40 Days 2017: Lifting Maya’s Veil
– A Guide to Self-Transformation
Join our magical yearly retreat period from March 25 – May 5
Every spring, Sri Vasudeva of Blue Star Trinidad and Tobago hosts a unique international retreat affording those who join an unparalleled opportunity; it is an invitation to transform and rejuvenate ourselves on every level of being—from the depths of our spiritual being. The effect of each day is cumulative, as we are enveloped in the same transformative energies that lifted Sri Vasudeva to a state of complete inner peace and freedom in 1978. Join us in a global network of change, along a path of balance, mastery, unity and grace.
Our Livestream Schedule
On the right you will find the daily schedule (AST timezone) for all of the 40 Days programs that are streamed live. Click on the buttons below for our full daily schedule and for the link to watch Livestream.
On the Sundays between April 2nd and April 30th we will not have Sacred Conversations at 3:00 pm, but instead we will have a healing circle at 6.00 pm.
|5:15-6:15 am||Morning Chant (Guru Gita)|
|6:15-7:00 am||Morning Talk & Guided Meditation|
|3:00-4:00 pm||Sacred Conversations (except certain Sundays)|
|8:00-9:00 pm||Evening Chant (Shiva Mahimnah) & Meditation|
For Sundays with healing circles (check Calendar)
|3:00-4:00 pm||NO Sacred Conversations|
|6:00-7:30 pm||Healing Circle|
|7:30-8:15 pm||Evening Chant (Shiva Mahimnah Stotram)|
A Call for Donations
The 40 Days 2017, “Lifting Maya’s Veil – a guide to Self-Transformation” with Sri Vasudeva, is a unique opportunity to explore yourself in a powerful 40-day observance. Like every year, we ask for your support to make all of this happen! Our target for donations for this year’s 40 Days is a minimum of US $15000, which we hope to achieve during the period. Read more about why we need your donations by clicking on the button below!
A Call for Donations for our 40 Days programs
The 40 Days 2017, “Lifting Maya’s Veil – a guide to Self-Transformation” with Sri Vasudeva, is a unique opportunity to explore yourself in a powerful 40-day observance. This is a sacred and effectual period at our Blue Star center and also for those who participate with us globally each year.
We are very happy to offer you, like previous years, all of our daily programs for free on our Livestream channel, and subsequently on the Livestream Library for a limited time. This year we additionally provide ad-free and full mobile compatible streaming and even simultaneous streaming through Facebook Live. Also, we aim to offer our materials for purchase as online downloads as well as CD and DVD packages for reasonable prices, for those of you who love to use the materials for your personal practices throughout the year, benefiting continuously from the grace of this period.
To provide all of this and inspire so many around the world, we require more income to cover all costs than we are making from just the sales. It is easy to overlook the amount of costs involved, as they consist of many small and large items. Some examples are:
fees for Livestream channel and Facebook live software,
costs for website themes, plugins and hosting,
costs for data storage, transfer and backups,
costs for using, maintaining and upgrading the audiovisual equipment,
costs for facility upkeep and decor,
and last but not least the costs for being able to afford to keep a large full time staff here that is working continously to provide you timely with all services and needed assistance that we know you appreciate so much!
Our target for donations for this year’s 40 Days is a minimum of US $15000, which we hope to achieve during the period. We know how many of you value being able to take part in this powerful and extensive retreat from wherever you are, so we invite you to all come together to continue making this happen. No matter whether you can contribute in a small or larger way, we are sincerely grateful for all of your support! We will keep you informed as to the amount collected as donations come in.
We wish you an amazing forty-day period of Divine Grace and may all your wishes be realized!
Get your Downloads
From our morning talks and meditations and our Sacred Conversations we offer downloads for purchase: transcripts, audio files or video files for the morning meditations and audio files for the sacred conversations.
Click on the buttons below to register and to download your files.
On the Sundays of Feb 26th and March 5th, 12th and 19th, Sri Vasudeva had started to prepare us for the 40 Days with special morning meditations and talks. Here you can find the links to the audio and transcripts in case you would like to go back to some basics to be able to use this period to the fullest!
Pre-Forty Days Preparation, Sunday February 26th, 2017
The Ultimate Sacrifice of the Ego
Let us give attention to the consciousness space. How do you do that? It may sound simple, but actually it is very profound. The consciousness space is that centre of being in which the ego operates, the sense of “I,” and it is that centre of conscious experience. It is that centre of pure awareness within you in which you are experiencing the elements of nature, the movement of the mind, the movement of emotion.
Process of centering
In that centre of being you have a consciousness of Self, you have a consciousness of the elements, and then you have a consciousness of the subtle reality of mind and emotion and intention. Centre in that experience of “I exist.” Not that you are the thinker, that’s a role. Not that you are the one who is feeling, that’s a role. Not the body, that’s another role. But that very centre of being where the “I” plays in the consciousness, assuming all these different roles.
The goal in the play is to stay beyond the roles that you play; to get to that centre where you can observe every role without being caught in it, identified with it as your only reality. Centering in the consciousness space means centering in the “I” experience, but beyond every role; beyond the thinker, beyond the one that feels, beyond that vital person that drives the body, and beyond the body.
This is an experience that comes with grace, as you open up to grace. You cannot have this experience just by wanting it, but by opening up your being with humility and with a sincere desire to manifest the all of you. Surrendering to that inner process of transformation, that inner space will open up to you. It cannot be had by the one that plays with the ego or is caught in the ego.
Let us centre in the mental space with a lot of openness, non-judgemental awareness, humility in the mental space, which means opening up to the Divine as the true source of wisdom. He who thinks he knows, knows not. He who knows that he knows not, is on the way to true knowing.
Humility brings the gift of the crown
Open up the mental space to no-judgement, to the peace of that space, surrendering to its wisdom. Breathe into the centre of the eyebrows with the subtle breath. Gross breath goes to the lungs; subtle breath is the prana that you can experience at the chakra point at the centre of the eyebrows. Focus both in-breath and out-breath at the centre of the eyebrows, opening up to the mental quality of purity which is openness, humility, non-judgement, being humble to that very source of power that grants wisdom.
“O Supreme Self, I centre my being in Your infinite mind. Manifest in and through my mind, giving me the quality of wisdom, intuition, and no-judgement. Let me be humble in all ways. Grant me the secrets of Your space. Let me not get caught in the ego plays.”
And with that prayer, centre in the depth of the mind. The mind is the most powerful part of your being. It is that part of you that can take you to the experience of Self. The mind has to be turned within to its Source, that you may have the ultimate experience of Self. It has to become the instrument of the crown power.
Centre in that expansive nature of being; that is the crown power. Crown power is gifted to only the one who makes the ultimate sacrifice of the ego, relinquishing any form of individual power, allowing the Divine to manifest in and through the being. Stay in that mental centre. Learn to sustain that mental awareness. Meet the challenge of the brow to bow to the very Source of being. Peace only comes when you make the ultimate sacrifice of giving up every form of individual power, that the Divine may completely flow in and through you.
Breathe into the brow centre and breathe out from there. Every breath in should centre you in the experience of the “So,” the Infinite. Each time you breathe out, breathe out the “Ham,” the little “I.” Let your individuality disappear before the Infinite within you. Your little “I” is only a reflection. Just like the moon is not the sun, it only reflects the energy of the sun, so too your ego is only a reflector as the moon is; your Infinite Self is the sun. Open up to the experience of the very centre of being. That is where the true spiritual discipline is.
Lift every veil
Look at the veils that hold the mind into capture; the emotional veil, the veil of vital power, the veil of generative power in the body (the sacral power), and the veil of the body. Look at how these pull the mind into the play of nature. Centre the mind in that emotional space, opening up that space to the light of the crown. Unconditional love brings the light; open up the heart to the light of the crown.
“Let me love purely and unconditionally in this experience of individual being. I open my heart that Your love will flow in and through me, O Supreme Self.”
With that infinite centre of mind, open up to infinite heart. It is the crown that you are opening up to with all humility. The goal will be to lift every veil that covers the infinite consciousness of the crown. Lift every veil that covers the infinite consciousness of the crown. That is the purpose for which you exist; to be free, to play every role from that transcendental space of being.
Take your consciousness down to the core of the body, that vital core where the vitality consciousness is that drives the body. Breathe into the core with that infinite mind and heart, that you may observe the vital nature of the body in expansive awareness, and welcome the vital power of the body. As you open up to the vitality of the core, breathe into the sacral area, opening up to the male-female consciousness in the body. The goal is not to get caught in the veil of gender, but to tap into its vital power that the body may shine with its sacral power.
Take your consciousness right down to the root, that the energy of the crown may fill the body, holding it firmly in the consciousness space. The body has a primal nature. As you embrace the body in your consciousness, you want to observe that primal nature in that crown consciousness. Now you’ve brought your consciousness into the all of you; infinite mind, infinite heart, infinite vital nature, infinite sacral power.
Intention for the day ahead
Open up to the consciousness of every level of being, welcoming every level, embracing life, but in expansive vision awareness. With the all of you, open up to the blessing of a new day.
“I seek to uncover my Divine Self. I seek transformation of my ego that I may fully be an instrument of Higher Self. There is nothing more important for me as a seeker but to be completely free and not tied to the roles that give ego power. I seek the true power of Infinite Self, and I seek to be an instrument in service to my world.”
As we open up to a new day, let us centre deeply in the consciousness, creating that intention that will guide us through this day.
“I centre my consciousness in the Source of my being, my Infinite Self. I seek to stay in that consciousness throughout my day. I pray for the blessings of this infinite state and that my experience of every day will be transformative as I grow in consciousness. I centre in infinite mind, infinite heart, infinite vitality, infinite consciousness. I stay centred in non-judgemental awareness, unconditional loving, embracing my body and its nature in my spiritual consciousness; in my consciousness of goodness, of peace, of love, of harmony. Let my every thought, word and action in this day be a blessing to my world. I give thanks for all the blessings I have received, and I pray to continue to be worthy.”
Om peace, peace, peace.
The topic for this 40 Days is “Lifting Maya’s Veil,” so this morning’s meditation is based on this theme. We will be focusing on the ego and its transformation in the play; coming into the transcendental experience of the ego; not the ego that is caught in individual power, but the ego that can operate from a space of transcendence. That is the goal of the 40 Days.
Uncover the veils to the Self
The conversations will be around the transformation of the ego and allowing that Higher Self to manifest. As you can see in the meditation, we need to come into that space within our being of observing how the ego plays with all the veils that cover; the veil of the body, the veil of the sacral area, the veil of the vital area, the veil of the heart, the veil of that communicative area, the mental veil. They are related to the chakras and they cover the Self. How can we uncover? That requires a lot of humility, a lot of self-awareness, and the use of discrimination in the best possible way that we may open up the seeing. We have all the tools for that and how we use them is what is important.
You will realize in this play that if you are guided by one who is caught in the ego, you cannot grow. You see it all over the world. Those people who pose as teachers in the world, but yet the subtle ego exists – you see how seekers develop, but only to a certain level. The ultimate goal is to come into that place of selfless being. That kind of transformation is rare in the space. It requires the ultimate sacrifice of the ego. But we are in the Dwapara Yuga, so it is difficult to get very pure souls in the space. So all those souls who are aspiring for that Sat Yug, deeper consciousness, need to come together and continue the work of self-transformation.
Gear up for the 40 Days
We need to gear up for the 40 Days and those of you who are really serious need to begin to think now of how you want to be disciplined, because the 40 Days is a period of intense discipline. It is not like the days we have now. A lot of focus is given to all the programs during the day and to coming together collectively. So I will be very much involved in a more intense way in terms of everything that happens in the space. We have less than a month in build-up and want to use every day with excitement. The 40 Days, of course, you know how special this is, for those of you who have been here, and for those of you who have followed online. It is like no other time of the year for us so we hope that you will begin to gear up your mind and hearts, and begin to think of the space. It requires the best discipline, and for those of you who are disciplined and seeking to be disciplined, it is a nice time now to really get involved.
Seek the awesome guidance of the Divine
In 2018 it will be 40 years since my original experience of 1978. I could not have done those 40 Days by myself. I could not have created the kind of environment at 23 years old, not having that kind of maturity or experience. But the desire was there to be transformed completely and the Divine did it in such a magical way. If I would describe that to you, you would think it is like a fairy-tale. I could not have done it; the Divine did it in the most miraculous and marvellous ways. I am still in awe of how the Divine can enter a space and change it. I was the eldest son in the space and I was 23 years old so you can think of all my family members, how young they were. But this Divine power came and guided all of us and created such an energy space, that allowed for the kind of transformation I experienced.
A lot of Grace was there and that Grace can happen to all of us. In our individual lives no matter where we are, God is there and that Grace is there. But what happens in this space, the space is held in a very special way; it is like an envelope of energy, it happens every year in the 40 Days. There must be something mystical about that period because it covers Easter and other sacred days. It is from the 25th of March, right down to the 4th of May. It is really a very, very beautiful period.
Pre-Forty Days Preparation, Sunday March 5th, 2017
Break free from the illusion of thinking that you know
Let us give attention to the mental space, the most powerful part of our being. Bring your attention into the present moment. Let us seek today to be that pure, non-judgemental observer of all that is happening at every level of being. Thoughts originate and move in the consciousness space, so the mind is operating in a field of consciousness. You are a conscious being; by managing the mind you will be able to influence every level of being. It is said that the mind can bring you into bondage, and that same mind can liberate you; so important is that tool.
Awaken the brow chakra
Let us observe the mind. Clear the mental space as much as we can. That means detaching from thoughts if they arise, giving them no power of attention. Mind is associated with the brow chakra, and the brow chakra in the body is in the brain. Let us focus at the centre of the eyebrows. Breathe out and breathe in with that same focus at the centre of the eyebrows. The goal would be to awaken that spiritual centre. It is a centre of subtle energy. Keep your attention there as you breathe.
The third eye is also associated with the back of the neck, the medulla point. The breathing that you will use is the ujjai, ocean sounding breath. This requires the control of the epiglottis in the throat area. When you focus on that eyebrow centre as you breathe, you bring more oxygen into the body, and also you bring more prana or life force to the brain cells. Let the mind be absorbed in the silence of that space.
It is extremely important to observe ego consciousness; that is the notion of individual self. You want to hold that individual self, that “I,” that ego, in a place of no-judgement, as you do not want ego power to enter. You want to be driven by Higher Self, so ego has to be restrained. The way to do that is non-judgemental being; equanimity in the thinking if thoughts arise, equanimity in the outlook.
Manage the breath to manage the inner space
Let us take a look at the breathing. Whilst focusing there, you want the breath to be deep. Deep means that you are using your belly area, you are using your chest area, and you are using the shoulder area. Even if your breathing is shallow, ensure that you are using a full breath; use the muscular areas effectively even if not fully.
As you breathe deeply, keep a consciousness of the root area at the base of the spine (perineum area), keep a consciousness of belly, a consciousness of chest, a consciousness of shoulder, a consciousness of throat. Push the breath out – you use the apana current to do that. Push the breath out completely and draw the breath in, opening up the lower area, opening up the chest, lifting the shoulders, drawing the breath upwards with your attention. By managing the breathing, you have the secret to managing the mind and the senses.
Stay with the consciousness of the breath and importantly, the pauses. At the end of the in-breath, pause there; that increases the stability. Then breathe out completely and pause again. In that moment, you can experience great stability in the inner space. The goal is to hold the ego in a surrendering mode so that you will begin to feel carried by a Higher Power. Here you allow Kundalini, that evolutionary power within, to manifest in and through you.
Make the mental-emotional connection
Open the belly, open the heart and throat. Stay completely alert because you want to observe every level of being. When you feel sufficiently stabilized in the mind, then associate the mind with the heart. Create a connection between the centre of the eyebrows and centre of the chest.
Breathe fully into the chest area. What happens then is that the sense of touch becomes very energized and you can feel it powerfully in the palms of your hand. The centre of the chest becomes warm energetically. Then give attention to unburdening the emotional area. Sometimes there is heavy conditioning there, so in that unburdening process we need to surrender to that Higher Power.
“Let your love manifest in and through my being. I come before You, my Higher Self, with all humility. I seek to unburden my emotional being.”
You can have a very powerful experience in that mental-emotional connection, by repeating the mantra in the heart and mind. Heart is called anahata chakra. That is where the sound arises in a subtle way. Om Guru. Soham. Om Namah Shivaya. They can come alive. But let the breath be of central focus as you try to harness the energies, bring the energies under control.
Develop stability using the belly area
For some of us, by going to the belly area, filling the abdominal area from the second chakra right up to the heart, we begin to feel greater stability. Come down to that belly area, fill it completely, and you will feel that your body becomes very stable. The gut area has a strong influence on the physical and vital aspects of being. Stay with your practice, humble to Higher Self. Do not underestimate the power of the mantra to connect you to the Kundalini energy.
Those of you using the belly strongly, give attention to the sacral chakra. Just by connecting to it and associating it with the heart and brow, you can experience a new level of vitality coming into your being.
Harmonize with the elements through the chakras
Now take a moment to harmonize with the world around you. Observe very clearly how you do that. Base chakra; sense of smell, connection to earth. If you are centred in the base chakra, you will feel that close association with the earth and the sense of smell will be heightened; earth consciousness.
Give attention to the second chakra; the sense of taste and the water element. As you come to second chakra awareness, you create water consciousness and the sense of taste is heightened. Navel chakra, fire power; firing up your vital energy, your pranic power, your agni power of digestion, and the sense of sight is heightened.
Heart chakra and the air element, the sense of touch. Harmonize with the air element. Throat chakra; space and the sense of hearing. How intimately connected our soul is to the senses and to the elements! Open up your consciousness to harmonizing. In higher consciousness, we feel in rapport with the world around us. Centre in the chakra, opening up your consciousness to the elements of nature and to the senses.
Break free from the bondage of tamas
Now you can obviously see how the tamas would hold you in bondage, but you have to push the boundaries of the tamas with rajasic power. Rajasic power of mind, rajasic power of breath, rajasic power of intention, intense intention, focus of the mind that is in surrendering mode. That is how you can break free from the tamas.
The prayer in the Upanishad is Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya. Lead me away from the tamas, the darkness, the bondage of ignorance, the veil of Maya, and guide me to the Light, the sattva quality within. Peace, harmony, higher awareness, non-judgemental being, loving being. I strive to open up the boundaries and take away the veil that covers my seeing; Asatoma, take away the asat, the false seeing, the illusion of my senses, and lead me to experience the reality of my being; the experience of pure consciousness.
Set the intention for the day
Then look ahead to a new day, opening up to the connection of your world, and giving attention to the karmic play ahead. The goal in the karmic play is to be wise in action, to act from a centre of wisdom in the play. It requires opening up the perception to seeing, to experiencing the Divine in and around us. The goal would be not to lay blame and to become a victim in the play, but to see and to understand the karmas working in the play.
“Guide my intelligence, O Supreme One. I seek wisdom in this play. I chant the holy Gayatri mantra that my mind will be opened up. As the light of the sun removes the darkness of the night, so too let the light of my inner being remove the darkness of ignorance that holds me in bondage. To you, O Supreme Light, spreading across the entire Universe, I meditate upon you. Om Bhur Bhuvah Swah, Tat Savitur Varenyam, Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi. I meditate upon you, O Power of the Light. Illumine my intellect; Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat. And hold my being in Your peace. Let there be peace at every level of my being.”
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
The title of our 40 Day retreat is “Lifting Maya’s Veil” – the veil of ignorance. The veil has been woven by the Divine in its extraordinary and grand play of veiling the consciousness, without losing its potency. The consciousness is veiled, the potency of the Divine is hidden, so in the play the goal is to restore that hidden potential that is within us.
Five Universal energies
When we think of the universal energies, we think of creation, sustenance, dissolution. That is what we see around us; life is constantly creating, sustaining and dissolving or dismantling. But there are two other processes that are given to us that are of interest; one is concealment, and the other is the grace of unfolding – revealing from concealment. So we have creation, we have sustenance, we have dissolution, we have concealment, and we have grace of unfolding, that is what is there in the play.
We are given the physical body in the play and it gives us a sense of individuality and it holds us in the bondage of the physical veil (world). The goal would be to come into the consciousness and lift the veils from within the being. Of course the primary tool is the mind – that is why I started the meditation today with the mind. I see how challenged some of you are because of the heavy conditioning that we are under. No one is to blame, it is a play of the universe. So the condition is a tremendous opportunity to open up.
Guru shows the way out of the illusion
You have so many powers within you and more than anything, when you have a Guide, you have a way out. The Shiva Sutras say, “Guru Roopaya” which means that the Guru is the way, the means. If only we understand that concept, we will have the greatest respect for the Masters, because they are above the Maya, they are out of the Maya, and they can guide us through the Maya. The ego power tends to make us think that we know, and when we have half understood, we go with the feeling that we have understood. So we always need to be careful of the understanding.
There is a great story of the King of the Demons and the King of the Gods meeting Prajapati, the Great Teacher. They asked, “We heard about the Self and by knowing the Self, we can get everything we want. So we want to know that Self, O Great Teacher.” And the Great Teacher said, “Okay, I am going to show you this Self;” the Teacher was gracious. “Go to that pond and look, you will see the Self.” So both went into the pond and looked. They saw their features and said, “Oh, now we know the Self. If we follow this Self, we really give attention to this Self, we will have everything.” So they went back to the Teacher. He said, “What did you see? Did you see the Self?” “Oh yes, we saw the Self,” and they described how they looked. The Teacher said, “Indeed, the Self is reflected in there.”
The King of the Demons went and never came back. He thought he fully understood the Self and he gave full attention to the ego consciousness of the body. The King of the Gods looked down and he thought to himself, “Well this is interesting. I am going to go and study this.” But very soon he came back saying, “That can’t be the truth. The body is a perishable thing. The body is a changing thing. That cannot be true.” Then the Teacher said, “Certainly that is not all. There is more.” Then he made the King of the Gods stay under his guidance for a number of years, before he gave the next step of the teaching. It is exciting how the King of the Gods was trained by the Great Teacher to come out of every step of illusion. But the King of the Demons never came back.
When we think we know, then chances are we can mislead ourselves. So always we need to open up to the idea that no matter how much we think we know, perhaps we still don’t know. So this is a beautiful story from the Upanishad of the King of the Gods and the King of the Demons.
Seek to be completely led by Higher Self
We always need to be open in the consciousness to learn and to grow. Life can be very exciting every day if you give attention to learning and growing in the consciousness, never thinking that you know. Even when the great Masters come into that space of knowing, they know they can’t know fully, so they are intuitive. The great state is one of full intuition. That is where the secret lies. The ego knows nothing, but it is connected to That which knows everything and is completely led by That.
The goal of the 40 Days this year is to be led by the Higher Self completely, and with all the power we have, to hold the ego consciousness at bay and not to become carried away by the ego. We are going to spend forty days in that kind of practice of learning how to see the ego for what it truly is, how to be able to detach from it, and how to bring the Higher Self into being. Of course the whole world is not ready to accept teachings like these, because they are the highest teachings. But if you can understand it a little bit, go after it because it will lead to the ultimate experience of being – freedom in the consciousness, the moksha experience.
It is a wonderful challenge in these 40 Days to keep the practice and already I can feel the spirit of the 40 Days enveloping the Ashram. If you begin to give attention to that and study some of the old 40 Days talks and go through the meditations, that spirit will also come into you. Yesterday I was looking at the poui tree and I saw the poui flowers in bloom and I thought, “That is always the sign of the 40 Days.” What a marvellous period!
Pre-Forty Days Preparation, Sunday March 12th, 2017
The Protective Field of Grace during the Forty Days
We begin our meditation today. Let us do so in the awareness that we are Divine, that the consciousness we experience is immortal. Open up to this possibility that your innate nature is Divine and immortal. The physical experience is happening in the consciousness. You are not the physical body. It can be said that you are wearing the body as we wear a suit of clothes. That your subtle energy being or soul wears the body, and as such is having a physical experience.
The practice of meditation is aimed at bringing you into subtle energy awareness. Within this experience of the gross body, there is also the experience of our subtle nature. Give attention to the inner space – to the source of the mind, to the source of emotion, to the source of vitality. If you give attention to the Source Being, then you can pick up that experience of your subtle existence.
Bring the mind into listening mode
Bring the mind into the present moment so that it does not stray into the past or future. Be fully established in the present moment, and bring the mind as much as you can into a space of silence, so that you may become more aware of your subtle nature. If thoughts come up, let them come, let them go. Detach from thinking, giving attention to the peace that lies in the quiet mind. As you go deeper into that experience of peace, the subtle experience comes.
As you come into that space of peaceful mind, give attention to the breath. Keep the mind quiet and focused on that centre of the eyebrows, so you get an opportunity to experience the chakra that lies in the brain, the mental chakra.
As you clear the mind of thoughts, hold the subtle breath at the centre of the eyebrows. Open the mind in the silence to intuitive awareness, to being guided from within, a silent mind that is in the listening mode to the thought space.
The awareness should be, “I exist in Infinite Consciousness. I exist in Infinite Being.” Infinite Consciousness and Infinite Being is the God that we honour. You are centring in the God space. Sustain that awareness, staying fully in the present, in that awareness. With every breath, open up to the awareness of your existence in the Divine.
To keep the mind centred, you can use the Om sound. It is the mantra of the mental centre. You can explore breathing into the centre of the chest – that is the centre of emotional consciousness – and observe if it helps the mind to become more quiet and open. As you breathe into the centre of the chest, hold the awareness that “I exist in Infinite love. Infinite love is God.”
Hold body in expansive awareness
Centred in that subtle space of mind and heart, open up your awareness now to the physical body. Breathe deeply into the belly area; the subtle energy centre for empowering the body is there, and open up the body consciousness; the warmth of the body, the gross nature of the body, the body’s connection to the earth and to the elements of nature, and the consciousness in every cell of the body. Embrace the body in that loving, peaceful space of being. “I love you my body, you are God’s gift to me. I love you my every cell, you are so precious to me.”
Open up to the appreciation of the body as being the vehicle for travelling on this earthly plane, for engaging in the karmic play where you can burn away the past karmas that bind the consciousness, and free your soul from all limitations. Your soul nature is freedom, peace, love and harmony. The goal is to come into the experience of your soul’s nature, and to free the soul consciousness from every form of bondage.
Set an intention for the day
In that body consciousness, welcome your new day on the earth plane. You have fellow travellers around you. You have nature around you. You are going to be engaged in a karmic play today; you want to do so in Divine consciousness.
As we look ahead to this day, let us centre and use the power of intention:
“I centre my consciousness in my Infinite Self, the God within me. That source of all peace, love, goodness, wisdom and vitality. I stay centred there that my every thought, word and action in this day be a blessing to my world. I give thanks for all the blessings I have received, and I pray to continue to be worthy.
Om peace, peace, peace.”
We are approaching a very beautiful period. Every day that I look at the poui flowers around, the 40 Days comes to heart and those beautiful feelings that I had in that period of transformation return. Every year, it is like that energy that transformed my life completely in 1978 just seems to surround the Ashram, and I have this beautiful feeling of getting prepared for these days. Something in me just opens up and I look forward to it very much.
Grace on the journey
One of the features of that period is the protection that came. I cannot explain this in a way that you will understand it as it was. The Divine completely guided the period. There was nothing that I give myself credit for. The whole period was one of Grace, so I know that Grace abounds in everybody’s life. If you are genuinely seeking, the Divine will bring its protection around you, will surround you with a lot of Grace, but you need to be a sincere seeker.
It was a very magical period. I had no idea it was going to be forty days, I thought that whatever I was going through, it was going to be years and years, but after forty days, there was a complete transformation in my being, due to that Grace that held the space. So it is important for every seeker on the journey not to feel abandoned, but to actually feel that grace abounds, that grace is in the space.
Be vigilant to Divine guidance
One of the things that was important for me was to follow every instruction that was coming to me, and instructions came to me magically. I believe that once we are on the journey, we are constantly being guided by the Universe, but we may not be aware of it. Through the voice of those around us, through the thoughts that come into the mind, through the information that comes towards us, we can actually see – if we have the right consciousness – that we are constantly being guided in very magical ways.
The Universe may choose the most ignorant person, who is so driven by everything around them and not Self-driven, to guide us. The Universe can choose people right around us without the person even knowing that they are giving guidance. Those who are completely ignorant are driven by the world around them, and those who are completely enlightened are driven by the Self that exists everywhere. So both are very driven by the Divine; one unconsciously, and one consciously. Of course you will agree with me that being consciously driven or consciously guided is a more elevating experience than being guided and being ignorant of the guidance. So it is important to have faith on the journey that guidance is there.
When I left Trinidad at the age of 21 to go to India, one of the things that was very strong within me as a seeker was a strong faith that God was going to guide me every step of the journey. I had this strong faith in the Universe; totally ignorant of the Self within me, but strong faith in the Divine. I told myself that every person I meet on this journey, I am going to look at as though God has sent this person. So on the plane, I looked for the person who was sitting next to me. At every point in India as I travelled, I looked for the persons whom I would meet. That was such a beautiful experience, in my ignorant state, to see how the Divine guided me through India. I had never even travelled anywhere, so I was completely new to everything, but it was such an elevating experience. I moved away from this little country of Trinidad into that vast place of India, but never felt lost or alone. I actually felt that everything that was happening to me was being orchestrated by the Divine, and that has been a major feature of my life. The more conscious I became of my Divine nature, the more I could align to this guidance, the more I could work with the guidance, and the more I could collaborate with the guidance, which has been amazing.
Be attentive to Kundalini Power
As chakras opened up my consciousness, I loved to work with them. It was a great joy just to open up to this guiding power within me. I can understand very clearly that the Kundalini energy in awakening is the evolutionary power; it is continuously guiding. So when you sit for meditation, it is extremely important to look for where this energy is playing within you, and you will find it. If you have been around me for a while, you will feel that tremor of Kundalini coming up within your nature. So it is important to look for the signs of where She is. You may want to go to the head, when She wants to come to the heart or the gut. But because you are so head-driven, you may not be able to see that She is trying to strengthen your physical system, to open up your emotional being and strengthen the nervous system of the heart. You may completely miss it because you are so focused on the head. So it is extremely important to open up to where She is featuring, and work with Her where She is.
It was a period of amazing grace where I could feel this evolutionary power guiding so powerfully, and I completely committed to it. I do believe that if you are disciplined enough to hold focus on your journey, to really open up to this evolutionary power guiding from inside and to hold yourself in the discipline of a period like 40 Days, you can make amazing transformations. But guidance is necessary because you may miss a lot of what is happening to you. I see it all the time; in dealing with seekers, I can see that they are not even aware of where or how the Kundalini is working within them, where to focus. Although it is happening very much inside of them, they are not able to pick up the signs. And the moment I show or tell them what is happening inside, the journey just changes. So it is extremely important to be guided in the best way. We need guidance from those souls who have made the journey or who are higher up on the journey, who can really give us a hand and guide us to the next steps.
Become immersed in the energies of the 40 Days
An amazing period is up ahead. I can already feel the energies; it is already pulling me into the kind of discipline that I like during the period. Those of you who have been through the night of the Maha Shivratri with us, you saw how wonderful it was to go through the night. When I got the reports from people who were looking at the stream, they told me how easy it was for them to go through the whole night because they stayed glued to the video stream. The period of 40 Days can be amazing, before you know it, (it is finished) because of the kind of energy that holds us during the period.
I want to welcome you to the period. We are getting close so let us prepare our consciousness. For some of you, going back through the material of past 40 Days can be a very powerful experience as you re-live the days ahead. I heard that some of you are trying to make changes in your diet so you can enjoy the period a little more, and that is a very good thing. It is good to prepare because the more prepared you are, the more you can absorb from it.
Keep the consciousness high. Kundalini is working within you. Begin to open up your consciousness to see where She is working and try to collaborate with Her. It can be a marvellous journey when you begin to realize that God is within you.
One of the things that I came back from India with after my first visit, was the idea that God is within me. I could feel this power of God moving inside of me; the Kundalini energy. She became the God within me, She became the Guru within me; that ever present power of the Divine. That power is within you continuously. Begin to recognize Her and work with Her guidance, and you can be on the most marvellous journey that we call Mahayoga, the Great Yoga, where Kundalini is the Guide.
Pre-Forty Days Preparation, Sunday March 19th, 2017
Protecting the Transformative Space through Self-Discipline
We begin our meditation today. As we approach the 40 Day retreat period that is coming up, let us focus on self-discipline. It begins with the discipline of staying in the present moment. Throughout your meditation today, seek to stay present moment aware. When the mind strays into the past or the future, gently pull it back into the present.
Present moment awareness holds you in the now, in this moment, which is the only moment. Stay fully attentive to the experience of conscious being. You are a consciousness being. You are having an experience of a mind which is not your essence, but only a function of your essential being. You can begin to use the mind to think, and then you can stop the use of the mind in the consciousness space; just stay aware of the mental space without creating a thought.
Free the consciousness from every bondage
Thinking happens in your being. Feeling happens in your being. Intentions happen in your being. Human body is experienced in your being. You are separate from the thought. You are separate from the emotion. You are separate from the intention, and you are separate from the body. Centre in just being-ness, just consciousness, observing all levels of being; mental being, emotional being, vital being, physical being. That is a discipline in meditation.
The goal is to free the consciousness from every bind, every form of bondage – mental bondage, emotional bondage, vital energy bondage, physical bondage – to free ourselves from every limitation at every level. The most powerful part of us is not the physical, it is the mental. Clearing the mental space is extremely important and centering the mind in the source of all wisdom within you. Activate the third eye with the discipline of the breath. You do that energetically by focusing at the centre of the eyebrows, seeking to activate what we call the third eye chakra. A chakra is not physical, it is a subtle energy centre in the brain that influences thought, focus and intuition.
Now the breath connects you to every level; mental, emotional, vital and physical. As you focus on that centre of eyebrow, breathe out slowly and completely, and breathe in slowly and deeply, really observing what it means to breathe. Keeping that eyebrow focus, open the chest to breathe, open the belly to breathe. Keep the pelvic area firmly grounded as you open the belly, as you open the chest, as you lift the shoulders. That is how you breathe completely. Letting out the breath completely, you use the same shoulder, chest and belly to push the air out.
Breathe with a focus on the spinal column. Spinal column gives you stability. Along the spinal column lie all the chakras or subtle centres of energy that influence your entire being. As you stay mentally focused by focusing on the third eye, so too feel physically grounded. Stay physically grounded by going to that root centre in the perineum area at the base of the spine.
Make these two points fixed in your consciousness. You are focusing with that third eye energy, consciousness, breathing out as you go down the body, right down to that perineum area, fixing your focus on the perineum and staying grounded to the earth. Just breathe in along the spinal column, focus right up to the back of the neck, coming across into the brain. That is the discipline of the breath, the discipline of focus.
Now throughout your meditation, stay present moment aware, really working the breath gracefully, rhythmically, while staying conscious of everything that is happening at every level. “How is my mind being influenced? How are my emotions being engaged? How is my vitality as I breathe?” Stay focused on everything that is happening in your consciousness experience.
Tap into the Divine powers within
The power that you feel to focus, to think, to feel, to ground, that power is coming from the Divine within you, from the very source of your consciousness. You want to acknowledge that in your meditation. Do not think that this power is what you are generating; you are tapping into a greater power inside of you, and that is how you can get this ability to generate. With all humility, use the powers that you experience nobly, generating waves of goodness, positivity, lovingness.
As you begin to breathe with that spinal column awareness, you will become more aware of every level of being. Give attention to every level. A very powerful centre is the heart. Focusing on the centre of the chest, open the chest to breathe, and just focus on tapping into that centre of infinite love that the heart chakra leads you into. Opening up the mind to allow the focus. And to allow the expression of the heart, just hold the intention of lovingness. That is how you tap into the power.
Hold that intention of being loving, and let it intensify within you; “more loving,” as you focus on the heart. Let that loving feeling flow through your entire being, by focusing on your entire being, letting that loving feeling influence the breath, every cell of your body, and observe what happens to the mind. The mental space gets boosted. The mind experiences the lovingness that it is opening up to.
As you focus on the third eye and on the heart, observe how they create a powerful combination. As you sustain this field, you are practising self-discipline; of staying in the moment, of observing every level of being, of aligning to that Divine source within you, of being humble to that power within you, of channelling goodness within your being and everywhere around you. Observe.
Bring to mind that beautiful saying of the Bible, “In Him I live, move, and have my being.” We can replace the Him with That. “In That Supreme Infinite Consciousness, I live, move, and have my being.” Observe how in maintaining this, you stay in the present moment, and discipline becomes a joy. Stay in the joy of every breath, every intention of your alignment with the Divine. Stay in the joy with a heart full of gratitude.
Open up to expansive consciousness
Become conscious now of the elements of nature within the body. The earth, represented by the physical body. The water, by the fluids within the body. The fire, the heat produced by every cell. The air that brings the oxygen into the lungs for respiration. The space that allows everything to be contained, to be held. As you open up to the consciousness of the elements within you, open up to their existence in nature, and extend that feeling of goodness that you feel, everywhere around you.
There is no limit to your consciousness except that which you create. There are no boundaries except those that you create. There is no end to those feelings that you experience except what you create. Stay in the discipline of infinite awareness.
Set an intention for the day
Give attention now to the day ahead, and taking this present moment awareness and total awareness of being into your day. Let us create that intention powerfully within our being.
“I centre my consciousness in the Source of my being. I give recognition to the Source of power within me. It is not of my ego, but that which drives my ego. That Source of infinite peace, love, goodness, wisdom and vitality. I stay in acknowledgement of that power within me, in awareness of it, in humility towards it. I seek to always remember its existence within me. I stay centred there that my every thought, word, and action in this day be a blessing to my world. I give thanks for all the blessings I have received, and I pray to continue to be worthy.”
Om Peace, Peace, Peace.
I brought up the subject of self-discipline this morning, as it is extremely important during these days. If you want to change anything within you, you need discipline: the discipline of staying focused on the goal that you have; the discipline of staying in the practices, that you do not shift, and; the discipline of connecting with the Divine within you as your strength, and not just the ego power that you feel.
The sense of ego is natural to our existence. Once our consciousness occupies a form of any kind, subtle or gross, an ego or identity is created. But the goal is to observe the identity, and realize that it is only a feature of form. If we are able to really give attention to this experience of ego, we will realize that it is happening in the foreground of another experience. The ego is the superficiality; there is something behind the power of the ego, and that will appear hidden if you do not give attention to it. And that is where the sense of false power comes.
Stay focused and modify as needed
To reset the consciousness or the centre of awareness away from ego, to that which is in the background of the ego – the source of the ego – we need self-discipline. We need the discipline of focus, which means keeping our eye on the goal. We need the discipline of practice; once we have a good understanding of where we want to go, we want to stay on course, and we want to have a series of practices that can help us to stay on course. We need to be ever open to changes we may need to make in our practices, as we experience more of Self. As we become more conscious of the experience of awakening or opening up, we need to modify.
As an example, when you begin to move away from body consciousness and you come into more emotional-based consciousness, or mental-based consciousness, then the game is a little bit different. The practices become a little bit different. The discipline becomes a little bit different. We need to focus now perhaps more on emotions and more on thoughts, and less on the gross aspect. So the discipline may change. One has to be ever watchful of where we are on the journey, and the changes we need to make in the self-discipline as our experiences grow.
Seek the guidance of the internal or external Master
That is best guided by a Master, external or internal. If you have a guide outside of you, then you can use the support of the guide to help you to understand the journey that you are going through. Sometimes Masters come into our inner vision and help us. Or we feel that guiding power on the inside, as we direct our attention to it. “I want to be guided from inside” – we begin to feel that the thoughts and the energies arise that guide us. So guidance can come very powerfully from within.
In maintaining discipline, we need to be ever watchful and not become so rigid that we want to stay with the same discipline throughout. If we want the discipline of sitting firm and staying in a posture, just breathing and repeating a mantra, when the experiences begin to change, then naturally we may have to modify this a little bit. So we need to be ever watchful. A powerful support we have is that the more conscious we become of the evolutionary power within us that is pushing us to expand the consciousness (and this is a dimension that we need to give attention to), we will actually feel this natural guidance within us that is pushing us to change the breath, change the way we think, change the focus, change the posture, and that becomes a very powerful guide in the inner space.
The excitement of this is that we become more conscious; we experience ourselves as more than human, and that experience grows. We begin to feel guided from deep within and that assurance is a very powerful one. That served me on the journey; just that inner guidance. I could feel this energy arising within me, guiding me. That became very, very powerful as a support in my being.
So the excitement is to grow in consciousness, the more you grow in understanding of Self, the more you grow in understanding of your world. They are tied together. If you begin to experience more of Self, your vision of the world changes. You see the world differently. Ultimately when you experience all of Self, you begin to experience the world as a part of you. Now we experience everything as being different to us. But the more conscious we become, the more intimately connected we will feel with everything. A person is not just another person; you begin to feel the person’s energies mirroring within your own being. “How can their thoughts and their emotions be felt so deeply in my being, if they are not part of me?” So you begin to experience everyone differently. That was my huge experience during the 40 Days.
Protect the transformative space
One of the things in the 40 Days that was very strong in terms of guidance was the whole idea of protecting my space. I was forced within this period to seclude myself to create a space of self-discipline. I would have never done it on my own if I wasn’t forced to. The Universe created situations that I forced me to be secluded. Only then I realized the importance of really protecting your transformative space during the period of self-transformation, how important it is; the company you keep, the energies you interact with, the thoughts you keep, the consciousness you keep, the practices you hold on to – they become very important. I feel blessed that the Universe forced me to a 40-day experience of self-transformation; completely blessed. I could have not done it on my own. That is why we continue to provide these 40 Days of a closed kind of space, where we can work together using the wisdom of the Masters to stimulate that self-transformation.
So we look forward to these wonderful days ahead. I am very excited about these days and I hope that we will all participate very powerfully in the co-creation of a powerful space, not just locally, but globally. We can continue the practices wherever we are and have another leap in terms of consciousness expansion on our journey.
The greatest prayer we can have is to be lifted from the darkness of ignorance. The Upanishads describe it very beautifully in saying, “Take away the unreal perception that I have, and lead me to that experience of reality. Take away the darkness of my ignorance, and let me experience the Light of that Divine experience. Take away the fear of death within me that I feel when I am identified with my mortal body; take it away and lead me to the experience of my soul’s immortality.” Such a powerful prayer. “Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya, Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya, Mrtyor Maa Amrtam Gamaya.” The “Maa” is to “lead me away from.” “Asat” is untruth, and the “Gamaya” is to “lead me into.” “Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya, Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya, Mrtyor Maa Amrtam Gamaya.” Such a beautiful prayer. May we embrace that prayer during these days.