Saturday, April 6, 2013

Ennio on the Breathless State

A major milestone as you advance in your spiritual practice is the attainment of the breathless state. Below is an excerpt from Ennio's book on this subject. He begins by first talking about Japa.

The teaching of Swami Ramdas regarding how to practice Japa is extremely simple. You utter Rama's name (Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram) any time, amid all of life's distractions, whenever there is a momentary return of your consciousness to Self-awareness. When this happens you feel the ensuing joy and you concentrate on it as long as possible, while repeating your Prayer. In this way you perfect your surrender to God. This is to be practiced when facing every event, every day, and in every circumstance. At Night, when free from worldly duties, you devote yourself to intense practice of Japa. Swami Ramdas stuck to that practice and was actually rolling in a sea of indescribable happiness.

"Repeat the one name ‘Ram’ at all times of the day and at nights when you are awake. You may be sure that you will not feel lonely or miserable as long as you are uttering that glorious name. Where this name is sounded, or meditated upon, there resides no sorrow, no anxiety – nay, not even death." (Ramdas)

Helped by a mala (rosary beads), I started to practice reciting Japa aloud 108 times during a walk (the number of beads in a mala), and mentally during the remainder of the walk.

Even though the oriental traditions recommend doing Japa mentally, I know for certain that it should be done aloud – at least for about a hundred times. The sound of that Mantra, which I had already heard in a spiritual audio recording, was very pleasant. I loved to prolong its vibration, make it vibrate in my chest and invest it with my heart's aspiration. My attitude was not that of a supplicating and sobbing devotee, but that of a man who rejoices, being one step away from his goal.

Since I observed while doing it an irresistible impulse to put everything in order, I thought that the Mantra could work in a similar way by cleaning out my mental stuff and putting my "psychological furniture" in order. Even though sometimes I felt a bit dazed, I maintained the determination never to discard this practice.

I practiced Japa every morning and Kriya every noon in the open countryside. One day during my Kriya session while relaxing with the mental Pranayama (placing my awareness in each Chakra for 10-20 seconds each), I distinctly perceived a fresh energy sustaining my body from inside. I realized my cells were breathing pure energy which didn't originate from the inhaled air. The more I relaxed, the more I simultaneously became aware both of the Chakras and of the body as a whole. The breath, which in the meantime had become very short, eventually reached immobility, like a pendulum gently reaching the equilibrium point. My mind settled down. This condition lasted a few minutes without any feeling of uneasiness; there was neither the least quiver of surprise nor the thought, "Finally I have it!" The event was enjoyable beyond words: in a bluepainted profundity, I was mercilessly crushed by the beauty of nature and, at the same time, situated above the whole world. All was incredibly beautiful, beyond imagination! I was not breathing and I did not feel the need to.

In the following days the same event happened again – always during mental Pranayama. Before starting my routine, I looked at the surrounding panorama and wondered if I would again experience that state. I did! I was astonished; it seemed impossible that Japa, one of the simplest techniques in the world, could produce infallibly such a valuable result! Compared to the breathless state (which was "solidity" itself), my past experiences during Kriya practice seemed vanishing, elusive, like luminous reflections on water. Where my best intentions had failed, Japa had produced the miracle! There was a perfect association between the practice of Japa and the attainment of the breathless state. Every day I experienced it for myself.

This reliable result created a moral strength in me that turned into a calm euphoria permeating my entire day. While talking to others I remained effortlessly centered on the feeling of unchangeable calmness, without being involved in the images arising from the words. This new way of living was like walking out of a dark stuffy room into sunlight and fresh air. The magic of this bright dazzling Prayer which spread into each facet of my life confirmed in me the belief that Japa was the only tool capable of extracting "something perfect and sublime" from my life.

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