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At The Expanding Light Retreat in California
Inner Renewal Week
February 7 – 13
One of Ananda Village’s most blissful programs.
The highlights include classes by Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi, long and deep meditations, Kriya Initiations, and free time for personal reflection.
If you come, I would love to meet you!
Communing with AUM — Advanced Practices
Led by Nayaswami Bharat
August 5 – 7
A weekend to transform your spiritual life, for those with an existing strong meditation practice and a deep interest in AUM.
Absolute Security and Assurance
January 19, 2011
Communing with AUM makes one fearless. One’s reality shifts from the ego, which can never be secure, to the Cosmic Vibration, which is the essence of all Creation.
Ego consciousness isolates us from the rest of life. Those who deeply merge with AUM, however, know, and say, “I am the whole universe. What can possibly harm me?”
In his book, Rays of the One Light, Swami Kriyananda wrote, “Human vision beholds individuality and separation everywhere. Divine vision beholds the oneness of cosmic vibration, of which all things, no matter how diverse, are manifestations. Cosmic Sound and Cosmic Light: These are eternal. The world, as revealed to us by our senses, is illusory.”
When one is deeply absorbed in AUM and feels its awesome power, the external world is seen as only a dream-thought. One knows, without a doubt, that only AUM is real.
Swami Rama Tirtha said blissfully, “Nature is my body,” because through deep communion with AUM he felt he was united with the trees and farthest stars. In his chant, “Marching Light,” he expresses the omnipotent confidence native to every soul who knows AUM. Below are excerpts from his poem.
The world turns aside to make room for me;
I come, Blazing Light! And the shadows must flee.
I ride on the Tempests, astride on the Gale,
My gun is the Lightning my shots never fail.
I hitch to my chariot the Fates and the Gods.
With Thunder of cannon proclaim it abroad:
Wake! Wake up! Be free,
Liberty! Liberty! Liberty! OM
The Cosmic Vibration is beyond duality; therefore, in its reality, there’s no opposite or opposition. In its consciousness, there is no myself against another — but myself as all others.
Swami Sivananda illustrated the universal consciousness of one immersed in AUM with this analogy: AUM is like a canvas with material objects painted on it. “The canvas is real,” he said, “but the pictures in the canvas are unreal because the fire [painted] in the canvas cannot burn your fingers, the knife in the canvas cannot cut your fingers, the tiger in the canvas cannot bite you. AUM is the only solid reality.”
Swami Kriyananda has written a marvelous visualization for affirming and experiencing the universal consciousness of AUM. You can use this visualization when you feel in opposition to anything or anyone, or to unite with AUM during meditation.
Imagine a choir composed of every atom in the universe, each one an individual, but all of them singing together in blissful harmony.
In your own mind, join that mighty choir, composed of all life. Determine from today on to sing in harmony with the universe. Don’t impose on the great anthem of life your little wishes for how you want the music to sound. Unite your notes to that Infinite Sound.
The more you do so, the more deeply you will know yourself to be an expression of the soaring anthem of Infinity.
—from Awaken to Superconsciousness
Nothing Can Touch You
“When AUM came,” a lady once said to Paramhansa Yogananda, “all my troubles vanished.” My friend, Mari, told me recently how her troubles had also vanished when she attuned to the consciousness of AUM.
Several years ago she was waiting to make a deposit at her bank when, suddenly, she found herself in the middle of a robbery. It was a highly stressful situation, and Mari said she “lost it” emotionally.
After the robbery, Mari was disappointed in herself for reacting so emotionally. To change this tendency in herself, she began chanting AUM all day long. Whenever there was a tense situation, Mari would silently and lovingly call on the healing power of AUM to calm herself and others.
AUM is the Great Comforter. Paramhansa Yogananda said that when you are in the consciousness of AUM, nothing can touch you.
Three years later, Mari was again at her bank when another robbery occurred. This time it was a much more violent one.
During this bank heist, Mari was knocked to the floor. But her long practice of thinking of and chanting AUM kept her calm and centered.
As Mari began crawling discreetly away from the robbers, a hysterical woman latched on to her and she guided the terrified woman out of sight of the robbers, where they both would be safe.
Later, during an interview with the FBI, Mari was told that the odds of being involved in two bank robberies were incredibly low. She was the only witness who could give an accurate description of the robbers. Mari attributed this to the calmness she felt from tuning in to the unifying presence of AUM.
While backpacking in California’s Southern Sierra Nevada mountains, three women from Ananda Village had a dramatic experience of the power of AUM. On the fourth day of their trip, a furious thunderstorm caught them at 10,000 feet. Loud cracks of lightning and massive explosions of thunder crashed around them. Torrential rain fell, then hail began to fall harder and harder. Desperate for shelter, they ran to a couple of small trees, which soon proved inadequate protection against the pounding hailstorm.
Seeing a large tree nearby, they bolted for its sheltering branches. Already wet, they struggled out of their packs and dug for their rain jackets. The temperature, meanwhile, had plummeted, and the hail began to fall even harder.
They knew they were in trouble. As drenched as they were, hypothermia was a real possibility. They badly needed shelter. Yet, standing under the highest tree around wasn’t wise — because tall trees are perfect lightning rods. They wondered aloud, “Do we risk hypothermia or lightning strikes?” Both options were dangerous.
Then one of the women began chanting to all-pervading AUM. The two other ladies quickly joined in. Suddenly, they felt as if a bubble of protection surrounded them. Their fear was gone — a feeling of awe and gratitude filled their hearts. For twenty minutes, they chanted and enjoyed the majestic show of lightning and hail. After the storm, everything was transformed into a white wonderland; they felt blessed beyond measure by the love and protection of AUM.
Being in AUM gives one absolute security. The whole world could go up in flames and it wouldn’t matter to you. Swami Rama Tirtha was a great devotee of AUM. He chanted it always — during lectures, conversations, and solitary walks in nature. Before he knew AUM, he said, every whiff of wind threw him off balance. But after constant practice and remembrance of AUM, he became completely free of fear, anxiety, and annoyance. He told his students, “If one man can do this, you can, too.”
Healing Techniques with AUM
If you are troubled before going to sleep, write AUM or Amen on your pillow with your fingers. Mentally visualize light around your body, look into the spiritual eye and say several times, mentally or loudly: I am Light. Darkness fly away.
Standing or sitting, touch both of your palms in front of your body, and then swing them to touch behind your back, and then forward again several times in rapid succession, chanting AUM, and you will be protected.
—Paramhansa Yogananda, Karma and Reincarnation
Here’s a chant to help you stay in the consciousness of AUM: “Fill Me with the Sound of AUM” by Swami Kriyananda.