

2. Yoga Jogging:

 Description: Have the tips of your thumb and middle finger meeting, the other
fingers point straight up. Your arms are out to the side with the elbow bent at 90
degrees with your palms facing forward and jog in place. Try to bring your knees up
high and keep your elbows at shoulder height.

 Breath: BOF

 Duration: 5 minutes

 Benefits: BOF will enhance the benefits of this exercise many fold. The exercise
will get your heart pumping and distribute nutrients to all parts of your body. It will
also get the muscles warmed up which makes them less susceptible to injury.

 Notes: If you find it hard to maintain BOF switch to LDB as required. If you find it
hard to jog the entire time, walk in place.

3. Butterfly Stretch:

 Description: Sit with your back straight and the soles of your feet
together. Interlace your fingers around your feet and using your elbows as levers
push down on your inner thighs or calves so your knees approach the floor.

 Breath: BOF

 Duration: 2 minutes

 Benefits: This posture stretches the inner thighs and groin. It transmutes sexual
energy to higher frequencies to be used for other bodily functions. It is a

53 | Silent Mind Meditation


fundamental stretch for any meditator and helps one to sit cross-legged with greater
ease.

 Notes: Don’t press down to the point of pain, just enough to feel a good stretch.

4. Hamstring Stretch:

 Description: Sit up with your legs extended away from of you. Lean forward from
the waist (don’t arch your back down) and keeping your knees straight try to hold as
far down on your legs as possible. If you can hold your toes and pull them back
towards you. If you can’t hold your toes, arch your feet back towards you to impart
a stretch on the calves.

 Breath: BOF

 Duration: 2 minutes

 Benefits: This posture stretches the longest nerve in the body (sciatic nerve),
which is important for longevity and overall health. It also stretches the entire back
of the body and is a fundamental stretch that should be practiced daily.

 Notes: Don’t bounce when doing this stretch. As you feel your muscles starting to
relax accent the stretch further gently.

5. Split Stretch:

 Description: Now extend both legs out wide in front of you and lean forward from
the waist and grasp as low on the legs as you can. If you can grasp the toes and
pull them back towards you, if you are not holding your toes arch them back towards
you to force a stretch in the calves.

 Breath: LDB

 Duration: 2 minutes

 Benefits: This posture is often used as an indicator for determining a person’s


flexibility; it stretches all the lower muscles of the legs as well as the groin area.

 Notes: Again be careful of your knees and groin, and don’t overdo it.

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6. Spinal Twist:

 Description: Sit up in Sukh Asan hold your shoulder with hands bringing your
elbows out to the side and up to shoulder height and twist to the left and then to the
right. You are twisting at the waist and your head goes with the direction of the
twist. Twist at a moderate pace.

 Breath: Inhale when you turn left; exhale when you turn right.

 Duration: 2 minutes

 Benefits: This exercise loosens up your entire back and helps your digestive
system.

 Notes: Breathe forcefully to get your energy going.

7. Relax in Shav Asan [Appendix 1: Yoga for Meditation Set: Exercise #2] for 1
minute

8. Single Leg Rotations: (Chkra Padasana)

 Description: Lie on your back in Shav Asan. Now raise your right leg up to about
45 degrees and keeping it straight rotate it in a big circle clockwise. Make the circle
as big as you can without touching the floor. Do 10 rotations in 1 direction and then
without resting rotate the same leg in the other direction (counter-
clockwise). Repeat with the left leg.

 Breath: BOF

 Duration: Takes about 1 minute / leg

 Benefits: This fundamental exercise starts to build you naval center which is the
seat of your physical energy. Developing your naval center also builds your
willpower and character. The exercise also works very effectively to loosen the hips.

 Notes: To modify the exercise bend you knees or do fewer rotations at a


stretch. You can also take more rest if needed.

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9. Double Leg Rotations:

 Description: Staying in the same position, now lift both legs to 45 degrees and
rotate them in a big circle clockwise 10 times. Then, without taking a break rotate
them counter-clockwise 10 times.

 Breath: BOF

 Duration: About 1 minute

 Benefits: Same as #8 above.

 Notes: Same as #8 above

10. Relax in Shav Asan [Appendix 1: Yoga for Meditation Set: Exercise #2] for 1
minute.

11. Ring the Bell: (Similar to Rajju Karshanasana)

 Description: Sit up in Sukh Asan and lean back slightly. Now reach up and pull
down with alternating hands each time pretending you are pulling a bell rope to
make it ring. As you reach up make a fist around the rope and pull down so your fist
ends by your waist. When you reach up straighten you arm. Remember you are
reaching up grasping pulling down with one hand, as one hand is coming down you
should be reaching up with the other.

 Breath: BOF

 Duration: 5 minutes

 Benefits: This exercise is absolutely an energy building exercise. It works on your


shoulder and chest area and dissipates blockages in this region to facilitate the flow
of energy. It also builds your respiratory and circulatory systems.

 Notes: Take a break as required but try to see if you impose your spirit on your
mind, which is eager to give up on the first sign of discomfort. As your meridians
and energy pathways open up this exercise will get easier. You just have to have
the willpower to get through the initial points of resistance. This holds true for all
the exercises that you will be practicing in the SM program as well.

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12. Boat Pose: (Naukasana)

 Description: Have your arms straight out to the sides and your legs together
and straight out as well with your toes pointing forward. Now bring your legs and
torso up such that you are balancing on your sacrum. Keep your eyes focused on
your toes, this will help you keep your balance.

 Breathing: BOF

 Duration: 2 minutes

 Benefits: This posture improves your mental focus, naval center, digestive system
and willpower.

 Notes: You can bend your knees and/or hold onto your upper thighs to modify the
exercise.

13. Archer’s Pose:

 Description: Stand up like an archer about to release an arrow. Take a wide


stand; have your left foot pointing straight and your left leg bent at the knee. Your
right leg will be straight with your right foot angled inward. Your left arm will be
straight out with your hand in a fist. Your right hand will be bent as if pulling back
the strings of a bow. You will stare over your left fist at a fixed point. Your torso
should be erect and 70% of your weight should be on your front leg. If you look
down your left knee should obscure your foot. Do the reverse side after 1 minute.

 Breathing: LDB (Powerfully done)

 Duration: 1 minute / side

 Benefits: This is a energy expanding exercise. It helps open up all your energy
pathways. It will help you break through and overcome your obstacles.

 Note: When doing this exercise keep a strong and positive frame of mind. Feel like
you are expanding and you will.

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14. Relax in Shav Asan [Appendix 1: Yoga for Meditation Set: Exercise #2] for 1
minute.

Description: As you relax, with every inhalation feel yourself being filled with energy and
awareness and with exhalation feel lethargy and ignorance leaving your system.

Breath: Silk Thread Breath [STB: Described in Chapter 4: SM Basic Meditations]

Duration: 1 minute

Benefits: Relaxes your mind and body and gets you ready for meditation.

Notes: You are now ready to being your meditation practice for Phase 2.

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Appendix 3

Yoga for Awareness

1. Advanced Pranayam: Breath Work: Advanced Pranayam: (as described in Chapter


14) for 5 minutes

2. Energy Rising Yoga Set: This set has an updated version, the Kundalini Awakening
Raja Yoga Set (Appendix 4). The new version as it is better designed to help you build up
slowly).

a. Description: This set is going to use all 3 yogic locks (Bandhas) to channel energy
from the lower energy centers of the body upward towards the higher centres, especially to
the brain region which is the seat of awareness.

i. Sit in Sukh Asan. Inhale first then exhale. While holding your breath out squeeze
and release root lock 16 times. Root lock (Mula bandh) is the pulling up and in of the 3
lower muscles: the anus, the perineum, and the naval. Squeeze and release root lock 16
times then inhale, exhale, hold breath out and repeat squeezing and releasing root lock 16
times. Continue cycle for 5 minutes.

ii. Continue to sit in Sukh Asan. Now squeeze root lock and diaphragm lock (Uddiyana
Bandh) together 16 times with the breath held out as before. Diaphragm lock is the pulling
up and in of the abdominal muscles. Once done with 16 squeezes inhale, then exhale and
repeat cycle for 5 minutes.

iii. Continue to sit in Sukh Asan, now squeeze root lock, diaphragm lock and neck lock
(Jalandhara Bandh) 16 times with the breath held out. Neck lock is pulling the neck back
and the chin slightly down towards the chest. You should feel tension in the back of the
neck. After 16 squeezes of all 3 locks together inhale, then exhale and repeat the cycle for
5 minutes.

Breath: As described above. Inhale, then exhale and hold breath out while squeezing the
appropriate lock(s), then release, inhale and repeat.

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Duration: 15 minutes total. 5 minutes per segment.

Benefit: This is a very powerful set. It activates all the primary energy vortexes (chakras)
of the body, bringing balance and awareness to the system. The set awakens primal
potential energy (Kundalini) stored at the base of the spine and draws it up to the brain. It
builds the digestive system, the respiratory system, circulatory system and nervous
system.

Cautions: If you find this set difficult, reduce the number of squeezes to 8 per cycle. You
can also reduce the intensity of the squeeze to a level that is comfortable and build up
slowly.

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Appendix 4

Kundalini Awakening Raja Yoga Set

Background and Design:

This Kundalini Yoga Kriya hails from the Regal path of Yoga — Raja Yoga. It is a powerful
kriya (set) and should be approached with respect and intelligence. The kriya uses the
combined power of breath control (pranayama), specifically suspension of breath, in
conjunction with Body Locks (Bandhas) to awaken and channel Kundalini Shakti (energy)
from the lower centers (chakras) to the higher ones. You should practice this set by using
the modifications provided and move to the more advanced techniques only after mastering
and feeling physically comfortable with the easier versions.

This kundalini yoga kriya, uses all three bandhas — root lock (mula bandha), abdominal lock
(uddiyana bandha) and neck lock (jalandhara bandha) — to propel kundalini from one
chakra to the next is sequence. The energy is brought first to the lower chakras (root, sex,
naval) activating them, then moved to the heart chakra and throat chakra, and finally to the
3rd eye and crown chakra.

Benefits:

As Kundalini is channeled upwards, the organs, glands and nerve junctions along the path
are targeted with energy and their functioning rejuvenated and improved. Although this set
helps the digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems, it is especially effective in
strengthening your nervous system. Furthermore, this set helps bring energy into the brain
region promoting greater power of awareness and intelligence.

Description:

The following 3 body locks will be used in the practice of this kundalini yoga kriya so I will
describe them first and then provide the details for the set.

Root Lock (Mula Bandha): To apply root lock you should contract the rectum, sex organ
and naval (lower abdominal region) by pulling these 3 muscle groups up and in.

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Abdominal Lock (Uddiyana Bandha): To apply abdominal lock (also called diaphragm lock)
you should pull the abdominal muscles up and in under the rib cage.

Neck Lock (Jalandhara Bandha): To apply neck lock draw your chin back and slightly down
(like a soldier at attention) creating tension in the back of the neck and causing a
compression of the throat region.

Triple Lock (Maha Bandha): Maha Bandha is when all 3 locks above are applied together.
There are some variations to the locks described above, but for this set they should be
applied as described.

Beginners version:
 Sit up straight with your legs crossed (sukh asana). You can sit on a chair as well,
but sukh asana is preferred.
 Hold onto your knees with your hands. This is called Drona Mudra.
 Inhale deeply, then exhale and while holding your breath out, apply and release Root
Lock 1 time(s).
 Now inhale, then exhale and while holding your breath out, apply and release Root
Lock plus Abdominal Lock 1 time(s). So apply both locks together and release them
together, not one at a time.
 Now inhale, then exhale and while holding your breath out, apply and release Root
Lock, plus Abdominal Lock, plus Neck Lock 1 time(s).
 Inhale, then exhale and repeat the entire cycle increasing the count by 1 to 2, 3, 4…
up to 8. So for each count you will do just Root Lock, then Root Lock + Abdominal Lock,
then Root Lock + Abdominal Lock + Neck Lock.
 Once you finish the 8 count, inhale and interlace your fingers having the index finger
pointing upward. They raise your arms straight up such that the upper arms are
hugging your ears. Now exhale again and while holding your breath out, apply Triple
Lock (Maha Bandha). Hold Maha Bandha with breath held out while stretching up with
your arms. At the same time visualize energy flowing up your spine from the base to
the crown of your head. Hold as long as comfortable and then release.
 Relax on your back in Shav Asana (corpse pose) for 5 minutes.

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Intermediate version:
 All the steps are the same as the beginner version, except work from a count of 1 all
the way to 12. In addition, apply Maha Bandha with extended arms and visualization 3
times. Each time holding with breath held out for as long as comfortable. Don’t forget
to relax in shav asana at the end :-).

Advanced version:
 All the steps are the same as the intermediate version, except work from a count of
1 all the way to 16. Again you will apply Maha Bandha 3 times at the end and relax
afterwards.

Hints, Tips and Cautions :


 Students very much liked this kriya during our Kundalini Yoga teacher’s training
course, but at the same time this is the one kriya which has also created difficulty for
students in my classes. So, take your time as you develop mastery over this set. Move
ahead systematically. Any pranayama exercise that requires breath suspension should
be approached with caution.
 Since this set is stirring Kundalini a little more directly, you should generally be in
good health and good physical condition before undertaking its practice.

http://anmolmehta.com/?s=Silent+Mind+Meditation+Program

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