Atmavedi Meditation consists of Dharana and Dhyana on a special transcending mantra that is selected for you based on the negative karma that you need to balance to achieve Moksha. This may seem complicated due to the use of the Sanskrit terminology, but it is quite simple in practice and easy to learn by anyone who can think a thought. The mantra is a vehicle of transcending that the mind follows to the deepest levels of consciousness in an effortless process.
The basic instruction for Dharana in the process of meditation is very simple: think the mantra as effortlessly as any other thought and if other thoughts come, do not mind them and just come back to the mantra; and take it as it comes. We understand that the mantra is a vehicle of transcending, but exactly what does that mean? What is transcending?
Transcending is easy to experience but requires many words to describe! To transcend means to go beyond. But beyond what? Beyond the physical mind to the subtler minds. Look at this image that depicts the 5 koshas or bodies that we all have:
Each kosha has its own mind and the Anandamaya Kosha is the mind of the universe. Our objective is to transcend from tiny individual physical-based mind to the vast, unbounded mind of the universe. When we can maintain our awareness on the level of the subtle mind and witness the conscious thinking mind from this level, we have achieved Dhyana in meditation. If we can maintain this witnessing of the physical realm from the level of the subtle mind on a permanent basis, 24 hours a day, we have accomplished the goal of human existence, or Moksha.
First, it is important when thinking the mantra that we do not try to pronounce it clearly in the mind. We should just have a faint idea of the mantra in the mind. Feeling the vibration of the mantra is the same as having the mantra in the mind as a faint idea. For example, you can speak the mantra out loud and that uses the mind to think, the vocal cords in the throat to make sound and the lips and mouth and air passing through is also employed. Then you can whisper the mantra, not using the vocal cords at all, just the mind, air, lips and mouth are employed. Subtler is to think the mantra in the mind alone, using only the mind. But notice you can think the mantra clearly and that is more gross than thinking the mantra as a faint idea in the mind. When you think the mantra as just a faint idea and do not try to pronounce it clearly in the mind; just the idea of the mantra, that is feeling the vibration of the mantra. Also, to speak the mantra out loud requires effort to make that sound, even a whisper requires some effort of the body. Pronouncing the mantra clearly in the mind requires effort as well, effort in the mind. But to feel the mantra as a faint idea is effortless.
That is our objective when practicing Dharana, effortless thinking of the mantra. When we reach this level of thinking we are at the boundary of the anamaya kosha, just about to transcend to pranamaya kosha. Then we be even more gentle in our thinking of the mantra and it becomes just a faint idea in the physical mind and the attention slips into the prana mind, using the mantra as a vehicle or focal point. We feel the transition to a state of relative unbounded awareness. Our awareness is no longer bound by the physical mind and physical experience. We are experiencing a new realm of existence through our prana mind and this is not a physical realm. It is pure energy of the prana field.
Then once in the prana mind the process of transcending continues and we realize that we can think the mantra in the prana mind ever so much more effortlessly as an even fainter idea and we reach the boundary of the pranamaya kosha and by becoming even more effortless in our thinking we again transcend beyond the prana mind to the manomaya kosha. Again, we experience a huge expansion of awareness, and our body seems to be limitless and this transcendence is far greater than what we experienced in pranamaya kosha.
Yet we sense that we can think the mantra ever so much more faintly, and we allow the manomaya kosha mind to think the mantra as an even fainter idea that ever before and we come to the boundary of the manomaya kosha. Relaxing the focus of the mind even more, allow the manomaya kosha mind to think the mantra as an even fainter idea, and we transcend again and find ourselves in the vast, seemingly limitless expanse of the vijñanamaya kosha.
We may even think this is the ultimate expansion of awareness, we have arrived at the Goal, there can be no further expansion of awareness possible, but we do not stop there and allow the mantra to refine even more, to become even more subtle in the vijñanamaya kosha mind as a even more faint idea until we reach the boundary if the vijñanamaya kosha. Then we transcend again and the expansion is so vast it cannot be compared at all to the previous states.
We have arrived at the Goal, at Anandamaya Kosha. The mantra cannot be refined further, we are the entire universe, there is no limit to our awareness at all, truly unbounded awareness. Aham Brahmasmi
The practical experience is we may reach any one of these levels then be interrupted by a thought passing through the mind. If there is a sense of interruption caused by that thought, it will break the flow and slow down the progress. So, we allow thoughts to come up, as if in the background of the mind. In the foreground, we are thinking the mantra but in the background, there can be a thought or even a sensory experience of some sound in the room or some light flickering in the closed eyes through the eyelids or some feeling of the body, or a slight smell. All of these thoughts and sensory experiences are relegated to the back of the mind and just ignored, we pay no attention to these things. Our full attention is on the mantra.
In practical experience, it may seem that 90% of our attention is on the mantra and perhaps 10% is on the background processes. As we continue practice, this ratio may change from 90:10 to 95:5 then 98:2 and ultimately 100% absorption in the mantra. We are not trying to do anything at this stage, we are simply pointing our mind in the direction of 100% absorption in the mantra to the exclusion of all other sensory inputs. This is Dharana, perfected.
Dhyana is the next level of meditation that is more advanced than Dharana. It is Dhyana that results in the experience: “I am more than the physical body and conscious thinking mind. I am spacious, timeless, unbounded, silent witnessing awareness that is beyond the physical realm.” With Dharana we focus the mind on the sound of the mantra and with Dhyana we watch our self from a higher perspective that we identify as the Silent Witness as we perform Dharana with the mind.
We do not have to perfect Dharana before we can practice Dhyana. In fact, we want to practice Dhyana simultaneously with Dharana and perfect Dhyana as we perfect Dharana. To achieve Dhyana we begin every meditation with a simple practice – feel the silence that is deep in the mind, identify with that silence and know that is who you really are. You are not the physical body and you are not the conscious thinking mind. You are something beyond, something transcendental to the physical mind and body. You are the Silent Witness that lies deep within and is found between every thought as the background of the awareness. The Silent Witness is your connection to your True Self. Dhyana is witnessing the conscious thinking mind from the True Self of the Silent Witness.
Witnessing the conscious thinking mind from the timeless, spacious silence of the True Self is extraordinary and blissful. This is the feeling of freedom, liberation from all boundaries and is a glimpse of Moksha. This is Dhyana and it becomes more and more established with every meditation until this witnessing quality continues even outside of meditation as we engage in daily activities and even as the body sleeps at night. Gradually, Moksha overtakes the whole of life.
Sri Vidya Mantra
When you are Initiated to practice Atmavedi Meditation, you are given a special Sri Vidya Mantra that perfectly resonates with your collection of negative individual karmic traces. Your Initiator will receive that mantra for you from your Sri Vyuha Jyotish Chakra and give it to you at the end of the Initiation Ceremony. With your Sri Vidya Mantra, you will not only be able to transcend easily to deeper and deeper levels of your consciousness, but the process of mentally vibrating this special mantra in your consciousness will spontaneously balance your negative karmic traces.
It is very important that only your negative karmic traces will be balanced, leaving the positive karmic traces free to fully express your wonderful capabilities and attributes. This will re-engineer your life for career success, happiness, prosperity, and loving relationships that your positive karmic traces provide.
There are many, many mantras for meditation available, but you must be careful not to use mantras that will balance all karmic traces, such as Om. These mantras will strip away all of your karma. However, there is not too much to be concerned about because only mantras given properly and endowed with Shakti will actually work. Just getting a mantra from a book and thinking it will not provide any sort of permanent benefit, nor will it balance your karmic traces.
This is why Atmavedi Meditation is always taught during an Initiation Ceremony. Then the mantra will be blessed with Shakti and become effective in your life.
The Puja or Initiation Ceremony
When you come for Atmavedi Meditation Initiation, your Initiator will perform a Puja to Invoke Krishna, Lord Brahma, and the Vedic Masters of the Holy Tradition. This powerful ceremony will supercharge the environment with Shakti that will be imparted to your Sri Vidya Mantra when it is given to you by your Initiator. Then, your fantastic journey of Self-Discovery begins!